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AP-NC Newswatch




Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT



Final showdown on North Carolina budget could come next week
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A final showdown on the vetoed North Carolina state budget could come next week.
Senate Republicans on Friday filed the parliamentary notice necessary to give them the option to bring up the vetoed budget for an override vote on Monday.
The House overrode Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the two-year budget bill during an unexpected vote last month when dozens of Democrats were absent.
One Senate Democrat would need to join all the Republicans in voting “yes” to complete the override. The same result occurs if two Democrats are absent. Senate Democrats have insisted they’re all committed to sustaining Cooper’s veto.
The budget was supposed to be enacted by July 1, but it got waylaid by disagreements between Republicans and Cooper over Medicaid expansion, corporate taxes and teacher pay.



Thousands of birds delayed flights at N Carolina airport
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A huge block of birds has caused travel headaches at a North Carolina airport.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that authorities at the Asheville Regional Airport temporarily stopped flight operations Friday morning after thousands of starlings landed at the airfield.
Airport spokeswoman Tina Kinsey says the airport dispatched fire trucks with water jets, air cannons and big-bang noise makers to shoo away the fowl who threatened to pose a safety hazard.
The flock dispersed after about two hours.

This story has been corrected to show event was Friday.


Man charged with providing drugs ordered by prison inmates
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A man accused of selling and sneaking drugs like Ecstacy into prisons across North Carolina is facing charges after officials say they tracked him through his phone calls with inmates.
News outlets reported that 40-year-old Eric Lamont Perry of Durham was arrested earlier this month.
A search warrant said Perry developed a sophisticated system of mailing or smuggling narcotics into prisons. The warrant said state prisons officials notified the Durham County Sheriff’s Office about Perry, who was identified through monitored inmate phone calls at several state detention centers.
Perry was released from jail on bond and jail officials had information whether he was represented by a lawyer. Perry had no listed phone number and could not be reached for comment.



Report on race shows the South is still ‘divided by design’
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is tackling the race issue, starting with a report called “Divided by Design .”
The report released Friday is based on surveys and interviews with people in in 28 communities in 13 Southern states. It touts efforts to bridge racial gaps. But it also says segregation and inequality remain major barriers to advancement for many. And it notes widespread, conflicting views on racism among African Americans, Latinos and whites.
When Landrieu was mayor he removed four Jim Crow-era monuments from the New Orleans landscape, including statues of three Confederate icons.
This report is the first project of the E Pluribus Unum Fund , which Landrieu launched after leaving office in May 2018. It calls for cultivating courageous leaders who can build common ground.



Microsoft expanding in North Carolina, will hire hundreds
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Microsoft Corp. is expanding its North Carolina footprint by hiring new workers to build out its engineering and quantum computing businesses.
The software maker and Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Friday that the $23 million expansion in Charlotte aims to create 430 new jobs by 2023.
The Redmond, Washington-based company could receive $8.5 million in state incentives over time if its meets job-creation and investment goals. A state panel awarded an incentives deal to Microsoft minutes before Microsoft executives and Cooper unveiled the expansion at a Charlotte event. The state Commerce Department says North Carolina won out over competing offers from Irving, Texas and Fargo, North Dakota.
Microsoft already has 1,400 employees in North Carolina, with 1,150 in Charlotte. Average salaries for the new jobs could reach almost $99,000.



Organization tracks growing number of sharks off Outer Banks
RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) – Researchers say they’re seeing a growing number of great white sharks off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
The Raleigh News & Observer reports that four sharks with tracking devices have “pinged” in recent days. The sharks are being tracked by researchers with the organization Ocearch.
The organization said on Twitter that a shark named Ironbound was among the sharks that were traveling near the Outer Banks community of Corolla and moving down the coast toward Rodanthe.
Ironbound is a 12-foot, 4-inch male great white that weighs about 1,000 pounds. The organization is tracking three other male great white sharks between 10 and 12 feet in length.
Great white sharks are known to swim off the southeastern United States coast in the winter



Sheriff: Human remains may be woman missing since 2004
SPRING HOPE, N.C. (AP) – A sheriff in North Carolina says human remains buried in a shallow grave may belong to a woman who was reported missing 15 years ago.
News outlets report remains believed to be Deborah Deans were found Thursday behind a Spring Hope home belonging to 49-year-old Kimberly Hancock. Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone says the department received a tip about the remains last week and carried out a search warrant at the home Thursday.
Stone says an autopsy will determine the identity but there was “a strong possibility” the remains belong to Deans, who was 29 years old in 2004 when she was last seen at Hancock’s home.
Hancock is charged with first-degree murder. She’s expected in court Friday morning. It’s unclear whether she had an attorney who could comment.



Police seek man charged in death of woman at NC motel
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities are searching for a man charged with the first-degree murder of a woman found dead at a North Carolina motel.
Fayetteville police tell reporters that 46-year-old Phillip Jerome Little is considered armed and dangerous. A police statement says 26-year-old Meoshia Corbett was found dead Wednesday at a Travel Inn. Her cause of death is pending.
Motel owner Mike Naik tells WRAL-TV that Little and Corbett were in an off-again, on-again relationship and lived at the motel. Naik says Little left a note confessing to the slaying.
Waymon Gainey manages the nearby Big Mike’s Car Wash. He tells WTVD-TV he called police after a former employee dropped off a note instructing him to call a phone number and tell the recipient “that I killed his daughter at the Travel Inn.”