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House impeachment inquiry becomes teachable moment across US
BEAR CREEK, N.C. (AP) – The House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has become a teachable moment in classrooms around the country as educators incorporate the events in Washington into their lesson plans.
They are using the debate in Congress to teach students about the Constitution and presidential power, provide history lessons about earlier impeachment cases and hold mock votes that mirror divisions in American politics.
In Aedrin Albright’s civics class at Chatham Central High School in rural North Carolina, her 10th graders studied the impeachment process last month. Then Tuesday they voted, with the majority opposing impeachment. The school is based in Bear Creek, which voted 55 percent for Trump in 2016.
Experts say telling students their views is a personal choice for teachers but should be weighed carefully. Albright didn’t reveal hers.
Court will hear Bowe Bergdahl’s appeal over Trump’s comments
(Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com)
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – A military court has agreed to hear an appeal by a U.S. Army soldier who left his post in Afghanistan and was held prisoner by the Taliban for five years.
The Fayetteville Observer reported Thursday that the court will examine whether statements by President Donald Trump and the late U.S. Sen. John McCain unfairly influenced Bowe Bergdahl’s trial.
Bergdahl’s lawyers argue that McCain threatened to conduct a hearing at the Senate Armed Services Committee if Bergdahl went unpunished. The lawyers also cite multiple instances of Trump making disparaging comments about Bergdahl.
People in the military’s chain of command are forbidden from saying anything that could interfere with a military court case.
Bergdahl pleaded guilty in 2017 to desertion. He was spared prison time but was dishonorably discharged as a private.
PEDESTRIAN-STRUCK THREE TIMES
Police: Man hit by 3 vehicles while trying to cross street
APEX, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a man who was hit by three cars while trying to cross the street has serious injuries.
News outlets report the man was hit by a car Thursday evening in Apex. Police Deputy Chief Mitchell McKinney says the first driver stopped and tried to check on the man. The pedestrian was then hit by two more vehicles.
Witnesses told police the second and third vehicles didn’t stop. McKinney says officers are searching for those drivers. The driver of the first car cooperated with investigators at the scene.
McKinney says the man is in his 30s or 40s. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
North Carolina teacher charged with indecent liberties
GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina have arrested a high school teacher accused of exchanging indecent messages with students.
News outlets quoted the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office as saying it received a report Wednesday that a teacher at Western Alamance High School was having inappropriate relationships with students.
Special Victims Unit investigators said they discovered messages between 58-year-old Kenneth Ray Lockner and students that were considered to be indecent. The teacher was charged with three felony counts of indecent liberties with a student.
Reports say the case is ongoing and more charges could be filed.
Lockner was arrested and jailed on $100,000 bond. A hearing is set for later Friday.
City gets grant to help reduce sexual assault kit backlog
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A $1 million grant has been awarded to a North Carolina police department in a city that has one of the largest backlogs of untested sexual assault kits in the state.
News outlets report the Durham City Council approved the three-year grant from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance on Monday.
A 2018 report found Durham had about 1,700 untested kits. Police Chief C.J. Davis says the department pursued the grant to prioritize solving sexual assault cases.
The funding will pay for a prosecutor, two investigators and a bilingual victim and witness assistant. The assistant is tasked with reducing trauma and aiding victims and witnesses through the legal process.
WTVD-TV reports the Department of Justice says 270 kits have been tested and 405 are approved for testing.
WILMINGTON COUP MARKER
Highway marker describes 1898 Wilmington violence as ‘coup’
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The state of North Carolina is moving away from using the phrase “race riot” to describe the violent overthrow of the Wilmington government in 1898 and is instead using the word “coup” on the highway historical marker that will commemorate the dark event.
The heading on the marker reads “Wilmington Coup,” but the originally approved text used referred to a “race riot,” which eventually was deleted. The marker will be dedicated Friday in Wilmington.
Ansley Herring Wegner is administrator of the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program. She says the term “race riot” is wrong because African Americans were being massacred, not rioting.
In 1898, white Democrats violently overthrew the government of legitimately elected blacks and white Republicans in Wilmington in what’s viewed the only successful coup d’etat in American history.
TEACHER-STUDENT SEX OFFENSES
Teacher accused of sex offenses found dead near shot husband
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina teacher accused of sex offenses against a student has been found dead in her home, along with her husband who had been fatally shot.
Huntersville police officer Odette Saglimbeni told reporters at a news conference that 63-yaer-old Emma Ogle and her 59-year-old husband were found dead Wednesday, less than a week after Ogle was charged. Saglimbeni said police received a report that morning about an armed person in the couple’s home.
She said the husband hadn’t reported to work that morning and a relative reported finding him dead in the home, where the Garinger High School teacher was reportedly alive and armed. A police statement says authorities entered the Huntersville home and found the couple dead from gunshot wounds. An investigation is ongoing.
UNC STADIUM NAME
Logo covers UNC stadium plaque honoring man with racist ties
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – A temporary logo has been placed over one of the plaques at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill stadium that’s dedicated to a man who was a leader of a violent coup d’etat in 1898.
News outlets report that photos this week showing the logo covering the name of William Rand Kenan Sr.
Last year, then-Chancellor Carol Folt said the university would remove references to Kenan and focus on his son, William Rand Kenan Jr., who paid to have the stadium dedicated to his parents’ memory.
A historical highway marker was being dedicated Friday to commemorate the 1898 coup in which white Democrats overthrew the government of African Americans and Republicans in Wilmington.
A newspaper report at the time said Kenan Sr. was in charge of the machine gun used during the coup.