Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
Cows cast away by Dorian found alive on N Carolina island
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CAPE LOOKOUT, N.C. (AP) – A trio of castaway cows has been discovered on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where they apparently washed up after swimming for miles to escape Hurricane Dorian ‘s storm surge.
Cape Lookout National Seashore officials think the stranded cows swam up to 5 miles (8 kilometers) during the September storm before being found near Cape Lookout this month. The cows belong to a herd that roams freely on Cedar Island, across the sound. When Dorian generated an 8-foot (2-meter) “mini tsunami,” it washed them and dozens of other animals away, including 28 wild horses that died.
Seashore spokesman B.G. Horvat told McClatchy news group the cows are grazing peacefully after a harrowing feat of survival, but they need to go home. He thinks they’ll have to be sedated for the boat trip.
CITY COUNCIL TELECASTS
North Carolina mayor-elect wants televised council meetings
(Information from: Rocky Mount Telegram, http://www.rockymounttelegram.com)
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) – The incoming mayor of a North Carolina city is pushing the idea of televised city council meetings.
The Rocky Mount Telegram reports Mayor-elect Sandy Roberson is also looking into televising meetings of the city’s boards and commissions. Roberson bases his idea on the fact that there are people who keep track of city government but can’t attend the meetings.
A local television station broadcasts delayed video of council meetings and a local resident uses a cellphone while seated in the audience to show the meetings in real time on her Facebook page.
Ward 5 Councilman-elect Lige Daughtridge says he believes that complete transparency is vital to ensure the public trust and that local residents and the news media have access to all public information.
Debate, votes expected on Congress remap in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Some Republicans are ready to advance a new map for North Carolina’s congressional districts next year.
The House planned to debate and vote on proposed boundaries Thursday that would replace the lines for the state’s 13 U.S. House seats. It’s happening because state judges blocked the current map’s use for the 2020 elections, saying it was likely an illegal partisan gerrymander favoring the GOP.
Republicans hold 10 of the state’s 13 congressional seats. Any replacement likely would make Democratic candidates more competitive.
A map would have to be approved to by both the Senate and House, both of which are run by Republicans. Unlike other legislation, redistricting bills aren’t subject to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.
Approving new boundaries soon could allow congressional primaries to occur as scheduled March 3.
Duke University struggles to catch opossum lording over dorm
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A opossum has illegally taken up residence in the ceiling of a Duke University dorm, where students have been complaining about being bitten by fleas.
The school’s assistant vice president of student affairs, Joe Gonzalez, told reporters on Wednesday that the school has yet to catch the elusive opossum that students first complained about in October. He says the creature has escaped custody partly because it appears to be splitting its time between the Few Quad dorm and somewhere else.
Reports of fleas also began to surface last month, prompting the school to put students up in another dorm while they fumigated the place. Gonzalez says the opossum may have brought the fleas, but that’s unconfirmed. Irritated students are questioning why they’re dealing with such conditions at a $78,608-per-year school.
Police: North Carolina man stabbed grandmother to death
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A 25-year-old North Carolina man has been charged with stabbing his grandmother to death.
The Burlington Police Department said in a news release that authorities came Monday to the Burlington home of 71-year-old Cynthia Ziller and found her body. They say they determined she had been slain by stabbing.
Early Wednesday, police say they arrested her grandson, 25-year-old Nathan Jeremiah Ziller, who lives in nearby Graham.
Police say that he has been charged with first-degree murder. The motive for the killing wasn’t immediately clear.
Ziller was being held without bond. Lt. Nick Wright said police didn’t know if he had an attorney.
NATIVE AMERICAN SCHOOL REJECTED
North Carolina board rejected Native American charter school
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina advisory board has rejected a new charter school catering to Native Americans, saying its curriculum is too activist and not inclusive enough.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the N.C. Charter Schools Advisory Board voted Tuesday to reverse its recommendation that the state approve the 2020 opening of Old Main STREAM Academy.
Advisory board members raised concerns about the school’s use of “red pedagogy,” an approach tied to an educator critical of how the U.S. has treated Native Americans.
Old Main’s leaders said something different is needed to help Native American students, who on average have lower test scores and higher suspension rates than many other groups. Brenda Deese, an Old Main board member, said the school would be inclusive and accept all children who attended.
University apologizes to author after ex-student’s criticism
(Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com)
ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) – A South Dakota university has apologized to a young adult author whose work was criticized by a former student.
Northern State University tweeted an apology to author Sarah Dessen on Tuesday. That was the same day the Aberdeen American News published an article looking at the 10 years of the school’s Common Read program, in which every first-year student reads the same book.
The article quoted a 2017 graduate of Northern State who said she joined the program’s volunteer committee to make sure a book by Dessen would not be chosen.
The former student said Dessen “was fine for teen girls” but that her work was “definitely not up to the level of Common Read.”
Dessen, who is based in North Carolina, tweeted the quote, with the woman’s name redacted, and added, “Authors are real people.”
The Argus Leader reports other authors including Jodi Picoult and Angie Thomas tweeted support for Dessen.
DMV OFFICER-FATAL SHOOTING
Police: North Carolina DMV officer involved in shooting
WILSON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say an officer with the state Division of Motor Vehicles was involved in a fatal shooting.
The Wilson Times reported N.C. State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Anjanette Grube would only say it wasn’t an officer who was shot on Wednesday. She provided no additional details.
Ron Hunt, Wilson County’s assistant manager, said a suspect broke into the senior center before it opened and robbed the center’s director. While officers were investigating that incident, police said a shooting occurred less than a mile from the DMV office.
Police Sgt. Steve Stroud said it was during that investigation that the officer-involved shooting occurred.
A DMV spokesman says the officer was not hurt, and that the agency and the NCSBI are looking into the incident.