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OBAMA ENDORSEMENTS-NORTH CAROLINA
List of Obama endorsements include 6 N Carolina candidates
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Former President Barack Obama has put his seals of approval upon a half-dozen Democratic legislative candidates in North Carolina this fall.
The six endorsements are among 81 that Obama announced Wednesday, covering 13 states and up and down the ballot.
Obama and national Democrats are paying attention to races for the North Carolina General Assembly, which Republicans have controlled since 2011. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper isn’t on the November ballot but is also raising support for legislative candidates to attempt to break GOP veto-proof majorities and support his agenda.
Obama endorsed state Senate candidate Wiley Nickel of Cary and House candidates Terence Everitt of Wake Forest, Julie von Haefen and Sydney Batch of Apex, Rachel Hunt of Charlotte and Ron Wesson of Windsor.
CYNDI LAUPER-STREET PERFORMERS
2 teen street singers take the stage with Cyndi Lauper
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Two North Carolina teens went overnight from singing on a street corner to sharing a stage with Grammy Award-winning singer Cyndi Lauper.
The Charlotte Observer reports 14-year-old Mya Worley was singing on a city street last Friday with her 13-year-old brother Ronald on the keyboard, as they have done all summer under their father’s guidance. Two women stopped to listen and one suggested they had to get the teens “to play tomorrow.”
With Lauper standing nearby, manager Lisa Barbaris approached Ronald Worley Sr. and asked if his kids would sing Lauper’s 1983 hit “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” with her at a concert.
Less than 24 hours later, the siblings were at the 20,000-seat Spectrum Center. Mya sang a rearranged first verse before they launched into the upbeat version.
SUNDAY COMICS DROPPED-TARIFFS
Paper blames newsprint tariffs for dropping Sunday comics
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – Residents in a North Carolina town hoping to read “Rex Morgan M.D.” with Sunday coffee are in for a rude awakening. And a newspaper says it’s President Donald Trump’s fault.
The Robesonian in Lumberton announced it’s dropping an eight-page color comics section from Sunday editions.
A newspaper editorial said it cut the comics because of rising costs spurred by Trump administration tariffs on Canadian newsprint. The newspaper says it’s “a decision that we really believe was made at the White House.”
Instead, the newspaper with a Sunday circulation of 6,200 will run a single page of black-and-white comics and puzzles. Rex Morgan didn’t make the cut.
Newspapers are reeling after tariffs put in place in March increased newsprint prices by 25 to 30 percent. Newsprint is generally the second-largest expense for local papers.
Replacement scramble on as legislative hopefuls drop out
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Local North Carolina party activists are scrambling for replacement candidates now that several General Assembly hopefuls are dropping out of races.
The Insider state government news service reported Wednesday that 10 challengers of incumbent House or Senate members are pulling out of their races or have already withdrawn. Local party leaders have until next week to choose replacement candidates whose names would appear on ballots. The previous candidate’s name remains even if a successor candidate is chosen later.
Dropouts include seven Democrats, two Republicans and one Libertarian in a year when both major parties are fielding candidates for nearly every one of the 170 legislative seats.
Incumbents who now may face replacement candidates include Republican Sen. Deanna Ballard of Watauga County and Rep. Dennis Riddell of Alamance County.
North Carolina establishes plan to focus on shellfish
MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina is joining a national effort that focuses on the importance of shellfish to the environment and economy.
North Carolina Sea Grant said in a news release that the state’s participation will be made official Thursday. The secretary of the state Department of Environmental Quality, Michael Regan, will announce the move then at the North Carolina Center for Marine Sciences and Technology in Morehead City.
The state initiative is based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s nationwide program designed to increase shellfish populations in coastal waters. The state plan has four major goals: job creation, protection of water quality, protection of shellfish health and sustainable management.
North Carolina is the sixth state in the country and the first in the Southeast to follow the federal model.
BED BATH & BEYOND-PULLED CUPS
Bed Bath & Beyond pulls cups from stores over design claim
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Bed Bath & Beyond has stopped offering insulated plastic tumblers bearing a barbecue map of North Carolina after a man claimed the design was stolen.
The News & Observer reports John Pugh of House of Swank says the manufacturer of the cups “ripped off” his design of North Carolina barbecue preferences. His design shows the state split in two with one side labeled “vinegar” and the other “tomato.”
The company announced Tuesday that it was pulling the product pending further investigation.
Tumbler manufacturer Tervis said Monday that it’s looking into the claim.
Pugh created the design about seven years ago. He said neither company has offered to compensate him for the use or sale of the design.
200 unmarked graves, likely for slaves, found near cemetery
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Researchers in North Carolina have found more than 200 unmarked graves near a cemetery, and it’s believed they belong to slaves.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports the graves were found in the St. Philips Moravian Graveyard in Winston-Salem, and researchers think the slaves were buried after 1859. The graves were located Tuesday by using ground-penetrating radar that indicates disturbances in the soil.
Keith Seramur, head of the Boone-based graveyard mapping team, said many of the people buried there were probably slaves who had little money, yet there were vaults found among the graves, which meant more significance in the community.
Peggy Crouse, the chair of the committee overseeing the project, says the next step is to raise enough money through grants and fundraisers to put a personalized stone on each grave.
SCHOOL FUNDING LAWSUIT
Public schools owed $750M by state bring lawsuit
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina school districts are suing the state, again, to get hundreds of millions of dollars that the courts say should go to education.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the North Carolina School Boards Association and 20 individual school boards revives a decades-long legal battle over nearly $750 million in civil penalties.
The state constitution requires fines and forfeitures collected by state agencies go to public schools, but they haven’t sent all the money along.
School boards sued in 1998 and the state Supreme Court agreed that state agencies were violating the constitution. A trial judge in 2008 determined how much money districts should receive, but stopped short of ordering the legislature to pay up, saying that was beyond the scope of his judicial power.