AP-NC Newswatch

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July 31, 2018
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July 31, 2018
AP-NC Newswatch




Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT


UNC won’t act on statue of Confederate soldier at flagship
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – The University of North Carolina Board of Governors will do nothing, for now, about an embattled Confederate monument on the public university system’s flagship campus.
The News & Observer reports board chairman Harry Smith said in a Friday statement neither UNC-Chapel Hill nor the UNC system has legal authority to relocate the Confederate soldier statue known as “Silent Sam.” He cited a 2015 state law that bars moving historical monuments except in a few cases. Relocation proponents say repeated vandalism is grounds for moving it under the law.
Smith had initially said after the meeting that he expected to have conversations about the statue following pressure from the university community. But hours later, his statement said the board will do nothing while it awaits the North Carolina Historical Commission’s guidance.


This story has been corrected to say Smith’s statement was issued Friday, not Monday.


Transportation department workers compete in annual ‘Roadeo’
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Employees of North Carolina’s Transportation Department who operate heavy equipment will test their safety awareness and skill level in the department’s annual “Roadeo.”
Winners of contests in each of the DOT’s 14 divisions will compete against each other in the statewide event to determine who can best operate a dump truck, tractor, backhoe, low-boy trailer or motor grader through obstacle courses. Those courses mimic situations that maintenance crews handle on the job.
The event will be held Tuesday at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.
The winner in each category will compete in September in the Southeastern Regional Equipment Operators Roadeo in Rogers, Arkansas.



US Army Special Forces test exercise to start in N Carolina
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – The sounds of war are about to fan over 19 counties, but the U.S. Army says residents should be unconcerned.
Citing a release from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, the Charlotte Observer reports that the “Robin Sage” exercise begins Wednesday. The two-week unconventional warfare exercise is part of the final test for 200 students to qualify for their first Special Forces assignments
Around 500 military members and civilian support personnel and 150 members of the public are expected to take part. Soldiers will act as “realistic opposing forces and guerrilla freedom fighters.”
The center says residents might hear blank gunfire and see occasional flares, but controls will ensure no risk to people or property.
The exercise will end Aug. 17.


Peoria flight bound for North Carolina loses cabin pressure
(Information from: Journal Star, http://pjstar.com)
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – An official says an American Eagle flight from Peoria, Illinois, bound for North Carolina landed safely after a sudden loss of cabin pressure.
Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport director Gene Olson says the 50-seat CRJ200 jet took off about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday bound for Charlotte, North Carolina. Olson says it returned to the Peoria airport within 20 minutes.
The (Peoria) Journal-Star reports the jet is operated by PSA Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines and flies under the American Eagle brand.
Olson says the plane’s oxygen masks deployed but that none of the about 40 passengers were injured.


1 of first black University of North Carolina students dies
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says one of its first black students has died.
News outlets report J. Kenneth Lee died last week. A funeral for the 94-year-old was Monday in Greensboro.
The university says in a statement that Lee was one of four African-American students who helped integrate the campus. The four had joined a lawsuit filed in 1949 that led to the desegregation of the university’s law school.
Thurgood Marshall was then-director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and represented Lee and the other plaintiffs in the suit. Marshall later became the U.S. Supreme Court’s first African-American justice.
Lee enrolled in the law school in 1951 and became a prominent civil rights attorney in Greensboro after graduating. His career spanned more than five decades.



Top lawmaker says Saturday sessions ahead for veto overrides
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Republican-controlled General Assembly is planning rare weekend floor sessions to handle two vetoes by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
House Speaker Tim Moore said Monday he expected the House and Senate to return for veto-override debates and votes this Saturday. Moore says conflicting summer schedules made Saturday best.
Cooper last Friday vetoed bills that alter North Carolina ballot language for constitutional referenda and a state Supreme Court race this fall.
One prevents a Supreme Court hopeful who switched parties just before candidate filing from having any party label next to his name on the ballot. House Democratic leader Darren Jackson contends Republicans are meeting Saturday so it’s harder for the candidate to sue over the label change with a ballot printing deadlines approaching. Moore says that’s not been a consideration.



Democrat running for Supreme Court outraises GOP incumbent
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Campaign finance reports show that the Democratic candidate for North Carolina’s Supreme Court has raised more than twice the amount the Republican incumbent has raised so far this year.
Reports due last Friday show Durham-based attorney Anita Earls has raised nearly $375,000 since January. Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson, who was first elected to an eight-year term in 2010, raised more than $144,000. Republican Chris Anglin, who joined the race in June, was not required to file a report.
Jackson is one of three Republicans currently serving on the seven-member court, which has in the past ruled in favor of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper over the GOP controlled legislature. If Earls wins the November general election, the court would be composed of five Democrats and two Republicans.



New North Carolina party sues over candidate restriction
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A new official political party in North Carolina says a law blocking some of its nominated candidates from standing for election this fall is unconstitutional.
The Constitution Party of North Carolina and three individuals picked to run under the party’s banner in November are suing the state elections board in Raleigh federal court.
The Constitution Party met official party requirements in June and nominated by convention ten candidates for various offices. But the General Assembly passed a law preventing the party from fielding candidates who also lost in the May primaries for the same office.
The elections board disqualified three Constitution Party candidates for that reason. The lawsuit – filed July 20 but announced by the party Monday – alleges the restriction prevents them from fully participating in the election.