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June 27, 2018
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June 27, 2018
AP-NC Newswatch





Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT


The Latest: Crime victims’ rights amendment going to voters
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Voters will be asked this fall to decide whether to change the North Carolina Constitution to rework a current section that lays out the rights of crime victims.
The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to accept changes in the proposed constitutional amendment made by the Senate. Now the item will be placed on all ballots in the state this November in an up-or-down referendum.
Supporters say the amendment known as “Marsy’s Law” would expand rights already in the state constitution approved by voters two decades ago. The changes make clear victims can go to court and seek redress when they feel their rights aren’t being satisfied.
Chief sponsor Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary says the proposed changes won’t cost the state any additional money for court officials to comply with in the near future. Some House members questioned why the changes couldn’t just be altered using conventional legislation.


The Latest: Federal ruling may affect states’ lawsuit
SEATTLE (AP) – A federal judge in California has ordered U.S. border authorities to reunite children with their separated families and it wasn’t immediately clear how the ruling would affect a similar lawsuit from 17 states.
A judge in San Diego on Tuesday said migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border must be reunited within 30 days of the ruling issued late Tuesday. Any child younger than 5 must be reunified within the next 14 days.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw also issued a nationwide injunction on future family separations.
California, Washington, New York and other states joined Washington, D.C. on Tuesday in filing a lawsuit that would force the Trump administration to reunite the separated families.
Immigration authorities have sparked global outrage by separating about 2,300 children from their loved ones.



Officials: NC university mishandled sexual assault claims
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Federal civil rights authorities have found the University of North Carolina’s flagship school violated Title IX anti-discrimination law because of the way it handled sexual assault and harassment complaints.
The decision by the Office for Civil Rights within the U.S. Department of Education came after a five-year investigation into complaints at UNC-Chapel Hill.
The office sent a letter Monday night to four former students and a former administrator who filed a complaint in 2013. The letter says the office determined the school did not adopt and publish proper grievance procedures for the resolution of sexual discrimination complaints as required by Title IX.
UNC did not admit any violation. However, it agreed to several changes, including to review and possibly revise its Title IX policies and grievance procedures.


This story has been edited to correct the title to Office for Civil Rights instead of Office of Civil Rights.

Man admits to impersonating general on helicopter flight
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has admitted to impersonating a three-star Army general and landing a chartered helicopter at a technology company to impress a woman.
Christian Desgroux pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of pretending to be a military officer. The 58-year-old faces up to three years in prison at his sentencing scheduled for late July. But his defense attorney said sentencing guidelines call for no more than six months’ incarceration.
Authorities say Desgroux unexpectedly had a charter helicopter pilot land on a soccer field last November at the sprawling corporate campus of SAS Institute in Cary. Wearing a military uniform, Desgroux told a security officer he was there to pick up a female employee for a classified briefing authorized by the president, according to federal agents.



Enemy turned ally: Poliovirus is used to fight brain tumors
One of the world’s most dreaded viruses has been turned into an immune system therapy to fight deadly brain tumors.
Doctors say survival was better than expected for patients in a small study who were given modified poliovirus, which helped their bodies attack the cancer.
It was the first human test of this and it didn’t help most patients or improve median survival. But many who did respond seemed to have long-lasting benefit: About 21 percent were alive at three years versus 4 percent in a comparison group of previous brain tumor patients.
The treatment was developed at Duke University with help from the National Cancer Institute. Results were discussed Tuesday at a conference in Norway and published by the New England Journal of Medicine.



Senate votes to override vetoes on voting, farm litigation
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A chamber of the North Carolina General Assembly has started overriding two of Gov. Roy Cooper’s latest vetoes of measures that would adjust early in-person voting and restrict litigation filed by neighbors of big livestock operations unhappy with nearby odors.
The Senate voted Tuesday to enact the legislation over the formal objections Cooper announced Monday. Those measures now return to the House.
The early voting measure adjusts the current 17-day period by eliminating the final day now scheduled for Saturday before Election Day and moving up the start by one day.
The agriculture industry pushed for the legislation making it harder for nuisance lawsuits to be successful following a multi-million dollar verdict against Smithfield Foods. Bill supporters say without it litigation could force farmers out of business.



Man pleads guilty in crash that killed elderly man
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a crash that killed an elderly man.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports 19-year-old Kevin Lamont East Jr. pleaded guilty in Forsyth County Superior Court Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving to endanger and exceeding a safe speed. The judge consolidated the charges into one and sentenced East to between 16 and 29 months in prison.
Police said East was driving at 83 miles per hour on Peters Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem in December. Investigators said one of his passengers told them East began speeding and driving erratically. Another passenger told police they asked East why he was driving so fast and told him to slow down before he crashed into a car making a left-hand and killed 80-year-old Robert Charles Shumate.


Bredesen to push for TVA to help expand broadband access
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen says he would push to get the Tennessee Valley Authority to help expand broadband internet access to rural areas if elected.
Bredesen is a Democrat and a former Tennessee governor. He is seeking to replace Sen. Bob Corker, a two-term Republican who is not seeking re-election.
Bredesen spoke Tuesday to a Kiwanis Club in Clarksville. He said he is committed to amending the federal TVA act to allow the government-owned electricity provider to bring access to underserved rural areas in Tennessee.
Bredesen says the “foundation” has been set by the TVA’s board approval in 2017 of $300 million to expand its network fiber capacity – and by a law signed by Gov. Bill Haslam last year giving electric cooperatives the authority to provide broadband service.