AP-NC Newswatch

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June 22, 2018
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June 22, 2018
AP-NC Newswatch




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


Thwarted before, Republicans seek photo ID through amendment
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Republicans have been thwarted by veto and federal judges this decade to require photo identification to vote. Now they’re hoping state residents will cement the mandate by amending the state constitution.
A House committee voted Thursday along party lines for a measure that would ask voters this November to enshrine this voter ID photo requirement in the constitution. The bill’s next stop is the House floor in the final days of this year’s legislative session. The Senate also would have to approve the idea before the question is submitted to voters.
Gov. Beverly Perdue vetoed a voter ID law in 2011, but GOP lawmakers couldn’t override it. A federal appeals court struck down another law in 2013 signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, calling several provisions racially discriminatory.



Northeast Cape Fear River bridge to undergo repairs at night
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Officials say the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge over the Northeast Cape Fear River will be closed nightly for much of next week and part of the following week.
The N.C. Department of Transportation says the closure is necessary so a contractor can safely repair the bridge’s mechanical components.
Nightly closures begin on Sunday and will be in effect from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. The New Hanover County bridge will not be closed on Friday and Saturday nights. Officials say the bridge will not close on the nights of July 3 and 4 to accommodate holiday traffic.
Work on the bridge will continue through the summer and require intermittent nightly lane closures in each direction beginning July 6 and continuing until Aug. 31.



‘We are full’: N Carolina animal shelter begs for adoptions
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – An overcrowded animal shelter in North Carolina has issued a plea for people to open their homes and adopt or foster an animal.
The Asheville Citizen Times reports the Asheville Humane Society has taken in nearly 7,000 animals this fiscal year, which ends in June. The newspaper says the shelter is filled to the brim, with dogs occupying visitation rooms and staying in cages meant for temporary housing. Some dogs are being kept two at a time in kennels that are usually reserved for one.
The shelter has temporarily waived some adoption fees, which Humane Society spokeswoman Meredith Pitcairn says isn’t typical and highlights the severity of the problem. She says this is not a marketing tactic and that the shelter is full.


North Carolina gets first African-American poet laureate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper has named North Carolina’s first African-American poet laureate.
Cooper announced Thursday that Jaki Shelton Green will succeed Shelby Stephenson, who was named the state’s poet laureate in February 2015. Green also is the third woman to become the state’s ambassador for poetry and the spoken word. She will be installed during a public celebration later this summer.
The Orange County native has been active in the state’s literary and teaching community for more than 40 years. She has penned eight books of poetry, co-edited two poetry anthologies and written one play. She won the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2013 and was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2014.
Green teaches documentary poetry at the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies.



Crime victims, judicial vacancy amendments before Senate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Constitutional amendments to expand crime victims’ rights and alter how trial and appellate judge vacancies are filled are getting heard in the North Carolina Senate as the legislative session winds down.
A judiciary committee Thursday debated two bills that if approved would submit constitutional alterations to voters in November.
The House already approved a version of what’s known as “Marsy’s Law ,” which would give victims the right to attend more hearings and a way to seek resolution in court if rights aren’t met.
The other bill shifts responsibilities choosing judicial replacements away from the governor solely. A nonpartisan commission would examine nominees and submit evaluations to the General Assembly, which would send at least two nominees to the governor from which to pick.
Committee votes are expected early next week.



American Airlines flight comes back for landing gear problem
MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) – An American Airlines flight bound for Dallas returned to a North Carolina airport after a warning light indicated there may be problems with the landing gear.
Officials at Raleigh-Durham International Airport told news outlets said Flight 2472 with 136 people on board took off at 9:24 a.m. Thursday and then circled the airport to burn fuel and to make low passes so a maintenance crew could verify that the wheels were down and locked in place.
The MD-83 landed without incident around 11:45 a.m.
Firefighters and emergency crews were standing by when the plane landed.



Police say 4 people arrested in kidnapping case
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say four people have been arrested in a North Carolina kidnapping case.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say a motorist told officers that a man approached her car on Wednesday and said he had been kidnapped.
Police quoted the victim in a news release Thursday as saying he had voluntarily accompanied a friend to the friend’s house on Sunday. He said that while he was there, the suspects made some accusations, tied him to a chair and assaulted him with items such as a machete and a baseball bat.
The victim said he was able to free himself, then approached the neighbor for help.
According to police, all four suspects face multiple charges, including kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.



Work underway to repave portion of Blue Ridge Parkway
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Work is underway to repave a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and a spokeswoman says motorists can expect lane closures and traffic delays.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports spokeswoman Leesa Brandon says the effort involves a “pavement preservation” project between Mileposts 393 and Milepost 413. The total project involves more than 65 miles of the parkway between Milepost 359 to the road’s terminus at Milepost 469 in Cherokee.
Work began Monday. During the paving, there will be single lane closures, flaggers and traffic delays. The work is expected last until mid- to late-July. The $4 million project is funded through the Federal Highway Administration.
The work is an effort to upgrade the scenic road, which was originally constructed more than 80 years ago and draws 16.1 million visitors a year.