Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
More than a third of North Carolina students to get holiday
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – More than a third of North Carolina’s public school students will have a holiday next week as schools close for teachers to attend a rally in the capital city.
Thousands of teachers are expected to be in Raleigh on May 16 for the “March for Students and Rally for Respect.”
The teachers are visiting legislators on the first day of the 2018 session to ask for better pay and working conditions.
Media outlets report at least 13 school systems will be closed May 16. Those districts have more than 538,000 students.
The state’s three largest school systems are among those closing: Wake County in Raleigh, Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Guilford County in Greensboro.
Schools are making plans to accommodate students with exams May 16 as well as getting meals for low-income students.
N Carolina GOP congressman is first incumbent to lose seat
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Rep. Robert Pittenger lost his Republican primary to a Southern Baptist pastor who flipped the results of their 2016 primary.
The three-term incumbent is the first congressman to lose this year. This time it was the Rev. Mark Harris who narrowly defeated Pittenger, a wealthy land developer on Tuesday.
The campaign focused on backing from evangelical Christians and who would best support President Donald Trump, who didn’t endorse either candidate.
Harris, a former president of the Baptist State Convention in North Carolina, now must pivot toward a general election campaign against Iraq War veteran and Harvard graduate Dan McCready, who won Tuesday’s Democratic nomination.
Primaries narrow the choices for NC legislative elections
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Redistricting, retirements and open seats in North Carolina’s General Assembly are leading to some unexpected results in primary elections.
The Republican Party nomination for an open state Senate seat went Tuesday to a local candidate rather than two higher-profile politicos who moved into the district that includes Iredell and Yadkin counties.
Iredell County Planning Board member Vickie Sawyer won a four-way GOP contest. The race also attracted former Mecklenburg County state Sen. Bob Rucho and former lottery commissioner and longtime GOP activist A.J. Daoud. Sawyer faces Democrat Beniah McMiller in November.
In Charlotte, Democratic Sen. Joel Ford was upended by assistant public defender Mujtaba Mohammed. Ford had been criticized for sometimes voting with the Republican majority.
Firefighter gets creative with marriage proposal
(Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com)
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Firefighters helped one of their own pull off a marriage proposal.
Fayetteville, North Carolina, firefighter Ashton Hanway asked Lauren Wood to visit Station 17 on Friday to take some pictures. His captain suggested they stand on top of a truck.
An alarm sounded and two firefighters got into an adjacent truck. When they pulled out, they revealed a fire hose on the floor that spelled out: “Will you marry me?”
Hanway tells The Fayetteville Observer he was trying to write in cursive and it took several hours to do everything.
Wood, who said yes, says it was a complete shock. She described it as an “out-of-body experience.”
The couple, who have been together for six years, are planning a 2019 wedding.
BIKE TO SCHOOL DAY
North Carolina students encouraged to ride bikes to school
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Students across North Carolina are being encouraged to ditch the cars, skip the bus and ride their bicycles to school.
The N.C. Department of Transportation says families, elected officials and community members are celebrating National Bike To School Day on Wednesday, a part of National Bike Month. It provides an opportunity for communities in North Carolina and nationwide to celebrate safe and active transportation and raise awareness to changes necessary to make bicycling safer.
A news release from NCDOT said the growing popularity of Bike to School Day is due to Active Routes to School, a partnership between the department and the N.C. Division of Public Health. Ten regional coordinators are working to make it easier for elementary and middle school students to safely bike and walk to school.
NORTH CAROLINA-PRIMARY-THE LATEST
The Latest: N Carolina polls close but 2 precincts stay open
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Primary election polls have closed across North Carolina, but two voting sites are staying open a little longer.
North Carolina law directed that nearly all of the 2,700 precincts close at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, but the state elections board directed single sites in Robeson and Hoke counties to remain open.
The state board voted in an emergency meeting to keep a Robeson County site located at a fire department open until 8:15 p.m. Election officials say there was a vehicle accident in front of the fire house around 6 p.m., delaying traffic and preventing voters from parking in the fire department lot.
Board members earlier Tuesday agreed to extend the closing time at a Hoke County site by 15 minutes because the precinct opened late Tuesday morning.
NORTH CAROLINA PRIMARY-CONGRESS-THE LATEST
The Latest: Democrat Adams to face Foxx in 5th District
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Democratic Winston-Salem city council member DD Adams will take on U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx in North Carolina’s 5th District.
Adams defeated teacher Jenny Marshall in unofficial results of Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the district in northwestern North Carolina.
Foxx is a former state senator first elected in 2004 to succeed current U.S. Sen. Richard Burr. Foxx has risen through the GOP ranks and is now chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. She was previously secretary of the House Republican Conference.
Barbara Howe has won the Libertarian Party’s nomination for the 4th District U.S. House seat in North Carolina.
In a rare contested race for the Libertarians, Howe defeated Scerry Perry Whitlock in unofficial results Tuesday.
Howe will face U.S. Rep. David Price, who won the Democratic primary and Republican nominee Steve Von Loor, who faced no primary opposition.
Price was first elected to Congress in 1986. He has served ever since except for a two-year span in the mid-1990s.
Chemical maker: All reasonable steps taken to cut pollution
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The chemical company under pressure for releasing a little-understood industrial chemical into North Carolina’s air and water says it’s taking all reasonable steps to stop it while planning for the long term.
Lawyers for The Chemours Co. said in a letter to the state environmental agency released Tuesday it’s taking steps to cut GenX air emissions by 40 percent this month and 70 percent by October.
The Wilmington, Delaware-based company responded to a warning by the state Department of Environmental Quality that it could change a key air permit unless emissions fall.
Chemours says it’s investing up to $100 million in the Bladen County plant to cut air emissions of GenX compounds by 99 percent within two years. About 900 people work at the chemical factory south of Fayetteville.