Latest North Carolina News:
Bill shortens NC teen drivers’ wait for next-level permit
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The time new teenage drivers must wait to receive a provisional license would be trimmed in legislation approved by the state Senate. The measure backed Monday also would allow the Division of Motor Vehicles to hire commercial driver training schools to conduct road tests necessary to obtain licenses. Current law requires young people with learner’s permits to hold them at least 12 months before seeking a license that lets them drive unsupervised. The wait would be reduced to nine months. The drivers would still have to be 16 and log in time behind the wheel to advance. The bill now goes to the House.
NC Senate Republicans to pitch more state tax reductions
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A key North Carolina state senator says Republicans in the chamber will pitch additional individual income tax reductions this spring. Sen. Paul Newton of Cabarrus County told The Associated Press on Monday that GOP leaders will present legislation that would decrease the state’s income tax rate of 5.25% to a hair under 5%. The measure also would increase the standard deductions for income tax filers. Republicans have been lowering the tax rate and increasing the deduction for several years. They credit those steps with boosting the state’s fiscal health. Newton’s bill is also expected to include efforts to reduce corporate franchise taxes.
Man charged with wielding chainsaw at North Carolina motels
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A white man arrested after police say he menaced Black guests with a chainsaw at a North Carolina hotel over the weekend was arrested in Cailfornia last year on charges of carrying a loaded gun on the beach. Twenty-seven-year-old Jacob Vanderburg Sunday morning by Raleigh police. WRAL-TV reports Vanderburg is accused of waving a chainsaw at three people at three different motels in Raleigh. Chainsaw marks were left on a guest room. In July 2020, WRAL reports Vanderburg was arrested in Santa Monica, California, for carrying a gun on the beach. Witnesses told police Vanderburg said he was upset with liberals and Black Lives Matter protests.
US weather model upgraded to better forecast extreme events
The National Weather Service upgraded its forecast model, with an eye on predicting extreme weather events better and faster. Meteorologists say Monday’s improvement should help forecast hurricanes, blizzards and downpours. The new version in tests beat the older version in this month’s Colorado snowstorm, Hurricanes Dorian and Michael, and the massive downpours in the Southeast a year ago. The weather service chief also says the model will improve day-to-day forecasts but acknowledges it still doesn’t beat the European weather model.
Dozens of students displaced in off-campus apartment fire
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Nearly 100 people have been displaced after an apartment fire damaged a dozen units in a three-story apartment complex in Raleigh catering to off-campus students. News outlets reported that the fire started Monday around 9:30 a.m. at the Village Green apartment complex. Flames were shooting through the roof and smoke was visible from miles away. The fire was under control a little after 10 a.m. Many of the residents attend N.C. State. The university offered assistance to affected students. No serious injuries were reported. More than 70 firefighters came out to control the blaze. The cause remains under investigation.
Vandals damage bronze door of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
BUXTON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say that vandals have carved letters and other shapes into the original bronze door of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks. The Charlotte Observer reported Saturday that investigators don’t know exactly when the door was vandalized. The incident remains under investigation. The lighthouse was completed in 1870 and is said to be the tallest brick lighthouse in the country. The National Park Service said in a statement that graffiti is often extremely difficult to remove. It added that repairs are often costly and time consuming and may not restore the site to its former condition.
Police: Juvenile taken into custody after mall shooting
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say that a juvenile has been taken into custody after a report of a shooting at a mall in Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer reports that the shooting occurred Sunday afternoon at the Northlake Mall. Police said the unidentified juvenile was charged with the attempted murder of a juvenile victim. Police did not release the suspect’s age. Charlotte police said that uniformed police officers working off-duty in the mall heard a gunshot. The mall was then locked down and evacuated. Police said the shooting remains under investigation.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-DUKE SURGE
Duke University lifts stay-in-place order for undergraduates
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Duke University has lifted a stay-in-place order it issued last week for all undergraduate students following a spike in COVID-19 cases that officials blamed largely on students attending fraternity rush events. The order was lifted effective Sunday morning and means all in-person courses will resume their standard delivery method, whether in-person or hybrid. Students living in university-provided housing are again allowed to move about campus, but are being asked to leave campus only for essential travel and health-related activities through March 28.