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Radio, TV hosts, elected officials fill conservative event
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Right-leaning media personalities along with several of North Carolina’s top Republican elected officials are on the speaker’s list for a conservative advocacy group’s annual conference.
More than 400 people were expected to attend the two-day Conservative Leadership Conference beginning Friday at a Raleigh hotel and organized by the Civitas Institute.
Radio show host Dennis Prager and Greg Gutfeld of Fox News Channel planned to address the group, along with Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger. Current U.S. Rep. Mark Walker and former Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina also fill the conference agenda. A host of national and state conservative advocates also will speak to attendees.
The conference marks the first organized by new Civitas Institute CEO Donald Bryson.
SEA TURTLES-MAGNETIC FIELDS:
Study: Magnetic fields predict if sea turtles are related
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Research from University of North Carolina biologists shows adult loggerhead sea turtles use Earth’s magnetic fields to navigate back to beaches where they were hatched, and turtles that nest on beaches with similar fields are also genetically similar.
The News & Observer reported Thursday that a new study from biologists Kenneth J. Lohmann and J. Roger Brothers shows the fields are the strongest predictor of genetic similarity among nesting loggerheads regardless of how far away or dissimilar their home beaches are.
The finding supports the biologists’ previous research indicting the turtles use magnetic fields and implies they sometimes mistakenly nest at a beach with a similar field, even if it’s far from their home one.
Lohmann says the new research could be helpful in conservation efforts for sea turtles and other migratory animals.
NC ZOO-GORILLA DEATH:
First gorilla at North Carolina Zoo euthanized
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – The first gorilla to live at the North Carolina Zoo has been euthanized.
Local news outlets report The Brookfield Zoo in Chicago said on its Twitter page that Ramar was euthanized on Thursday, calling it a difficult decision.
According to the Chicago zoo, Ramar was suffering from degenerative arthritis in his knees, had heart disease and had recently stopped eating. In addition, an examination found a blockage in his bowels.
Bill Zeigler, senior vice president of animal care for the Chicago Zoological Society, said while experts were able to intervene in Ramar’s condition, the time came that veterinarians couldn’t stop the progression of ailments.
Ramar, who was 50, was brought to the N.C. Zoo in 1974 and lived there for 20 years before moving to zoos in Philadelphia and Miami.
FLU DEATHS-NORTH CAROLINA:
Deaths from flu in North Carolina rise to 362
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina health officials say the death toll from flu-related illness this season has reached 362.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that four deaths were reported for the week that ended April 7, one week after the recognized end to the 2017-18 season. In addition to the four deaths, officials reported 10 more deaths from previous weeks were related to the flu.
Of the 14 deaths, 12 victims were age 65 and older. Two were between the ages of 25 and 49.
For the season, there have been 269 deaths among people 65 and older. There have been 64 deaths among ages 50 to 64 and 18 deaths among ages 25 to 49.
FORT BRAGG-BUILDING EVACUATION:
Fort Bragg evacuates 800 from building after safety alarm
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – Fort Bragg authorities temporarily evacuated one of the largest buildings on the North Carolina Army post after safety alarms were triggered.
Normal operations resumed around 3:35 p.m. Thursday at the building that houses U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command.
Army spokesman Paul Boyce said alarms went off about two hours earlier, forcing about 800 people to evacuate.
Firefighters and law enforcement officers searched each floor of the building before giving an all-clear. Boyce declined to say what triggered the alarm.
Boyce said some people who work in the building were sent home, while others waited in adjacent buildings.
FOOTBALL PLAYER-FATAL SHOOTING:
Suspect arrested in North Carolina football player’s death
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have arrested a man wanted in the shooting death of a college football player in January.
Winston-Salem police said in a news release Thursday that 21-year-old Jakier Shanique Austin was arrested in the parking lot of a Charlotte apartment complex on Wednesday on a murder charge.
Austin is accused in the shooting death of Winston-Salem State football player Najee Ali Baker during a party outside an events center at Wake Forest University on Jan. 20. Austin is being held in the Mecklenburg County jail without bond pending his transfer to Forsyth County.
Police have already arrested a 16-year-old on charges of possession of a handgun by a minor, assault by pointing a gun and possession of a firearm on educational property in connection with the shooting.
Guard attacked by inmate at dangerous North Carolina prison
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A correctional officer at one of North Carolina’s most dangerous prisons is recovering after being stabbed or slashed with an inmate’s makeshift blade.
State Prisons Director Kenneth Lassiter said the correctional sergeant at Lanesboro Correctional Institution was injured early Thursday after rushing to respond to reports of an inmate being assaulted by other prisoners. Lassiter said the man was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.
Dozens of officers and inmates have been attacked at the maximum-security prison about 45 miles southeast of Charlotte since it opened in 2004. State officials said Monday that Lanesboro will be converted to a women’s prison as part of a shakeup prompted by the killing of five prison workers last year at the hands of violent inmates.
Legislators want more schools to make security plans
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Some North Carolina legislators want more schools to provide basic building information and access to local and state law enforcement to better respond to emergencies or violent acts on campus.
The General Assembly’s emergency management oversight committee recommended several bills Thursday it wants approved when the legislature reconvenes next month.
One bill would require charter schools, regional schools and K-12 private schools receiving taxpayer-funded tuition vouchers to provide schematic building diagrams to authorities and to create risk management plans. Currently charter and other non-traditional public schools are only encouraged to do so. Requirements include annual drills.
Another bill would encourage police to create citizen academies and volunteer programs to broaden public awareness of security issues.
A separate House committee is already examining school safety issues following the Florida school shooting.