Latest North Carolina News:
DOG PARK-HUMAN BONE
Police: ‘Historical’ human bone found at NC dog park
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) – Police in Eastern North Carolina are investigating after a “historical” human bone was found at a dog park. News outlets report that the Rocky Mount Police Department said the bone was found Wednesday at the Best Friend’s Dog Park and a “preliminary investigation” revealed it was human. Officials say they’ve turned to an East Carolina University forensic anthropologist and the State Bureau of Investigation for help with their investigation. Police say the anthropologist estimated the bone is close to 100 years old.
North Carolina Senate OK’s bill limiting racial teachings
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Senate Republicans on Thursday passed a bill to limit how teachers can discuss certain racial concepts inside the classroom. The proposal seeks to bar educators from compelling students to personally adopt any ideas from a list of 13 beliefs. The measure passed along party lines by a 25-17 vote. It is now one step away from clearing the General Assembly and would make its way to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper if the GOP-controlled House signs off on the latest version of the bill. The latest action in North Carolina follows a national trend of Republican-controlled legislatures looking to combat certain ideas they associate with “critical race theory.”
CHILD MARRIAGE-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina minimum marriage age now 16 with bill signing
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s minimum age to be married is now higher after Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill increasing it from 14 years old to 16. The increase takes effect immediately after the governor’s bill signing Thursday. It comes after the General Assembly gave unanimous support to the new threshold earlier this month. North Carolina lawmakers acted as officials said the state had turned recently into a destination locale for out-of-state couples seeking to wed and in which one marriage applicant is a minor. North Carolina’s new law still requires 16- or 17-year-olds to receive formal legal permission to marry.
Medical marijuana legalization keeps advancing in NC Senate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A bill legalizing marijuana for medical use in North Carolina cleared two more legislative hurdles this week in the Senate. The Senate Health Care Committee voted for the measure on Thursday, two days after the judiciary committee approved an updated version compared to what it recommended earlier this summer. The measure could be on the Senate floor next week. The measure would let patients with a “debilitating medical condition” purchase and use marijuana from medical cannabis centers if their physician signs off. Ten licenses to grow and sell would be issued. The state would collect fees from licensees based on their revenues.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Senators now aim to control prep sports group, not remove it
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Senate Republicans have shelved a proposal to end the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s oversight of interscholastic sports. They replaced it Thursday with one requiring constraints upon the group’s finances and transparency in decision-making activities. The legislation that cleared a Senate committee would essentially direct the State Board of Education to enter a written agreement with the nonprofit association by Oct. 15 on how to administer athletics. The measure demands several items be in that agreement. The association also would now be subject to public records and open meetings laws. Association leaders and allies still oppose the measure, calling it too prescriptive.
FAA fined vaping, drinking, mask-refusing passenger $17K
KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) – Federal aviation officials fined a woman $17,000 for drinking alcohol not served by the airline, vaping and refusing to wear a mask on a flight from Florida to North Carolina. News outlets report that the Federal Administration Administration said the woman on a Republic Airways flight in February was drinking alcohol that wasn’t served by the airline, interfering with crew members, trying to use a vape pen and was not complying with the federal face mask mandate. The FAA says the aircraft returned to the gate at the Key West airport and she was removed from the plane. The penalty is among more than $530,000 in fines levied against 34 passengers that the FAA announced last week. The agency has now fined unruly passengers more than $1 million this year.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-TEACHER SENT HOME
North Carolina teacher sent home for refusing to wear mask
SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina high school teacher has been sent home for refusing to wear a mask as required by her school district. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Aurora Preston, who teaches at South Johnston High School, said she had worn a face mask in the previous school year, but now doesn’t think they work in slowing the transmission of COVID-19. The newspaper reported that Preston showed up maskless last week for a teacher workday to prepare for the new school year. She was told to stay alone in her classroom for several hours before being sent home.
‘Tinderbox conditions’ fuel fire in Superior National Forest
ISABELLA, Minn. (AP) – A Superior National Forest official says the ongoing drought has created “tinderbox conditions” as firefighters continue to battle wildfires in the area. The fires have already burned more than 25,000 acres and 12 seasonal homes or cabins have been lost. Superior National Forest Supervisor Connie Cummins said firefighters have been dealing with wildfires since the spring and are getting tired. The fires forced the closure of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness until at least Sept. 3. Cummins said she’s evaluating the situation daily and the BWCA will be reopened once it’s safe.