Associated Press

Panel Weighs Governor Request to Move Confederate Monuments

The future location of three Confederate memorials on North Carolina’s old Capitol grounds could depend on a state panel asked by the governor to move the monuments to a Civil War battle site. The North Carolina Historical Commission is meeting Friday to consider Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s request to relocate the monuments to Bentonville Battlefield, south of Raleigh. The memorials include a 75-foot-tall (23-meter-tall) obelisk remembering all of the state’s Confederate dead and two smaller statutes. State law limits relocations to places of similar honor, prominence and visibility. Republican legislators say Bentonville doesn’t meet the requirement and suggest someone...

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Report: Smoke Seen Before Fatal Crash of Medical Helicopter

A preliminary report by a federal agency says witnesses saw dark smoke before a medical helicopter crashed in North Carolina, killing the four people on board. The report by the National Transportation Safety Board says one witness also said the Duke Life Flight helicopter was “hovering” and “not traveling forward” before it crashed Sept. 8 in Hertford in northeastern North Carolina, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) east of Raleigh. The report also says the on-board audio and video unit suffered heat damage while the memory device remained intact. Killed were nurses Kris Harrison and Crystal Sollinger; pilot Jeff Burke;...

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Court: State, Not Counties Accountable for Poor School Funds

A North Carolina appeals court says students and parents still fighting for sufficient school funding decades after they were guaranteed the right to a sound, basic education should make demands of the governor and legislators, not county officials. A divided state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that schoolchildren can’t sue Halifax County commissioners over funding for the county’s segregated public school districts. Lawyers say though substandard Halifax County Schools’ buildings sometimes force students to walk through sewage to reach their lockers, they get less local tax dollars than the majority white Roanoke Rapids schools. Judges split 2-1 in ruling...

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ERA Supporters Work for Support on N Carolina Campuses

Advocates of the Equal Rights Amendment are seeking to build support for it again in North Carolina on college campuses this week while showing a film about challenges for women in America. ERA supporters planned a meeting Friday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill featuring national and state ratification movement leaders, including Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal. The discussion also was to feature a Nevada legislator who helped get the amendment ratified in her state in March. The film was being shown on other state campuses this week. North Carolina never ratified the amendment sent...

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8 Hurt at Fort Bragg in Demolitions Training

The Army says eight special operations soldiers were training with demolitions when they were injured at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The Army’s Special Operations Command said the students hurt Thursday were from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and they were at a range on base. Their injuries came one day after 15 Marines were hospitalized when their amphibious vehicle caught fire at Camp Pendleton in California. Also, a soldier was killed Tuesday night during hoist training for medical helicopter evacuations at Fort Hood in...

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Democrats Remain Skeptical of Judicial Remapping

Democrats in the North Carolina General Assembly remain suspicious about an effort by Republicans to redraw election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors. A special House panel examining judicial redistricting met for the first time Tuesday, with a goal of passing proposed boundaries in time for the full chamber to consider them when the legislature reconvenes in early October. The panel chairman — GOP Rep. Justin Burr — rolled out proposed maps in June and says he’s spent the summer meeting with judicial officials across the state to get feedback. He says initial maps could be updated...

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Audit: Troopers Violated Policy with Long Work Commutes

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says it has addressed recent problems in a state audit with some patrol administrators and troopers violating agency policy by commuting large distances to work. State Auditor Beth Wood’s office released Monday her investigation’s findings, originating from a tip to the office’s hotline. The audit found eight troopers last year failed to maintain their primary residence in the county where they worked or within 20 miles of the county line. Some officers lived more than 100 miles away. The report says the distances they drove with assigned vehicles increased maintenance costs and may have...

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North Carolina National Guard Ready to Help with Irma

The North Carolina National Guard is ready to respond to help deal with the effects of Tropical Storm Irma. Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news release Sunday night that the National Guard was staging in Asheville, Charlotte and Greensboro to be ready to respond to any problems. Cooper planned to meet with reporters Monday to provide an update on storm preparations. The governor said North Carolina soldiers are ready to remove debris and deliver and distribute emergency supplies. A high wind warning is in effect in parts of North Carolina from Shelby west toward Andrews. The National Weather...

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4 Killed in Medical Helicopter Crash in North Carolina

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says four people have been killed in the crash of a medical helicopter. Patrol spokesman Master Trooper Christopher Knox said the Duke Life Flight helicopter went down around 11:45 a.m. Friday near the town of Belvidere, close to the Virginia border and about 160 miles east of Raleigh. Knox said it’s not known where the helicopter was headed when it went down and authorities have no idea what caused the crash. He said the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and state troopers are on the scene to secure the site. The Duke Life...

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N Carolina Officials Trying to Keep Public Vigilant on Irma

North Carolina emergency officials are urging the public to stay vigilant preparing for Hurricane Irma even as the storm’s continued westward track is decreasing chances the state will take a direct hit. Gov. Roy Cooper acknowledged at a media briefing Friday the forecast looks better for the state but warned it can change, and Irma’s sheer size still likely will bring heavy rains, gusty winds and some flooding statewide early next week. The N.C. Department of Transportation is also keeping close watch for mudslides and rockslides on roads in the mountains, which have the greatest storm risks. Roadwork is...

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