SUPREME COURT-AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Justices to hear challenge to race in college admissions
The conservative-dominated Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the consideration of race in college admissions, adding affirmative action to major cases on abortion, guns, religion and COVID-19 already on the agenda. The court said Monday it’ll take up lawsuits claiming Harvard, a private institution, and the University of North Carolina, a state school, discriminate against Asian American applicants. A decision against the schools could mean the end of affirmative action in admissions. Lower courts rejected the challenges, citing 40 years of high court rulings that allow colleges and universities to consider race in admissions decisions. But the schools must do so in a narrowly tailored way to promote diversity.
NC “school choice” proclamation first by Democrat Cooper
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed “North Carolina School Choice Week” for the first time since the Democrat took over the job more than five years ago. His decision is interesting given Cooper has raised issues over expanding the number of charter schools. And he’s opposed relentlessly efforts to expand the state-funded Opportunity Scholarship Program. Cooper’s spokesperson said the governor signed the proclamation at the request of the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools, adding that “educators at all levels” have responded to unprecedented challenges over the past two years. The North Carolina week coincides with National School Choice Week.
North Carolina man charged with murder in fatal shooting
LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a man is charged with felony murder in connection with a shooting death. The Dispatch of Lexington reports 46-year-old David Matthew Cameron of Lexington was charged in the fatal shooting of Ellis Coleman Sr. on a local street. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office said deputies checked on a call about a shooting late Wednesday. When they arrived, deputies found Coleman with multiple gunshot wounds. He was treated by emergency personnel, but died on the scene. Cameron is jailed without bond.
Police: Teenager fatally shot in eastern North Carolina city
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) — Police in an eastern North Carolina city are investigating the shooting death of a teenager found inside a home. Rocky Mount officers responding to a shooting report shortly in the early-morning hours Sunday found the 17-year-old with a gunshot wound. He was taken to UNC Nash Health Care, where he was later pronounced dead. Police are investigating what led to the shooting and are seeking help from the public.
NC-based soldiers face court martial related to death
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — Officials say three North Carolina-based soldiers who were camping with another soldier whose partial remains were found along the coast in 2020 are facing court martial on drug use and other charges. Spc. Alex R. Becerra, Pvt. Annamarie L. Cochell and Pfc. Samad A. Landrum, along with four others, were camping on Cape Lookout National Seashore with 21-year-old Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez when Roman-Martinez was reported missing in May 2020. Roman-Martinez, Becerra, Landrum and Cochell were assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. The severed head of Roman-Martinez washed ashore days after he was reported missing. No one has been charged with his death.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
As COVID hospitalizations surge, NC asks FEMA for support
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — As North Carolina hospitals treat a record number of coronavirus patients, state health officials say they’re seeking federal support in the Charlotte area. With Atrium Health, the state’s largest health provider, Health and Human Services and Emergency Management officials are asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency for staffing support. Health officials say North Carolina has set daily hospitalization records all month and reached another high with 4,867 people hospitalized Thursday. Since hospitalizations lag case increases, officials say this number could go higher. Atrium Health said it has taken measures to stretch capacity, but it’s above 95% capacity. Health officials say unvaccinated people make up 72% of hospitalizations.
Coast along Virginia and the Carolinas gets snow, ice
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A layer of ice and a blanket of snow has covered coastal areas stretching from South Carolina to Virginia. The winter weather system that entered the region on Friday brought colder temperatures and precipitation not often seen in the region. The storm had mostly blown off the Atlantic Coast around sunrise Saturday. Meteorologists said it left as much as 6 inches of snow in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. There was also ice in parts of coastal North Carolina that are further south. Authorities warned against driving as roads were slick and expected to refreeze Saturday evening and early Sunday.
LIZARDS-ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGE
Cruelty charges filed after lizards found in storage unit
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says two women are accused of intentionally depriving three lizards of food and abandoning them inside a storage unit. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said Jamie Lee Sartin of Winston-Salem and Taylor Brianne Moore of Advance each face a charge of animal cruelty. The bearded dragons were found inside the storage unit on Dec. 23. One lizard died as it was being removed from the storage unit, and a medical exam showed the other two to be severely emaciated and suffering from other health conditions. Those two are said to be recovering.
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