States urged to address funding disparities for HBCUs
Congressional leaders are drawing attention to state funding disparities for historically Black colleges and universities in the country’s land grant university system, urging statehouses to close those gaps in their current and upcoming legislative sessions, according to a letter sent Wednesday to state leaders and lawmakers. The letter, first shared with The Associated Press and signed by six Democratic representatives, said the lawmakers hoped bringing attention to the funding differentials would encourage states to prioritize those schools in their upcoming budget negotiations.
North Carolina woman headed for national pageant is missing
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman who was heading to Las Vegas for a pageant has not been seen or heard from in nearly two weeks, and police have launched an investigation into her disappearance. Randy Farrow says his sister, 21-year-old Lejourney Farrow, was supposed to be in Las Vegas on Feb. 11, and then travel to New York for Fashion Week on Feb. 15. He says his sister was to return to her home in Greensboro on Feb. 17.
SHAM MARRIAGE-FRAUD CONVICTION
Ex-soldier sentenced to prison in marriage fraud case
NEW BERN, N.C. (AP) — A federal prosecutor says a former soldier at Fort Bragg has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for his part in a sham marriage and trying to obstruct the testimony of a witness. U.S. Attorney Michael Easley said in a news release on Wednesday that Samuel Manu Agyapong, 34, also received three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $110,948 in restitution to the U.S. Army. In July, Agyapong was found guilty of theft of government property, tampering with a witness, visa fraud, conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, and aiding and abetting naturalization fraud.
New NC districts backed by judges; candidate filing resuming
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Candidate filing in North Carolina will resume Thursday as scheduled now that the state Supreme Court has refused to delay the use of redistricting maps that were endorsed by trial judges. The justices declined any delay Wednesday night despite a flurry of appeals from Republican lawmakers and from voters and advocacy groups. The Supreme Court’s decision means the primary is still on for May 17. The elections will use state House and Senate maps that the legislature approved last week and a congressional plan that was redrawn and adopted by a panel of trial judges earlier Wednesday.
CONDOMINIUM FIRE-TWO KILLED
Woman, granddaughter killed in North Carolina condo fire
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a woman and her granddaughter were killed in a fire at a North Carolina condominium. The Raleigh Fire Department said in an incident report that the fire erupted early Wednesday morning in a unit at a condo complex on the northeast side of Raleigh. The report said heavy fire was seen coming from the condo’s front windows. The department said there were five people in the condominium, two adults and three children. Two other children and their mother were able to get out and were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
NC’s 2 largest school systems adopt mask-optional policies
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s two largest school districts have agreed to make masks optional for students and staff indoors starting early next month. The Wake County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg school boards voted separately on Tuesday to remove their broad COVID-19 mask requirements as of March 7. A large majority of school districts have now voted for mask-optional policies as COVID-19 transmission rates have fallen. Gov. Roy Cooper last week also encouraged the end of school mask mandates. A bill approved by the General Assembly and on Cooper’s desk would let parents allow their students to opt out of mask mandates that local education boards still have in place.
MULTIPLE BANK ROBBERIES
Suspects sought in 4 bank robberies in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina’s capital are looking for two people who are believed to have committed four bank robberies within two hours. News outlets report N.C. State University and the Raleigh Police Department have connected a car fire near the school’s Centennial Campus on Tuesday to bank robberies in Cary and Morrisville as well as in Raleigh. An alert was issued for N.C. State students for two men wanted for bank robbery were on the run after their car crashed into an apartment building. Police said no injuries were reported in any of the robberies.
LIZARD LICK TOWING-SON KILLED
2 teenagers arrested in death of son of reality TV star
SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) — Two North Carolina teenagers have been charged in connection with the shooting death of a man whose father was featured in a reality television show about his towing and repossession business. News outlets report the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said shots were fired during a memorial service for a relative killed in a traffic accident earlier this month. In a post on Facebook, Ronnie Shirley confirmed that 21-year-old Harley Alexander Shirley was fatally shot in Garner late Thursday. Shirley and his wife, Amy, own Lizard Lick Towing and starred in a truTV reality show based on their family business from 2011 to 2014. The teens, ages 16 and 17, are charged with murder and attempted murder.
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