Blue-ribbon panel makes NC education recommendations
MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A blue-ribbon commission has recommended ways to improve North Carolina’s public education, from preschool to universities. The Hunt-Lee Commission backed 16 proposals in a report released Monday. The commission was formed to address inequities in student outcomes. The bipartisan commission included education leaders, legislators and representatives of government agencies. The report praises current successes in education while also urging the testing of new ideas, such as monetary incentives and benefits to make early-childhood education an attractive career. The commisision is named for former four-term Gov. Jim Hunt, current Sen. Michael Lee and former State Board of Education chairman Howard Lee.
Former NC Rep. Moore leaving behind bid to return to House
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A former North Carolina state House member who pleaded guilty in 2019 after a campaign finance investigation says he’s leaving behind his General Assembly return bid a few weeks before the primary. Former Rep. Rodney Moore of Mecklenburg County announced over the weekend that he was going to withdraw his candidacy for a House seat. The Democrat served in the House from 2011 through 2018. He told The Charlotte Observer that he’s dealt with health problems in recent weeks. Moore was indicted in 2019 after an investigation found his committee has failed to report more than $140,000 in contributions and expenditures. He ultimately pleaded guilty to one count.
Weary of many disasters? UN says worse to come
A new United Nations report says disasters are on the rise and are going to get worse. In the late 20th century, the world had some 90 to 100 disasters per year. Now a new UN report says disasters that range from climate change to COVID-19 are going to jump to about 560 a year by 2030. One scientist likened the trend to multiple illnesses that weaken a body’s immune system. He says it’s not just the disasters themselves but the accumulated risk, how they add up and ping-pong against each other.
OBIT-DOWLESS-NORTH CAROLINA-DISPUTED ELECTION
Dowless, key figure in NC absentee ballot fraud probe, dies
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The key player in a North Carolina absentee ballot fraud probe that led to a do-over congressional election has died. The family of Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. and a friend confirmed he died Sunday at his daughter’s Bladen County home. The friend told The Associated Press that Dowless had been diagnosed with an advanced form of lung cancer. He was supposed to go on trial this summer for more than a dozen state criminal counts related to absentee ballot activities. Witnesses told state officials that Dowless directed his assistants to collect blank or incomplete ballots, forge signatures on them and even fill in votes for local candidates.
North Carolina conducts alcohol enforcement, 250 charged
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Agents with North Carolina’s Alcohol Law Enforcement Unit charged more than 250 people in a series of coordinated actions over the weekend. Officials said the charges included alcohol, drug, firearm, driving and gambling offenses. In addition, police seized six firearms, including an AR-15 rifle illegally possessed by a convicted felon. Officials said 77 fake IDs and an illegal distillery were also seized. Twenty cities across the state were targeted in the enforcement action, which took place Friday night.
Black bear proves perfect pedestrian in downtown Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A smarter-than-average bear took a tourist jaunt through downtown Asheville _ even taking care to use crosswalks at intersections _ before police guided it back to nature. Asheville Police say the call they received Thursday about a bear milling through downtown is the third such call they’ve received in the last three weeks. Video posted by police on their Facebook page Friday shows the bear waiting at a crosswalk and looking both ways before crossing the intersection. In another clip he climbs a tree in a small park space. Officers guided the bear back into a wooded area.
Officials: Mark Meadows was registered to vote in 3 states
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows was reportedly registered to vote simultaneously in three states, including South Carolina. State officials said Friday that the former congressman and his wife registered to vote in South Carolina earlier this year. North Carolina officials removed Meadows from their lists this month after learning he’d voted in Virginia last year. The South Carolina registration was first reported by The Washington Post, which said Meadows’ Virginia registration is still active. South Carolina election officials said voter applicants are supposed to say on applications if they’re registered elsewhere but that it’s up to states to remove someone from their lists once that voter registers in a new state.
Boys Scouts bankruptcy judge approves sale of BSA warehouse
DOVER, Del. (AP) — The judge handling the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy has approved the BSA’s request to sell its warehouse and distribution center in North Carolina for roughly $13.5 million and lease back the property from the buyer. The BSA wants to use some of the proceeds from the sale approved Friday as part of its contribution to a proposed $2.6 billion fund to compensate tens of thousands of men who claim they were sexually abused as children while involved in Scouting. After a monthlong trial, the judge continues to weigh whether to approve the Boy Scouts’ reorganization plan. She noted Friday that the case presents thorny issues she has never previously faced as a bankruptcy judge.