Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. EDT

May 04, 2019 - 12:00 am

COLLEGE CAMPUS LOCKDOWN

Report: Suspect detained after lockdowns at 2 colleges

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a suspect has been detained by police after two North Carolina colleges issued lockdowns in response to a report of a gunman on one of the campuses.

North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro issued an alert Friday after receiving a complaint from a staff member saying a man threatened to shoot a female student. A&T announced shortly after 3 p.m. that a suspect had been detained and that its lockdown was lifted.

Nearby Bennett College, a women's college which initiated its lockdown in response to A&T, lifted it alert as well.

A&T Police Chief Charles Wilson told a news conference that investigators were able to identify the suspect even though the victim was uncooperative. Wilson said the suspect was not a student, but is a Greensboro resident.

CELLPHONE BAN

NC House members: Cellphone ban while driving needs work

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation originally designed to prohibit hand-held cellphones while driving in North Carolina nearly sank after a rewrite because lawmakers worried it would punish people who eat or put on makeup behind the wheel.

Insurance and automobile safety groups unveiled the "hands free" idea this year with great fanfare, and it cleared a House transportation committee in March.

A bill sponsor said Friday he altered the measure in response to concerns from Speaker Tim Moore. The updated proposal creates a "distracted driving" offense that while less punitive also appeared broader with prohibited activities. Some judiciary committee members said they couldn't support the new measure, so more changes had to be made.

The bill likely must pass the full House by next week or it can't be heard again until 2021.

SERVICE DOGS-REGULATION

In 'lawless' world of service dogs, many families suffer

APEX, N.C. (AP) — The service dog industry, especially dogs for people with autism or PTSD, has exploded in recent years. But a near complete absence of regulation has left needy, desperate families vulnerable to incompetence and fraud, according to The Associated Press.

The North Carolina attorney general's office has received more than four dozen complaints against a company that trained service dogs for autistic children. Clients who paid many thousands of dollars say their dogs couldn't respond to basic commands or were aggressive toward people or other family pets. State officials in Virginia, Colorado and Illinois have brought similar cases in recent years.

Properly training a service dog can take up to 1 ½ years. But the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require that a service dog be professionally trained or certified.

HOUSE BUDGET

North Carolina House completes approval of 2-year budget

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The two-year state government budget assembled by Republicans in the North Carolina House is now on its way to the Senate.

The House gave its final approval to the spending package by a vote of 61-51 on Friday. The measure received tentative approval on Thursday by a largely similar margin.

Now the GOP-controlled Senate will aim to pass a competing version in the next few weeks, leading to negotiations on a compromise plan. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto stamp means he'll have input on what finally becomes law.

The House advanced its plan, which spends nearly $24 billion next year, after voting to restore on Friday funds for a proposed "virtual" pre-kindergarten pilot program in 10 school districts. Another amendment took away those funds Thursday.

KANSAS LEGISLATURE-THE LATEST

The Latest: Kansas budget blocked in Medicaid fight again

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Supporters of Medicaid expansion in the Kansas House have again blocked a proposed state budget in hopes of forcing a vote in the Senate on an expansion plan.

The vote Friday night was 81-42 against an $18.4 million spending blueprint for the budget year beginning in July. House and Senate negotiators drafted it after the House rejected a previous budget.

The new budget proposal was less generous than the first one. Republican leaders had warned Democrats and moderate Republicans supporting expansion that money would be stripped out of the proposed budget if negotiators were forced to resume their talks.

Even some expansion foes voted against the new plan. It removed $14 million in extra state funds for hospitals and could keep them from drawing down $250 million in federal funds.

HURRICANE FLORENCE-REPORT

Report: Hurricane Florence killed 22, caused $24B in damages

MIAMI (AP) — A National Hurricane Center report says Hurricane Florence killed 22 people across three states, was the ninth most destructive storm in terms of property damage in U.S. history and spawned 44 tornadoes.

Issued Friday, the report also said the September storm was responsible for 30 indirect fatalities, including 25 in North Carolina. Indirect deaths are classified as those resulting from heart attacks, house fires, electrocutions and traffic accidents.

Of the tornadoes caused by Florence, an EF-2 reported in Chesterfield County, Virginia, on Sept. 17, 2018, caused significant structure damage. One building collapsed, killing a man inside.

In all, Florence made an impact on four states. Damages from Florence were estimated at $24 billion. According to the report, the storm left 1.1 million residents without power, all but 100,000 in North Carolina.

AP-US-REDISTRICTING-OHIO-THE-LATEST

The Latest: GOP to appeal Ohio redistricting ruling

CINCINNATI (AP) — Republicans say they will appeal a federal ruling that orders Ohio to draw a new congressional map for the 2020 elections.

State Attorney General Dave Yost said Friday the state will seek a stay of the ruling while appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A three-judge panel ruled Friday that Ohio's congressional districts were unconstitutionally drawn by the Republicans for their political advantage, ensuring a 12-4 GOP majority in the congressional delegation.

Yost pointed out Ohioans have already passed reforms to the mapmaking. He says the ruling "takes that decision out of the hands of the people." He calls it a "fundamentally political act" without constitutional basis.

COLLEGE CAMPUS SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA-THE LATEST

The Latest: Shooting victim remembered as quiet, witty

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The parents of a student slain during a shooting at a North Carolina university are remembering their son as reserved but witty in some of their first public comments.

Reed Parlier, previously identified by authorities by his first name Ellis, will be remembered at an upcoming family memorial service. His parents declined to give specifics to preserve the family's privacy.

Brian Parlier and Julie Parlier remember their son as a kind, quiet young man with a witty sense of humor. They said he was academically gifted and was studying IT software development in the hopes of becoming a game developer.

Parlier was extremely close with his family, especially his younger sister, and loved to visit family in the western part of the state to go hiking in the mountains. Parlier was one of two students killed in the attack.

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