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June 16, 2018 - 12:00 am


Army narrows list of cities down to 5 for new command HQ

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A U.S. Army spokesman says officials have narrowed to five the number of cities under consideration to house a prestigious command center that's meant to modernize Army operations and technology.

Col. Patrick Seiber tells the Austin American-Statesman that Austin, Texas, is a finalist for the Futures Command headquarters along with Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Seiber says 10 other cities — including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle — are no longer candidates. A final decision is expected by the end of June.

The Army wants the center to be near experts in technology and innovation who can figure out emerging threats and what equipment will be needed to answer them.

The complex will have a staff of roughly 500 people, led by a four-star general.


Legislator releases emails sought by ACLU, constituent

(Information from: The Daily Advance,

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina legislator has released more than 1,100 pages of un-redacted emails after a constituent and the American Civil Liberties Union sought them.

The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reports Republican Rep. Beverly Boswell of Dare County released the emails that the ACLU and Craig Merrill of Kitty Hawk had sought. Merrill asked for the emails mainly because of Boswell's advocacy of a repeal of a plastic bag ban on the Outer Banks.

ACLU spokeswoman Molly Rivera said in an email that the case had not been heard yet in Superior Court. She says Boswell provided records after the ACLU made it clear that it pursue their release in court.

The ACLU provided The Daily Advance a copy of the emails, which the Advance is reviewing.



Body could be that of man wanted in NC triple homicide

MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) — Searchers have found a body that's believed to be a man wanted in connection with a triple homicide in western North Carolina.

The Burke County Sheriff's Office tells news outlets that the body was found Friday evening in thick woods about a mile from Kenneth Douglas Powell's apartment in Morganton. Authorities had identified Powell as a person of interest in the June 8 shootings.

Authorities say a revolver found beside the body will be compared with the bullets from the victims' bodies. Sheriff Steve Whisenant also says paperwork found on the body suggests that it is Powell.

Killed were: 23-year-old Trae Ward; 57-year-old Pamela Ward; and 22-year-old Jimmy Stamey. A 2-year-old was found unharmed in the home.

Sheriff's officials say the victims knew Powell. They haven't determined a motive.


Student says he got tougher suspension than donor's son

(Information from: Times-News,

BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina student has sued the university he once attended, saying he was treated unfairly when he got into a fight with the son of a major donor.

The Times-News of Burlington reports Samuel Shaw says in the lawuit filed in Alamance County Superior Court that the donor's son, Spencer Schar, got a lighter suspension than he did. Schar is the son of Dwight and Martha Schar, who donated $12 million to the university in 2014.

The lawsuit says police determined Shaw acted in self-defense.

The university said it disputes the allegations and will defend itself in court.

Shaw is suing the university for breach of contract. He's asking the court to restrict what the university can say about him to other schools, along with more than $25,000 in damages.



Coast Guard considers new bulb for Hatteras Lighthouse

(Information from: The Virginian-Pilot,

BUXTON, N.C. (AP) — The Coast Guard is considering changing the bulb on the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to the latest technology.

Coast Guard electrician James Harper tells the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia, that an LED light would cut repair costs, travel time and man hours.

The beacon atop the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is many years old and needs constant repair. It already has gone dark twice this year and needed repairs.

Harper says an LED light would not rotate, not have moving parts, be easier to maintain and use 90 percent less electricity.

The Hatteras light would get the same product as the one now used at the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. That light was replaced last fall with a solar-powered LED light made by Vega Industries in New Zealand.



Gov. Cooper vetoes judicial district, election bills

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's vetoes of two bills add more uncertainty to already unusual state elections this fall for judges and in any races where new political parties want to field candidates.

Cooper said late Friday that he would block the measures. One adjusts many judicial election districts in Wake, Mecklenburg, Pender and New Hanover counties.

The other in part would prevent the Green and Constitution parties this year from nominating for the November ballot any losing candidate in primaries for the same office. The new parties didn't participate in last month's primaries and are holding nominating conventions.

Republicans are expected to attempt to override the vetoes next week.

Redrawn judicial districts create new candidacy residency requirements in play for this fall. Filing for judicial seats begins statewide Monday.


Attorney sentenced; used account as 'personal piggy bank'

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina attorney has been sentenced to two years behind bars for embezzling money in a scheme that the prosecutor says involved using his law firm's trust account "as his personal piggy bank."

U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray said in a news release that 44-year-old Howard Trade Elkins was sentenced late Thursday for wire fraud.

Murray says that from 2012 to 2017, Elkins served as an attorney for the estates of people who had died. He said Elkins would use the money to gamble, to pay his debts and for other purposes.

Murray said Elkins used his law firm's trust account "as his personal piggy bank."

Elkins pleaded guilty to wire fraud in November. He must serve two years of supervised release after he finishes his prison term.


Long week at legislature ends; constitutional changes next

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina legislators have wrapped up a long week of debates and voting on scores of bills designed to clear the decks on this year's most contentious legislation that Gov. Roy Cooper can sign or veto.

The House and Senate adjourned Friday afternoon after working both morning and night much of the week. The chambers passed late Friday their annual regulatory overhaul measure and a transportation bill edited to leave out the ability for an upcoming passenger-only ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke to serve alcohol.

The legislature resumes work Tuesday, when lawmakers could begin considering around a half-dozen proposed constitutional amendments for voters, such as photo identification to vote. Cooper can't veto proposed amendments.

Lawmakers still aim to finish this year's work session by the end of the month.

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