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Headline Roundup: Election Day, CMS Superintendent Resigns, More

It’s Election Day. Polls are open until 7:30 this evening in North Carolina and 7:00 in South Carolina. North Carolina’s U.S. Senator Kay Hagan is locked in a tight race with State House Speaker Thom Tillis. Outside groups have spent more than $100 million in that contest. That makes it the most expensive U.S. Senate race ever.

In South Carolina, Governor Nikki Haley is up for re-election. Democratic State Senator Vincent Shaheen is her primary challenger. A former republican-turned independent dropped out of the race last week and endorsed Shaheen.

All 13 Congresspeople in North Carolina and seven in South Carolina are up for re-election, including North Carolina’s 2nd District Republican Renee Ellmers, who faces a high profile challenge from singer Clay Aiken.

We’ll have election updates throughout the evening, with special coverage from NPR and WFAE starting at 8:00.

CMS Superintendent Resigns
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools’ Superintendent Heath Morrison says he’s stepping down this week to spend more time taking care of his mother. Morrison announced his resignation yesterday, effective this Thursday. Deputy Superintendent Ann Clark will take over as interim CMS superintendent.

Morrison says the decision to leave the job was the most difficult of his professional career. But he says he can’t give the top CMS job the attention it deserves as he travels to care for his mother in Virginia. Morrison has been at CMS since July of 2012.

The Penguin Evicted
The Penguin restaurant has been officially evicted from its former home on Commonwealth Avenue in Plaza Midwood. A U.S. District Court Judge yesterday granted possession of the property to the restaurant’s landlord.

An attorney for the property owner tells the Charlotte Observer the move comes after a settlement between the group and Penguin manager Lisa Ballentine, daughter of the restaurant’s founder. Federal judges have twice dismissed bankruptcy filings from the Penguin, but the restaurant filed at third in August. In that filing, the Penguin says it owes the landlord more than $75,000 in back rent.

Panthers Hardy Won't Go To Trial Until 2015
Carolina Panthers’ defensive end Greg Hardy won’t go on trial until sometime next year. The Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office announced this morning it was pushing back the trial along with several other domestic violence cases because of two murder trials being tried this month.

Hardy’s attorneys asked for a jury trial in July, after a judge convicted Hardy of communicating threats and misdemeanor assault. The jury trial had been scheduled to start on November 17.  The NFL gave the Panthers permission in September to keep Hardy as a player without him counting against the team’s 53-man roster. 

UNC-CH Faces More Scrutiny
UNC-Chapel Hill is under more scrutiny after last month’s report from that found academic fraud at the school that goes back two decades. The accrediting group The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools tells the Raleigh News and Observer it’s looking into that review’s findings. The independent report from a former federal prosecutor found that more than 31 hundred students took fake independent studies and no-show classes in UNC’s African and Afro-American Studies. About half of those students were athletes. 

Rowan Student Undergoing Psychiatric Evaluation
A Rowan County middle school student is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation after a Sheriff’s Deputy this morning forcibly removed a butcher knife from the 14-year-old male. The Charlotte Observer reports the student at West Rowan Middle school was waving around the 12 inch knife in the school’s cafeteria around 8:00 Tuesday morning while wearing a clown mask. No one was injured were reported in the incident.

The school’s resource officer, Deputy Danny Lindley, was able to calmly move close enough to the student and knock the knife out of his hand. Deputies found another knife in the student’s backpack.