Headline Roundup: Judge Hears Arguments On Prayer, SC Police Arrest Shooting Suspect & More
Federal Judge Hears Arguments On Prayer
A federal judge in Winston-Salem hears arguments Thursday on sectarian prayers before meetings of Forsyth County commissioners. The county's attorneys want US District Judge James Beaty to drop a 2010 order that banned commissioners from having clergy deliver pre-meeting prayers that refer to Jesus Christ or other deities. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this year that a New York town’s inclusive policy did not violate the Constitution by allowing ministers to deliver Christian prayers at meetings. Forsyth County had used a similar practice before it was blocked by an earlier court order. The ACLU says the rules in Forsyth County allow only religious leaders from established local congregations to participate. They say that does not follow the Supreme Court ruling, which calls for all faiths and beliefs to be allowed to take part.
Police Arrest Shooting Suspect
Police in South Carolina have arrested another suspect in the fatal shooting of a Chester city councilman earlier this month. Twenty-five-year-old Terrance Buchanan is the 4th suspect arrested the shooting of Odell Williams. He was shot while sitting in his care on November 4th. Police the shooting is related to gang activity.
NBA Suspends Hornets Forward Jeffrey Taylor
The NBA has suspended Charlotte Hornets forward Jeffrey Taylor for 24 games without pay. That’s after Taylor pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor charges including domestic assault and malicious destruction of hotel property stemming for an incident earlier this year at a Michigan hotel. Taylor will get credit on the suspension for the 11 games he’s already missed.
Wilmington Police Arrest Suspect On Witness Murder Charges
Police say a suspect awaiting trial for the murder of a Wilmington man has been arrested in the death of a prosecution witness. Police arrested 32-year-old Nashid Porter Wednesday. Porter is accused of killing 27-year-old Obediah Hester last week. Hester was listed as a state's witness against Porter in the fatal Wilmington shooting in July 2012. A judge signed off on a pre-trial release for Porter in that case. Porter was under electronic monitoring but police say he cut off the device.
NC GA Looks At Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
The General Assembly is revisiting whether three substance abuse treatment centers run by North Carolina state government should be managed differently. The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Centers are in Butner, Greenville and Black Mountain. A report recommends the facilities should be integrated into the state's managed care operations for mental health and substance abuse services and their $37 million in annual operating funds transferred there over four years. The Program Evaluation Division says the nine managed care entities could use the money to improve community-based substance abuse programs and contract with the centers when intense inpatient services are needed. A 1990s government reorganization report recommended a similar shift but it did not occur.
Wake County Candidate Concedes
A Democratic North Carolina state Senate candidate has conceded to his Republican rival…after he says the ballot recount he requested did not change the result. Tom Bradshaw released a statement Wednesday congratulating John Alexander on his victory in their Wake County legislative race. Bradshaw trailed by about 700 votes after the county canvass nearly a week ago. Alexander's victory means the GOP will hold 34 of the Senate's 50 seats when the next session begins in January, one seat more compared to the previous two years.
SC Attorney General Warns Against Utility Scams
South Carolina's attorney general is warning utility customers not to fall victim to a telephone scam. Alan Wilson says utility customers all over the state have reported getting phone calls from people claiming to be utility employees. The scammer warns the customer that they're late on their utility bill or might need a new meter and that their electric service will be cut off if they don't pay immediately. The scammer then tells the customer to buy a pre-paid debit card and call back with the numbers on it.
Governor Haley Returns From India
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley ends her 10-day trip to India today. The governor says she's confident her trip will lead to job announcements at home. Haley held a teleconference with reporters yesterday from Mumbai. She’s among eight people in the South Carolina delegation whose costs are paid with taxpayer funds. Governor Haley’s parents emigrated from India to South Carolina, where Haley was born.
CLT Parking Deck Opens
The new hourly parking deck at Charlotte Douglas airport is open as of today. Parking in the deck is free for the first hour. After that, it’s a dollar per half hour with a maximum daily rate of $20.
Black Caucus Elects NC Congressman To Leadership
North Carolina Congressman G.K. Butterfield is the new chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Caucus members elected the Democrat yesterday. Butterfield is an attorney and former state Supreme Court justice from Wilson. He’s represented the state’s 1st Congressional district for more than 10 years. Butterfield has been in the Congressional Black Caucus’s leadership for the past eight years, most recently as first vice chairman. His office said when the new Congress convenes in January, the caucus will be the largest in the group's history, with at least 45 members. Former 12th District Congressman Mel Watt served as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus in 2005 and 2006.