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Headline Roundup: NC Court Of Appeals Orders New Trial In Union Co. School Funding Case; More

The North Carolina Court of Appeals this morning ordered a new trial in the dispute over funding for the Union County School District. The Charlotte Observer reports a three-judge panel unanimously sided with County Commissioners, ruling that the trial court should not have allowed evidence for more than one budget year. That court awarded the school district $91 million in 2013, of which only $5 million covered operating expenses. The school district could appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.

NFL Drops Case Against Mecklenburg County DA's Office
The NFL has dropped its lawsuit against the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office. The league sued last month over the domestic violence case of former Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy. In the suit the NFL sought photos from Hardy’s first trial last year in which Hardy was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and also of communicating threats to her. Hardy was then placed on the NFL’s exempt list and spent much of last season not playing.

Earlier this year, a judge overturned Hardy’s convictions. The NFL has been conducting its own investigation into the Hardy case to see if he violated the league’s personal conduct policy.

Hardy remains on the exempt list.  He signed with the Dallas Cowboys last month. 

CATS Tests Streetcar
CATS is testing the city’s new streetcar this week. The Charlotte Observer reports the GoldLine streetcars will run on Trade Street and Elizabeth Avenue through 4:00 this afternoon and again tomorrow from 9:00 to 4:00. The streetcar is scheduled to open to the public this summer.

A Congressman And A Lawsuit Contend State Is Cause Of SC State's Financial Woes
As state lawmakers consider firing the board of trustees at South Carolina State University, the state's only black congressman and a federal lawsuit contend the state can be blamed for the financial woes at the historically black school.       

Congressman James Clyburn says state lawmakers have not given S.C. State enough money to match federal grants and other available federal money for land grant institutions. But he says Clemson, the state's other land-grant school, always gets such money.

A group of present and former S.C. State students have sued the state and the Commission on Higher Education saying South Carolina's system of higher education violates the Civil Rights Act and the Constitution. They allege the state has caused money problems at S.C. State because programs there are duplicated at other colleges and universities,which they say has hurt enrollment.

SC Supreme Court Hears Case On Proper Use Of A City's Water And Sewer Profits
South Carolina's highest court is hearing a case on whether elected officials can use profits generated by a city's water and sewage utility for other needs.  The state Supreme Court today hears arguments in a lawsuit that claims the city of Columbia wrongly diverted profits to support public relations and economic development.  

The State newspaper reports the city transferred almost $80 million to other purposes from 1999 to 2010.

The Environmental Protection Agency has threatened to fine Columbia or to take over its water system after overflows illegally spilled into waterways

SC River Among Nation's Most Endangered
The Edisto River is again ranked among the country’s ten most-endangered rivers. The group American Rivers says the South Carolina waterway made the list for a second straight year because of concerns over withdrawing too much water for agricultural uses. 

The Edisto runs about 250 miles from Saluda and Edgefield counties to the Atlantic, south of Charleston.  It’s the only river in the Carolinas on the list.

James Best, 'Dukes Of Hazzard' Sheriff Has Died
James Best has died. The actor best known as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on the Dukes of Hazzard passed away last night in Hickory, where he and his wife had lived in recent years. Best appeared in more than 80 films and also taught acting for decades. James Best was 88.