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Charlotte Area News

Sun. Headlines: S.C. Inmate Laborers To Get Min. Wage; McCrory Addresses Evangelicals

Courtesy of the governor's Office

Three companies that had been using South Carolina prison labor and paying less than $2 an hour are being told they must now pay inmates the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. 

The Greenville News reports prisoners doing such things as making license plates, refurbishing golf carts and recycling textiles, had not been considered manufacturing workers and did not fall under federal minimum wage laws. 

The ruling affects 315 workers who were being paid between 35 cents and $1.80 per hour, something black state lawmakers likened to slavery.  State Corrections Director Bryan Stirling has notified the three companies they must now apply U.S. Justice Department prison industries guidelines, which include payment of at least the minimum wage, or they can no longer use state inmate labor.


Governor Pat McCrory is urging people to help others battle their alcohol and drug addictions.   McCrory spoke Saturday in Charlotte during The Response: North Carolina, a rally of mostly evangelical Christians. The Charlotte Observer reports that McCrory said people need to get out of their churches and go emergency rooms, veterans' centers, homeless shelters and jails to help. 

It was the fourth Response rally around the country at which a governor has spoken.  McCrory’s speech came after a bit of controversy over how the event was promoted. Last month, the governor complained that organizers used his picture without permission in a full-page newspaper ad promoting the rally.


Dozens of people marched in Rock Hill Saturday to remember a woman who was killed this summer in a shooting that still hasn’t been solved. The Herald newspaper reports that about 130 people participated in the march in honor of 27-year-old Latoya Cureton.  She was found shot to death Aug. 5 behind a vacant home in Rock Hill. Although police have interviewed several people, they’ve made no arrests.  Marchers said they want justice for Cureton and victims of other violent crimes.


Heavy rains on the Outer Banks have closed North Carolina Route 12 and forced the suspension of ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.   The North Carolina Department of Transportation said Saturday that the highway, the main route along the Outer Banks, is closed between the Pony Pen and the Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry Terminal. In some places there is a foot of water on the road.  Officials said the highway is expected to reopen at 9 this morning. The National Weather Service in Morehead City has posted flood warnings and advisories for wide areas of eastern North Carolina.  http://www.ncdot.gov/traffictravel/


Early voting is underway in a Democratic primary runoff for Charlotte Mayor. As of Friday, only 290 people had voted in the race between challenger Jennifer Roberts and incumbent Mayor Dan Clodfelter.  Election day is October 6th.  The two candidates will debate live Wednesday morning at 9am on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. The event, which WFAE is co-hosting with The Charlotte Observer, is at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square Charlotte.  Limited seating is available – find out more at WFAE.org/charlottetalks


UNC Charlotte’s football team played its first ever night home game Saturday night before at Jerry Richardson Stadium. 17,444 fans braved the rain, but the 49ers lost 17 to 7 to Florida Atlantic.

Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick will start 1-2 in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire. The race begins at 2 o’clock.

The Carolina Panthers have signed wide receiver Brenton Bersin and waived tight end Brandon Williams. Bersin will fill in for receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who has a sprained ankle. The Panthers host the New Orleans Saints at 1 Sunday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium.