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Sun. Headlines: Vigils Planned for France Attack Victims; SC Cracks Down on Day Cares

Jean Jullien eiffel tower drawing
Jean Jullien (via Twitter)

Two vigils were planned in Charlotte Sunday to remember victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris - one at mid-afternoon organized by leaders of the local French community at Freedom Park and another organized by the Islamic Center of Charlotte this evening at Marshall Park. Meanwhile, South Carolina authorities have been using a new law to check up on violations at small day cares, and the campaign has led to the closing of 56 day care homes.

VIGILS PLANNED IN CHARLOTTE

A peace gathering and candlelight walk are planned beginning at 3:45 PM in the band shell area at Freedom Park. The event is organized by Mecklenburg County's Honorary French Consul, Laura Meyer Wellman, the French-American Chamber of the Carolinas, and Alliance Francaise of Charlotte.

At 6 o’clock, The Islamic Center of Charlotte and Being There will hold a vigil for victims of attacks in Paris and Beirut, at Marshall Park, off East Third Street. The Islamic Center condemned the attacks, calling them “savage,” “senseless” and “unjustifiable.”

Mecklenburg County also will show support for France as it mourns: Lights on the fountain at Romare Bearden Park downtown will shine in the colors of the French flag beginning tomorrow. Nearly 2,000 French citizens live in Mecklenburg County and the surrounding area.

WITH NEW LAW, SC INVESTIGATES DAY CARE VIOLATIONS

South Carolina's Department of Social Services says 56 child care homes statewide have been forced to close since legislators passed a law last year allowing inspectors to make unannounced visits; 25 more have been targeted for closure and are appealing.  Until July 20-14, social workers had no authority to enter a day care registered to keep fewer than seven children unless someone filed a complaint. Most of the day cares operating in South Carolina fit that description, and DSS all have now been inspected. Division director Leigh Bolick said the most common violation is homes’ keeping more than six children.

SEARCH ENDS FOR SC WOMAN LOST FROM CRUISE SHIP

Authorities have called off the search for a South Carolina woman they say intentionally went overboard from a cruise ship that had been chartered for an electronic dance party in the Caribbean. The Coast Guard and Norwegian Cruise Lines said 24-year-old Kaylyn Rose Sommer of Charleston was seen leaping from the Norwegian Pearl on Thursday while the ship was about 22 miles off the coast of Cuba.

UNC GOVERNORS TO SHARE MEETING DETAILS

The University of North Carolina's Board of Governors says it will comply with a demand from state lawmakers to release details of a closed door meeting where they approved big pay raises to a dozen top campus executives. Chancellors at 12 of the state's 17 campuses got raises of up to 20 percent in the vote.  Raleigh lawyer and board member Joe Knott opposed the move, saying the board should protect universities from political pressure. Knott also said a powerful politician had demanded that a preferred candidate become the 17-campus system's next president. Former U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings got the job last month. 

SEX ASSAULT REPORTED AT NC STATE

A student at North Carolina State University told police she was sexually assaulted as she left her home near campus. The university issued an alert early Saturday after the report. Police say the woman was leaving her home when her attacker came out from some bushes and sexually assaulted her. The woman says the assailant was wearing a ski mask.  No arrests have been made.

SHERIFF WANTS ANIMAL SHELTER CHIEF PROSECUTED

The former director of Guilford County's animal shelter in Greensboro could be facing more charges after an investigation of possible drug violations, financial mismanagement and animal cruelty. Guilford County sheriff BJ Barnes has asked prosecutors to try Marsha Williams with five misdemeanors. The sheriff’s request came after prosecutors earlier this month had decided not to pursue a case against her. Williams already faces a felony animal cruelty charge in Davidson County for how she ran the shelter there.  North Carolina first lady and animal rights advocate Ann McCrory appeared with the sheriff last week when he announced the action.  See Nov. 12, 2015, Greensboro News & Record, “Guilford sheriff files animal cruelty charges in shelter investigation.” 

MASASHI SHIROTAKE WINS THUNDER ROAD MARATHON

A total of 922 runners crossed the finish line in Charlotte Saturday morning in the Thunder Road Marathon.  Masashi Shirotake won the race in 2 hours, 27 minutes, 57 seconds. Lucy Rogers was the top woman, in 3 hours, 10 minutes, 11 seconds.  See full results here.

TAR HEELS, CLEMSON WIN

In college football: 

  • 17th-ranked North Carolina clobbered Miami 59-21.
  •  Top-ranked Clemson extended its winning streak to 13 games, pulling out a victory over Syracuse, 37-to-27.
  •  UNC Charlotte lost 30-27 in overtime to UTSA, on Senior Day at Jerry Richardson Stadium.
  •  It also was senior day at Davidson College, where the Wildcats fell 35-10 to San Diego.

PANTHERS, SPRINT CUP TODAY

The Carolina Panthers will be looking to stay undefeated as they play on the road this afternoon, against the Tennessee Titans. Kickoff is 1 o’clock.

NASCAR’s Chase for Sprint Cup will narrow the field to four finalists in a race today at Phoenix. Jimmy Johnson has the pole for the race, which begins at 2:30 Eastern Time.