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Socio-Economic Status Is Priority In CMS Magnet Plan; Plus, A Governor's Race In Limbo

In an effort to diversify magnet schools, the CMS board will begin placing heavy priority on a student's socio-economic status in student assignment decisions. That's part of the first phase of the board's student re-assignment plan passed unanimously Wednesday night.

Among the factors the district will take into account are income, parents' education levels, and English language fluency. The changes will only affect students applying to enter magnet programs.

Final Results In NC Governor's Race Remain Unknown

Governor Pat McCrory's campaign say the governor is focusing on Hurricane Matthew recovery and response this week as he awaits a final tally in the gubernatorial election results.

In the meantime, the State Board of Elections will be counting thousands of provisional ballots that could affect the final outcome of the election.

As of Thursday, Democrat Roy Cooper has a slight edge over McCrory. He's leading by less than 5,000 votes, or a little more than a tenth of a percent.

The Board of Elections says the final result likely won't be known until next Friday, and even then, a recount is possible.

As Mountain Wildfires Grow, McCrory Declares State Of Emergency

As more than 20 wildfires torch the western part of North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory is declaring a state of emergency in 25 western counties.

"This declaration will help facilitate evacuations as needed and provide further state assets to help combat the wildfires and support North Carolinians displaced by the fires," McCrory said in a statement.

The governor's declaration follows reports of a wildfire in Clay County growing larger yesterday, imperiling a number of nearby homes and prompting county officials to urge residents to evacuate.

Meanwhile in Rutherford County, another wildfire has burned more than 400 acres near Lake Lure, also prompting evacuations. Graham, Macon, and Swain counties have similarly had to urge residents to evacuate ahead of other wildfires.

Federal authorities say warmer than average temperatures and a lack of rainfall are deepening a drought that's sparking forest fires across the southeastern U.S. A national drought report published Thursday shows 41.6 million people in parts of 15 southern states now live in drought conditions. The worst is in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Large fires are also being fought in Tennessee and Kentucky.

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