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News In Brief

CMS Students Stage 2nd Round Of Walkouts; Growing Support For HB2 Repeal Bill

CMS officials say four schools in the district were placed on lockdown Friday in reaction to a student walk out at Garinger High School.

According to CMS, the protest began during Garinger's first period, when approximately 500 students staged a peaceful demonstration in opposition to recent immigration policies. Most of the students returned to class when the second period bell rang, but CMS says 100 students instead walked off campus, prompting neighboring Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School to go on lockdown for about an hour.

Videos of the walkout posted on Twitter showed students waving the national flags of Mexico and El Salvador. WSOC-TV reports there were chants of "Viva Mexico!"

CMS officials say Hidden Valley Elementary, J.M. Morehead STEM Academy, and Vance High School were also placed on lockdown. A CMS spokesperson said she wasn't aware of any student protests taking place at those schools, but said they were placed on lockdown in response to "protests in the area."

Friday's activities follow a series of student walkouts and demonstrations at four CMS schools last Friday, Feb. 17. Demonstrations were reported at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle, Cochrane Collegiate Academy, Olympic Community Schools, and South Mecklenburg High.

More Lawmakers Signing On To Bi-Partisan HB2 Repeal Bill

More members of the North Carolina House are sponsoring legislation that's being described as a bi-partisan effort to do away with House Bill 2. As of late Thursday, 18 lawmakers had come on board with the measure.

Among them are Republicans John Bradford of Charlotte and Craig Horn of Union County. Democrat John Bradford of Charlotte has also signed on, and the Charlotte Chamber released a statement Friday morning also expressing support.

The bill gives state lawmakers sole power to regulate questions about gender and the use of public bathrooms in North Carolina. Under the measure, local governments could pass their own ordinances covering other forms of discrimination, but they would have to wait 90 days before enacting them. Residents could petition for a referendum on such measures.

Charlotte-Area Hospitals To Restrict Access To Avoid Spreading The Flu

Several hospital systems in the Charlotte region are beginning to restrict public access to avoid spreading the flu. Novant Health, Carolinas Healthcare System, Cone Health, and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center say starting Friday, they're asking children 12 and under to stay out of their facilities.

Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms is also being asked not to visit, unless they're seeking treatment. The North Carolina Department of Health says a total of 32 flu deaths have been recorded this season.

Disappearing Town: NC Mulls Repeal Of Centerville Charter

North Carolina lawmakers are considering a proposed bill that could wipe one town off the state map.

Local media outlets report Republican Sen. Chad Barefoot filed a bill Wednesday repealing the charter of the Town of Centerville in Franklin County.

The town had already voted unanimously to dissolve its charter after officials said they don't have enough money to continue to operate.

The 52-year-old town has fewer than 100 residents, and has no police or fire department. It only provides street lights to residents. The bill says any town assets would be paid to the volunteer Centerville Fire Department, which would use those funds for some public purpose.