Rowan County

Antonio Grosz / Unsplash

Updated Jan. 22.

A growing number of North Carolina counties are becoming so-called Second Amendment sanctuaries, including several in the Charlotte region.

The town manager and finance officer of Landis resigned Thursday, the same day an investigation into allegations of criminal activity regarding the town’s finances was announced.

In a release, Mayor Mike Mahaley said he and members of the Board of Aldermen directed the Landis Police Department to open an investigation into allegations about town finances earlier this week.

"In the early stages of that investigation, police uncovered substantial evidence of possible criminal activity," Mahaley said in the release.

Phil Roeder / Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision that barred Rowan County commissioners from opening meetings with Christian prayers.

Rowan County Commissioners listen to a chaplain's prayer before a meeting in June 2017.
Rowan County

Lawyers for Rowan County on Thursday formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether it's legal for commissioners to lead prayer before their meetings.

Rowan County Commission Chair Greg Edds gave a lengthy argument for appealing the case.
Rowan County Commission

Rowan County Commissioners voted Monday to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether they should be allowed to say Christian prayers before meetings. The 5-0 vote came at a special session that lasted an hour and 45 minutes.

[Meanwhile, prayer returned at the start of the Charlotte City Council meeting last night. More below.]

A long-running tradition was missing from the beginning of last night’s Charlotte City Council meeting:  an opening prayer.  As the meeting started, Mayor Jennifer Roberts said:

"We are not going to have an invocation this evening. We are going to change the way that we conduct it, on the expert advice of our attorney, with the concern over freedom of religion and separation of church and state and some other recent court rulings."

Rowan County Commissioners listen to a chaplain's prayer before a meeting in June 2017.
Rowan County

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Rowan County’s practice of having elected officials open meetings with Christian prayer and asking residents to join is unconstitutional. That reverses a previous 2016 decision from the same circuit. 

Rowan County offices in Salisbury.
Rowan County

The First Amendment prohibits establishment of an official religion in the U.S.  When a government body steers too close to that, federal courts have stepped in to decide what's legal and what's not.  The federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, now is considering a case from Rowan County, northeast of Charlotte. At issue is whether county commissioners should be allowed to lead Christian prayers before their meetings. WFAE's David Boraks has been following the case, and talked with All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey.

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Lewis F. Powell Jr. Courthouse
Taber Andrew Bain from Richmond, VA, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A federal appeals court will decide whether it's legal for Rowan County's elected commissioners to lead Christian prayers at meetings. All 15 judges on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case Wednesday in Richmond, Virginia.

A federal appeals court is taking another look at a lawsuit challenging a North Carolina county commission's practice of opening meetings with Christian prayer led by commissioners.

The full 15-judge bench of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the Rowan County prayer case on Wednesday.

A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., has agreed to re-hear a case on whether it's legal for Rowan County commissioners to deliver Christian prayers before their meetings. That invalidates a September ruling by a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that the practice was constitutional.

A federal appeals court says it's legal for Rowan County Commissioners to deliver prayers before their meetings. The decision out Monday reverses a lower court ruling that declared the practice unconstitutional.

Rowan County

A series of social media posts deemed racist, offensive and politically partisan have cost the chairman of the Rowan County Board of Elections his job. Malcolm Butner was sworn into the post in July. He was removed by the State Board of Elections on Thursday.

Courtesy of the FBI Charlotte Office

Exactly one year after Rowan County teen Erica Parsons was reported missing by her brother, her adoptive parents appeared in federal court Wednesday to face charges of Social Security and Medicaid fraud.

Doctor, Teacher Charged With Prescription Fraud

Jul 10, 2014
calliope / Flickr

A Rowan County doctor and his wife turned themselves in Wednesday morning after being indicted in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain the prescription pain killer hydrocodone. Overall, police have charged eight people, most of whom are teachers or teacher assistants.


Salisbury City Manager Booted After Closed Session

Jul 1, 2014
Tasnim Shamma

The city of Salisbury now has an interim city manager. That's because two weeks ago, city council members effectively fired former city manager Doug Paris.

The city's communications director resigned the next day.

  

Rowan County

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that opening prayers with references to Christianity during government meetings do not violate the U.S. Constitution.

This decision may impact a trial in Rowan County filed by residents who say they feel excluded when county commissioners open council meetings in the name of Jesus.

Courtesy of the FBI Charlotte Office

The FBI says it is now offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information that helps them find missing teen Erica Parsons.

Rowan County

Prayers in government meetings have received a lot of attention in North Carolina. The ACLU has sued the Rowan County Commission, and another group has threatened to sue the Union County Commission for what they say are “sectarian prayers.”

As the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up a similar case from New York next week, we explore what the case could mean for North Carolina.


Meth Lab Busts On The Rise

Oct 14, 2013
Drug Enforcement Agency

In the early 2000s, North Carolina experienced a surge in meth use. The state combated that surge by restricting the sale of Sudafed and other over-the-counter drugs that contain precursors for meth. The numbers fell in the middle of the decade, but began creeping up almost immediately—157 meth lab busts in 2007, 235 in 2010, up to 460 last year.


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