Morning News Briefs: Friday, February 17th, 2017

Morning News Briefs: Friday, February 17th, 2017

5:38am Feb 17, 2017
The Winston-Salem skyline. Credit: Barney Barnes for Wikipedia

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Councilman Wants Winston-Salem Again Declared A ‘Welcoming’ City

A proposal is now on the table for the City of Winston-Salem to reaffirm that it’s a “welcoming” place for refugees and immigrants.

Democratic Councilman Dan Besse proposed a resolution this week that would redeclare Winston-Salem as a welcoming city for those seeking a new start.

While Besse is unsure if his resolution will be adopted, he doesn’t want residents from other countries to be afraid.

At this week’s meeting, several people spoke against the measure, including members of council.

Besse says he’s not seeking so-called “sanctuary status” for Winston-Salem, which goes beyond simple affirmation. Adopting sanctuary measures is illegal in North Carolina.

'Day Without Immigrants' Rallies Held In Charlotte, Raleigh

Hundreds of immigrants turned out across North Carolina Thursday to demonstrate their importance to the U.S. economy, marching through streets, staging rallies and closing businesses.

In Charlotte, a midday march brought traffic to a halt as protesters observed "A Day Without Immigrants." The Charlotte Observer, citing Spanish-language media outlets, reports an estimated 250 Latino businesses in the region closed their doors in support of the movement.

Some marchers waved American flags and others held protest signs that read: "No ban. No wall. Stay united" and "We are not criminals."

In Raleigh, The News & Observer reports work was slowed on a 17-story office tower and several apartment buildings in the downtown area because most of the subcontractor crews didn't come to work.

School systems statewide noted absences of immigrant students.

House OKs Again Constitutional Question On Private Property

The North Carolina House is not giving up on letting voters weigh in on prohibiting local or state governments from condemning someone's property for private economic development.

The chamber voted overwhelmingly Thursday for a proposed constitutional amendment to limit takings of private property except for a "public use," such as highways, government buildings or utility distribution. A statewide referendum would be in 2018.

The House has now passed an amendment six times. The Senate agreed to the proposal last year, but only after adding two unrelated constitutional questions to a bill the House didn't consider.

Partial Restoration Of Class Size Leeway Approved By House

The state House has unanimously agreed that North Carolina's public school districts should retain much of their flexibility in setting class sizes for early grades this fall after educators have warned that without it, teachers in other subjects could be let go.

The measure approved Thursday and heading to the Senate seeks to give more wiggle room to districts with the average number of students in K-3 classrooms and the maximum size of any individual classroom.

WFU Dedicates Maya Angelou Hall

Wake Forest University is honoring the legacy of Maya Angelou. The campus community is dedicating a new residence hall in her memory.

The famous poet, actress, author and civil rights activist had a close connection to the university.  

She taught generations of Wake Forest students as the Reynolds Professor of American Studies from 1982 until her death in 2014.

Donna Mcgalliard with the university says there will be several private events this weekend to celebrate the new building, which officially opened last month.

Longtime NC State PA Announcer C.A. Dillon Jr. Dies At 91

C.A. Dillon Jr., the public address announcer for N.C. State basketball games for more than 50 years, has died at his home. He was 91.

A statement from the school said Dillon died Thursday. A cause of death wasn't given.

Dillon first sat behind the microphone in 1946 at the request of then-basketball coach Everett Case. It was three years later that he announced the first game in Reynolds Coliseum, a spot he held for 50 more years. He announced two games at the school's current men's basketball home, PNC Arena.

Dillion missed only two games between 1946 and 1985, one for his honeymoon and the other for his mother's death.

Dillon is survived by his wife, Mildred, five children, 16 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Funeral arrangements haven't been announced.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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