Morning News Briefs: Friday, July 12th, 2019
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Teacher Shortages, Assaults On Police Addressed In New Laws
Gov. Roy Cooper has signed legislation that helps public schools rehire retired teachers in hard-to-fill classrooms and increases prison time for someone who uses a gun to assault a law enforcement officer.
Cooper has announced he's enacted another dozen bills with his signature.
One measure signed on Thursday will more than double the minimum prison sentence to roughly three years for someone convicted of a firearm-related assault on a police, correctional, probation or parole officer. Such crimes will become a more severe felony starting Dec. 1.
Another new law offers a way to hire ex-teachers without harming their state retirement benefits. The teachers could work in low-performing schools and those with a high percentage of students from low-income families. Math and science teachers would get higher salaries.
Winston-Salem Symphony Names New Music Director
After an exhaustive search through more than 120 candidates, the Winston-Salem Symphony is announcing new leadership. Beginning this fall, British conductor Timothy Redmond will replace the orchestra’s longtime Music Director Robert Moody.
Redmond currently conducts opera and orchestral concerts throughout the U.S. and in Europe. He’s Music Director of the Cambridge Philharmonic, a regular guest conductor with the London Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, and Professor of Conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Redmond’s debut as the Winston-Salem Symphony’s fifth Music Director takes place in October for the Classics Series season-opening concert.
Ikea To Close Danville Plant
A major furniture manufacturing company will soon close one of its plants. IKEA says it will stop production at its Danville, Virginia facility.
The company announced the decision Wednesday afternoon, citing high costs for raw materials in the United States.
Around 300 jobs will be eliminated. The plant, which opened in 2008, produces wood shelving and other products for IKEA U.S. and Canada.
The company says it will shutter operations at Danville’s Cane Creek Industrial Park in December 2019.
Residents Slapped With Eviction Notices After AP Story
Two mobile home residents in North Carolina have been hit with eviction notices shortly after complaining to The Associated Press about spikes in their monthly lot rental.
The notices from Florida-based company Time Out Communities were delivered Thursday, two days after the residents were prominently featured in an AP story on those living in hurricane-ravaged Robeson County.
Both residents said their rent had doubled or tripled and that they had few other affordable housing options available after the low-income county was devastated by hurricanes Matthew and Florence in recent years.
Both evictions were filed on the day the article came out, which a lawyer representing both clients called "suspicious."
Mayor Of North Carolina's Largest City Seeks 2nd Term
The mayor of North Carolina's largest city has filed for reelection.
The Charlotte Observer reports Mayor Vi Lyles announced her reelection campaign Thursday and vowed to continue prioritizing affordable housing.
The 66-year-old Democrat is the city's first black female mayor. She's now trying to become the city's first mayor to win a second term since Democrat Anthony Foxx in 2011. He left before his second term ended to become the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
NC Marker To Honor Astronaut Killed In Challenger Explosion
North Carolina will honor an astronaut killed in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger with a historic highway marker.
State officials say the dedication ceremony for the marker honoring Mike Smith will be held Friday near the Michael J. Smith Airport in Beaufort.
Smith was born in Beaufort and graduated from Carteret County High School.
He was the pilot of the Challenger space shuttle, which exploded moments after it lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in January 1986. All seven astronauts were killed.