Morning News Briefs: Monday, November 13th, 2017
North Carolina State Spearheads GenX Research Project
North Carolina State University is leading a project to find out the impacts of a little-studied chemical on human health. Scientists are taking samples from hundreds of residents in the eastern part of the state who may have been exposed to GenX.
The chemical is used in the production of nonstick coating for cookware. GenX was discharged into the Cape Fear river by the company Chemours. The river is a drinking water source for around 300,000 people in the area. That’s prompted concerns from local residents and environmental groups.
NC State researchers collected blood, urine and tap water samples from around 400 volunteers.
Professor Jane Hoppin leads the project.
Hoppin says she hopes the study will lead to more testing in other communities.
NC A&T To Merge Two Departments
North Carolina A&T University officials are proposing a merger of two academic departments. The move comes during a realignment that began last year.
The university announced through its Provost’s office that political science and history will be combined into a new department.
Criminal justice - which is now part of political science - will become its own stand-alone program.
University officials say bringing history and political science together will boost scholarship and provide additional faculty support for students. The move will not have an impact on any current student’s path to graduation.
Female Professor Sues UNC-Chapel Hill For Sex Discrimination
A lawsuit brought by a female geography professor accuses UNC-Chapel Hill officials of gender discrimination and retaliation for raising concerns of sex and racial discrimination.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports 23-year faculty member Altha Cravey filed a complaint against the university and Chancellor Carol Folt, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Kevin Guskiewicz and Geography Department Chair Michael Emch last week, seeking back wages and benefits, promotion and other fees.
The lawsuit says Cravey has been denied promotion to full professor, despite male professors with similar or lesser credentials achieving promotion.
Ex-Members Say Church Uses Power, Lies To Keep Grip On Kids
An Associated Press investigation has found that members of an evangelical church have used deception and positions of authority to bring children into the congregation or keep them from leaving.
As a result, the AP found children have been introduced to sometimes violent practices that run counter to the laws designed to protect them.
Former members of the North Carolina-based Word of Faith Fellowship church say some parents have seen their children pried away and forced to live with ministers, often until adulthood.
In addition, three single mothers told the AP that a longtime Word of Faith member who was a county court clerk bypassed the foster system and won custody of their children, even though a judge called her conduct inappropriate.
93-Year-Old North Carolina Veteran Skydives For First Time
A 93-year-old North Carolina veteran of World War II has gone skydiving for the first time.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that Doug Gross joined the Army during the war in 1942 with plans to become a paratrooper, but instead was assigned to become an artilleryman.
Now, 75 years after he enlisted, Gross celebrated Veterans Day on Saturday by making his first jump from an airplane at Triangle North Executive Airport in Louisburg.
Gross served in North Africa, Italy and Germany and rose to the rank of technical sergeant. He also had a successful career as an agriculture professor at North Carolina State University.
Gross said after the jump that it was great and "worth the wait." He hopes to do it again soon with his 16-year-old grandson.