Morning News Briefs: Thursday, September 14th, 2017
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Judges Weigh Law Moving Control Over North Carolina Schools
Judges are taking a new look at whether North Carolina legislators can shift power to the elected state schools superintendent.
The three-judge panel hears Thursday from lawyers for the State Board of Education. It wants to block the Republican-led legislature's boost to new GOP Superintendent Mark Johnson. The state school board wants to keep the status quo while it appeals the panel's July ruling favoring Johnson.
Both sides said they spent weeks negotiating a deal that would end the lawsuit, but couldn't do it.
UNC Could Be Sued Over Confederate Statue
A New York-based law firm representing 12 students and a professor at North Carolina's flagship public university is pressing the school to remove a Confederate soldier statue.
An attorney wrote Wednesday to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill officials contending the 1913 statue nicknamed "Silent Sam" violates federal anti-discrimination laws.
The warning comes from Hampton Dellinger, a Durham attorney with the firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner on behalf of the students, the professor and the Black Law Students Association.
Chancellor Carol Folt has said the school lacks the legal authority to act because of a 2015 state law that prevents removing or altering a public monument.
UNC Asheville Chancellor To Take Boston Job At Semester End
UNC Asheville's chancellor of three years will leave the university at the end of the semester to take a new job in Boston.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that UNCA Board of Trustees Chair Kennon Briggs said Wednesday that Chancellor Mary K. Grant will leave to take over as president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate. That’s a nonprofit institute and museum dedicated to educating the public about the role of the Senate and promoting civic engagement.
Grant was appointed as the university's seventh chancellor in August 2014.
Virginia Quake Felt In North Carolina
Sections of Virginia’s New River Valley were shaken by the biggest earthquake there in decades.
The earthquake started shortly after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, shaking Virginia’s border with West Virginia. A Virginia Tech seismograph reading recorded the magnitude between 3.7 and 4.0.
According to The Winston-Salem Journal, people from seven states, including North Carolina, reported feeling the quake. Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey say North Carolina reports came in from Mount Airy, Walnut Cove and West Jefferson.
Giles County officials say no damage to public property has been found yet.
The last measurable earthquake in the area happened in May. The quakes are part of the Giles County seismic zone, an area of fault lines that surrounds the New River.
Conservation Group Acquires Land Holding Lost Colony Clues
A land conservation group has acquired coastal North Carolina land that archaeologists believe holds clues to the disappearance of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.
The Charlotte Observer reports the Coastal Land Trust said Wednesday it had acquired 1,000 acres near the confluence of Salmon Creek and Albemarle Sound in Bertie County.
The site will become the legislature-approved Salmon Creek State Natural Area under state parks division administration once the trust raises $5 million to repay acquisition costs.
Archaeologists call the land Site X. First Colony Foundation research has unearthed Algonkian Indian artifacts and English relics. They indicate the survivors among the 117 people who disappeared from Roanoke Island in the 1580s may have relocated to the area.