Morning News Briefs: Wednesday, June 12th, 2019
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American Hebrew Academy In Greensboro Closes Abruptly
The American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro has closed abruptly. The announcement was made in an email Tuesday morning.
The school was unique, touting itself as the only international Jewish boarding school in the world with students from 31 states and 35 countries.
According to the online news outlet, The Forward, the closure was announced in an email from American Hebrew Academy’s CEO, Glenn Drew, and Leeor Sabbah, the chair of the school’s board.
The email said low enrollment and declining philanthropic support for the Academy made the school’s work unsustainable. Most faculty and staff contracts will end on Wednesday afternoon.
Plea Expected In 3 Muslim Students' Slayings
The North Carolina man charged with killing three much-admired Muslim university students is expected to enter a plea more than four years after the slayings, which the victims' families blamed on bigotry.
Craig Hicks is expected in court Wednesday in Durham.
A judge could hear evidence about what prompted the February 2015 shootings in Chapel Hill. Police said Hicks claimed the confrontation stemmed from competition for parking spaces at the condominium complex where they all lived.
The families of 23-year-old University of North Carolina dental student Deah Barakat; his 21-year-old wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her 19-year-old sister Razan Abu-Salha said they believe Hicks acted with anti-Muslim hatred.
Statesville Board Recommends Bigger Flags Be OK
A North Carolina city taking heat for its restrictions on the size of American flags has taken a step toward changing its regulations.
The city of Statesville said Tuesday in a news release that the planning board has unanimously approved a recommendation to increase the size for flags to 40 feet by 80 feet. It's now 25 feet by 40 feet.
The size of flags became an issue when the man known as "The Profit" on CNBC challenged the restrictions. Marcus Lemonis owns Gander RV, the recreational vehicle store where an enormous flag flies.
North Carolina Panels Retooled In Bill Heading To Governor
The General Assembly has cleaned up the composition of six boards and commissions that North Carolina judges ruled were unconstitutional because the governor lacked enough control over them.
The lawmakers gave final approval on Tuesday to legislation that began when judges last summer declared the panels didn't comply with state Supreme Court opinions. Legislative leaders previously could select a majority of members, and the governor could neither easily remove them nor overturn panel actions.
Gov. Roy Cooper sued to challenge the boards' makeup. The bill headed to his desk now gives the majority of seats on each board to him.
Senate Considers Bill Directing NC Sheriffs On ICE Requests
North Carolina legislation designed to address recent decisions by some new North Carolina sheriffs to stop assisting federal immigration agents is resurfacing in a committee.
The Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled debate Wednesday on a House bill that passed that chamber in April. The House legislation required sheriffs in all 100 counties to fulfill detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A few sheriffs elected late last year have said they wouldn't.
The bill authors say it would only put into law the cooperative approach that sheriffs have had with federal law enforcement for decades. Critics are worried that directive would undermine community safety because immigrants in the country unlawfully would fear reporting crimes.
Senators Want Tougher Language Returned To Driving Phone Ban
Some North Carolina state senators plan to try restoring robust language prohibiting handheld cellphone use while driving in legislation that got watered down before leaving the House last month.
Sen. Jim Burgin of Harnett County said Tuesday he intends to propose wording that's close to the bill's original version when it gets debated in a Senate committee soon.
That original measure made it illegal for nearly all drivers to hold wireless devices or face $100 fines that grow to $200 for repeat offenders. The House altered that measure to make handheld cellphone use unlawful when authorities determined it contributed to careless or reckless driving.