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Corning Inc. says strong demand for optical fiber and cable is bringing another expansion in North Carolina. The company said Monday it will spend $176 million in Catawba and Cabarrus counties and create 410 jobs over the next two years.   

Duke Energy is removing coal ash from basins near the retired Riverbend Plant, near Mountain Island Lake.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy this summer will ask North Carolina regulators to raise the rates consumers pay on their electricity bills for the first time in four years. The rate hikes – at Duke’s two electricity subsidiaries in the state - would help pay for new plants, Hurricane Matthew recovery costs and coal ash cleanups.

Still from Twitter Video by @ajcookcsa

Students at four CMS schools walked out of class Friday in support of area immigrants. South Mecklenburg High School dismissed classes early after several students say peaceful demonstrations got out of hand.  

Videos of South Meck's walkout posted on Twitter show hundreds of students outside. 

Junior Gletzy Alas helped organize South Meck's walkout. Her parents are immigrants from Honduras.

Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

In a visit to Charlotte Friday, the state’s new School Superintendent Mark Johnson says he looks forward to revamping student testing, which is one of his top priorities. He says a big flaw in testing is that results are not available in a timely manner where teachers can use them to improve student instruction. Johnson says the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind and gives states more leeway in education policy, offers the state the opportunity to implement better testing requirements.

Tom Bullock / WFAE

By noon, the crowds began to pour into uptown's Marshall Park. The local Spanish-language radio station, La Raza 106.1FM, supplied music as a line of volunteers hauled cases of water bottles into the park and procrastinators hastily scrawled last-minute messages onto sheets of poster board.  

Hundreds of families arrived with school-age children in tow, ignoring CMS officials who urged parents against doing so earlier in the week. One 15-year-old high school student, Ciera Medina, said she should have been at J.M. Robinson High School, but skipped with her four younger siblings.

Organ donor parent Anita Erwin (left) and kidney transplant recipient Candice Grant.
Debbie Gibbs

Candice Grant, of Charlotte, is a transplant recipient.  She received a kidney in 2011, four days after Thanksgiving. Anita Erwin, of Kannapolis, is a donor parent. Her son Michael was killed in a car accident in 2004, four days before his 18th birthday.

A loss on the sale of its international operations contributed to an overall loss of $227 million at Duke Energy for the last three months of 2016. Duke on Thursday also reported that its profit for all of 2016 was down about 24 percent, to $2.1 billion.

But after adjusting for one-time expenses, the report was in line with analysts' expectations. Duke’s shares closed the day up 2.7 percent. 

Tom Bullock / WFAE

By design protest signs and the people who carry them are the most visible part of any rally, demonstration or march. They pull the eye and, yes, camera lenses to focus on what often is a simple message. But those messages have meaning not just to those who took the time to scroll them out by hand, they also reflect the beliefs of a community.

The ‘A Day Without Immigrants’ protest in Marshall Park in uptown was full of just such signs.

Nick de la Canal/WFAE

More than 250 businesses in the Charlotte region will not open Thursday as part of a nationwide campaign called "A Day Without Immigrants," or "Dia Sin Inmigrantes," according to organizers and reports from the Spanish-language newspapers Que Pasa Mi Gente and Hola Noticias, which has kept a running tally on its Facebook page.

Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

Former Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones passed away from pancreatic cancer Wednesday. He helped steer the county for more than a decade and, in recent years, mentored  those struggling with cancer. 

Jones was hired as county manager in 2000, after serving nearly a decade as an assistant manager. At the time, the county was rapidly expanding and figuring out how to deal with that growth made for some tension on the board. Republican County Commissioner Jim Puckett says Jones knew how to relate to people and that was a big help with the board's dynamics.

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