North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper told Democratic Party activists Saturday he’ll run for governor in three years. Appearing Saturday at the Democrats’ Western Gala in Asheville, Cooper said it's too early to make a formal announcement, but he’s ready to challenge first-term Republican Governor Pat McCrory.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Cooper wants to restore North Carolina's reputation as progressive leader in the South – something he said has been destroyed by Republicans who now control state government. "In just nine short months, they have set out to deliberately and systematically undo 50 years in progress in North Carolina,” Cooper said, according to the newspaper. (See Asheville Citizen-Times, "Cooper bashes GOP policies at Asheville event" )
CMS BOARD WINS NATIONAL AWARD
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board won a national award this weekend. The Council of Urban Boards of Education, or CUBE, recognized the district with its annual award for Urban School Board Excellence. It’s the first time a North Carolina district has won the award. The National School Boards Association announced the award in San Antonio Saturday. CUBE cited the district’s success in raising student test scores and the high school graduation rate. The association also cited the school board’s effort to involve the community in strategic decisions.
FREE WITH YOUR VALET PARKING: A SEARCH
Charlotte Douglas International Airport officials say they routinely search cars left at the airport’s valet parking. Aviation director Jack Christine said all vehicles handled by the airport’s curbside parking service are subject to searches under a plan approved by the Transportation Security Administration. Workers have been doing searches for the past year-and-a-half and calling in police when they find anything suspicious. Officials say they're now planning to post signs alerting passengers about the search policy.
STATESVILLE CHURCH MOURNS CRASH VICTIMS
Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville members gathered Sunday for weekly services, the first since six members were killed in a bus crash in Tennessee while returning from a gospel festival. The six who died Wednesday ranged in age from 62 to 95. They were part of a church seniors group returning from its annual outing, a three-day festival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The bus blew a tire, veered across a highway median and crashed into a sport utility vehicle and tractor-trailer. The 24-year-old SUV driver from Knoxville, Tenn., and the 66-year-old truck driver from New Orleans were also killed. Memorial and funeral services for the victims are still in the works.
DUKE ENDOWMENT REBOUNDS
Strong investment returns and a big year for donations mean Duke University’s $6 billion endowment fund is almost fully recovered to 2008 levels, before the country's financial crisis and recession. Duke's Board of Trustees met Saturday. The university’s investment company reported a 13 percent return on endowment assets for the year ending in June. The investments earned just a 1 percent return last year. The endowment now is just $100 million below its 2008 level. It lost more than 25 percent the following year. A comparison by U.S. News & World Report puts Duke's endowment outside the top 10 for American universities.