College graduation season continued in the Charlotte area Sunday morning, with commencement ceremonies at Johnson C. Smith University and Davidson College. Ambassador and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young was the guest speaker at J.C. Smith’s 141st graduation, which began at 8am at the university’s Irwin Belk Complex. The university presented honorary degrees to Young and Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.
Davidson’s graduation was scheduled to begin just before 10 o’clock. It’s usually outdoors on the college’s front lawn off Main Street, but the threat of rain forced the ceremony indoors, to the college’s basketball arena. A total of 447 members of Class of 2013 were getting their degrees. Political science and economics were the most popular majors in the class.
On Saturday, more than 1,100 students got degrees as part of the eighth graduation class at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte. In a ceremony at Time Warner Cable Arena, honorary degrees were conferred on Carolina Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson and New Orleans restaurateur Susan Spicer.
AUDIT FINDS MISUSE OF STATE FUNDS AT NONPROFIT
State officials are investigating possible misuse of funds at a Charlotte nonprofit called Transformation Center of the Carolinas. The Charlotte Observer reports that an audit found the group’s director spent $70,000 in state funds for personal use, while neglecting to pay vendors. The 14-year-old nonprofit provides job training. The Observer reports that director Colleen Bush is accused of spending money on personal items including food, clothing, fuel and dental work. The audit found she also gave money to her church and withdrew other funds in cash. At the same time, about $24,000 in bills have gone unpaid. The paper was unable to reach Bush for comment.
TRAFFIC ALERT: WORK ON I-85 in CONCORD
State road crews say road work on I-85 in Cabarrus County will affect traffic in the coming days. Beginning tonight, crews will be periodically closing ramps and highway lanes at the exit onto N.C. 73 in Concord. The project includes demolishing the bridge and widening the highway in the area. The work will take place from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The bridge demolition should be finished by Wednesday morning.
SPOLETO BIGGER THAN EVER
The Spoleto Festival USA begins this week in Charleston and organizers say it will be the biggest yet. With 160 performances by 45 artists and ensembles. The internationally known arts festival founded in Charleston by the composer Gian Carlo Menotti begins Friday and runs through June 9. Events vary from a performance of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Tom Morris and the Handspring Puppet Company to a production of "Oedipus" by the Nottingham Theatre. Then there is "The Intergalactic Nemesis," which the festival describes as a live-action graphic novel. Original comic book drawings are projected on a two-story screen while actors voice parts to accompanying sound effects.
JOHNSON WINS ALL-STAR RACE
Rain delayed but couldn’t stop the racing last night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jimmie Johnson held off Joey Logano to win the headline event – the Sprint All Star Race. The 90-lap race was run in segments, and the first segment was interrupted by rain for about 40 minutes. Earlier in the evening Jamie McMurray won the 40-lap NASCAR showdown. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was second.