NBA Says City 'Eligible' For All-Star Game; Meck Dems Elect New Chair

Apr 9, 2017

The NBA’s commissioner says it’s not a done deal, but Charlotte is again “eligible” to host the NBA all star game after the repeal and replacement of House Bill 2. In other headlines Sunday: Mecklenburg County Democrats picked Jane Whitley as chair at their convention Saturday. Meanwhile, both the Charlotte Knights and Charlotte Checkers had big wins Saturday.

NBA SAYS CHARLOTTE COULD HOST 2019 ALL STAR GAME

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says Charlotte is now "eligible" again to host the 2019 All-Star Game. The league’s decision follows the General Assembly’s repeal and replacement of the controversial House Bill 2, which limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

Silver said Friday the league's Board of Governors discussed it during their meetings this week and made what was "not an easy decision." He says it's "not a done deal" that Charlotte will get the game, because the league would need assurances of anti-discriminatory policies for venues that would host its events and hotels they would use.

But Silver says it is his "expectation" that Charlotte would get the game if those assurances were met. He says those requirements would need to be met within about the next month.

Charlotte was scheduled to host the game this year, but the NBA pulled it over its objection to the so-called "bathroom bill." The law has since been replaced with a compromise bill.

The NCAA also said last week it would again consider North Carolina to host championship events.

WHITLEY TO LEAD MECK DEMS

Mecklenburg County Democrats have picked Jane Whitley as chair for the next two years. That news comes from outgoing chair Matthew Newton, who’s now running for a Charlotte City Council Seat.

Other officers picked at Saturday’s party convention included vice chairs Ronald Berry, Scott Huffman and Noah Gabriel Cartagena, secretary Collette Alston and Treasurer John Kniffley.

The county party convention was at Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School.

BILL WOULD LIMIT SUITS OVER HOG WASTE

North Carolina lawmakers are taking steps to protect the world's largest pork producer from lawsuits accusing its subsidiaries of creating unbearable odor and animal waste.

The 2014 lawsuits by about 500 rural neighbors of massive hog farms allege that clouds of flies and intense odors remain a problem nearly a quarter-century since industrial-scale hog farming took off.

With the cases advancing toward a possible trial as early as this summer, legislators are working to sharply limit penalties that courts could impose.

Rep. Jimmy Dixon is sponsoring the legislation. He says companies need protection from the lawsuits because they could financially hurt the contract farmers who raise the hogs. Those who sued say they can't afford lawyers and would lose a way to demand change from hog farmers.

Don Webb says people like him who can't afford lawyers would lose a way to demand changes by hog farms.

NCDOT ADDRESSES I-77 WORK ZONE SAFETY

The NCDOT will add signs and pavement markings to improve safety on I-77, in the construction zone for toll lanes between Charlotte and Mooresville.  NCDOT announced the changes Friday, after a recent inspection by its top traffic engineers. That review came after drivers complained about wrecks in the work zone. NCDOT says some changes will happen this week, others will be done within a month. Read more on WFAE.org.

SC INMATES CHARGED WITH KILLING 4 PRISONERS

Two inmates serving life sentences — each for killing a mother and her child — have been charged with killing four other prisoners at a prison in Columbia, South Carolina. The two men are being held in the system's highest security area. Autopsies on four inmates found dead inside a cell Friday show they were all strangled and were killed within 30 minutes of each other.  The coroner says all four inmates died between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Friday at at Kirkland Correctional Institution.

COOPER MAKES LAST 2 CABINET PICKS

Gov. Roy Cooper has finished picking his Cabinet. On Friday, Cooper introduced Ron Penny as Department of Revenue secretary and Eric Boyette as chief information officer and IT Department Secretary. Penny had been acting revenue secretary since January and before that was state personnel director for eight years. Boyette has worked at the Department of Transportation, most recently as the agency's chief information officer and the acting Division of Motor Vehicles commissioner.

SPORTS: KNIGHTS AND CHECKERS WIN BIG

The Charlotte Knights are off to a hot start in the 2017 minor league baseball season. They had 18 hits Saturday night to beat the Norfolk Tides,15-5, at BB&T Ballpark in uptown Charlotte. The Knights also beat the Tides on opening night, Thursday, and on Friday night.

The Charlotte Checkers buried the Texas Stars at home last night, 9 to 3, as eight different players got goals.  The two teams meet again at 1 this afternoon at Bojangles Coliseum.  The Checkers are in position to make the playoffs, sitting fourth in the American Hockey League’s Central division.

At Spectrum Center last night, The charlotte Hornets fell to the Boston Celtics, 121 to 114.