News In Brief

A midday news roundup. 

Here’s what’s in the headlines at midday Monday here on WFAE:  

Charlotte Area Transit System is asking Charlotte City Council to approve another $25 million for the Lynx Blue Line Extension. The project extends the light rail line nine miles from uptown to UNC Charlotte.

A federal appeals court is taking another look at a lawsuit challenging a North Carolina county commission's practice of opening meetings with Christian prayer led by commissioners.

The full 15-judge bench of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the Rowan County prayer case on Wednesday.

North Carolina Senate Republicans are moving ahead with the confirmation process of Governor Roy Cooper's Cabinet members, even as a three-judge panel weighs the legality of doing so.

The U.S. National Whitewater Center will not reopen its river rapids Saturday as was scheduled. Mecklenburg County officials say the delay is of the center's own making. The center needs a permit from the county, but the center only sent in its application for the permit last Thursday, Feb. 23. The county is still reviewing the application.

North Carolina State Senator Joel Ford is officially tossing his hat into the race for Charlotte mayor.

"It's time for new leadership and a bold vision for our city," Ford said in a campaign-produced video released Wednesday, "We need a mayor who will focus on the issues that unite our city, not divide it."

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper wants to increase state government spending next year by more than 5 percent, or $1.1 billion, and to issue about $350 million in new debt to renovate state buildings.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte says portions of Shalom Park on Providence Road were temporarily evacuated Monday following an anonymous phone threat.

The federation's executive director, Sue Worrel, tells WFAE the threat was deemed not credible by law enforcement, but officers were still treating it with all seriousness. Staff members executed security protocols, and upon receiving an all clear from law enforcement, the park resumed normal business operations.

CMS officials say four schools in the district were placed on lockdown Friday in reaction to a student walk out at Garinger High School.

According to CMS, the protest began during Garinger's first period, when approximately 500 students staged a peaceful demonstration in opposition to recent immigration policies. Most of the students returned to class when the second period bell rang, but CMS says 100 students instead walked off campus, prompting neighboring Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School to go on lockdown for about an hour.

The Mecklenburg County Health Department is facing an independent review after county leaders say the department failed to notify 185 low-income women about their abnormal Pap smear results.

County Manager Dena Diorio said the neglect went unchecked for a period of eight months, even while many of the women should have been notified immediately.

The CIAA tournament gets underway Tuesday, kicking off a week long series of basketball games and headaches for Charlotte commuters.

In a press release, city officials warned residents that heavy pedestrian and motorist traffic is expected in uptown and near the Bojangles Coliseum through Saturday as a result.

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