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Pineville is a town in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina located between Charlotte and York County, South Carolina. It is perhaps most famous as the birthplace of James Knox Polk. It is mostly a quiet town, but it does have some industries; the Cone Mills textile plant was until recently here,... (More Info and Source) Pineville Real Estate

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Rowan County leaders discuss prayer before meetings

Leaders in Rowan County met for hours behind closed doors discussing the issue of prayer before meetings.
 
A chaplain led a prayer Wednesday night before commissioners went into the closed-door session.
 
Leaders met with attorneys to discuss what options they have.
 
Earlier this month, a judge ruled commissioners had to stop leading Christian-based prayers before their meetings.
 
“It's really about a First Amendment issue of whether or not do we have a right to pray however we see fit,” Commissioner Mike Caskey said.
 
The commission is under a permanent injunction not to give sectarian prayers before its meetings.
 
Some commissioners believe it's a violation of free speech.

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Wed, 27 May 2015 22:09:51 -0400

6th-grader advances in Scripps Spelling Bee

A local Charlotte student remains in the running to become the next national spelling champion.

Akshra Paimagam, 12, a sixth-grader at Randolph Middle School is one of 49 spellers who have advanced to the semifinals in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Akshara advanced to the semifinals with the correct spelling of the word Camphor.

The semifinals start Thursday at 10 a.m. and the championship is Thursday night.

The winner takes home a $30,000 prize and an engraved trophy.

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Wed, 27 May 2015 22:05:25 -0400

Bill extending NC abortion wait period advances in Senate

(AP) — A state Senate committee approved a proposal Wednesday for North Carolina to join the handful of states that require a 72-hour waiting period for abortions.

The bill advanced by a Senate judiciary committee would extend the waiting period from the current 24 hours, which became law less than four years ago. The bill would also require that the procedure be performed by a specialist in obstetrics or gynecology.

The bill will head next to the Senate floor Thursday for debate and a vote.

Since a version of the bill passed the House last month, Senate Republicans also have expanded the bill to include provisions related to statutory rape definitions, protection for domestic violence victims and places sex offenders must avoid.

Under the waiting-period provision, women would have to talk to a doctor or other qualified professional 72 hours before having an abortion, unless there's a medical emergency.

Three other states have 72-hour waiting periods: Missouri, South Dakota and Utah. Oklahoma's waiting period of that length goes into effect in November.

The bill's sponsors have said they want to give pregnant women more time to collect information before making a difficult decision. They also are hopeful that the measure would lead to fewer abortions.

Those speaking in favor of the bill at the committee hearing included Wendy Banister, the executive director of Gateway ministries. She said she's counseled women who planned to have an abortion but reconsidered upon further reflection.

"Fear can drive a woman to make a knee-jerk decision she can't undo," she said.

Abortion-rights activists say the extra 48 hours is medically unnecessary and demeans the ability of women to make their own choice.

Dr. Amy Bryant, an assistant professor in the University of North Carolina's department of obstetrics and gynecology, spoke against the bill and said women seeking abortions have typically thought through the decision and are resolute.

"Waiting three days does not change their mind. It only delays their care," she said.

Since Republicans took over North Carolina's legislature in 2011, the state has passed several laws aimed at limiting abortions, including the current 24-hour waiting period. Some GOP leaders and anti-abortion groups credit the laws with contributing to the 26 percent decline in the number of abortions in North Carolina since 2010. During the same period, overall reported pregnancies in North Carolina have fallen slightly.

Two provisions added by the Senate — one to toughen statutory rape laws and another to ensure that sex offenders registered in other states avoid playgrounds and schools if they move to North Carolina — were introduced this year in separate legislation by Democratic Sen. Jeff Jackson of Charlotte.

At Wednesday's hearing, Jackson asked for an amendment taking out those provisions but was rejected.

Jackson, a former Mecklenburg County prosecutor, said Republicans inserted his ideas into the abortion measure to force Democrats into "no" votes that could be used against them in election ads.

"They're such good ideas that they decided to include them in legislation that they know Democrats are likely to oppose," Jackson said in an interview, adding his bills "have been used in weapons against me and my party."

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Wed, 27 May 2015 21:05:58 -0400

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