PRIVATE SCHOOL GRANTS
NC judge: Private school vouchers unconstitutional
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina judge is ordering a stop to the use of taxpayer money to pay for tuition at private or religious schools.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ruled Thursday that the program is unconstitutional on several levels. Voucher advocates say they will appeal the decision.
Hobgood says the program pays for students to attend schools that are not obliged to meet state curriculum requirements, violating the state constitution's guarantee for students to have an opportunity to a sound basic education.
Hobgood said it's also unconstitutional for public funds to go to privately run and managed schools.
The judge said money cannot go to private schools. The state agency managing the funds says money that was planned for distribution earlier this week was stopped.
POLICE SHOOTING-USE OF FORCE
Supreme Court case to shape Ferguson investigation
WASHINGTON (AP) - The national legal standards that govern when police officers are justified in using force against people trace their lineage to a 1984 case from Charlotte, North Carolina. In that case, a diabetic man's erratic behavior during a trip to the store for juice to bring up his blood sugar led to a confrontation with officers that left him with injuries from head to foot.
As soon as a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9, the Supreme Court's ruling on the North Carolina case became the foundational test for whether the officer's response was appropriate or criminal.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote in that opinion that a police officer should be judged by what a reasonable officer would have done in the same situation.
BANK OF AMERICA SETTLEMENT
Justice Dept. announces $17B settlement with BofA
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department has announced a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.
The deal announced Thursday calls for the bank, the second-largest in the U.S., to pay a $5 billion cash penalty and provide billions of dollars of relief to struggling homeowners. Bank of America says its cash payouts will total $9.65 billion.
The settlement is by far the largest deal the Justice Department has reached with a bank over the 2008 mortgage meltdown. In the last year, JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to a $13 billion settlement while Citigroup reached a separate $7 billion deal.
Husband: Ebola virus patient resting at undisclosed location
ATLANTA (AP) - The husband of a second American aid worker released after being treated at an Atlanta hospital for the Ebola virus says she is resting and recuperating at an undisclosed location.
David Writebol says his 59-year-old wife, Nancy Writebol, decided it would be best to leave the hospital "privately." An Emory University doctor said during a news conference Thursday that she left the hospital Tuesday.
Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American aid worker treated at Emory, told the audience, "Today is a miraculous day." The 33-year-old doctor said he never imagined himself being in this position when he moved to the west African nation of Liberia to work at a missionary clinic.
Brantly and Writebol were treated for the deadly disease in an isolation unit at the hospital.
Marine who vanished in Iraq has court hearing
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) - A Marine hearing officer has postponed a decision on a Marine accused of deserting his unit in Iraq 10 years ago.
Lt. Col. Scott W. Martin adjourned the Article 32 hearing Thursday for Cpl. Wassef Hassoun by at least a week so the defense can provide translated Lebanese government documents. An Article 32 hearing is the military equivalent of a grand jury.
Defense attorney Haytham Faraj says Hassoun was kept in Lebanon for years for court proceedings triggered by a U.S. warrant accusing him of desertion. Faraj says Hassoun contacted U.S. authorities as soon as the Lebanese case against him ended.
Prosecutors argue that there is overwhelming circumstantial evidence that Hassoun was unhappy and fled the army in Iraq and later fled to Lebanon after briefly returning to the U.S.
FAMILY DOLLAR-DOLLAR GENERAL
Family Dollar rejects Dollar General offer
MATTHEWS, N.C. (AP) - Family Dollar is rebuffing Dollar General's takeover bid, citing antitrust issues. The discounter's board remains supportive of its existing deal with Dollar Tree.
Family Dollar Stores Inc. Chairman and CEO Howard Levine said in a statement Thursday that its board and advisers reviewed Dollar General Corp.'s offer and determined it wasn't likely to be completed on the terms proposed.
On Monday Dollar General - the nation's biggest dollar-store chain - offered about $8.95 billion for Family Dollar. The company said at the time that it believed it could quickly address any antitrust issues and was willing to divest up to 700 of its stores in order to get the necessary approvals.
Last month Family Dollar agreed to an $8.5 billion deal with Dollar Tree Inc.
Salisbury man dies when hit by train
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) - A man has died after he was hit by a train in Salisbury.
Local media outlets reported that 49-year-old Kelly Scott Daniels of Salisbury died when he was hit around 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Police said Daniels was walking along the tracks when he was hit by an Amtrak train. It appeared he was wearing headphones when he was struck.
Train personnel said they sounded the horn several times when they saw the man on the tracks but were unable to stop before he was hit.
Injured Isner withdraws from Winston-Salem Open
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Top-seeded John Isner has withdrawn from his Winston-Salem Open quarterfinal against Lukas Rosol on Thursday because of a sprained ankle.
Organizers say Isner injured his left ankle Wednesday night during his third-round victory over Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan. Isner won this tournament in 2011 and 2012.
Rosol, a Czech who is seeded seventh, will play ninth-seeded Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan or 14th-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy in Friday's semifinals at Wake Forest Tennis Center.
In other quarterfinal pairings in this tuneup for next week's U.S. Open, Belgian qualifier David Goffin plays Poland's Jerzy Janowicz, and fifth-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain faces American Sam Querrey.
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