- Associated Press - Friday, May 16, 2014

The Carolinas News Editor is Tim Rogers. The breaking news staffer is Skip Foreman. For technical support, please call the AP’s Services and Technology Department in Raleigh at 919-881-9974.


RALEIGH - A judge ruled Friday that a new North Carolina law cutting job protections for veteran teachers who now enjoy them is unconstitutional and threw into doubt whether school districts can offer longtime educators contracts that sign away those rights for a $5,000 raise. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood said veteran teachers have an established right to a layer of review beyond school administrators when they face firing. His ruling also said the law passed by Republican lawmakers last year violates constitutional rights that protect contracts and prevent governments from taking a person’s property. By Emery P. Dalesio. SENT: 590 words.


RALEIGH - More people are in the job market in North Carolina and more are finding work as the state’s unemployment rate dropped slightly last month. The state Commerce Department reported Friday that North Carolina’s unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in April, a tenth of a percentage point down from the revised 6.3 percent rate in March. SENT: 270 words.


DURHAM - The city of Durham said Friday it has settled a lawsuit filed by three former Duke University lacrosse players who were falsely accused of raping a stripper eight years ago. In announcing the settlement, city officials said no money is going to the former players, but the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission will receive a $50,000 grant. SENT: 180 words.


CHARLOTTE - A survey team from the National Weather Service confirms that a tornado has struck near Durham. The team confirmed Friday that an EF-1 tornado hit on Thursday about three miles southwest of Durham. SENT: 160 words.


GREENVILLE - Former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards’ return to the courtroom as a lawyer ended with a settlement and a mistrial. SENT: 250 words.


ATLANTIC BEACH - A North Carolina commission will ask scientists to only make a 30-year prediction of how fast the ocean will rise off the state’s coast. SENT: 250 words.


CINCINNATI - The Ohio company owned by a fugitive treasure hunter is fighting to gain control over recently recovered gold from a ship that sank off the South Carolina coast in 1857 in one of the worst maritime disasters in U.S. history, arguing that the Florida company now salvaging the sunken treasure from the shipwreck is trespassing. In documents filed in federal court on Thursday, Columbus-America Discovery Group, Inc. argues that it has the exclusive rights to the sunken SS Central America and asks a judge to grant them custody of any recently recovered gold. By Amanda Lee Myers. SENT: 560 words.

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