Well folks, it’s Thursday, and the weekend is almost upon us. Here are some of the finest headlines for your reading pleasure.
1. Duke is going after the estate of an alum months after his death. The Wall Street Journal had quite an interesting article about Duke University suing the estate of Aubrey McClendon’s for almost $10 million following his death in March.
McClendon, co-founder of the Chesapeake Energy Corp., donated about $18.75 million to the school for athletic funds, scholarships, and more in recent years, according to the WSJ.
Lawyers for Mr. McClendon’s creditors have said they think Mr. McClendon, who during his Chesapeake heyday was a billionaire, left behind more debt than assets. “Based on information we have thus far, we believe this is an insolvent estate,” Arthur Hoge III, a lawyer representing Wilmington Trust Corp., said in a May hearing in Oklahoma City. Mr. Hoge said Mr. McClendon died owing his client, a unit of M&T Bank Corp., more than $465 million. Martin Stringer, a lawyer for Mr. McClendon’s estate, said claiming it is insolvent is “incorrect” because “nobody has the facts,” according to a transcript of the hearing. The value of many assets “depends on commodity prices,” he added. He said that the estate includes interests in more than 180 companies and other business ventures.
Duke’s claim is unique in that it is the only one yet tied to the oilman’s charitable giving, for which he was well known in his hometown and at his alma mater. At Duke, Mr. McClendon met his wife, Kathleen McClendon, who graduated in 1980. The couple sent each of their three children there. He built Chesapeake’s Oklahoma City headquarters, with rows of red brick Georgian buildings, in the image of Duke’s Durham, N.C., campus.
There were also attempts to have gargoyles in the McClendons’ likenesses, but that didn’t pan out.
2. It’s still unclear why a deaf and speech-impaired man was killed by a state trooper in Charlotte. This week state investigators will likely present preliminary findings concerning the man's death to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office. The district attorney’s office will ultimately decide if any charges will be filed in the shooting death of Daniel Harris by trooper Jermaine Saunders.
The Charlotte Observer reports Harris was shot after he failed to pull over for speeding:
Harris was shot last Thursday by Saunders near his family home on Seven Oaks Drive in North Charlotte. According to the Department of Public Safety, Harris was speeding on Interstate 485 when Saunders tried to pull him over. Harris, 29, led the trooper on a seven-mile pursuit before pulling over near his home.
Harris, who was unarmed, was killed after he got out of his car. His family said it is likely he did not hear or understand the officer’s commands. Neighbors have speculated that Saunders, who has been a trooper for two years, misinterpreted Harris’ gestures as he tried to communicate.
But, as the Observer points out, charges against troopers tend to be rare.
Harris’s brother, Sam (who is also deaf), told the Associated Press that Daniel was afraid of the cops after several misunderstandings during police encounters.
3. The Orange County Board of Elections can’t come to a decision on its early voting schedule. It’s one thing to not come to a unanimous decision; it’s quite another to send in several schedules to the state board because no one is happy. In Orange County, that’s just what happened. And now the State Board of Elections will make the final decision.
The Herald-Sun has the details about the debacle. The Orange County board submitted not one but four early voting plans, ranging in available hours from 530 hours to 739. According to the H-S, by Wednesday afternoon only two of the plans had been received by the state.
[Orange County board member Jamie] Cox said that submitting four different plans to the state may be unprecedented, although Jennifer Faulkner, a representative of the State Board of Elections, said the board didn’t have the historical data to confirm that. …
It is unclear when the state board will reach a decision, but the representative said the board will probably meet next week.
Cox said he has served several terms on the board with [Katy] Knight and that they have worked well together across partisan lines in the past.
He also said that expanding hours is justified. In 2012, the board offered 528 voting hours, but in this year’s primary saw early voting numbers jump by about 20 to 25 percent.
4. Mike Pence makes campaign stops in North Carolina again. It seems like once a week the Trump-Pence campaign is hanging out in the state, but at least this time no one said anything ridiculously dumb or offensive or violence-inducing. Progress!
The News & Observer highlighted the trade-focused campaign stop:
Speaking at Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, the Indiana governor said he and presidential candidate Donald Trump would restore that foundation by getting tough on trade and easing regulations on business.
“Donald Trump and I know we haven’t been tough, we haven’t been smart in defending American jobs and American workers,” he said. “And that’s about to change. … We aren’t walking away, but we will roll our sleeves up and hold our (trading) partners accountable.”
Pence spoke to around 150 invited guests at the 115-year-old company. He was introduced by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.
Forest is having a great week for speaking engagements, it seems.
5. And a former Newman Catholic Student Center employee at UNC was charged with embezzlement. Two audits conducted by the center found more than $100,000 was embezzled, and twenty-five-year-old Brian L. Cansler was charged this month for the crime and two other felonies, The News & Observer reports.
And that’s all for now. We’ll see you tomorrow morning.