CMS Raises Approved; Proposed Smoking Ban Adjusted

Good morning to you on this Thursday, 18 September 2014, from the WBTV News morning team...John Carter reporting to you this morning.  It's been busy ever since I walked into the newsroom this morning as our producers and reporters have been working to put together our newscast that begins at 4:30 AM.  We're on until 9 AM and we've got plenty to tell you.  I invite you to join sure to have your television turned on to Charlotte's only Emmy award-winning newscast.

Staff members with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools will be getting pay raises following a vote by Mecklenburg County Commissioners.  We're going to be LIVE to tell you how that's going to be implemented and where the money is coming from.

And it's still unclear whether a new smoking ban will be passed in Mecklenburg County, but we now know it will not include golf courses as originally proposed.  We'll tell you about adjustments to the proposed ban.

When the Carolina Panthers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers this coming Sunday, star defensive end Greg Hardy will not be playing with the team.  Hardy has been placed on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, meaning the Pro Bowl defensive end has been removed from the team's active roster until his domestic violence case is resolved.

We have more on the trench collapse in Alexander County that killed a man who was apparently mining for gems.

This morning, we're hearing from one of the men who survived a deadly home invasion in east Charlotte.  It's a story we first broke on WBTV News This Morning yesterday.

Authorities say in an arrest warrant issued for the South Carolina father accused of killing his five children that he thought his children were going to "kill him." The warrant offers new details of events surrounding the deaths of the children of Timothy Ray Jones Jr.

Famed TV star and comedian Bill Cosby is entertaining at South Carolina's Claflin University's annual gala as part of an effort to raise $1 million later tonight. Claflin was founded in 1869 and is the oldest historically black college or university in the state.

The U.S. Senate is expected to follow the House's lead today and give the Obama administration authority to arm and train Syrian rebels so they can go after the group Islamic State. President Barack Obama is praising lawmakers for Wednesday's 273-156 House vote.

And the President is meeting with Ukraine's president at the White House today. President Petro Poroshenko is looking for more robust U.S military assistance to help his country in its fight against Russian-backed rebels.

All those stories and so much more...including the Blowing Rock Music Festival...coming up when you join us from 4:30 to 7 AM on WBTV...then from 7 to 9 AM on the Bounce Channel.  And by the sure to join us in our 8 AM hour on Bounce, as we have special guests joining us live in the studio!

Looking forward to seeing you this morning!