News Minute: Here is the latest North Carolina news from The Ass - | WBTV Charlotte

News Minute: Here is the latest North Carolina news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. EST

MONTREAT, N.C. (AP) - The Rev. Billy Graham, who was known as "America's Pastor," has died at his North Carolina home at age 99. Graham was a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history. He reached more than 200 million people through his appearances and millions more through television and radio.

(AP) - Billy Graham would be the first to say that his message was not complex or unique, but he won over audiences worldwide with his friendliness, openness, humility and unyielding religious conviction. He became a confidant to U.S. presidents from both major political parties. By his final crusade in 2005 in New York City, Graham, who died Wednesday, had preached in person to more than 210 million people worldwide.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A legal challenge of a special session called by Republicans at the North Carolina General Assembly to pass laws that eroded Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's powers is going to trial. A panel of three judges scheduled arguments Wednesday from lawyers for a government reform group and 10 state residents who argue the December 2016 session was illegal. Lawyers for the state and the legislative leaders who got sued disagree.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Some North Carolina legislators believe it's worth looking at whether allowing the breakup of school districts following decades of district mergers makes sense. A General Assembly committee studying the potential division of districts holds its first meeting Wednesday. The committee is supposed to report back to the full legislature by May 1.

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