Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EST

PUBLIC SCHOOLS-LEANDRO REPORT

Judge agrees with consultant on N Carolina public education

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge agrees with an outside consultant's findings that the state isn't doing enough to ensure public school students can obtain a sound basic education. Judge David Lee signed an order on Tuesday accepting conclusions from the consultant's 300-page report. He's now asked the litigants in the long-running “Leandro” case to present a plan within 60 days to address the issues pointed out by WestEd. The report focused on eight key areas and offered scenarios where the price tag for compliance could reach $8 billion over eight years. The state Supreme Court first ruled in the Leandro case in 1997.

ELECTION 2020-BLOOMBERG-IMPEACHMENT

Bloomberg calls for Trump's removal in new impeachment ad

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is launching a new impeachment-focused television ad calling on the Senate to remove President Donald Trump from office. The ad will run in 27 states, including several with vulnerable Republican senators and a handful that vote on March 3, known as Super Tuesday. Bloomberg is skipping the early voting states and focusing his efforts on a strong showing in the delegate-rich states that come next. He's already spent more than $200 million of his own money on his campaign, by hiring staff and running television ads in several dozen states.

NORTH CAROLINA-GOVERNOR

N Carolina appeals court upholds lawfulness of 2016 session

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court has upheld the legality of a quickly called legislative session in December 2016 in which Republicans pushed through laws that weakened incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The vote announced Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals was unanimous, affirming a trial-court ruling that declined to declare the session's procedures unconstitutional. Common Cause and several citizens complained that the rushed session violated their constitutional right to “instruct their representatives.” But the appeals court disagreed, saying the public had notice of the session and an opportunity to tell legislators what they thought.

DELIVERYMAN SHOOTS BACK

Police: Pizza delivery man shoots, wounds would-be robbers

Police say a pizza delivery man in North Carolina shot and wounded three suspects who tried to rob him. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said in a news release Tuesday that the man was delivering a pizza late the previous night at an apartment complex when he was approached by four suspects who pointed what appeared to be a rifle at him. He fired at them with a handgun, resulting in non-life threatening wounds for three suspects. Police say the suspects range in age from 15 to 20 and face robbery-related charges. Police say the robbers used a toy rifle painted to look more like an assault rifle.

PEEPING TOM-TEENAGER CHARGED

Deputies: North Carolina teen secretly taped woman for year

STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina have accused an 18-year-old of secretly recording a woman for nearly a year. The Iredell County Sheriff's Office says in a news release that Cody Daniel Wells was arrested last week on five counts of felony secret peeping and was released from jail after posting a $50,000 bond. The news release from the sheriff's office says the unidentified woman found an electronic recording device hidden in her home just before Christmas. Investigators say the peeping dates back to the start of 2019.

ELI LILLY-PLANT

Lilly to build North Carolina plant, create over 460 jobs

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. will create over 460 jobs once its builds a new manufacturing facility in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park. Gov. Roy Cooper and company CEO David Ricks spoke at a news conference Tuesday's to unveil the $470 million investment. The plant will in part produce injectable drugs to treat diabetes. The Commerce Department says the state beat out Indianapolis and Philadelphia for the plant. Lilly could receive nearly $9 million from the state if it meets job-creation and investment goals. Lilly already has plants in Indiana, New Jersey and Puerto Rico.

MALL JEWELRY STORE ROBBERY

2 thieves take $200K in merchandise from mall jewelry store

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say two people wearing hooded sweatshirts robbed a jewelry store during the day at a North Carolina mall taking at least $200,000 in merchandise. Raleigh police responded to the Triangle Town Center mall Monday morning for a reported smash-and-grab robbery at Regent Jewelers. Surveillance video shows one person in a green hoodie smashing the display case while another person in a black hoodie takes the merchandise. Police say no guns were used during the robbery and no injuries were reported. The owner says the thieves took at least $200,000 in Rolex watches and gold chains. The investigation is ongoing.

COUNCIL MEETINGS-PRAYER

Group asks West Virginia council to stop prayers at meetings

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — A Wisconsin-based advocacy group has issued a complaint about a West Virginia city council's practice of opening meetings with predominantly Christian prayers. The Freedom From Religion Foundation asked the Wheeling City Council to stop the practice in a Jan. 9 letter addressed to Mayor Glenn Elliott from the group's attorney, Brenda Johnson. The Wheeling News-Register reports the organization was alerted to the practice by a citizen who reported that a resident had twice complained during meetings, and prayer was offered anyway. The letter cited a similar North Carolina case in which a court ruled the council was violating the First Amendment with the prayers. Elliott hasn't publicly commented.