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Thousands line NC streets, overpasses to see Rev. Billy Graham’s motorcade

The procession arriving in Charlotte.

Adults and children stood behind wooden barricades and yellow tape, police officers saluted, and admirers captured the moment on cellphones along the route. Fire trucks parked on overpasses along Interstate 40.

Pallbearers, followed by family members, carried the coffin into the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, which will serve as a backdrop for the evangelist’s funeral.

Franklin Graham said he was fulfilling a promise to take his father’s body to Charlotte. He said was overwhelmed by the “outpouring of love we are seeing as we travel.”

The motorcade for “America’s Pastor,” which began at the training center operated by Graham’s evangelistic association in Asheville, was a chance for residents in some of the evangelist’s favorite places to pay tribute. Graham often shopped or caught trains in Black Mountain. He made his home in the nearby community of Montreat.

“He has never really reveled in all of the celebrity. It’s come with the territory,” said Joe Tyson, a family friend who runs a furniture store in Black Mountain, where he watched the procession. “But they’ve managed to live a very normal life for such famous people. And I think he’d be very proud that his neighbors turned out and quietly celebrated his reward and his passage into heaven.”

Graham, who died Wednesday at his home in North Carolina’s mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television.

A viewing will be held at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte on Monday and Tuesday. Graham will also lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday and Thursday, the first time a private citizen has been accorded such recognition since civil rights hero Rosa Parks in 2005.

The procession was part of more than a week of mourning that culminates with his burial Friday.

A man played bagpipes at a highway rest area near Marion, where an overpass was draped with flags from about 15 nations. In Black Mountain, a group sang “Amazing Grace.”

Motorists lined sidewalks and medians as the motorcade rolled through Charlotte and neared the Graham library, which was closed as mourners laid flowers and awaited arrival of the evangelist’s casket.

“He was so bold, he so boldly confessed the word of God,” said Madeline Reid. “And I believe because of his service to humanity, that he’s truly gonna be great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Ruby Sparks, 85, attended a Graham youth ministry meeting in 1951, when she was a college student in Greensboro, North Carolina, and met him in 1970.

“He was such a wonderful man of God, and a messenger of God,” she said.

Asked if there would ever be another force like his, she replied: “I doubt it. Perhaps, in my next, in another lifetime. Not in my lifetime.”

Leighton Ford, the evangelist’s brother-in-law, said he was thankful for the show of support and also a little sad.

“I think he’d say, ‘It’s not about me. It’s about the Lord,’” Ford said. “I remember at his last stadium meeting here in Charlotte, the mayor of Charlotte told us he was writing out the platform of Billy, and everybody was cheering, and Billy said, ‘Wait a minute. It’s not about us. It’s about Him.’”

Graham will be laid to rest at the foot of a cross-shaped walkway at the library in Charlotte, buried in a simple prison-made plywood coffin next to his wife, Ruth, who died in 2007. His coffin was built by inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, who typically construct caskets for fellow prisoners who cannot afford one.

The funeral will be held in a tent in the main parking lot of Graham’s library in tribute to the 1949 Los Angeles tent revivals that propelled him to international fame, family spokesman Mark DeMoss said. About 2,000 people are expected at the private, invitation-only funeral.


Associated Press writers Elliot Spagat in San Diego and Tom Foreman Jr. in Charlotte contributed to this report.

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Florida shooting: NC Republican apologizes for ‘communist Democrats’ comment | News & Observer

A North Carolina lawmaker is apologizing for what he called a “clumsy” comment about “communist Democrats.”

Republican state Rep. Larry Pittman of Cabarrus County near Charlotte sent an emailed apology to his fellow lawmakers on Saturday for a public comment he made on Facebook.

In the Facebook comment on another user’s post, Pittman speculated about the school shooting in Florida on Wednesday. A 19-year-old is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder following a shooting rampage with an AR-15 rifle that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

[NC Republican wants to arm teachers in response to Florida shooting]

Never miss a local story. Continue reading “Florida shooting: NC Republican apologizes for ‘communist Democrats’ comment | News & Observer”

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Julia Menkhaus, Noah Henderson, Ben Scott Lead NC 3A States Psych Sheets

Photo Courtesy: Julia Menkhaus Instagram @julia_menkhaus

Agon is the proud sponsor of all high school coverage (recruiting, results, state championships, etc.) on For more information about Agon, visit their website

By Kevin Donnelly, Swimming World College Intern.

February 8th marks the beginning of a weekend of high school championships in the state of North Carolina, in which six team champions will be crowned. Continue reading “Julia Menkhaus, Noah Henderson, Ben Scott Lead NC 3A States Psych Sheets”

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Charlottesville releases 2018 real estate reassessment

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The Charlottesville City Assessor’s Office has completed the 2018 reassessment. Of the 15,040 taxable properties, residential parcels increased by an average of 6.7%. Commercial properties (including apartments, retail, office, industrial, vacant land) increased by an average of 2.6%. When residential, commercial, and new construction are averaged together, taxable properties in the City increased by 5.7% in 2017.

Additional details of this year’s figures include:

Residential properties Assessments for existing residential property increased in value by 6.7% 86.8% of residential assessments increased in value, 3.9% declined, and 9.2% did not change Commercial properties Assessments for existing commercial property increased in value by 2.6% 50.9% of commercial assessments increased in value, 25.8% declined, and 23.4% did not change Combined existing residential and commercial property increased in value by 4.9% New construction value included for 2018 is 0.85% When new construction and reclassifications are added to the value of the existing property, the total value of property in the city increased by 5.5%

General FAQ’s about the City Assessor’s Office and assessment process can be found at The City Assessor’s Office can be contacted via telephone at 434-970-3136, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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