Franco Ordoñez

Immigration debate attracts wide swath of lobbyists

Money has played a major role in the current drama to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, with millions of dollars spent in the past year trying to influence or kill various proposals that could affect a variety of special interests. | 05/13/13 00:00:00 By - By Franco Ordonez

Senate begins debate on immigration bill

The Senate will begin a historic debate Thursday that could overhaul the nation’s immigration system. Senators will get their first crack at modifying or killing legislation proposed by a bipartisan group of eight colleagues. The so-called Gang of Eight introduced the measure in hopes of offering a long-elusive solution to the immigration problems that have plagued the nation for decades. It’s the first real effort in six years. The road ahead is full of political peril. | 05/08/13 17:33:14 By - By Franco Ordonez

Obama pick of Rep. Mel Watt to regulate mortgage finance sparks controversy

The Obama administration’s selection Wednesday of a North Carolina congressman to head the government’s mortgage-finance regulator appears certain to spark a confirmation battle and renewed debate over the government’s role in backstopping home loans. | 05/01/13 15:55:39 By - By Kevin G. Hall, Franco Ordonez and David Lightman

Obama welcomes transportation nominee Anthony Foxx

President Barack Obama nominated Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx on Monday to be his next transportation secretary, choosing a rising star from his own party to follow a popular Republican skilled at working across the aisle. | 04/29/13 19:03:43 By - By Franco Ordonez, David Lightman and William Douglas

Obama names Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx as transportation chief

President Barack Obama will tap Charlotte, N.C., mayor Anthony Foxx as the new secretary of transportation on Monday, a White House official said Sunday, refusing to be named because the announcement is not yet official. | 04/28/13 15:33:32 By - By Franco Ordonez

Radical magazine ‘Inspire’ may have motivated other terror aspirants

The al Qaida Internet magazine Inspire, which federal investigators say provided a guide that the Boston Marathon suspects used to build pressure-cooker bombs, has become increasingly popular in radical circles. | 04/24/13 20:13:55 By - By Franco Ordonez and Greg Gordon

Could Boston suspects’ background impact immigration debate in Congress?

The two brothers suspected of being behind the explosions in Boston have been thrust into the immigration debate just as it is gaining steam in Washington. Some are using the bombing case as justification for holding off talks on overhauling the nation’s immigration laws. | 04/19/13 21:19:55 By - By Franco Ordonez

Next in immigration debate: Sorting through the specifics

Now that the behemoth immigration bill pitched by the so-called Gang of Eight has been filed, activists – and their lawyers – on both sides of the issue have been poring over the 844-page document and uncovering concerns they want addressed. | 04/18/13 18:02:58 By - By Franco Ordonez

Immigration overhaul: 'Something for everybody to hate'

The introduction of the most far-reaching immigration overhaul in decades marks only the first chapter in a long battle that will test emotions and political wits. | 04/16/13 18:37:05 By - By Franco Ordonez

Immigration bill to be unveiled this week focuses more on workers, less on families

After lengthy closed-door negotiations, a bipartisan group of senators plans to submit legislation to enact a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws on Tuesday. The controversial proposal would grant most of the 11 million people here illegally a path to citizenship and give thousands of deported individuals a chance to return, but would also adopt some of the toughest immigration enforcement measures in the history of the United States. | 04/16/13 00:00:00 By - By Franco Ordonez

Same-sex benefits may be ‘poison pill’ in immigration debate

The Supreme Court may have an unexpectedly decisive role in helping to determine whether 11 million people who are in the U.S. illegally are allowed to remain without fear of deportation. | 04/15/13 00:00:00 By - By Franco Ordonez

Senators apply brakes to fast-moving immigration talks

The bipartisan group of senators who last week proclaimed the imminent release of the most sweeping immigration overhaul in decades may have hit some political snags. | 04/09/13 17:53:34 By - By Franco Ordonez

North Carolina considers returning driving privileges to illegal immigrants

Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are expected next week to propose a sweeping new state law that would grant driving privileges to residents living in the country illegally but also would adopt Arizona-type enforcement measures that authorize police to check the immigration status of people they question for other suspected offenses. | 04/03/13 18:19:12 By - By Franco Ordonez

Immigration plan heads to bill writing – and devilish details

Politics still might get in the way of a final agreement on a bipartisan immigration bill. Now that labor and business have agreed on an immigrant temporary-worker program, a bipartisan group of eight senators say they’ve cleared every major policy hurdle and are ready to introduce the most dramatic overhaul to the U.S. immigration system in decades. But first they have to write the bill, and that’s rarely an easy task. | 04/01/13 19:05:14 By - By Franco Ordonez

N.C. Gov. McCrory eliminates Latino affairs office, raising community concerns

North Carolina’s Latino advocates are voicing alarm following the governor’s decision to eliminate the state’s office for Latino affairs. | 03/28/13 17:24:56 By - By Franco Ordonez and John Frank

Senators lean toward point-based immigration system, giving workers more of an edge

Senators working on a comprehensive immigration plan are quietly talking about letting people into the United States by giving more weight to potential job skills and less weight to family connections than now exists – a departure from the current system and one sure to rile immigrant advocates while pleasing business interests. | 03/21/13 18:23:54 By - By Franco Ordonez

Republicans question ICE on release of illegal immigrant detainees

House Republicans pressed White House officials for more answers Tuesday on the unexpected release last month of more than 2,000 illegal immigrants in anticipation of automatic across-the-board federal budget cuts. | 03/19/13 18:20:36 By - By Franco Ordonez

Tea party darling Rand Paul supports immigration overhaul

Tea party hero Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday backed a dramatic overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, a fresh, strong signal that Republicans are coming to accept broad changes – and that Paul wants to widen his appeal. | 03/19/13 16:54:37 By - By David Lightman and Franco Ordonez

Confirmation fight looms for Labor Secretary nominee Thomas Perez

The road to confirmation will likely be long and difficult for the first Latino picked to serve in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet during his second term. | 03/18/13 18:32:15 By - By Franco Ordonez

Scientists confirm Marines’ poisonous Camp Lejeune water wells date back to mid-century

Federal health officials continue to uncover excessive levels of previous water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. A new study of the North Carolina base’s main water system that was released Friday demonstrates a rapidly increasing level of human carcinogens in the drinking water starting as early as 1948 and peaking in the mid-1980s. | 03/15/13 13:37:00 By - By Franco Ordonez

Evangelicals urge S.C. Christian voters to back changes to immigration law

Leading evangelicals who want to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws launched a new ad campaign Wednesday on 15 Christian radio stations across the deeply conservative state of South Carolina to build support and counter a deluge of attacks ads targeting Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the most vocal Republican proponents for granting citizenship to the estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally. | 03/13/13 16:23:21 By - By Franco Ordonez

Working in secret, House has its own bipartisan immigration plan

A bipartisan group of members of the House of Representatives is close to introducing its own immigration bill, which would grant legal status to many of the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants but _ in a significant departure from similar proposals in the White House and Senate _ isn’t expected to include new paths to citizenship, according to those involved in the discussions. | 03/01/13 17:31:12 By - By Franco Ordonez

In face of coming budget cuts, U.S. frees illegal immigrants from custody

The federal government released groups of illegal immigrants from custody across the country Monday at the same time the White House was making its case that impending budget cuts would harm efforts to protect the border and enforce federal immigration laws. | 02/25/13 21:05:56 By - By Franco Ordonez

N.C. Gov. McCrory: Airport dispute is between ‘factions within Charlotte’

Gov. Pat McCrory refused to say on Saturday whether he supports a move in the N.C. General Assembly to seize control of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport and turn it over to a state-appointed authority. | 02/25/13 18:07:16 By - Franco Ordonez

Labor and business reach rare agreement on immigration

Two of the nation’s most powerful interest groups – labor and business, often at loggerheads – have come to a rare agreement on the guiding principles for handling future low-skilled immigrant workers. | 02/21/13 18:14:21 By - By Franco Ordonez

Emails track immigration officials’ focus on finding more criminal aliens

Concerned about falling short of congressional deportation targets, federal immigration officials last year beefed up efforts to remove thousands more illegal immigrants convicted of crimes. | 02/20/13 19:06:21 By - Franco Ordoñez

Obama calls Republican senators Graham, Rubio, McCain to talk immigration

After days of criticism that he was excluding Republicans from immigration talks, President Barack Obama on Tuesday reached out to several Republican leaders who are calling for an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system. | 02/19/13 19:28:06 By - By Franco Ordonez

As immigration vote looms, some southern Democrats get queasy

Immigration isn’t a touchy subject just for many Republicans. Southern and moderate Democrats also may be a bit skittish about the idea of granting a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants. | 02/18/13 15:52:43 By - By Franco Ordonez

Republicans raise fears about border security in Senate immigration hearing

Senate Republican leaders on Wednesday demonstrated the fissures that continue to linger over proposals to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. | 02/13/13 19:34:50 By - By Franco Ordonez

Many African-Americans concerned about Obama’s focus on immigrant rights

No sooner did President Barack Obama and a group of senators separately outline proposals to revamp the nation’s immigration system than the phone lines on several African-American-oriented talk radio shows heated up with callers blasting the plans. | 02/11/13 17:12:19 By - By William Douglas and Franco Ordonez

Baltimore man found guilty in Phylicia Barnes murder trial

A jury has found a Baltimore man guilty of second-degree murder in the 2010 death of Phylicia Barnes, the Monroe teenager whose disappearance and subsequent missing persons case sparked national headlines. | 02/06/13 13:08:56 By - Franco Ordoñez

House Republicans hold hearing on immigration, warn of past mistakes

Republicans in the House of Representatives kicked off their first hearing on immigration with a stated goal of harmonizing the principles of humanity and the rule of the law. But the gathering emphasized how many House Republicans still oppose granting a path to citizenship, which several Judiciary Committee members referred to as “amnesty.” | 02/05/13 16:57:19 By - By Franco Ordoñez

Jury begins weighing Phylicia Barnes murder case

In closing arguments Monday, defense attorneys criticized the prosecution’s case against Michael Johnson, arguing that it had presented no physical evidence to prove he killed Monroe teenager Phylicia Barnes. | 02/05/13 07:19:51 By - Franco Ordoñez

Chuck Hagel pledges to help Camp Lejeune water victims

Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be secretary of defense, said Thursday that he was committed to providing Marines with answers about the water contamination that occurred at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. If he’s confirmed, he pledged, he’ll work to overcome bureaucratic hurdles that may obstruct findings about the impact of the contamination on Marines and their family members. | 02/01/13 13:41:35 By - By Franco Ordonez

Father of Phylicia Barnes endures accused killer's trial

The father of slain Monroe teenager Phylicia Barnes says sitting through the salacious trial of the man accused of murdering her has been challenging. | 02/01/13 13:08:22 By - Franco Ordoñez

Senators think bipartisanship will work in immigration overhaul

Two authors of the Senate bipartisan agreement on immigration from both parties see their work as a hopeful sign of a new wave of bipartisanship in Congress. | 01/30/13 21:01:39 By - By Franco Ordonez

Obama joins bipartisan Senate group on immigration, best shot at overhaul in decades

President Barack Obama proposed to rewrite U.S. immigration laws Tuesday, echoing a bipartisan group of influential U.S. senators in a one-two step that signaled a changing political landscape and the best chance in a generation to change the way the nation treats those who arrived here illegally. | 01/29/13 18:56:25 By - By Anita Kumar and Franco Ordonez

Bit by bit, Obama already nicking away at barriers for illegal immigrants

President Barack Obama will unveil his sweeping plan on immigration Tuesday in the midst of a rapidly shifting political environment. It’s his most ambitious move yet on the emotionally divisive issue after making a series of smaller steps over the past year. | 01/28/13 16:57:36 By - By Franco Ordonez and Diane Smith

Obama will unveil immigration plans next week

According to the White House, Obama will introduce a plan that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, which many Republicans oppose and liken to “amnesty.” | 01/25/13 18:51:27 By - By Franco Ordonez

Scientists find Camp Lejeune water contamination went back to 1953

Federal health officials have determined that water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune exceeded safe levels as far back as August 1953, four years earlier than previous findings. | 01/18/13 17:33:24 By - By Franco Ordonez

Biden urges mayors to help sell Obama gun plan

Vice President Joe Biden looked to the nation’s mayors Thursday to help rally public opinion in support of the Obama administration’s push for new legislation aimed at curbing gun violence. | 01/17/13 18:29:35 By - By Franco Ordonez and Lesley Clark

LA Mayor Villaraigosa pushes immigration changes

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, fresh off an aggressive effort to get President Barack Obama re-elected, strode into Washington this week to champion an immigration overhaul. | 01/14/13 18:50:11 By - By Franco Ordonez

As states weigh licenses for young illegal immigrants, N.C. switches its position

After first indicating it would grant driver’s licenses to young illegal immigrants who have received two-year deferrals from deportation, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles now says it will not allow them to drive until the agency receives a legal opinion that requires it to do otherwise. | 01/10/13 19:56:14 By - By Franco Ordonez

N.C. Rep. Sue Myrick's nine terms marked with service, controversy

Judy Cromer clearly remembers the day she first met Rep. Sue Myrick. At the time, though, she says she had no idea who she was talking with. | 12/31/12 07:15:49 By - Franco Ordoñez

Will retiring boomers be a drag on economy? Many say no

With millions of baby boomers reaching retirement age, fears are mounting of the economic impact if they follow the pattern of previous generations by curbing spending and draining Social Security and Medicare benefits. | 12/24/12 00:00:00 By - By Franco Ordonez and Casey Conley

Immigration activists launch effort on legislation

Promising a massive pro-immigration effort unlike any ever seen, a coalition of national Latino civil rights and labor organizations unveiled a national campaign Wednesday to push President Barack Obama and Congress to pass immigration legislation next year. | 12/12/12 17:42:36 By - By Franco Ordonez

Is Senate filibuster rule to blame for immigration impasse?

Solving one of the nation’s most hotly debated issues – comprehensive immigration legislation – may hinge on a little-understood procedural rule that’s played an increasingly crucial role in Congress. | 12/12/12 16:23:29 By - By Franco Ordonez

Border patrol, airport security might see budget cutbacks

The U.S. border might become harder to protect should lawmakers fail to avert the so-called fiscal cliff at the end of the year. | 12/06/12 17:16:57 By - By Franco Ordonez

‘Fiscal cliff’ would cost hundreds of thousands of federal jobs

Hitting the fiscal cliff would send the economy back into recession and cause unemployment to surge to 9.1 percent by the end of 2013, according to a report Nov. 8 from the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO estimates the economy would shrink by 0.5 percent next year if all the tax increases and spending cuts are enacted. | 12/06/12 16:50:49 By - By Franco Ordonez

N.C. congressional delegation will compromise to avoid fiscal cliff

Members of the N.C. congressional delegation say they’re ready to compromise on some hardened positions to reach a deal that would prevent the country from plunging over the “fiscal cliff.” | 11/29/12 07:20:27 By - Franco Ordoñez

The biggest challenge to immigration bill may be guest workers

As immigration talks resume, the public debate has once again zeroed in on the merits of granting some type of so-called amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants. But another, more complicated dispute – where the sides are equally entrenched – is brewing behind the scenes between organized labor and business interests. | 11/20/12 18:41:39 By - By Franco Ordonez

With Republicans onboard, can immigration overhaul pass?

The ingredients of a new immigration bill are beginning to take shape, with many Republicans now rushing to join Democrats to develop a comprehensive plan. | 11/15/12 17:39:28 By - By Franco Ordonez

Answering your questions on the Petraeus scandal

A guide to the growing scandal involving former CIA Director David Petraeus. Who's involved, how did they meet, when did the FBI get involved? | 11/13/12 19:00:21 By - By Franco Ordonez

When top Justice officials learned of Petraeus affair remains unclear

FBI Director Robert Mueller’s top aide was told former CIA chief David Petraeus was having an extramarital affair that might have compromised national security a week before the Nov. 6 elections, a congressional official said Monday. | 11/12/12 19:37:13 By - By Jonathan S. Landay, Franco Ordonez and Hannah Allam

Latinos deliver for Obama; now they want something

Latinos helped deliver President Barack Obama’s re-election Tuesday with near-historic support. In return, they’re demanding an immigration overhaul and are warning both parties, particularly Republicans, that it’s time to get on board and pay closer attention to their issues. | 11/08/12 17:56:41 By - By Franco Ordonez

Latinos make final push to get voters to polls

As the presidential candidates make their final sprint, Latinos also are zeroing in on a crucial election day that could define their political might for years to come. | 11/05/12 14:18:28 By - By Franco Ordonez

In Congress, Democrat Kissell is stuck in the middle

The Republicans have worked hard to paint Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell as an incompetent congressman who is best friends with a left-wing president and responsible for lost jobs in his rural North Carolina district. | 11/01/12 16:35:19 By - By Franco Ordonez

Obama, helped by Latino vote, tries to cling to Nevada

If there’s any battleground state that should concern President Barack Obama, it’s Nevada. The state leads the nation in unemployment. It ranks fifth in foreclosures after months in the top spot – or bottom, depending on how you look at it. | 10/29/12 17:48:05 By - By Franco Ordonez McClatchy Newspapers

Many Latino evangelicals welcome Romney to the flock

As Mitt Romney seeks to cut into the President Barack Obama’s commanding lead among Latino voters, he might want to pay particular attention to Hispanic evangelicals. | 10/18/12 18:16:43 By - By Franco Ordonez

Big U.S. poultry processor hit with fines over youth labor

One of the nation’s largest poultry producers has been caught again illegally putting minors to work using grueling, hazardous equipment. | 10/16/12 20:28:31 By - By Franco Ordonez and Ames Alexander

Democrats demand investigation in case of Florida immigration detainees

A group of Democratic members of Congress is calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to investigate cases at a private South Florida detention center for illegal immigrants after complaints of undocumented detainees being held for minor offenses that merited release and a lack of sufficient medical care. | 10/05/12 18:14:32 By - By Franco Ordonez

Despite Hispanic voter clout, campaigns spend little on Spanish TV ads

With the negative ads flying in this year’s political campaigns, many voters may be struggling to separate fact from fiction. But some Hispanic Americans would rather hear a few tall tales than, some critics say, be taken for granted. | 10/01/12 18:00:32 By - By Franco Ordonez

Republicans fire firm accused of voter registration fraud

The Republican National Committee on Thursday fired a firm it had hired to register voters in several battleground states after allegations of voter registration fraud. | 09/27/12 19:56:16 By - By Franco Ordonez

Arab Americans show tepid support for Obama, poll finds

While more than half of the 1.6 million Arab Americans expected to vote in November plan to back President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney, support among them for the president has dropped 15 percentage points in the past four years. | 09/27/12 17:53:36 By - By Franco Ordonez

Romney tries to cut into Obama’s lead among Latinos

Mitt Romney appears to be banking this week on Latinos having short-term memories – unveiling a softer tone on immigration during the Republican presidential candidate’s strongest push yet to cut into President Barack Obama’s commanding lead for the Latino vote. | 09/21/12 18:43:28 By - By Franco Ordonez

Bill to steer visas to more highly skilled immigrants doesn’t pass

The U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass a bill Thursday night that would have granted tens of thousands of visas to highly skilled foreign-born graduates. Democrats blocked the measure, calling it a “sinister” ploy to reduce legal immigration. | 09/21/12 13:09:26 By - By Franco Ordonez

Congress looks to increase number of highly skilled immigrants

The United States can no longer afford to train foreign scientists and engineers and then send them back home to work for the nation’s competitors, say lawmakers who are expected to vote Thursday on whether to grant thousands of visas to highly skilled foreign-born graduates. | 09/19/12 18:03:23 By - By Franco Ordonez

Mexican, U.S. relations improve in fight against drugs, trafficking

Despite ongoing violence south of the border, cooperation between Mexico and the United States has reached unprecedented levels. | 09/17/12 18:22:16 By - By Franco Ordonez

Hispanic Dems upset about DNC contract that went to Republican leader

Some Hispanic Democrats are angry that one of the few major contracts for minority businesses at the Democratic National Convention went to a leader of North Carolina’s Republican Party. | 09/13/12 17:40:44 By - By Franco Ordonez

Chicago teachers strike comes amid changing views on unions

The teachers strike in Chicago this week could be a bruising battle on the picket line and in the school of public opinion. | 09/12/12 17:11:33 By - By Franco Ordonez and William Douglas

Charlotte receives high marks from DNC for 'Southern hospitality'

On the final night of the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte got a little love. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa offered his opinion on the city to thousands of delegates, visitors and media at Time Warner Cable Arena. | 09/07/12 07:38:23 By - Franco Ordoñez

Looking for Larry Kissell, N.C. Democrat

It was after 11:30 a.m. Wednesday when I pulled up to the small country restaurant with a nine-foot rooster out front. An unhinged semi-trailer sat in the gravel lot. I peered into the window hoping to see perhaps the most elusive Democrat in North Carolina – U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell. | 09/06/12 12:04:44 By - Franco Ordonez

Democrats work to fire up Latino base

When San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro walked onto the stage Tuesday night and shared the story of his grandmother coming from Mexico to build a life in the United States, Democrats were counting on him to energize the party’s base and electrify Latino voters who could be decisive in the November election. | 09/05/12 07:31:45 By - Franco Ordoñez

If re-elected, Obama might face second-term jinx

Barack Obama might want to think twice before accepting his party’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Should he win re-election, the thrill of victory could give way the “Second-Term Jinx.” | 09/04/12 13:18:02 By - By Franco Ordonez

Tampa businesses give RNC mixed reviews

The Republican National Convention brought tens of thousands of visitors to Tampa and attracted worldwide attention, but with one day left many retailers are giving it mixed reviews, complaining that the rush of promised business failed to materialize. | 08/30/12 07:23:16 By - Franco Ordoñez

N.C. Congressional hopeful Hudson speaks at RNC

Congressional candidate Richard Hudson of Concord, N.C., spoke to a partially filled Times Forum arena Tuesday at the Republican National Convention, hours before the GOP rolled out their big hitters for prime time. | 08/29/12 07:21:14 By - Franco Ordoñez

Charlotte Police Chief Monroe gets first-hand look at RNC security

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe wanted a close look at what security forces might face at next week’s Democratic National Convention. On Monday, he got it. | 08/28/12 08:19:44 By - Franco Ordoñez

Early RNC protests focus on Bank of America

In what may have been a preview of next week in Charlotte, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets Sunday to march against what they called corporate greed and to advocate for low-wage workers and an increase in the federal minimum wage. | 08/27/12 07:14:17 By - Franco Ordoñez and Jim Morrill

Latino groups will push agenda at party conventions

A coalition of Hispanic advocacy groups on Wednesday unveiled an ambitious policy agenda, which it intends to deliver to party leaders in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., during the national political conventions. | 08/22/12 17:40:01 By - By Franco Ordonez

Feds convict House of Raeford on 10 Clean Water Act charges

A federal jury on Monday convicted North Carolina poultry processor House of Raeford Farms of 10 counts of violating the Clean Water Act. But the company was found not guilty on four other counts, and the plant manager was cleared of wrong-doing. | 08/21/12 07:21:36 By - Franco Ordoñez

For young immigrants who win deportation deferrals, what next?

As young undocumented immigrants scrambled this week for high school transcripts and proof of local residency for applications that would allow them to remain and work in the United States legally, state officials across the country began reviewing their own policies to see how a new federal program would affect them. | 08/15/12 19:24:17 By - By Franco Ordonez

With NASCAR technical school visit, Romney enters for-profit college fray

The debate over for-profit colleges that has had members of Congress arguing for months may now be seeping into the presidential race. | 08/08/12 16:42:37 By - By Franco Ordonez

Obama signs law giving health care to Lejeune tainted water victims

President Barack Obama signed into law on Monday legislation to provide health care to thousands of sick Marine veterans and their families who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. | 08/06/12 19:33:15 By - By Franco Ordonez and Barbara Barrett

Congress helps Camp Lejeune families hurt by tainted water

The day after Janey Ensminger would have celebrated her 36th birthday, the House of Representatives passed a historic bill in her honor that would help thousands of sick Marine veterans and their families who were exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. | 07/31/12 18:12:01 By - By Franco Ordonez

Fox, MSNBC viewers see world differently

The television remote control has become a de facto ballot in today’s hyper-polarized world of politics. | 07/26/12 17:54:50 By - By Franco Ordonez

North Carolina members of Congress helped lead the charge to block an effort to cut military spending on NASCAR

North Carolina members of Congress helped lead the charge to block an effort to cut military spending on NASCAR. U.S. Reps. Larry Kissell, Patrick McHenry, and Sue Myrick were among the most vocal members advocating to continue the spending and reject – by a vote of 216-202 -- an amendment by Reps. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn that would have cut $72.3 million in defense spending. | 07/19/12 18:09:06 By - Franco Ordonez

Family of Anwar al-Awlaki files wrongful death suit against Obama administration officials

The families of three U.S. citizens killed in drone strikes last year in Yemen filed suit Wednesday against Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and three other senior U.S. officials in the latest attempt to shed light on the Obama administration’s secretive program of unmanned aerial strikes overseas. | 07/18/12 19:35:27 By - By Franco Ordonez and Matthew Schofield

Senate passes Lejeune water-contamination bill

After an impasse with a South Carolina senator was broken, the Senate passed a historic bill Wednesday by unanimous consent that would help thousands of sick Marine veterans and their families who were exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. | 07/18/12 19:24:04 By - By Franco Ordonez

Sen. DeMint blocks bill for Marines’ Lejeune water victims

Thousands of sick Marine veterans and their families may be on the verge of taking a giant leap toward receiving health care for illnesses they suffered from decades of water contamination at Marines Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. | 07/17/12 18:34:32 By - By Franco Ordonez

Will right-leaning Democrats tumble across the aisle?

The fine line between a Southern conservative Democrat and a Republican continues to fade – fast. | 07/09/12 15:19:29 By - By Franco Ordonez

N.C. Black Leadership Caucus group pulls support for Democrat Kissell

A Democratic Party feud emerged Thursday as African-American backers of U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell pulled their support after his decision not to endorse President Barack Obama and his plan to vote to repeal the health care law. | 07/06/12 07:18:17 By - Franco Ordoñez

N.C. Rep. Kissell bucks Democratic party with Holder, health care votes

Democratic U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, whose rural North Carolina district has become even more Republican, is bucking his party again in two high-profile congressional votes. | 07/03/12 07:11:57 By - Jim Morrill and Franco Ordoñez

70 years gone, Montford Point Marines get their due

Soon after finishing boot camp at Montford Point in 1949, John Phoenix joined other new Marines on a visit to nearby Jacksonville, N.C. Dressed in their newly pressed khaki uniforms, they proudly strolled off the train. They’d taken only a few steps when they were confronted by a large sign. | 06/27/12 00:00:00 By - By Franco Ordonez

Obama acts to halt deportations, politics ensues

The Obama administration announced plans Friday to prevent the deportations of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children. | 06/15/12 19:40:55 By - By Franco Ordonez

Justice Department decides not to retry John Edwards

The U.S. Department of Justice decided late Wednesday not to retry John Edwards, just weeks after a North Carolina jury acquitted him on one charge and failed to reach a verdict on five others against former presidential candidate. | 06/13/12 16:51:17 By - Franco Ordonez

Sen. Richard Burr: I’m not being vetted as Romney veep pick

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr introduced Mitt Romney to an enthusiastic crowd at a Charlotte, N.C., manufacturing plant last month, renewing speculation that Romney may pick Burr as his running mate. | 06/12/12 15:52:31 By - By Franco Ordonez

Southern peanut farmers say farm bill proposal would hurt them

Southern peanut growers stand in the way of a massive new farm bill that seeks to cut billions of dollars from the federal subsidy system. | 06/08/12 15:52:46 By - By Franco Ordonez

North Carolina gets 'No Child Left Behind' waiver

North Carolina has been cleared from meeting the most rigorous requirements of the No Child Left Behind law. | 05/30/12 07:14:38 By - Franco Ordoñez

Club for Growth looking for impact in congressional races

A little-known dentist from rural North Carolina hopes to become the latest Republican congressional nominee to charge from behind and, with the help of a powerful Washington backer, upset a favored GOP pick. | 05/29/12 15:45:12 By - By Franco Ordonez

Attention North Carolina is getting isn't quite what it wants

When civic leaders boasted that having the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte was a chance to showcase the great things about living and working in North Carolina, they probably didn't have recent events in mind. | 05/25/12 16:49:56 By - By Franco Ordonez

N.C. teacher suspended for telling student not to slander President Obama

A Rowan County teacher has been suspended after a video surfaced in which she suggests that a student could be arrested for criticizing President Barack Obama. | 05/24/12 07:14:47 By - Franco Ordoñez

Scientists work to bridge political gap between Cuba, U.S.

Cuban and American scientists have joined forces in an effort to protect baby sea turtles and endangered sharks. They’re studying Caribbean weather patterns that fuel the hurricanes that have devastated the Southeastern United States. | 05/21/12 18:59:40 By - By Franco Ordonez

After teen’s fatal fall from airliner, Congress questions airport security

The case of a Charlotte, N.C., teenager who died after stowing away in the wheel well of a jet was part of a federal hearing Wednesday on airport security problems. | 05/16/12 18:33:16 By - By Franco Ordonez

N.C. Republican hopeful Scott Keadle regrets comments on Obama’s birthplace

As his competition endured criticism for questioning President Barack Obama’s birthplace, congressional candidate Scott Keadle of North Carolina took the high road last week and said he hadn’t spent “two seconds of my life thinking” about Obama’s birthplace. | 05/14/12 17:31:34 By - By Franco Ordonez

GOP candidates from N.C. back down from questioning Obama’s birthplace

After questioning the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birthplace, North Carolina congressional candidate Richard Hudson now says he’s willing to give the state of Hawaii the benefit of the doubt and accept that the president was born in the United States. | 05/11/12 18:43:43 By - By Franco Ordonez

N.C. GOP candidates continue to question Obama's birthplace

Long after the controversy over President Obama’s birthplace seemed settled, some leading Republican congressional candidates in North Carolina have brought new attention to the issue as they seek advantages in hard-fought primary races. | 05/07/12 08:37:29 By - Franco Ordoñez

N.C. Rep. Ellmers faces challenge from 3 Republicans in re-election bid

Clem Munno is running for Congress. He doesn't expect to win. He has no political experience, and he's running against a rising star in his own party, Republican U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers. | 05/01/12 07:17:31 By - Franco Ordoñez

Public hearings scheduled on seismic tests for offshore oil, gas

With the federal government now open to the idea of drilling for oil and natural gas off the East Coast, North Carolina residents will get their first chance on Thursday to offer opinions about the possibility of seismic testing along their coastline. | 04/24/12 18:02:50 By - By Franco Ordonez

In Cuba, young people long for a way to access Facebook

The Cuban government is slowly introducing modern technology into society, possibly at its own peril. Young Cubans say they’re frustrated they can’t use Facebook and other programs like their peers around the world, especially since they can’t travel. | 04/24/12 16:02:25 By - By Franco Ordonez

North Carolina’s last ‘honor flight’ salutes World War II generation

Mel Dickens, 84, got choked up with emotion Wednesday as the bus pulled toward the National World War II Memorial. The WWII former Army corporal from Raleigh got off the bus and strode through the plaza punctuated by granite pillars hung with bronze wreaths. | 04/19/12 12:34:33 By - By Franco Ordonez

GOP likes chances in North Carolina congressional races

The prospect of North Carolina flipping its House delegation from a Democratic majority to a Republican super-majority has triggered a flood of new Republican candidates sensing an opportunity to ride the next conservative wave into Washington. | 04/18/12 01:01:01 By - Franco Ordoñez

For an American, Havana is filled with contradictions

Classic cars, decaying mansions and revolutionary signs fill almost every corner of Havana. Once one of the richest cities in Latin America, Havana now seems frozen in time, as if it’s been locked away in a misplaced time capsule from a bygone era — or an old ‘50s movie set in desperate need of repairs and a paint job. | 04/17/12 15:54:00 By - By Franco Ordonez

In Cuba, international businesses abound - just not from the U.S.

Leaving Jose Marti International Airport in this capital city, a billboard reminds vividly of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. It shows a noose with the phrase, "Blockade: The Longest Genocide in History." The embargo, partially imposed in 1960 and fully in place two years later, is not a blockade. That's clear by the abundance of foreign goods and investment in Cuba. | 04/16/12 23:29:16 By - Kevin G. Hall and Franco Ordonez

Pope Benedict ends Cuba trip with a meeting with Fidel

Pope Benedict XVI sat down Wednesday with Fidel Castro and his wife, Dalia, for a 30-minute private talk before ending his three-day trip to Cuba and returning to Rome. | 03/28/12 13:21:07 By - Franco Ordonez

Day 2 in Cuba: Pope Benedict meets with Raul Castro in Havana

Pope Benedict XVI's whirlwind trip to Cuba neared its Wednesday climax — a papal Mass in Havana's massive Revolution Square — after a day of largely private events Tuesday that were remarkable as much for their symbolism and irony as for their substance. | 03/27/12 15:48:00 By - Mimi Whitefield, Kevin G. Hall and Franco Ordonez

For a day, Havana's cathedral belonged to a Miami prelate

Standing before a crowd made up primarily of Cuban American pilgrims but that included a smattering of local Cubans, Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski celebrated a special Mass in fluent Spanish in an ornate building whose asymmetrical façade is considered unique in the world. | 03/27/12 22:23:11 By - By Franco Ordonez

Pope Benedict receives enthusiastic welcome in Cuba

Tens of thousands of Cuban well wishers greeted Pope Benedict XVI Monday on the first leg of his whirlwind tour of this communist island, a visit aimed at building on the spiritual gains that his predecessor, John Paul II, made during a historic visit 14 years ago. | 03/26/12 20:50:00 By - Mimi Whitefield, Kevin G. Hall and Franco Ordonez

Pope Benedict gets warm welcome in Cuba in first visit in 14 years

Thousands lined the road from the airport in Santiago, Cuba, to catch a glimpse of the pontiff as he passed by in his "popemobile," and tens of thousands more gathered for a papal mass that began a half hour late in the unrelenting afternoon sun. But the weather and the delay did not dampen the enthusiasm. | 03/26/12 14:40:00 By - Mimi Whitefield, Kevin G. Hall and Franco Ordonez

25 detained in Cuba, dissident Ladies in White say

Cuba's Ladies in White say that more of its members were stopped from attending Sunday demonstrations in Havana and Santiago one day before Pope Benedict XVI visits the island. | 03/25/12 17:42:00 By - Franco Ordonez

Pope Benedict will find a different Castro in charge in Cuba

When Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cuba on Monday, he'll find a very different island from the one his predecessor, John Paul II, visited in 1998. A Castro is still in charge, but it's Raul calling the shots now, and Cuba increasingly reflects his vision. | 03/25/12 13:12:00 By - Kevin G. Hall and Franco Ordonez

Catholic Church's role in Cuba has grown since last papal visit

When Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cuba on Monday, 14 years after the last papal visit, he'll find the Roman Catholic Church ensconced in the fabric of Cuban social and political life in ways thought impossible in 1998. | 03/24/12 17:14:00 By - Franco Ordonez and Kevin G. Hall

NASCAR's Felix Sabates threatens to withhold charity if pope goes to Cuba

The outspoken part-owner of a NASCAR team that includes driver Juan Pablo Montoya wants Pope Benedict XVI to rethink his visit next week to the communist island of Cuba. | 03/23/12 16:37:00 By - Franco Ordonez

Senate Republicans block Export-Import Bank vote

Hundreds of millions of dollars in financing that helps N.C. companies export products overseas could be at risk after Senate Republicans blocked an attempt by Democrats to reauthorize financing for the U.S. Export-Import Bank. | 03/22/12 07:33:17 By - Franco Ordoñez

TREAT Act would speed up drug approval process

Hundreds of thousands of people die each year from diseases for which there are no cures. But legislation being pushed by patient advocates and biotech firms could shave years off the federal drug approval process to get promising treatments to those who need them. | 03/15/12 07:05:06 By - By Franco Ordoñez

Justice Dept. faults North Carolina courts over interpreters

A federal investigation has found the North Carolina court system is violating the rights of people who speak little or no English by failing to provide sufficient interpreters. | 03/09/12 10:28:31 By - Franco Ordoñez

Tobacco growers fear trade deal will harm exports

Southern tobacco farmers fear that they could lose a significant portion of their export business if health advocates win a battle to carve tobacco out of a major trade agreement that's being negotiated with eight countries on the Pacific Rim. | 02/28/12 14:16:31 By - Franco Ordoñez

N.C. Rep. Ellmers ranks among most conservative

U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers has taken over as North Carolina's most conservative House member, according to the National Journal's annual analysis of congressional votes. | 02/28/12 07:22:01 By - Franco Ordoñez

Chamber of Commerce groups diverge on Democrats' business policies

When members of the Charlotte Chamber gather at the U.S. Treasury Department this afternoon, they'll talk economic policy with Obama administration officials — only a few months before the president is renominated in Charlotte for a second term. Meanwhile, a block away, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is orchestrating a $10 million media attack on what it sees as the Democrats' anti-business policies. | 02/22/12 10:50:29 By - Jim Morrill and Franco Ordoñez

At religious freedom hearing on contraception: 'This is an issue worth dying for'

Religious leaders of different faiths stoked the national debate over contraception Thursday, converging on Capitol Hill and charging the Obama administration with attempting to violate their religious freedoms. | 02/17/12 06:32:20 By - Franco Ordonez

Religious leaders continue to protest Obama administration's contraception ruling

Religious leaders of different faiths stoked the national debate over contraception Thursday, converging on Capitol Hill and charging the Obama administration with attempting to violate their religious freedoms. | 02/16/12 14:30:46 By - Franco Ordoñez

N.C. Sen. Burr defends 'no' vote on insider trading act

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr was one of just three senators who opposed a new bill that explicitly prevents members of Congress and their staffs from using nonpublic information for insider trading. | 02/07/12 07:18:31 By - Franco Ordoñez

Overtime bill pits needs of high-tech employers vs. workers

High-tech workers across the country could see smaller paychecks under an industry-led campaign to revise labor laws to further limit overtime benefits. | 02/06/12 17:39:51 By - Franco Ordonez

Bill seeks to limit OT for high-tech workers

High-tech workers could see smaller paychecks under an industry-led campaign to revise labor laws to limit overtime benefits. | 02/06/12 07:17:05 By - Franco Ordoñez and John Murawski

N.C. Rep. McHenry grills Cordray over CFPB's power

U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry on Tuesday didn't shy away from his opportunity to condemn the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau while questioning its new director. | 01/25/12 07:33:59 By - Franco Ordoñez

Furniture manufacturer brings jobs back to N.C.

North Carolina has lost tens of thousands of furniture-making jobs over the past decade. But Bruce Cochrane, who worked as a consultant in China and Vietnam after his family sold their furniture business in 1996, says rising Chinese wages and an increase in shipping costs have created an opportunity for him back home | 01/12/12 18:03:51 By - Franco Ordonez

North Carolina furniture maker to share his views on jobs with Obama

The Lincolnton, N.C., owner of a small specialty furniture maker will be President Obama's guest at the White House today. The president has asked Bruce Cochrane, owner of Lincolnton Furniture, and several other business owners to join him to discuss what can be done to encourage companies to keep jobs in the United States. | 01/11/12 07:09:32 By - Franco Ordoñez

N.C. Gov. Perdue challenged on labor data

A congressional committee wants answers from Gov. Bev Perdue about how she was able to release closely guarded labor statistics before their scheduled release. | 01/09/12 12:51:06 By - Franco Ordoñez

N.C. could soon feel impact from lack of U.S. debt deal

The failure of Congress to slash the national deficit threatens to cascade from Washington straight into North Carolina's schools, stores and doctor's offices. | 01/09/12 07:22:31 By - Franco Ordoñez

Despite interest from Congress, airline bag fees remain

One of the most loathed aspects of holiday air travel, baggage fees, is at the center of a growing debate that does not look to be resolved soon. The anger over increasing fees has reached new levels that have gained the attention of Washington, pitting members of Congress against the airline industry. | 12/22/11 19:22:09 By - Franco Ordonez

North Carolina snags $70M for pre-K programs

North Carolina on Friday won another round of the federal "Race to the Top" competition, getting $70 million to boost services for children before they reach kindergarten. | 12/19/11 11:14:46 By - Franco Ordoñez

North Carolina could play big role in GOP race, Sen. Burr says

While Republican presidential contenders traipse daily across Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, some North Carolinians are feeling left out. The first GOP primary is only three weeks away, but North Carolinians won't get to weigh in on the nominee until four months later. | 12/14/11 07:14:05 By - Franco Ordoñez

Sandusky, Penn State police chief who closed '98 sex abuse inquiry were once neighbors

The head of Penn State University's police department who oversaw a 1998 investigation of possible sexual abuse by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky once lived three houses down from the defensive coordinator, property records show. | 12/12/11 06:30:11 By - Franco Ordonez and Mike Dawson

Did banks illegally foreclose on active-duty troops?

The U.S. Treasury Department is investigating whether Bank of America, Wells Fargo and eight other major banks may have illegally foreclosed on about 4,500 active-duty servicemen and women. | 12/01/11 06:20:54 By - Franco Ordonez

Congress starts blame game; N.C lawmakers react

North Carolina's congressional delegation expressed frustration and shame Monday after a special bipartisan supercommittee failed to reach agreement on cutting at least $1.2 trillion from federal deficits. | 11/22/11 11:06:04 By - Franco Ordoñez

Sandusky sex-abuse scandal emerged from a secretive Penn State

From Penn State University’s athletic department to the halls of its Old Main administrative building, the university long has sought to control the public’s access to information about its inner workings. | 11/20/11 00:01:06 By - Anne Danahy and Franco Ordonez

Bowles to debt panel: Don't 'fail the country'

Former University of North Carolina system president Erskine Bowles warned members of a congressional supercommittee Tuesday of an imminent economic disaster unless lawmakers act quickly to reduce the federal debt. And Bowles openly questioned whether the committee has the ability to do the job. | 11/02/11 17:29:08 By - Franco Ordoñez and David Lightman

Elisa Baker insists she didn't do it

Elisa Baker, in her first public interview, insisted from jail Friday that she was innocent despite pleading guilty last month to murdering her stepdaughter Zahra. | 10/23/11 17:36:15 By - Franco Ordoñez and Elizabeth Leland

Obama: Taxes will rise if Congress resists

Before leaving North Carolina on Tuesday, President Barack Obama warned that failure to pass his proposed jobs bill would mean a $1,000 tax increase for most American families. | 10/19/11 17:44:05 By - Franco Ordoñez and Lesley Clark

President Obama arrives in N.C., says he's here 'to listen'

President Barack Obama bused his way across western North Carolina on Monday, casting himself as a warrior for the besieged middle class and giving voters in this key swing state a full-fledged preview of the 2012 presidential campaign. | 10/17/11 17:47:52 By - Franco Ordoñez and Tim Funk

Immigrants changing the face of Charlotte

Charlotte is not what you'd call a stereotypical international community. But it's rapidly becoming one. With one of the fastest growing foreign-born populations over the last two decades, local immigrants have dramatically changed the makeup of our community. | 09/25/11 17:53:15 By - Franco Ordoñez

Judge rules immigrants in church must leave

A Charlotte immigrant family is pinning its hopes to remain in the country on President Barack Obama's recent policy change allowing illegal immigrants who don't pose a threat to public safety to stay. | 09/23/11 17:58:27 By - Franco Ordoñez

Zahra Baker's mom found her too late

While some think Elisa Baker's sentence is too short for killing her stepdaughter Zahra Baker, the 10-year-old's biological mother said she's satisfied knowing Baker is going to prison. | 09/20/11 18:01:21 By - Franco Ordoñez

Armed forces ready for Tuesday's end of ban on gays serving openly

This week, openly gay men and women will be able to serve in the U.S. military. At Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., it's Capt. Guy Allsup's job to ensure that recruits in Charlie Company now realize a soldier is a soldier, gay or straight. | 09/18/11 18:05:15 By - Franco Ordoñez

Zahra Baker case: Both sides said they got best deal possible

In the weeks before Elisa Baker pleaded guilty to murdering her 10-year-old stepdaughter, Zahra, the Catawba County District Attorney feared she might escape responsibility for the killing. But Baker's attorney, Scott Reilly, feared his client could spend the rest of her life behind bars. | 09/17/11 18:09:47 By - Franco Ordoñez

Zahra Baker's stepmom Elisa pleads guilty to murder

Elisa Baker entered a guilty plea Thursday morning to second-degree murder and other charges related to the death of her 10-year-old stepdaughter Zahra Baker nearly a year ago. Baker, 43, entered the pleas following an agreement reached between her attorney, Scott Reilly, and District Attorney Jay Gaither. | 09/15/11 12:53:03 By - Franco Ordonez, Bruce Henderson and Joe DePriest

U.S. Rep. Myrick criticized for 9/11 cancellation

When U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick canceled appearances at 9/11 events last weekend, she said intelligence sources had alerted her that her name had turned up in a threatening Iranian news agency article. But opponents say the Charlotte, N.C., Republican is making exaggerating claims for political gain. | 09/14/11 07:12:25 By - Franco Ordoñez

Zahra Baker's stepmom Elisa could get plea deal in murder trial

Prosecutors and defense attorneys are in negotiations that could put an end to the nearly yearlong murder case of 10-year-old Zahra Baker of Hickory. Defense Attorney Scott Reilly told the Observer on Monday night that he is in discussions with District Attorney Jay Gaither on resolving the second-degree murder charges against Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, possibly as early as Wednesday. | 09/13/11 07:13:32 By - Franco Ordoñez

More police set for influx of protesters at Charlotte's 2012 DNC

Protesters at the last Democratic National Convention in Denver likened the host city to a police state, where heavily armed officers stood on street corners dressed in riot gear. For Charlotte in 2012, some fear the security will be even tighter. | 09/09/11 12:07:17 By - Franco Ordonez

Worker safety push wanes, 20 years after chicken plant fire

Nothing focused more scrutiny on the safety of North Carolina workers than the 1991 chicken plant fire that killed 25 people, the worst industrial accident in state history. Twenty years later, however, there are signs that the progress has begun to slip. Inspections and citations have dropped sharply. | 09/04/11 17:19:46 By - Ames Alexander and Franco Ordonez

Military prepares for 'don't ask, don't tell' to end

In less than four weeks, openly gay men and women will be able to serve in the U.S. military. At Fort Jackson, it's Capt. Guy Allsup's job to ensure that recruits in Charlie Company now realize a soldier is a soldier: gay or straight. | 08/29/11 07:25:12 By - Franco Ordoñez

Obama administration amends deportation policy

The Obama administration announced Thursday it plans to focus its deportation efforts on more dangerous illegal immigrants. As part of the policy change, the Department of Homeland Security intends to review the cases of approximately 300,000 illegal immigrants facing deportation orders. | 08/19/11 07:26:49 By - Franco Ordoñez

Zahra Baker, Caylee Anthony deaths share similarities

Caylee Anthony, 2, of Florida, and Zahra Baker, 10, of North Carolina. Each missing for an extended period, their mother or stepmother told similar stories. They said their daughters were kidnapped, then backtracked when the bodies were found. Casey Anthony's not guilty verdict this week leads many to ask obvious questions about the Zahra investigation. | 07/08/11 07:45:06 By - Franco Ordoñez

Immigrant hangs hopes on 'Dream Team' to avoid deportation

A 22-year-old North Carolina community college student facing deportation has placed his future in the hands of a group of his peers — also young, also here illegally. The activists, known as the "N.C. Dream Team," are part of a national push by young people to the front of immigration reform. | 07/01/11 07:48:15 By - Franco Ordoñez

Charlotte, N.C., worries about more black tar heroin

The escalation of black tar heroin in Charlotte has police worried about growing addiction and dangers for young people. | 06/29/11 12:51:14 By - Franco Ordoñez and Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

Pilot refuses to fly with men dressed in Muslim garb

Two Muslim religious leaders on their way to a Charlotte conference were removed from a commercial airliner in Memphis because the pilot refused to fly with them aboard, they say. Masudur Rahman and Mohamed Zaghloul, both imams, were flying to Charlotte for a three-day conference about prejudice against Muslims. | 05/06/11 20:08:03 By - Franco Ordonez and Meghan Cooke

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