Organizers of petition to remove Morganton mayor collect 1,200 signatures

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MORGANTON, N.C. —

Organizers of a petition drive to remove the mayor of Morganton said they are halfway to their goal.

In two months, they have collected more than 1,200 signatures in hopes of holding a recall election against Mayor Mel Cohen.

Cohen has been Morganton's mayor for nearly three decades.

Opponents said he has led efforts to raise utility deposits and violated free speech rights during council meetings this summer.