Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
Man featured on ‘Trump Dating’ site has child sex conviction
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man with a felony conviction for indecent liberties with a child was one-half of the poster couple for a new “Trump Dating” website.
News outlets reported Monday that visitors to the dating site geared toward supporters of the president were greeted with the faces of Jodi and William Barrett Riddleberger, conservative activists involved in the Tea Party-inspired political action committee, Conservatives for Guilford County. The couple’s exact role with the site is unclear.
State records show Riddleberger was convicted in 1995 on the charge stemming from filming sex with a 15-year-old girl. He was then 25.
He told WRAL-TV that he’s “already paid (his) debt” for that charge. Records show he didn’t serve prison time.
As of Tuesday morning, the site trump.dating now features a different couple.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENT PROTEST-NORTH CAROLINA-THE LATEST
The Latest: 3rd person avoids conviction in statue toppling
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina judge has found one protester not guilty of toppling a Confederate statue, and dismissed charges against two others.
Five more protesters accused of tearing down the monument in Durham last summer face trial at a later date.
Judge Fred Battaglia found Raul Jimenez not guilty on Monday of three misdemeanor counts including damaging a public monument and conspiracy. He then wrapped up the day’s hearings.
Two other defendants had their cases dismissed by Battaglia after defense attorneys successfully argued that authorities hadn’t properly identified them as taking part in tearing down the monument. It was pulled down days after deadly violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, rally by white nationalists.
COLD CASE MURDER
Arkansas man arrested in 2002 murder in North Carolina
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – An Arkansas man faces a murder charge in connection with the death of a North Carolina woman whose body was found in the trunk of her car more than 15 years ago.
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Monday that 42-year-old Isaac McDonald of Fort Smith, Arkansas, was indicted last week on a charge of first-degree murder. He was arrested Friday in the death of 39-year-old Janet Norris.
Norris’ body was found April 20, 2002, stuffed inside the trunk of her abandoned car.
McDonald is being held in an Arkansas jail to await extradition to North Carolina. It wasn’t known Monday evening if he has an attorney.
Authorities said McDonald is a registered sex offender who was on parole.
Teen survives 50-foot fall off ledge at N Carolina park
PINNACLE, N.C. (AP) – A teenager who tumbled 50 feet (15 meters) off a ledge at a North Carolina state park is recovering.
News outlets report 17-year-old Victoria Creed was hiking near the Three Bears gully with friends at Pilot Mountain State Park on Sunday evening when she slipped. Surry County Emergency Services Director John Shelton told the Mt. Airy News rescuers used a basket to pull her to safety, which took about 90 minutes.
Family members say Creed suffered a broken collarbone, a fractured foot and cuts requiring stitches. She was released from the hospital Monday evening.
Creed told WFMY-TV she was wearing the wrong type of shoes, leading to the fall. She credited unknown hikers who stayed with her until help arrived.
Shelton says the area is a frequent location for falls.
NC to honor Coast Guard captain who was born a slave
RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) – The state Transportation Department will dedicate a bridge along the Outer Banks to a U.S. Coast Guard captain who went from being a slave to the first African-American to command a life-saving station.
The state will dedicate the Pea Island Interim Bridge as the Captain Richard Etheridge Bridge in a ceremony Tuesday at the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Building.
The bridge was completed last year. It replaced the temporary metal bridge that spanned a breach opened during Hurricane Irene in 2011 along N.C. Highway 12.
Etheridge became the leader of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station, an all African-American unit credited with saving many lives. The Coast Guard awarded Etheridge and his crew a medal for the rescue of those aboard the E.S. Newman during a hurricane in 1896.
Etheridge died in 1900.
4 charged in armed robbery of teen at elementary school
CARY, N.C. (AP) – Four teens are charged in the robbery of a 15-year-old boy at gunpoint at a North Carolina elementary school.
Cary police Capt. Randall Rhyne told news outlets the victim said he was headed home when he was robbed of his backpack on the grounds of Alston Ridge Elementary School on Sunday evening. Police say the backpack was worth $50 and only had homework inside.
Court records show 19-year-old Ryan Russell Garrett, 18-year-old Ulises Dimitri Santos, 18-year-old Elijah Jaloni Sutton and 18-year-old Adrian Emmanuel Ousley were arrested around 10 minutes later at an apartment complex opposite the school.
Garrett and Santos are charged with robbery, while the others are charged with aiding and abetting. Santos is also charged with having a gun on educational property. It’s unclear whether they have lawyers.
Navy holds public meeting in NC on water testing plans
(Information from: The Daily News, http://www.jdnews.com)
ATLANTIC, N.C. (AP) – The Navy is holding a public meeting this week on its cautionary water testing procedure in a town where two contaminated drinking wells have been discovered.
The Daily News of Jacksonville reports the meeting will be held Wednesday at Atlantic Elementary School, where the Navy will explain the water testing and take questions from the public.
The Navy found two contaminated drinking wells in Atlantic during testing in November. It’s continuing to test water in the area because of its proximity to Marine Corps landing fields.
In May 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency issued lifetime health advisory levels for two commercial chemicals used in non-stick coatings, water-resistant textiles and food packaging.
The meeting will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE
Judge refuses to delay hearing on pipeline land acquisition
HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) – A federal judge has refused to postpone a hearing in a lawsuit brought by developers seeking possession of land in several Virginia counties for a controversial pipeline project.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline is seeking possession of several properties in Augusta, Bath, Buckingham and Cumberland counties for the natural gas pipeline, which would run through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.
The judge declined Monday to postpone a Feb. 26 hearing regarding land in Bath County, but he ordered developers to turn over more information and gave property owners more time to respond. Disputes over land in other counties also will be addressed at next Monday’s hearing.
Developers say federal environmental regulations require completion of any tree felling by March 14, and that missing that deadline would push back construction until November.