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February 27, 2018
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February 27, 2018
AP Newswatch

 

Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
HIKER-WATERFALL DEATH
Georgia man falls to death from waterfall in North Carolina
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
OLD FORT, N.C. (AP) – A Georgia man has fallen to his death from a North Carolina waterfall.
McDowell County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Richelle Bailey tells The Asheville Citizen-Times that 37-year-old Jimmy Paul Schmidt Jr. fell Saturday from the 50-foot-high (15-meter-high) Upper Catawba Falls in the Pisgah National Forest.
Bailey says Schmidt was staying in Asheville while attending a bachelor party and the group had decided to go hiking. Schmidt went ahead as they stopped for pictures and had lost his footing when he leaned over to view the scenery. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Cathy Dowd says there is roughly one rescue a month for serious injury at the waterfall. There’s no Forest Service trail to the upper falls. One to the lower falls was built in 2010.

 

SCHOOL SAFETY-SUPERINTENDENT
North Carolina schools chief opposed to arming teachers
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s schools chief is opposed to arming teachers in classrooms, an idea President Donald Trump and some legislators in North Carolina and other states have suggested following the shootings at a Florida high school that killed 17 people.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson said Monday he supports the General Assembly increasing money to hire more law enforcement officers in the schools. But Johnson says in a release teachers should not be asked to take on the “massive responsibility” of having firearms in the classroom. He says he’s been working to reduce burdens on teachers.
A North Carolina House committee has been formed to evaluate school safety and how it can be improved. Johnson says firearms on school grounds should be in the hands of trained, uniformed law-enforcement professionals.

 

 

SKIER DEATH
Skier killed in Colorado identified as North Carolina man
(Information from: Summit Daily News, http://www.summitdaily.com/)
FRISCO, Colo. (AP) – Authorities say a skier who died after hitting a tree at a Colorado resort was a 32-year-old North Carolina man.
The Summit Daily News reported Monday that the Summit County coroner identified the man as Leon Harding Christopher III of Raleigh.
Summit County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Watson says Christopher struck a tree on an intermediate trail at the Keystone Ski Resort on Sunday.
The ski patrol performed CPR and then took Christopher to a medical clinic. The coroner’s office says he was pronounced dead at the clinic.
The coroner says the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Authorities say Christopher was wearing a helmet.
Watson says Christopher was on vacation with his family but was believed to be skiing alone at the time.

 

OFFSHORE DRILLING-NORTH CAROLINA-THE LATEST
The Latest: Environment chief speaks at anti-drilling rally
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s environment secretary says people from both sides of the political aisle are united against a proposal to expand offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast.
Michael Regan spoke Monday evening to several hundred energized opponents to the Trump administration’s draft plan at the Raleigh hotel where the federal government held a public meeting to seek input.
Regan’s boss is Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who has threatened to sue unless North Carolina’s coastal waters are removed from the five-year proposal.
Dare County Commission Chairman Bob Woodard is a Republican who also spoke at the rally. Woodard criticized the Interior Department for failing to hold public hearings in coastal communities that could be most affected by the expansion plan. Woodard says the Outer Banks has nothing to gain and everything to lose with the potential environmental damage a spill could cause.

 

 

BILLY GRAHAM-THE LATEST
The Latest: Obama not planning to attend Graham memorial
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Former President Barack Obama is not planning to attend memorial services for the late evangelist Rev. Billy Graham this week.
Obama’s office disclosed the former president’s plans Monday.
Former President George W. Bush is paying his respects to Graham, known as the pastor to presidents, Monday afternoon at his library in North Carolina. Former President Bill Clinton will visit Tuesday to honor Graham’s memory.
President Donald Trump is expected to attend Graham’s funeral Friday in North Carolina after the preacher lies in honor at the U.S. Capitol this week.
Obama tweeted last week after Graham’s death that he was “a humble servant who prayed for so many” and who gave hope to generations.

 

 

ESCAPED INMATE-FATAL CRASH
Escaped inmate from North Carolina prison killed in crash
GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say a prison escapee serving a life sentence was killed after he drove off from a work assignment in a stolen truck.
The N.C. Department of Public Safety said 46-year-old David Alan Woods left his outside work assignment from Gaston Correctional Center on Monday and was reported missing at 12:50 p.m. A news release from the department said Woods was killed approximately 90 minutes later when he crashed a pickup truck belonging to the city of Lowell at an exit off Interstate 85.
Woods, originally from New Hanover County, was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder in the 1995 beating death of an 89-year-old Harnett County woman.

 

 

FATAL SHOOTING-FACEBOOK LIVE
North Carolina man shot to death while live on Facebook
WINGATE, N.C. (AP) – Police say a North Carolina man was shot and killed by another man while he was recording himself live on Facebook.
Chief Donnie Gay told WCCB-TV in Charlotte that he’d spoken to Prentis Robinson minutes before he was shot around 10 a.m. Monday. The chief says Robinson reported that a cellphone had been stolen.
On a portion of the video, Robinson uses a selfie stick to show himself talking and walking. He was then approached by someone who fired four shots with a long gun. The camera hit the ground and showed sky and trees.
Wingate University and Wingate Elementary School were placed on lockdown for a couple of hours after the shooting.

 

 

WOMAN SET ON FIRE
North Carolina woman survives after being set on fire
TABOR CITY, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina authorities say a man poured gasoline on his girlfriend and set the mobile home they shared on fire.
Two boys, ages 11 and 8, escaped the Tabor City house Saturday and ran to a neighbor for help, according to a Columbus County Sheriff’s Office news release. The children were not injured.
The sheriff’s office said 25-year-old Nicholas Alexander Wallace poured gas on the woman and around the room, then lit a match to ignite it. The 29-year-old woman avoided life-threatening injuries and was treated and released from a hospital.
No phone listing could be found for the suspect or the victim. Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Michelle Tatum said the victim was Wallace’s girlfriend.
The sheriff’s office said Wallace is being held without bond on attempted murder and arson charges.

AP-WF-02-27-18 1121GMT