Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
Mom, baby pulled from car submerged in North Carolina pond
KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (AP) – A mother and baby have been pulled from a car submerged in a North Carolina pond.
Police tell local media outlets a mother and 6-month-old baby had been in the car when it crashed in Knightdale, then went into a pond at around 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Both were taken to the hospital, and their conditions weren’t immediately known.
Authorities said that eight Knightdale firefighters were treated for hypothermia after entering the water in an attempt to rescue the pair.
Authorities have not said what caused the initial crash.
Ex-sheriff convicted of obstruction of justice seeks post
LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) – The former North Carolina sheriff known for painting his jail cells pink and hosting a cable television show before pleading guilty to felony obstruction of justice wants his old job back.
Local news outlets report former Davidson County Sheriff Gerald Hege used Facebook to announce his plans on Wednesday to run for office. Hege tried to win the seat in 2010, but lost in a GOP primary.
Hege was indicted in 2003 and faced 15 charges, including obtaining property by false pretenses and embezzlement. He pleaded guilty in 2004 to two counts of felony obstruction of justice. Affidavits collected in the case accused him of racial profiling, taking county money and driving his souped up car at speeds of 150 mph (241 km/h) when there was no apparent emergency.
LAWMAKER-SEXUAL ADVANCES-NORTH CAROLINA
Calls for resignation: Harassment charge linked to lawmaker
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and other Democrats want a state representative to resign after a media report in which people alleged the legislator used sexual innuendo and made unwanted sexual advances.
Cooper, state Democratic Party Chair Wayne Goodwin and colleagues of Democratic Rep. Duane Hall said Wednesday that Hall should step down. The allegations reported by NC Policy Watch identified a Democratic campaign aide making accusations and others the story did not identify by name.
Cooper says in a release the allegations are “disturbing” and that a culture should be created “where harassment of any kind is unacceptable.”
Hall didn’t return a phone call or text message to The Associated Press seeking comment. The Raleigh attorney denied the allegations to NC Policy Watch and said no sexual harassment occurred.
BILLY GRAHAM-THE LATEST
The Latest: Rare Capitol salute for Rev. Billy Graham
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says Rev. Billy Graham “changed our country” – paying tribute to the late evangelical preacher as he lies in honor at the U.S. Capitol.
Trump calls the rare tribute afforded Graham “very fitting,” saying Graham was a “legendary” American figure who deserved to be recognized in the place “where the memory of the American people is enshrined.”
Graham was known as the pastor to presidents, for his personal ties with nearly every American leader over more than a half-century. Trump recalls his father taking him as a child to see Graham preach at Yankee Stadium in 1957, saying his father was a “big fan” of Grahams.
CANDIDATE FILING-THE LATEST
The Latest: Parties say no uncontested legislative elections
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The filing deadline for North Carolina congressional and legislative seats passed with Democrats and Republicans making good on goals to compete in every corner of the state.
The filing period closed at noon Wednesday at the state elections board office in Raleigh and in all 100 counties. And both the state Democratic and Republican parties say they have candidates to support for every one of the 170 General Assembly seats. GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse says that includes the GOP backing an unaffiliated candidate in one eastern North Carolina seat.
Primaries for these and other races are May 8. The filing period for judicial seats was delayed until June because the legislature cancelled primaries for those positions this year.
Legislative leaders back volunteer school officer program
WENTWOTH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s top legislative leaders believe communities should consider a 2013 state law allowing retired police officers to provide additional armed protection at schools.
The News & Record of Greensboro reported House Speaker Tim Moore, Senate leader Phil Berger and Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page were among speakers at a news conference Wednesday promoting volunteer school safety resource officers.
The program was approved following the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut and is getting attention after the Florida high school shooting. The program lets school districts reach agreements with law enforcement for volunteer officers with arrest powers. They must meet gun proficiency and other standards.
Berger and Moore said the program was one of many ideas for safer schools. Moore has formed a school safety study committee in the House.
Audit show N Carolina has 15K untested sexual assault kits
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s attorney general says the state has more than 15,000 untested sexual assault kits, a number that one national advocacy group called “significant.”
Attorney General Josh Stein released the numbers at a news conference Wednesday. A new state law required all law enforcement agencies to report their numbers of untested rape kits, and 92 percent of the 563 agencies responded.
Stein is proposing a bar code tracking system for future kits, and he’s seeking legislative help in determining which kits to test first. The cost of testing a kit is about $700, meaning a total cost of about $10 million.
Ilse Knecht of the Joyful Heart Foundation says it’s hard to compare state-by-state numbers but says North Carolina’s is significant. She called North Carolina’s audit “a bold first step.”
JURY IS OUT
Jury duty anyone? North Carolina county finds few takers
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – When the judges, deputies and clerks showed up for court, they were missing one key element – the jurors.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that North Carolina’s fourth-largest county failed to mail notices to the 1,700 or so prospective jurors needed to hear cases this week.
After no one showed up for jury duty Monday, Forsyth County officials made a plea through local television station WXII for any volunteers willing to fulfill their civic duty.
But only 19 people showed up Tuesday. One judge in the county of 370,000 residents even sent deputies to a mall to seek volunteers, but found no other takers.
With the jury still out, some trials had to be postponed until next week and new notices were sent out to hundreds of prospective jurors.