Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
MAN FATALLY BEATEN
Man accused of assaulting woman, fatally beating man
(Information from: The StarNews, http://starnewsonline.com)
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A man is accused of assaulting a woman and fatally beating a man who intervened in North Carolina.
Wilmington police spokeswoman Linda Thompson tells The StarNews of Wilmington that 58-year-old Edward Alan Pearson was inside a store Monday night when he warned the woman against going outside with 31-year-old Hakeem Sanders. Thompson says Sanders overheard Pearson and punched him.
Thompson says Pearson was on life support for two days before succumbing to his injuries. Sanders was initially arrested Tuesday and charged with assault inflicting serious injury. Sanders was additionally booked on second-degree murder Wednesday. He is also charged with assault on a female.
Sanders jailed in New Hanover County on a $1 million bond. He declined the StarNews’ request for an interview. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.
2 killed, 1 wounded in North Carolina shooting
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
HENDERSON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say two people were killed and a third person was wounded in a shooting.
WRAL-TV in Raleigh reports the Henderson Police Department said officers responding to a home found two people dead of gunshot wounds.
The victims were identified by police as 27-year-old Tyheem Shabazz Person and 28-year-old Dyrel Jermal Kittrell. According to police, 21-year-old Devonte Jamal Jones was taken to the hospital for treatment, but his condition wasn’t known on Thursday. The shootings occurred Wednesday.
Police haven’t discussed a possible motive or suspects in the case.
Democratic legislators seek money for pipeline attachments
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democratic legislators want Republican colleagues to locate funds to help businesses attach to an expected natural gas pipeline in eastern counties.
The GOP-controlled General Assembly passed a law taking effect Friday that intercepts $58 million anticipated from an agreement between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s office and utilities building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Those funds will now go to school districts along the pipeline route.
House Minority Leader Darren Jackson told reporters Thursday by overriding the agreement Republicans prevented money from aiding economic development projects for local companies to tap into cheaper energy, creating jobs. Jackson criticized GOP leaders for failing to help them so far.
In response, Republican lawmakers highlighted the benefits of the school district funds and how Cooper has repeatedly linked education spending to economic growth.
NC speeds prison hiring after 4 died at understaffed lockup
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina prison officials say they’re revving up efforts to fill vacancies at a lockup where four employees were killed.
The vacancies at Pasquotank Correctional Institution were so serious that understaffing created opportunities for a deadly escape attempt.
The Department of Public Safety announced new measures Thursday as a National Institute of Corrections consultant discussed the group’s report into what happened at the prison. The arm of the U.S. Justice Department found workers at the Elizabeth City prison were forced to maintain oversight and prison services despite one out of four jobs being vacant, and thus grew complacent about security. Four workers were killed during the deadliest breakout attempt in state history.
Prison officials say they’re holding career fairs to recruit guards, targeting military veterans, spouses and their dependents.
Some North Carolina hospitals end flu visitor restrictions
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Some of the largest hospitals are ending the child visitor restrictions put in place to try to reduce the number of flu cases in North Carolina.
A number of hospital systems have announced that restrictions will end Friday morning after being implemented Jan. 12.
Those include Atrium Health (formerly Carolinas HealthCare System), Cone Health, High Point Regional, Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
State health officials reported 29 more flu deaths in North Carolina, bringing the season total to 305. Officials say it’s been the deadliest flu season in at least 10 years. Both the 2016-17 flue seasons and the 2014-15 seasons caused 218 flu deaths.
The flu season usually ends by the end of March, but sometimes runs into April.
Man says he owns sandbar, part of which is now underwater
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
BUXTON, N.C. (AP) – A Virginia man says he still owns a North Carolina sandbar, even if part of it may now be underwater.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Ken Barlow filed a deed to “Shelly Island” in the Outer Banks in August, although the ownership was disputed by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Before the matter could be resolved, NASA says three hurricanes split the land, causing half to connect to the mainland and the rest to wash away.
Barlow is quoted by the newspaper as saying the mile-long (1.5-kilometer-long) piece of land is still there, and that he owns it.
Officials have said that if the sandbar connected to the mainland, it would then belong to the National Park Service.
FIRE DEATH CHARGES
North Carolina woman faces charges in son’s fire death
ELKIN, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of her autistic son in a fire earlier this year.
The Surry County Sheriff’s Office told local media that Maria Deneane Kidd has also been charged with child abuse in the Jan. 27 death of 13-yearold William Kidd in a fire near Elkin.
The sheriff’s office said the woman reported the fire. The boy’s body was found when firefighters extinguished the flames.
The sheriff’s office concluded the woman’s actions led to her son’s death. The sheriff’s office said conditions inside the home posed a substantial risk of injury and contributed to the rapid spread of the fire.
The woman was being held in the Surry County jail. It was not known is she has a lawyer yet.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING SENTENCE
North Carolina man gets 43 years for human trafficking
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A man has been sentenced to more than 40 years in prison after being convicted of human trafficking in North Carolina.
Media outlets report that 39-year-old Roderick Jermaine Boykins of Wilmington was sentenced to 43 years in prison Wednesday on charges of trafficking a child victim, sexual servitude and promotion of prostitution.
Prosecutors said there were four victims, including one who was a juvenile at the time.
Prosecutors said Boykins recruited women for prostitution between November 2015 and December 2016 and then held the women in sexual slavery.