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Police: North Carolina teacher had sexual ties with student
LAUREL HILL, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina middle school teacher is due in court to face charges that she had an illegal sexual relationship with a 12-year-old student.
News outlets report that Brianna Nicole Stanley was arrested and charged last week for multiple felonies stemming from an alleged inappropriate relationship with a child.
The 23-year-old teacher is no longer working at Scotland County public schools and is due in court on Monday.
The school system said in a statement that it was “devastated” by the allegations.
MISSING GIRL-NORTH CAROLINA
Petition urges visa for slain girl’s father
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – An online petition is urging government officials to allow the father of a slain North Carolina teenage girl to attend her funeral.
A petition on Change.org urging immigration officials to let the father of Hania Aguilar attend her funeral next week has nearly 10,000 signatures as of Sunday afternoon. The petition says her father lives in Guatemala and would need an expedited visa to attend.
Police said they found Aguilar’s body last week after several weeks of searching.
Police say a man forced the teenager into an SUV and drove off. The SUV was found several miles south of her mobile home park. The body was found a few miles farther away.
A $30,000 reward remains in place for information related to the kidnapping.
OUTER BANKS FERRIES
Outer Banks ferry trips to be faster after upgrades
(Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com)
MANNS HARBOR, N.C. (AP) – New ferries will make travel faster around the Outer Banks.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the North Carolina Ferry Division is upgrading its fleet.
A new passenger vessel will be able to carry more people and travel four times faster than conventional ferries. And two new ferries that carry vehicles will be able to transport significantly more cars and people than the boats they are replacing, cutting down on wait times.
The state’s ferry system is the second-largest of its kind in the U.S. and operates 21 ferries on seven regular routes.
North Carolina elections chairman resigns amid controversy
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The chairman of North Carolina’s elections board has resigned following complaints about comments he’s made online criticizing President Donald Trump.
Andy Penry resigned Saturday from the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. The Democrat said he was leaving the board because he did not want to undermine an ongoing probe of potential wrongdoing in the state’s 9th Congressional District. The board is investigating alleged fraudulent activity related to mail-in absentee ballots and could order a new election.
Wake County GOP Chairman Charles Hellwig filed a complaint Wednesday and provided images of what appear to be tweets from Penry’s account this year criticizing Trump and a proposed constitutional amendment. Hellwig cited state law prohibiting board members from publicly opposing candidates and referendums.
Penry’s resignation was first reported by The Washington Post.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS-DUKE UNIVERSITY
Duke removes Confederate veteran’s name from building
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A building on Duke University’s campus will no longer be named after a benefactor who espoused white supremacist ideas.
The university said its Board of Trustees on Saturday voted to approve removing Julian Carr’s name from a building where the history department is located.
Carr was a Confederate veteran and tobacco magnate who gave land where part of Duke was built, helping facilitate the university’s move to Durham. He once bragged during a 1913 speech about whipping a black woman.
The school’s history professors filed a formal request to remove Carr’s name earlier this year. A special committee and President Vincent E. Price both recommended removing Carr’s name.
Duke said the trustees had chosen to restore the building to its original name, the Classroom Building.
MURDER FOR HIRE
North Carolina man pleads guilty murder-for-hire plot
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has admitted that he tried to buy radioactive material in a murder-for-hire plot.
Authorities say 27-year-old Bryant Riyanto Budi of Matthews pleaded guilty Friday in federal court after hatching a plot to sprinkle a radioactive substance in an unidentified man’s food.
Budi said the intended target had been “making my life a living hell” and extorting him.
Court documents show Budi unwittingly contacted a covert FBI employee online while trying to buy radioactive material.
Budi faces a possible life sentence. A sentencing date has not been set.
NORTH CAROLINA MOTHER STRANGLED
North Carolina teen sentenced for strangling mother
CARY, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina teenager who strangled his mother after a disagreement over pizza has been sentenced to serve more than a decade in prison.
News outlets report that Arnav Uppalapati was sentenced Friday to spend between 12 years and 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering his mother in 2015.
Prosecutors said Uppalapati angered his mother, Nalini Tellaprolu, after ordering a pizza. She slapped him and then he choked her to death.
He then put her body in the house’s garage and put a bag over her head. He later called 911 and told a dispatcher that he found his mother’s body when he got home from school.
Uppalapati is 19. He was 16 at the time of the murder.
LEGO STORE-SOUTH CAROLINA
1st Lego store in state opening in South Carolina mall
(Information from: The Greenville News, http://www.greenvillenews.com)
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina is getting its first Lego store.
The new store opened Friday at Haywood Mall in Greenville, near the center court of the mall, not far from where Santa Claus is sitting.
Mall marketing director Brandi Crowe told The Greenville News the closest Lego stores before Friday’s opening were in Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Lego officials say the store will have typical features including a wall full of bins of bulk Lego bricks in many different shapes and colors and displays of Lego building sets.