Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-CONGRESS
N Carolina GOP candidate owes $34K to scrutinized consultant
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A new filing shows the Republican candidate in North Carolina’s unresolved congressional race owes $34,000 to a consultant that’s been subpoenaed in a ballot fraud probe.
The Mark Harris campaign listed a debt of $34,310 owed to the Red Dome Group in a filing Federal Election Commission filing late Thursday. The form says the nature of the debt included “Reimbursement Payment for Bladen Absentee.”
The filing lists two other debts totaling nearly $20,000 to Red Dome for digital advertising, robocalls and mailings for Harris, whose slim lead over Democrat Dan McCready is now in question.
Red Dome hired a Bladen County contractor being scrutinized by the North Carolina Elections Board. The state has refused to certify the results while it investigates allegations the contractor fraudulently delivered absentee votes for Harris.
WINTER WEATHER-NORTH CAROLINA
Parts of North Carolina told to brace for major winter storm
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The National Weather Service is telling parts of North Carolina to expect a major winter storm during the weekend and last into next week.
Forecasters at the weather service office in Raleigh say the storm moving across the Southeast brings a high likelihood of wintry precipitation and significant impacts to central North Carolina.
According to the weather service, travel will be hazardous where the wintry precipitation is expected, especially on Sunday. There is also the threat of power outages as soggy soil, accumulation of snow and ice and gusty winds could bring down trees and take power lines with them.
The greatest snow amounts are expected in northwestern areas of the state. To the east, up to 2 inches of rain is possible and could lead to localized flooding.
HARASSMENT FROM JAIL
Police: Man beat woman, then called her 223 times from jail
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man charged with beating a woman who had a protective order against him and then calling her 223 times from jail has been sentenced to a minimum of 3 1/2 years in prison.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Thursday that Lewie Robinson pleaded guilty to assault inflicting serious injury, assault by strangulation, misdemeanor assault and violating the order.
Police say the 54-year-old Robinson was initially charged in May with assaulting the woman, and was later served in jail with 28 more arrest warrants for having violated the domestic violence protection order. Even then, he kept it up, calling her hundreds of times over four months from the Buncombe County Detention Center, even though he was to have no contact with her.
Trooper sidelined over Instagram post about police brutality
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina state trooper has been placed on administrative duty over an Instagram post that said police beatings are deserved.
State Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael Baker tells The News and Observer that the agency is investigating Sgt. Jonathan K. Whitley, who’s been a trooper since 1996. The post by Instagram user “jkwhitley2608” says people beaten by police shouldn’t “get on TV in hopes of getting your check. The police already gave you what you deserved.”
The writer of the post also says he hates the public education system and “indoctrination centers known as college campuses.” It says he would never vote for a Democrat and “can’t wait” to vote for President Donald Trump again. It also says he didn’t own a slave and doesn’t owe anyone low-income housing assistance.
Pelosi: House could take ‘extraordinary step’ on NC election
WASHINGTON (AP) – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says the chamber could take the “extraordinary step” of calling for a new election in a North Carolina congressional district if the winner is unclear amid allegations of voter fraud.
Pelosi said Thursday the House “retains the right to decide who is seated.”
She said “any member-elect can object to the seating and the swearing-in of another member elect.”
Officials in North Carolina are investigating voter fraud allegations. Republican Mark Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by about 900 votes, but results are not certified.
Pelosi is nominated to become House speaker when Democrats take control in January. The House Administration committee has “full investigative authority to determine the winner,” she said.
It’s “bigger than that one seat,” she said, but about the “integrity of elections.”
ASIAN LONGHORNED TICK
Invasive Asian longhorned tick spreads, worrying scientists
(Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com)
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – In the year since the Asian longhorned tick was officially spotted in New Jersey, it’s expanded to eight more states, including Virginia.
David Gaines with the Virginia Department of Health tells The Virginian-Pilot the invasive species has been found primarily in the more mountainous western and southwestern regions of the state. The ticks have been found on cows, goats, horses, deer and a hawk thus far in Virginia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the full public health and agricultural impact of the tick is yet unknown, but it can transmit known diseases and cause massive infestations. The female Asian longhorned tick can reproduce asexually, laying up to 2,000 eggs at a time.
The tick has also been spotted in Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
Voter ID implementing bill finalized, heads to governor
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina General Assembly has finalized legislation implementing the voter photo identification mandate approved in a statewide referendum last month.
The Senate voted 25-7 on Thursday to accept House changes to the measure and sent it to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, a voter ID opponent. Republicans in charge of the legislature can override a Cooper veto if they stay united.
Senate Democrats urged GOP colleagues to delay the vote until an investigation into absentee ballot fraud in the 9th Congressional District is complete. The measure directs state election officials to set rules requiring mail-in ballot requesters to provide ID.
Thursday’s vote led about 50 protesters to sing and chant outside the House and Senate gallery in opposition. They left when police told them to quiet down or face arrest.
MUSIC TEACHER-SEX CHARGE
Police: Grammy winner forced woman into sexual servitude
CLAYTON, N.C. (AP) – A Grammy Award-winning music teacher in North Carolina is accused of using promises of a singing career to force a student into sexual servitude.
Clayton police said in a statement Thursday that 60-year-old Ivan Hampden Jr. was arrested at his home. He’s charged with several counts of sexual servitude and disseminating obscenity.
Investigators say Hampden tied up the woman in a back room of his music school and recorded various sex acts, then sent video recordings and images of the acts to the victim. They say the woman in her 50s took singing lessons there from 2014 through August. Police say a relative helped her contact police.
It’s unclear if Hampden has a lawyer.
He received Grammy recognition in 2004 for work on multiple R&B performances, including one by Beyonce and Luther Vandross.