Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-CONGRESS
After fraud probe, new primary may replace GOP candidate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legislation quickly passed through North Carolina’s legislature this week would prepare a path for Republicans to dump their nominee in a still-undecided U.S. House race marred with ballot fraud allegations.
If the state elections board decides ballot irregularities or other problems cast the true outcome into doubt and force a redo, the legislation would require new primary elections in the 9th Congressional District race, in addition to a new general election.
That would allow Republicans another look at Mark Harris, the Republican who led Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in unofficial results.
Republican political consultant Carter Wrenn said he thinks the GOP-led Legislature is worried that Harris might be damaged and want the opportunity to have a different Republican nominee.
Second earthquake in 4 days centered in eastern Tennessee
MASCOT, Tenn. (AP) – An earthquake centered in eastern Tennessee also was felt in three other states.
The U.S. Geological Survey website says the epicenter of the magnitude 3.0 earthquake early Sunday was about two miles (four kilometers) southeast of Mascot, near Knoxville. It also was felt in parts of Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina.
Geologists say the earthquake was recorded at a depth of 12 miles (20 kilometers).
No injuries or damage are reported. Geologists say damage isn’t likely in temblors below magnitude 4.0.
It’s the second earthquake in eastern Tennessee in the past week. A magnitude 4.4 earthquake on Wednesday was centered near Decatur.
According to the USGS, the Eastern Tennessee seismic zone is one of the most active in the Southeast. The zone extends across parts of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
N Carolina system tests for lead at its oldest schools
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Tests show water fixtures at 41 of Charlotte-Mecklenburg 89 oldest schools had unsafe levels of lead, and officials say those fixtures have been removed, blocked off or filtered as soon as the high levels were detected.
The Charlotte Observer reports the school system has completed a second round of testing to identify drinking fountains and other school water sources leaching unsafe levels of lead.
Lead is toxic, especially for young children and pregnant women. There’s no safe level for it.
Most of the more than 3,000 fixtures tested within safe levels. Those schools not tested yet among the system’s 175 schools were generally built after Congress banned lead in water pipes, fixtures and solder in 1986.
Fort Bragg sergeant receives Army heroism award
(Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com)
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – A Fort Bragg sergeant has received the Army’s highest award for heroism outside combat for his rescue of a driver from a car that was on fire.
The Fayetteville Observer reports that Sgt. 1st Class Erik Kingsley received the Soldier’s Medal for Heroism during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
Kingsley was driving to Raleigh-Durham International Airport about 3:30 a.m. April 1, 2017, when he saw the headlights of a vehicle in a ditch and sparks underneath.
He pulled the driver from the burning car just seconds before the vehicle exploded.
Maj. Gen. Kurt Sonntag gave the award to Kingsley, saying the sergeant is a hero and a standard for other soldiers to meet.
ILLEGAL CASINO RAID
Officers: About 40 video gaming machines seized in NC raid
(Information from: The Robesonian, http://www.robesonian.com)
MAXTON, N.C. (AP) – Law enforcement officers have raided a property that the Tuscarora Indian Nation of North Carolina claims as sovereign territory in eastern North Carolina after they received complaints that an illegal casino was being operated there.
The Robesonian in Lumberton reports the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office conducted the raid Friday in Maxton, along with officers from various federal and state agencies.
Sheriff Burnis Wilkins says about 40 video gaming machines were seized in the raid, which was the second on the property this year. Officers also conducted a raid in July, when more than two dozen people were arrested and more than 200 games seized.
Four people face charges that involve operating games of chance while four others face drug charges.
The Tuscarora Indian Nation lacks federal or state recognition as a Native American tribe.
Detention officer must serve time in jail where he worked
(Information from: News & Record, http://www.news-record.com)
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A county detention officer in North Carolina has been sentenced to 30 days behind bars in the jail where he worked.
The News & Record of Greensboro reports that Scott Davis told a Guilford County Superior Court judge that he lied when he told jurors that a man had stolen his vehicle.
Instead, the 40-year-old said he had been drinking with a woman, then gave her the keys to his car. He says he blacked out and couldn’t reach her when he woke up.
He said he didn’t want to lose his job at the Guilford County Detention Center if anyone found out.
That led to another man being charged with larceny of a vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle. Those charges were dismissed Friday.
OBIT-RUTHIE THE CHIMP
Silly, sassy and stubborn: Ruthie the chimp dies at NC Zoo
ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) – A chimpanzee that lived at the North Carolina Zoo for nearly 40 years has died after suffering congestive heart failure for about a year.
Zoo officials say 47-year-old Ruthie was euthanized Thursday. Zoo officials said she was known for being silly, sassy and stubborn.
She had arrived in 1980 and was one of the animals that lived longest at the zoo in Asheboro. A chimp named Maggie also arrived in 1980, and C’sar the elephant came in 1978.
Ruthie’s was diagnosed seven years ago with heart disease, which was treated with medicine. Her condition advanced to congestive heart failure in October 2017.
Female chimpanzees typically live for about 40 years.
Her body was presented to the other chimpanzees so they could observe the death and mourn the loss.
Reports: Shorebirds, beach vehicles both thrive on Hatteras
(Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com)
HATTERAS, N.C. (AP) – The numbers show that shorebirds and beach vehicles were able to thrive this summer on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia, reports 41,000 beach-driving permits were sold, the most since sales begin in 2012. Officials say the number of visitors is expected to climb above 2.6 million by year’s end, about 200,000 more than last year and the most since 2003.
Meanwhile, preliminary counts showed 25 pairs of oystercatchers produced 20 young birds that can fly. Outer Banks Group Superintendent Dave Hallac says that’s the most since 2011.
Hallac says the number of piping plover nests fell from six to three, but three birds fledged this year compared to two last year.