Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-CONGRESS
N. Carolina gov. vetoing bill with congressional race redo
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s governor says he’s vetoing legislation directing new elections if fraud is found in a disputed U.S. House race because the hastily approved bill also adds new cover for lobbyists and people who violate campaign finance laws.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday he’ll sign the legislation if state lawmakers remove the section. Cooper objects to details like requiring that state elections officials refer apparent campaign finance crimes to a separate commission for a confidential review on whether prosecutors are notified.
The bill also would require new primary elections besides a new general election if mishandled ballots or other problems cast doubt on the true result in the 9th Congressional District race and force a redo.
Unofficial results show Republican Mark Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.
Charlotte funds go to improving image after ‘bathroom bill’
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – More than 1 1/2 years since North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” was repealed, Charlotte is spending millions to try to attract the visitors turned off by the measure seen as allowing discrimination against LGBTQ residents.
Through a public records request, The Charlotte Observer learned Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority has earmarked $3 million total these past two fiscal years for “Post HB2 Marketing/Sales support.”
CRVA spokeswoman Laura White says the money is for a “comprehensive place branding strategy” to promote Charlotte in regional markets and improve the city’s image after House Bill 2 and the unrest that followed the fatal 2016 police shooting of a black man, Keith Lamont Scott.
The CRVA’s annual report noted North Carolina remains under a travel ban from six states, following the replacement of HB2 with a compromise measure.
TODDLERS SMOKING-NORTH CAROLINA
Women filmed helping children smoke pot sentenced to jail
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Two women seen on social media video helping three children smoke marijuana in North Carolina have now been sentenced to jail time.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that 18-year-old Candice Little was found guilty of misdemeanor child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile on Monday. With time served and a partially suspended sentence, she’ll serve one day in jail.
Last month, 21-year-old Michaela Pearson pleaded guilty to the same charges, and was sentenced to serve less than a year in jail.
The pair were originally charged with felonies, but prosecutors reduced the charges because there wasn’t evidence their babysitting charges were seriously injured from smoking the marijuana.
Winston-Salem police say they got calls from as far as Louisiana regarding the video posted to Facebook.
ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE
Atlantic Coast Pipeline sues Virginia county over zoning
(Information from: The News & Advance, http://www.newsadvance.com/)
LOVINGSTON, Va. (AP) – The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has sued a Virginia county over a zoning decision, in an attempt to move the project forward.
The Lynchburg News & Advance reports that the Dec. 6 lawsuit filed against Nelson County is the first time the pipeline has sued a locality during the years-long approval process.
The lawsuit was filed three days after Nelson County’s Board of Zoning Appeals denied the company’s variance requests for floodplain crossings. The lawsuit seeks a judgment stating the Natural Gas Act pre-empts the county’s floodplain ordinance.
A statement from the pipeline’s lead partner, Dominion Energy, said they had no choice but to turn to federal court.
Nelson County Supervisor Jesse Rutherford says the lawsuit doesn’t come as a surprise. The county has yet to appoint legal counsel.
Army sergeant charged with statutory rape in North Carolina
HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (AP) – A U.S. Army sergeant stationed at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg has been charged with child sex counts involving a girl under 15.
News outlets report that Sgt. 1st Class Kenney Son Duran surrendered Friday on charges of statutory rape, statutory sex offense and taking indecent liberties. According to a Holly Springs arrest warrant, the offenses happened between June 1 and Oct. 1.
The 35-year-old’s attorney, A. Patrick Roberts, asked that his bail be set at $250,000, but a magistrate chose the usual $1 million bail associated with those charges.
Roberts’ request said that Duran has been in the Army for 16 years and deployed overseas 11 times. The request also said Duran is married with four children.
An Army spokesman says Duran is assigned to Fort Bragg’s Special Operations Command.
North Carolina woman gets 5 years for pregnancy scam
(Information from: The StarNews, http://starnewsonline.com)
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman has been sentenced to about 5 years in prison for pretending to be pregnant, falsely receiving Medicaid benefits and taking donations to support the fake pregnancy.
The StarNews reports 39-year-old Wendy George pleaded guilty Friday to charges including medical fraud. The New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office says George used a pregnant friend’s urine to obtain a positive pregnancy test that she then used to receive Medicaid benefits.
A district attorney’s office release says George also posted online about putting her baby up for adoption and got at least 18 people to send her money for food, doctors’ appointments and housing. It says she also bought an ultrasound image that she shared with donors. An Ohio couple reported her to Carolina Beach police last year.
2nd man arrested in kidnapping, rape of Maryland woman
WASHINGTON (AP) – Authorities in Maryland and Washington, D.C., say a second man accused in the kidnapping and rape of a Maryland woman has been arrested in North Carolina.
News outlets report D.C. police say 29-year-old Mark Blue was arrested Monday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Authorities say 25-year-old Nick Savoy surrendered last week to police in Roanoke, Virginia.
Both Washington men are accused of forcing a woman into a car near a commuter train station in Temple Hills, Maryland.
Authorities have said the men then robbed and repeatedly raped the woman during an hour-long “nightmare” before releasing her in a District neighborhood. Authorities say the woman then knocked on doors in the area to get help.
Both men are charged with rape, armed robbery and kidnapping. It’s unclear if they have lawyers.
6 dogs adopted during “mega” event diagnosed with parvo
HARRINGTON, Del. (AP) – At least six dogs adopted during a “Mega Adoption Event” in Delaware have been diagnosed with the highly contagious canine parvovirus.
News outlets reports more than one of the dogs diagnosed with parvo have died since the Brandywine Valley SPCA’s event, which took place Dec. 8-9.
News of the outbreak broke this past weekend, when Cyndi Hill Truitt of Maryland said in a Facebook post that one of her puppies had died, and the other was symptomatic.
Linda Torelli with the Brandywine Valley SPCA said the organization will pay for medical costs, and has reached out to families with dogs that might be at risk.
Dogs at the event came from several shelters, including ones in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey and Alabama. Nearly 1,200 pets, including 716 dogs, were adopted.