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N Carolina lawmakers consider overriding elections bill veto
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina lawmakers are scheduled to consider overriding the governor’s veto of legislation he says would add secrecy to campaign finance investigations.
The Republican-controlled North Carolina House and Senate are meeting Thursday and are expected to discuss a veto override.
The elections bill would also require new primaries – not just a general election – in a disputed congressional race if the state elections board deems new voting is necessary.
That’s not the part Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper cited in his veto decision. Rather, he said he vetoed the bill because of a measure that would make future state elections board investigations of campaign finance allegations confidential.
Cooper issued a statement Wednesday asking voters to contact legislators and ask them to negotiate with him instead of overriding his veto.
MALL LOT-WOUNDED MAN
Man found shot in mall lot after possible road rage nearby
GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police are investigating after a man was found with a gunshot wound in a mall parking lot as shoppers were coming back with holiday returns.
Gastonia Police Department spokeswoman Donna Lahser said in a news release that a shooting was reported around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the parking lot of Eastridge Mall.
She said investigators believe the shooting may have resulted from road rage on a nearby street or highway. Investigators believe the wounded man then pulled into the mall parking lot looking for help.
He was taken to a hospital Wednesday with a gunshot wound to the leg. Lahser says his injury isn’t thought to be life-threatening.
The man’s condition wasn’t clear. Authorities didn’t immediately release further information.
Police: 2 teens killed in North Carolina shooting
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) – Police say two teenagers have been shot to death in North Carolina, and a search is underway for suspects.
High Point police told news outlets officers responding to a call Wednesday morning found two victims in the backyard of a home on the north side of the city. Authorities said each teen was suffering from gunshot wounds.
According to police, 19-year-old Carter M. Wilson was found dead at the scene, while 18-year-old Ethan C. Mitchell died before reaching a Greensboro hospital.
Investigators said they are working to determine a motive and identify those who may have been involved.
Ex-North Carolina official pleads guilty to fraud conspiracy
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A former North Carolina county official has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud taxpayers by accepting bribes in exchange for government contracts.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the plea by former Buncombe County assistant manager Mandy Stone was part of a deal in which she agreed to assist a federal county corruption probe.
The deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office was reached last week, and a judge is set to rule Wednesday on whether to accept the deal.
Stone’s plea means she admits to conspiring with former county staffers Jon Creighton and Michael Greene, both of whom have pleaded guilty.
Greene’s mother and former county manager Wanda Greene has pleaded not guilty to charges in the scheme. Prosecutors say they took bribes from Georgia-based contractor Joe Wiseman, who hasn’t been charged.
CUSTOMER SHOOTS ROBBERS
Armed patron opens fire on masked convenience store robbers
WENTWORTH, N.C. (AP) – A customer held at gunpoint during a convenience-store robbery in North Carolina interrupted the suspects’ plan by opening fire on them.
A Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office news release said two masked men entered a Reidsville convenience store early on Christmas morning with guns and held the cashier and two patrons at gunpoint while they robbed the store.
The news release says one of the patrons was armed and fired at the suspects. Investigators believe the suspects were hit by the gunfire.
The two men then fled in a getaway car driven by a third person. The customers and clerk weren’t injured.
The sheriff’s office said one of the men has been arrested and charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon. Two other suspects have been identified and are being sought.
CHRISTMAS DAY FIRES
Fires in portions of North Carolina leave people displaced
Fires in several North Carolina cities on Christmas Day left a number of people displaced.
A fire at an apartment complex in Winston-Salem displaced approximately 16 people. No injuries were reported.
Jay Walsh, a division chief with the Winston-Salem Fire Department, said the building involved in the fire had four attached single-story apartments. Walsh said a preliminary investigation showed an electric appliance started the fire in the apartment that suffered extensive damage.
In Durham, firefighters who were dispatched to the Carolina Duke Motor Inn found heavy flames on the second floor. One room was badly damaged and three others sustained smoke damage.
Deputy Chief Chris Iannuzzi said no injuries were reported, but 10 residents were moved to other rooms at the motel. The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined.
‘Cowards & traitors’ written on Confederate monument
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A Confederate monument in North Carolina has been vandalized again.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the words “cowards & traitors” were written on the base of the Confederate Soldiers Monument in downtown Winston-Salem. A Winston-Salem police report says the vandalism was reported Tuesday evening.
The police report classified the crime as “malicious injury to property.” Further details haven’t been released.
The same monument was sprayed with black paint in August 2017, soon after the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Confederate soldier atop the monument wasn’t damaged in either case.
The monument was erected in 1905 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which still claims ownership. It stands at a street corner before the former county courthouse, which was converted to private apartments.
Elon University, driver settle with runner hit by car
(Information from: Times-News, http://www.thetimesnews.com)
ELON, N.C. (AP) – A member of the Elon University cross country team who was seriously injured when she was struck by a car has settled with both the driver and the school.
Freshman Molly Offstein was struck by a motorist with a green light while crossing the street on a morning run in March 2017 in Elon. The Times-News of Burlington reports Keith Leamey wasn’t charged, but settled with Offstein’s family in August. A sealed order in the settlement with the North Carolina university was filed in December.
A court filing says Offstein is still unable to care for herself.
When she returned to her hometown of Frostburg, Maryland, last August, her father said in a Facebook group dedicated to her recovery that she couldn’t walk or talk, but recent posts show progress.