Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
ELECTIONS LEGISLATION-THE LATEST
The Latest: N Carolina lawmakers override election bill veto
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina lawmakers have overridden the governor’s veto of legislation that will allow the state elections board to keep confidential any allegations of campaign fundraising law violations.
The state House and Senate on Thursday voted to retain the law, which also will affect the country’s last undecided congressional race. The law will require new primaries and a new general election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District if the state elections board looking into an ongoing case of ballot fraud decides it’s necessary.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said he vetoed the measure because it added new confidentiality requirements for campaign finance investigations. The law also dictates that a separate commission will secretly review whether prosecutors are notified of such investigations.
Defending the confidentiality provision, Republican State Rep. Sarah Stevens says politicians need the opportunity to offer their side before unproven allegations become public.
HUMANITARIAN AID OR DRUG TRAFFICKING
Man says $252K in cash seized from luggage was for nonprofit
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A Michigan man who had about $252,000 seized from his carry-on bag at a Charlotte, North Carolina, airport says the money was for humanitarian purposes.
The Charlotte Observer reported Thursday that Robert Shumake has filed a claim to recover the cash, which authorities say was packaged in a way “consistent with drug trafficking.” The money was seized in June when authorities found it stashed inside a shoe box.
Shumake says he works for the nonprofit International Human Rights Commission, and so has diplomatic immunity. He claimed the same protection when previously fighting authorities in court over cash seized at airports in Atlanta and Los Angeles.
But U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray says Shumake has a criminal history and isn’t with the nonprofit.
Shumake and his lawyer couldn’t be reached for comment.
North Carolina paroles killer who shot husband’s fight foe
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman serving a life sentence for shooting and killing her husband’s foe in a fight is being granted release on parole after 30 years.
The state Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission said Thursday it will release 61-year-old Dreamer Alston in June 2020. Parole is considered for crimes committed before the state ended the practice in 1994.
Alston was convicted of first-degree murder in Wilmington in 1990. She killed Pernell Joe after he fought with her husband at an apartment complex and police separated the men.
WECT-TV reports that Alston and her husband later drove back to the apartment complex and Joe met them with a boat paddle while arguing with the couple. Alston extended her hand outside the car window and fired several shots.
SEVERE WEATHER-SOUTH-THE LATEST
The Latest: Flooding rains fall in Louisiana, Mississippi
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Rain continues to fall in parts of southeastern Louisiana and south Mississippi, prompting calls for residents to avoid flooded roadways and evacuate low-lying areas.
The National Weather Service has declared a flash flood emergency for parts of Mississippi including Hattiesburg, citing more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain that have fallen in the area.
Forecasters say more than 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain have fallen in parts of Louisiana’s Washington Parish, north of New Orleans.
Officials have blocked off numerous roads, including some major highways, and rescued some motorists who got stalled in deep water.
Flash flooding is also beginning in parts of southwest Alabama.
A number of rivers in the region are predicted to rise above flood stage in coming days.
WOMAN-SEX ASSAULT CHARGE
Authorities accuse 72-year-old woman with sexual assault
RAEFORD, N.C. (AP) – Police have accused a 72-year-old North Carolina woman of sexually assaulting a teenager.
News outlets report the Raeford Police Department said Caroline McGee Pitts is charged with statutory rape of a child, statutory sexual offense by an adult, taking indecent liberties with a child, crime against nature and child abuse involving a sexual act.
According to police, the victim was a 13-year-old. A news release said the abuse occurred between April and August at the woman’s home in Raeford.
Pitts is jailed on bail of $500,000. It couldn’t be determined Thursday if she has an attorney.
North Carolina man arrested for impersonating police officer
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina have arrested a man who they say used a siren and flashing red light to stop a motorist who was led to believe he was a police officer.
WRAL reports Raleigh police said 30-year-old Devin Alexander Stenulis drove up a white Dodge Charger behind another car Wednesday in the downtown area. When real officers arrived, they found Stenulis had a handgun in his car.
Stenulis was charged with impersonation of a law enforcement officer and a violation of his concealed handgun permit. Both charges are misdemeanors.
School system wants ex-teacher’s lawsuit thrown out
(Information from: Times-News, http://www.thetimesnews.com)
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina school system wants a federal court to toss a lawsuit from a former teacher who said her rights were violated under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The Times-News of Burlington reports Theresa Schmitz sued the Alamance-Burlington School System in October, saying her elementary school violated her rights by not letting her leave school early every day to care for her disabled son.
Schmitz also claims her principal retaliated against her when she complained about him to human resources for criticizing her work, putting her on a performance improvement program, and forcing her out at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.
In its motion, the school system said Schmitz didn’t claim she was deceived to resign, and her claims of coercion fall short.
6800-pound gumbo for charity, Guinness record book
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) – Talk about making a ton of gumbo — the lieutenant governor’s office says a Louisiana chef has cooked up 6,800 pounds of Louisiana’s signature soup for charity and a Guinness world record.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser says he and a Guinness representative were in Shreveport, where a 1,068-gallon pot bubbled during tailgating before Duke and Temple played in Thursday’s Independence Bowl.
Nungesser says Baton Rouge Chef John Folse cooked up 983 pounds of shrimp, 590 pounds of catfish, 299 pounds of crab, 262 pounds of alligator, 111 pounds of oysters and 33 pounds of crawfish. Rice, spices and broth made up the rest.
It filled about 11,000 bowls, sold at $5 each to raise money for housing for families of patients in military and Veterans Administration medical centers.