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December 28, 2018
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December 28, 2018
AP-NC Newswatch





Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST



The Latest: GOP candidate formally asks for certification
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A Republican candidate with a slim lead in a contested North Carolina congressional race has issued a last-minute request for the state Elections Board to certify his win.
Mark Harris filed an emergency petition Friday with the state Board of Elections asking for certification before it’s dissolved under a court order at noon. The petition says voters have a right to congressional representation despite an ongoing investigation into ballot fraud allegations.
A three-judge panel ruled Thursday the current elections board should dissolve by noon Friday, previously ruling that its composition was unconstitutional. The court had allowed the elections board to remain in place temporarily because of the election investigation.
A new law with rules governing the formation of a new board won’t take effect until after the scheduled date of a Jan. 11 evidentiary hearing into the contested race. The governor is seeking to appoint a temporary board.



When lake rises, some N Carolina residents have to boat home
PITTSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Amid one of North Carolina’s rainiest years on record, residents of one neighborhood have had to resort to boats to reach their homes.
Although Jeremiah Drive is about a half-mile from Jordan Lake, news outlets report it crosses a connecting creek. Resident Faye Stanley says the road floods when the lake is above 225 feet (68 meters), which has happened seven times in the last three years and three times in the last three months.
Jeremiah Road is home around 30 people, who have to row 400 feet (122 meters) across the water.
WRAL-TV quotes a release that says the Department of Transportation first needs to determine the cause of the flooding. DOT engineer Matthew Kitchen tells The News & Observer the state could raise the road above the flood stage or build a back entrance.



The Latest: Flash flooding, water rescues in Mississippi
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The head of emergency management in a southwestern Mississippi County says they had an “extreme flash flooding event” following heavy rains that hit the area.
Glen Moore says authorities have had to rescue residents from about 25 area homes. He says they received more than nine inches (23 centimeters) of rain starting from around 3 p.m. Thursday to 3 a.m. Friday.
He’s asking people to stay away from roads that are barricaded.
He says they had to rescue one man whose car was swept away after he went around a barricade intended to keep people from passing through a flooded road.
Moore says the man was able to get out of the car and hold onto a tree until authorities could get a boat to rescue him.



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.



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.



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.


AP-WF-12-28-18 1620GMT