AP-NC Newswatch

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December 31, 2018
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December 31, 2018
AP-NC Newswatch





Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST



The Latest: Authorities ID woman killed by escaped lion
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities have identified the victim of a fatal lion attack at a wildlife conservatory in North Carolina.
Citing a statement from the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office, news outlets report that 22-year-old worker Alexandra Black was killed Sunday after being attacked by a lion in an enclosure that was being cleaned at the Conservators Center.
Authorities say Black was from New Palestine, Indiana. She had recently graduated from Indiana University and had been working at the conservatory for about two weeks.
The center says a “husbandry team” led by a professionally trained animal keeper was carrying out the routine cleaning when the lion somehow got loose.
The facility was founded in 1999 and is in Burlington, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Raleigh.



Driver crashes into store after injuring 2 pedestrians
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say two pedestrians were injured when a man drove through a red light and crashed his car into a clothing store.
The Asheville Citizen Times reports that the driver, 55-year-old Eric Easton, was suffering from a coughing fit when he accelerated at a red light and struck the two pedestrians in an intersection before crashing into the store in downtown Asheville on Saturday night.
Asheville police Lt. Mike Lamb said one of the pedestrians was taken to a hospital for injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening, while the other received medical treatment at the scene of the crash.
Lamb said the driver was issued a citation.
The store was closed at the time of the crash.



Child shot in face outside Wendy’s restaurant
RANDLEMAN, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a 5-year-old is in critical condition after being shot in the face in a car outside a North Carolina fast-food restaurant.
According to news outlets, Randleman Police Chief Steve Leonard says the child somehow got a hold of a handgun as the car he was in pulled up to the drive-thru at a Wendy’s restaurant in Randleman on Sunday afternoon. Leonard says the gun fired and the child was shot in the face.
Officials have not released the victim’s name or said who owned the gun. It’s unclear whether any criminal charges will be filed.



Police: Man shot and killed while standing in bar’s patio
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police say a man was shot and killed while standing in the patio area of a North Carolina bar.
The Charlotte Observer reports the man was pronounced dead at the scene of Saturday night’s shooting at Smokey Joe’s Cafe in Charlotte.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police didn’t immediately announce any arrests in the shooting or identify the victim. Police say the man was killed when someone fired several shots at the bar’s parking lot and building shortly before midnight.



Bodies of 2 people found after house fire
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
THOMASVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina are investigating the deaths of two people whose bodies were found inside a home demolished by a fire.
The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Saturday that it was investigating the deaths as possible homicides. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that investigators found injuries on the bodies that weren’t consistent with deaths caused by a fire.
The names and ages of the deceased male and female weren’t immediately released.
Their bodies were discovered Thursday after firefighters extinguished the blaze at a house in Thomasville.
The bodies were sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh.



Court to review murder convictions in husband’s beating
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina appeals court has scheduled a January hearing for a father and daughter challenging their murder convictions in the beating death of the woman’s husband.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that a three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on Jan. 31 for Molly Corbett and Thomas Martens’ requests to throw out their convictions.
In 2017, Corbett and Martens were convicted of second-degree murder in the beating death of businessman Jason Corbett.
Molly Corbett and Martens, her father and a former FBI agent, both were sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison.
Defense attorneys argued their clients acted in self-defense and feared for their lives during a struggle with the husband. In court papers, prosecutors say those self-defense claims are a “fantasy.”



Death of rabid black bear is first for North Carolina
FAIRFIELD, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina officials say a dead black bear has tested positive for rabies, the first such case known to the state.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission said in a statement Friday that a Fairfield man contacted the commission on Dec. 17 after finding the male bear dead at his game feeder in Hyde County.
Colleen Olfenbuttel, a black bear and furbearer biologist for the commission, says only four cases of rabies in wild black bears have been documented in the continental U.S. since 1999.
The commission performed a necropsy on the bear before sending it to researchers at the University of Georgia for further testing. The researchers informed the commission on Dec. 21 that rabies caused the bear’s death.



AP-WF-12-31-18 1120GMT