Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER ARRESTED
Ex-NFL player accused of assault suspended from coaching job
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A former Carolina Panther football player accused of assaulting a woman has been suspended from his job as a Charlotte Catholic High School assistant football coach.
The Charlotte Observer reports school athletics director Kevin Christmas says employment status of 46-year-old Frank Garcia will be addressed later this month at a meeting with school Principal Kurt Telford.
The Observer says Garcia will not be returning to his job as a sports-talk radio host. Garcia hasn’t been on the “Garcia and Bailey” show on Charlotte’s WFNZ-AM station since the Dec. 8 assault. Garcia says the station would let him know “what was taking place.”
Garcia is charged with simple assault and is set to appear in court next month.
Garcia played with the Panthers from 1995 to 2000, the Rams, 2001-02, and the Cardinals, 2003.
Trucks starting massive operation to slow dune migration
NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina park officials on the Outer Banks are working to slow the pace of a massive sand dune that’s slowly being pushed each year by winds.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the dune known as Jockey’s Ridge typically moves about 6 feet per year. But this year it’s shifted about 30 feet in some places, encroaching on some homes.
Joy Greenwood is superintendent of Jockey’s Ridge State Park. She said the reason the dune has moved more this year has to do with Hurricanes Florence and Michael as well as other storms.
Starting next week, dump trucks are going to move tons of sand from the south side of the dune back to the north side. The $1 million job will take about 14,000 truckloads to complete.
North Carolina police probe string of restaurant robberies
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Police in a North Carolina city are investigating a series of robberies at restaurants or other businesses.
Late Saturday night, Greensboro police said a man with a gun robbed cash from a Dunkin Donuts and fled. About an hour later, several men with handguns entered a convenience store in an attempted robbery but left empty handed. About an hour after that, early Sunday, two males with handguns robbed a Pizza Hut delivery driver.
It’s not clear if the crimes were connected, but all the suspects were described as wearing black or dark clothing.
No injuries were reported. Police are asking for the public’s help to track down suspects.
North Carolina prisoner dies in apparent suicide
LAURINBURG, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina prison officials say an inmate was found dead after an apparent suicide.
A news release from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said that David Burleson died Saturday at Scotland Correctional Institution.
Prison staff found him unresponsive around noon. Medical staff and paramedics were unable to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead. The release didn’t elaborate on the cause of death.
The 39-year-old entered prison most recently in June 2018 as a habitual felon related to charges in Burke County. Prison records indicate the recent charges included assault and larceny.
He was serving an approximately seven-year sentence.
Cooper stronger in second half, but GOP still in majority
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper enters the second half of his term stronger now that Republicans no longer hold veto-proof majorities in the legislature. But it’s unclear whether recent hostility between the two branches can be set aside.
Cooper’s first half was confrontational even before it began, as Republican legislators rammed through laws trimming his powers before he got sworn in. He issued a record number of vetoes, most of which were overridden.
GOP lawmakers now can’t pass big policy items without some buy-in from Cooper or several Democratic lawmakers. Cooper said in a recent Associated Press interview that top elected officials now must work together because the public wants that.
Republican lawmakers point out they still hold majorities in each chamber. The new legislative session begins Wednesday.
Pedestrian with disabled vehicle hit, killed by cars
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police say a 22-year-old woman was hit and killed after apparently wandering away from disabled vehicle that was being towed away.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department issued a news release saying that officers had assisted Breondra Rychelle Newman after she and two other people were found with the disabled vehicle early Saturday. Officers drove the other two people home.
The release says that Newman waited for a wrecker to come despite officers’ offer to drive her home. After the car was towed, officers looked for her but didn’t immediately find her.
They later received a call that she’d been struck while walking in the road a short distance away. Officers believed she may have been intoxicated.
The release says that neither speed nor alcohol use was suspected by the drivers who hit her.
NORTH CAROLINA HOUSE FIRE
Frantic response to house fire captured in 911 tape
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Emergency call recordings from a fatal North Carolina house fire include a panicked neighbor telling authorities that children were inside.
The fire on Wednesday in Charlotte killed two children and seriously hurt five other people who suffered burns or smoke inhalation.
The Charlotte Observer reports that a neighbor can be heard telling a dispatcher: “”The baby’s in the house!” She says that other children are coming to her house across the street. The father had also called 911 to report the fire from his workplace in another county.
Clementino Mendez Domingo told the newspaper that his wife has been hospitalized in the intensive care unit for smoke inhalation. He said the children who died were his 9-year-old stepson and 2-year-old daughter.
FATAL STABBING ARREST
North Carolina police make arrest in fatal stabbing at hotel
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police have arrested a suspect in a fatal stabbing at a hotel.
Raleigh Police were called early Friday morning to the Wake Inn for a report of a stabbing. A 911 caller told a dispatcher that a victim covered in blood came to a window of the motel and asked for someone to call an ambulance. The victim, identified as 52-year-old Luis Miranda, died at the hospital.
Police said later Friday that they arrested 43-year-old Ernest Dennis Brown in connection with the killing. Arrest records show he has been charged with murder and was being held in jail Saturday.
It wasn’t clear if he had an attorney. No phone listing could be found in an online public records search.