AP-NC Newswatch

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January 8, 2019
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January 8, 2019
AP-NC Newswatch





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



City unveiling proposal for toppled Confederate statue
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina city will unveil a proposal for the fate of a Confederate monument toppled by protesters in 2017.
Durham’s city and county government will hear recommendations Tuesday about what to do with the statue of an anonymous soldier that stood in front of the old county courthouse. The government committee spent eight months studying the issue. The statue has been in storage.
The statue was torn down in the days after a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Durham statue came down about a year before another Confederate monument was toppled at the state’s flagship public university.
A dozen protesters were charged in the Durham statue toppling, but a prosecutor dropped charges against most after a judge dismissed two defendants’ cases and found a third not guilty.



Lawsuit claims North Carolina sheriff sworn in despite law
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A lawsuit is challenging the acting sheriff of a rural North Carolina county who used political consultants at the center of the country’s last unresolved congressional race as the narrow winner.
A lawsuit filed by the sheriff for the past four years, Democrat Lewis Hatcher, says Columbus County officials violated a state law by swearing in Republican Jody Greene before election disputes were resolved. Greene declined comment Monday through a spokeswoman.
Greene was sworn in as sheriff last month, days after a recount showed him winning by 34 votes out of nearly 19,000 cast. The local elections board also dismissed four challenges, but opponents still had time to appeal their failed protests.
The now-defunct state elections board refused to authorize Greene’s victory.



Police: Student shot near school bus stop, severely wounded
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a student has been shot near a school bus stop in Charlotte.
The Charlotte Observer reports Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say the student was shot Monday afternoon and suffered a life-threatening wound. The student is under 18 years old and was taken to a hospital.
Authorities didn’t immediately release the student’s identity. Police spokesman Keith Trietley says no arrests were made in the ongoing investigation as of Monday afternoon.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools spokesman Tracy Russ declined to say where the student attended school. He says the district on Tuesday will take extra precautions as needed to ensure safety.



Kentucky governor asks TVA not to close coal-fired unit
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is asking the Tennessee Valley Authority not to close the remaining coal-fired unit at its Paradise electricity plant.
Bevin’s office said the governor wrote to TVA CEO Bill Johnson on Friday, saying such a closure would be “devastating” to the state’s economy and the regional and national energy grid reliability. Bevin’s letter said the effects would be felt by employees who work there, people who live in Muhlenberg and surrounding counties and coal miners.
News outlets reported earlier that TVA is considering closing the plant’s Unit 3, the only remaining coal unit at the facility.
TVA serves more than 9 million people across its seven-state region. The TVA covers most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia.



North Carolina leaders celebrate 200 years of Supreme Court
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s top leaders praised the state Supreme Court on its bicentennial for its endurance amid legal and societal changes and as the place where citizens can seek justice under the law.
The state’s highest court held a special session Monday in its downtown Raleigh courtroom to observe the court’s 200th anniversary. In 1818, the General Assembly created the court, which then met the first time in early January 1819.
The court’s seven justices sat while Gov. Roy Cooper, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and others addressed the panel and celebrated its history.
Current Chief Justice Mark Martin said neither the past success nor the future survival of the court can be taken for granted and urged listeners to uphold the state constitution as “the bedrock of all our liberties.”



Officials euthanize whale stranded on North Carolina beach
CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (AP) – Officials say a whale of an endangered species became stranded on a North Carolina beach and had to be euthanized.
News outlets report the sei whale was discovered Sunday morning on Masonboro Island near the town of Carolina Beach.
Ann Pabst with University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Marine Mammal Stranding Program says it’s rare a sei whale strands in North Carolina, and could only recall one other that did in the 1990s.
Pabst says the young, very thin whale should’ve been with its mother and hadn’t eaten for a while. The marine biology professor says a plastic garbage bag was found in the animal’s mouth during a necropsy.
She says she doesn’t think the trash caused the whale’s death, but that it certainly didn’t help in its weakened condition.



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.



North Carolina man fatally shot at weekend birthday party
WINDSOR, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina man was shot and killed at a weekend birthday party.
Bertie County Sheriff John Holley told news sources the shooting occurred at the community building in Merry Hill early Sunday.
Holley said adults were celebrating a birthday when a fight broke out and shots were fired. The victim was shot multiple times.
According to the sheriff’s office, the victim was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where he died.
The victim’s name hasn’t been released and there have been no arrests in the case.
The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the case.



AP-WF-01-08-19 1120GMT