AP-NC Newswatch

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January 11, 2019
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January 11, 2019
AP-NC Newswatch





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



North Carolina county to pay ACLU $285K for prayer lawsuit
(Information from: Salisbury Post, http://www.salisburypost.com)
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) – The years-long fight over a North Carolina county commission’s practice of opening meetings with Christian prayers and inviting audience members to join is over, with commissioners agreeing to pay $285,000 in legal fees.
The Salisbury Post reports that Rowan County commissioners on Monday unanimously approved the payment to the American Civil Liberties Union, in conjunction with a December court order.
The ACLU represented three county residents who sued over the prayer practice, which began in 2007.
Commissioners Chair Greg Edds called the ACLU “bullies” for its role in the lawsuit. The North Carolina ACLU said in a statement that it was happy courts ruled in their clients’ favor.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the commission’s appeal last summer.



North Carolina jail ends solitary confinement for teenagers
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina county sheriff has ended the jail’s practice of holding 16- and 17-year-olds in solitary confinement.
The Charlotte Observer reports Mecklenburg County Garry McFadden says the move is intended to bolster relations between young inmates and detention officers. He said the disciplinary detention unit stripped teens of their dignity.
McFadden campaigned on ending the policy, and moved out the five inmates held in isolation Dec. 31. Those inmates are now let out of cells for at least seven hours a day and can attend classes and enjoy other privileges.
Mecklenburg began moving away from the practice last fall, letting teens out of their cells for four hours each weekday, instead of one.
The practice was banned for youth in federal custody and the state prison system in 2016.



Police: Man who shot officer had stolen guns in break-in
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police say a man accused of wounding a Raleigh police officer broke into a home beforehand and stole six guns.
The News & Observer reports that arrest warrants say 23-year-old Cedric Jamal Kearney stole an “Uzi” and other guns from the Holly Springs home Wednesday night.
He’s accused of repeatedly shooting Officer C.D. Ainsworth later that night while the officer investigated a suspicious vehicle. Ainsworth is recovering from surgery.
Kearney appeared in court Thursday on charges including attempted murder. Later, police announced he’s also charged with assault on a law enforcement officer because he shot at a second officer. That officer returned fire but didn’t hit anyone.
The public defender’s office didn’t immediately return an email Friday asking if Kearney has a lawyer who can speak for him.



Chicken-and-biscuits chain Bojangles’ moves closer to sale
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina-based chicken-and-biscuits chain is one step closer to having new, New-York based owners.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Bojangles’ shareholders approved the sale of the company to Durational Capital Management LP and The Jordan Company, L.P. A statement from the company says that over 88 percent of outstanding shares entitled to vote supported the proposed deal.
The sale was announced in November and is expected to close in the first quarter of the year. Under the terms of the merger agreement, stockholders will receive $16.10 per share in cash.
The chain was founded in Charlotte in 1977, and has been beset with a number of challenges since going public in 2015.
Bojangles’ is expected to remain as an independent, privately held company and retain its Charlotte headquarters.



Virginia ‘swamp cancer’ prompts concern for NC wild horses
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
COROLLA, N.C. (AP) – After a fungus-like disease known as “swamp cancer” claimed the lives of seven wild ponies on a Virginia island, wild horses in North Carolina’s Outer Banks are being monitored for signs of a similar outbreak.
The News & Observer reports the Corolla Wild Horse Fund warns that warmer winters and increased precipitation have increased the risk of a local pythiosis outbreak.
The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company in Virginia euthanized seven ponies with the disease between October and December.
Horses are infected when the organism enters the bloodstream through open wounds. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund is asking people to clean up debris and trash that could cut or scrape the horses, as well as report any horses with suspicious wounds. Horses won’t be left in pastures with standing water.



N. Carolina DMV closes Asheville office for probe, audit
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles says it has closed a license plate office in Asheville to investigate “possible violations of state law” and audit the office.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports a DMV statement says investigators with the agency’s License and Theft Bureau determined allegations of illegal activity warranted the office’s temporary closure starting Wednesday. The allegations that prompted the investigation and closure are unclear.
This DMV license plate office is one of 125 offices across North Carolina that are operated by private companies contracted by the state. They handle services such as vehicle registration and tag replacement. The agency says the office’s inventory will be audited, and investigators will secure its state equipment and supplies.
The newspaper says a DMV spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.



Ex-officer who impregnated 14-year-old being sued
LOWELL, N.C. (AP) – A former North Carolina police officer serving time for impregnating a then-14-year-old girl is being sued.
Citing a lawsuit that surfaced this week, news outlets report the teen and her mother are suing former Lowell police officer James “Paul” Blair. They want to be reimbursed for the cost of delivering and raising Blair’s son.
The lawsuit also names Lowell Police Chief Scott Bates and the city of Lowell, alleging they knew of Blair’s history of improper contact with minors. A city attorney disputed those allegations.
The then-13-year-old girl went missing in 2015 when she was found by Blair. He later began having sex with her in his patrol car while still on duty. Blair is serving a 12-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to statutory rape.



Sheriff IDs man found dead after 2nd person shot in standoff
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Authorities are identifying a man found dead at his North Carolina home after a sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded a second person barricaded inside the home.
The Durham County Sheriff’s Office identified the man in a statement Thursday as 60-year-old Willie Moore.
Officials say deputies were called to the home for a welfare check Tuesday and an emergency response team entered the home after trying to make contact for five hours. At some point, a deputy shot one person, who is expected to survive. They also found Moore dead in the home.
Officials say the deputy involved has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation. They haven’t released the names or races of the deputy and person who was shot.



AP-WF-01-11-19 1620GMT