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January 16, 2019
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January 16, 2019
AP-NC Newswatch





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



The Latest: Activists celebrate Confederate marker’s removal
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Activists held a “victory party” on the campus of North Carolina’s flagship public university to celebrate the removal of the last remnants of a Confederate statue.
News outlets report that organizers gathered Tuesday night at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where they ate pizza, gave celebratory speeches and chanted, “I believe that we will win!”
Chancellor Carol Folt announced Monday that she had authorized that the pedestal that once held the statue known as “Silent Sam” be removed from a main campus quad and put into storage. Workers hauled the marble pedestal off the quad hours later.
The “Silent Sam” statue itself has been in storage since it was pulled down last August by protesters who consider it a racist symbol.



North Carolina officials say job talks with Apple continue
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Business recruiters say they’re still in talks with Apple over bringing more jobs to North Carolina.
The state’s main recruiting arms say they’re withholding details of North Carolina’s failed effort to land more than 5,000 Apple jobs going instead to Austin, Texas.
A spokeswoman for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina said Tuesday the public records will stay secret because “Apple is currently an active recruitment project.” The state Commerce Department said the same Monday.
Gov. Roy Cooper said last month there are ongoing jobs talks with Apple.
Sources told The Associated Press last year that Apple was strongly considering North Carolina for its new corporate campus. The company last month bypassed North Carolina not only for the massive project but also expansions in several other cities.



3 arrested in shooting of North Carolina trooper
WILSON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities have made three arrests in connection with the shooting of a third-generation North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper.
The highway patrol’s Sgt. Michael Baker identified the trooper as Daniel Harrell, who he said was hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries after Monday evening’s shooting. Harrell was shot while conducting a traffic stop.
Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard Jr. says 36-year-old John David Jones was arrested around midnight and charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injuries and assault on a law enforcement officer.
Authorities also arrested 25-year-old Bryan Mullins and 40-year-old William Boswell, who are charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
It’s unclear whether the men have lawyers.



Ex-deputies claim reporting comments led to firings
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Two former deputies say a newly elected North Carolina sheriff fired them two years after they reported a supervisor’s inappropriate comments during “sensitivity training.” The supervisor has been promoted.
Since Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker took office, he’s fired or demoted dozens of staffers, including Gray Speight and Steven Williamson. They believe it was retaliation.
WRAL-TV reports internal investigation notes show then-Lt. Teddy Patrick signaled during the 2017 sessions that he thought being gay was wrong, but he could work with gay people.
Then-Sheriff Donnie Harrison sought out deputies, including Speight and Williamson, to recount what was said. Despite recommendations for termination, Harrison demoted Patrick.
In a statement, Baker says Patrick’s promotion to captain came after a “thorough review” that included the “training session comments and their context and purpose.”



In era of news deserts, no easy fix for local news struggles
NEW YORK (AP) – The local news industry hasn’t been the subject of much good news itself lately.
Newspaper circulation is down sharply, and so is employment in the newspaper industry. Financial cutbacks have led to the shutdown of nearly 1,800 daily and weekly newspapers since 2004, and given rise to new terminology to describe what’s left in their wake. “News deserts” describes parts of the country no longer covered by daily journalists, while “ghost newspapers” is a term for publications with much more limited circulation and ambition.
Facebook’s $300 million donation Tuesday to fund local news initiatives helped put the problem in focus. So did the ownership bid for the Gannett company, publisher of USA Today and several daily newspapers, by a company known for making sharp financial cutbacks.



For ‘Miracle’ flight survivors, a decade of thankfulness
NEW YORK (AP) – For the people who were on US Airways flight 1549, it’s been 10 years of being around to enjoy milestones and important moments since the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
That was Jan. 15, 2009, when their plane collided with a flock of geese after takeoff from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport. Everyone on board survived the crash landing into the Hudson River.
Survivors, including Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who helmed the controls in the plane’s final descent, gathered Tuesday at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, where the flight was headed and where the damaged plane is now held.
At 3:31 p.m., the exact moment the plane splashed down in the river on Jan. 15, 2009, they shared a toast, with Sullenberger counting down the last five seconds.



North Carolina man accused of punching child at mall
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina aren’t releasing details about the arrest of a man accused of pushing and punching an 11-year-old child during a fight outside a mall.
Asheville police said 51-year-old David Steven Bell of Black Mountain is charged with misdemeanor assault on a child under the age of 12 following the altercation outside Asheville Mall last weekend.
Video footage shared on social media shows a man pushing a child. When the child approaches the man, he punches the child, knocking them to the sidewalk.
Police spokeswoman Christina Hallingse told the Asheville Citizen Times two 13-year-old girls said Bell pushed them as well, leading to charges of assault on a female. An incident report provided no details. Hallingse cited a state statue prohibiting the release of information involving a juvenile.



Murder conviction in North Carolina apartment attack upheld
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina appeals court found no errors in the trial of a man convicted of first-degree murder in the bludgeoning and stabbing death of a mother in her apartment during a night-time robbery.
A state Court of Appeals panel upheld Tuesday the 2016 conviction of Travion Smith. He was sentenced to life in prison for the 2013 killing of Melissa Huggins-Jones.
Evidence showed Smith was part of a trio stealing electronics from unlocked cars in north Raleigh. Prosecutors say Smith and another man entered the victim’s apartment building. The opinion says Huggins-Jones kept her windows and a sliding door open because the air conditioning wasn’t working. Her 8-year-old daughter was in another bedroom but wasn’t hurt.
The appeals court rejected Smith’s challenges about jury instructions and a prosecutor’s witness.



AP-WF-01-16-19 1121GMT