Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA
Judge weighs GOP victory claim in disputed N. Carolina race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina judge is considering a demand to order the victory of the Republican in the country’s last undecided congressional race despite an investigation into whether his lead was boosted by illegal vote-collection tactics.
A trial judge in the state’s capital of Raleigh hears arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit by Republican Mark Harris, who narrowly led Democrat Dan McCready in the 9th District race before the investigation started.
Lawyers for McCready and the state elections board want the lawsuit dismissed. They say a completed investigation and planned evidentiary hearing is needed into allegations that mail-in ballots could have been altered or discarded by a Harris subcontractor.
Democrats in the U.S. House indicate they’ll also to look into the allegations.
Trump calls North Carolina speaker on speech offer
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The speaker of the North Carolina House says President Donald Trump called to thank him for an invite to deliver the State of the Union speech in Raleigh.
Speaker Tim Moore says the two Republicans talked on the phone briefly Monday evening. Moore last week made public his invitation to Trump after Democratic U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Trump delay the address to Congress or give it in writing due to the partial government shutdown.
Moore’s office said Tuesday that Trump’s “team was still determining when the speech would take place.”
Moore says he hoped holding the speech at the Legislative Building in Raleigh would help leaders in Washington resolve the impasse. He says it’s important to carry out the tradition and allow for the Democratic response.
Cooper, Cabinet visit eastern North Carolina for events
NEW BERN, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and his administration’s top lieutenants are visiting Down East to talk about Hurricane Florence recovery, the economy and other topics.
Cooper, members of his Cabinet and staff scheduled a public meeting Tuesday at Tryon Palace Education Center in New Bern to discuss issues of importance to the region. New Bern was among the hardest-hit communities from last September’s flooding and high winds.
The governor also planned to visit a soup kitchen and a damaged home getting repaired through a Florence recovery program.
Cabinet secretaries also were visiting sites in Craven, Lenoir, Jones, Pitt, Pamlico and Greene counties.
Cooper and his Cabinet held a similar road trip last April to Asheville and surrounding mountain communities.
Sheriff: Teen threatened to shoot parents of third-graders
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a teenager who threatened to shoot the parents of third-graders is due in court.
News outlets report 18-year-old Isaiah David Napier was arrested Monday and charged with making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office says a photo posted to Snapchat showed Napier holding what appeared to be a rifle, with text saying “third-graders won’t stop calling my mom gay, so Imma shoot theirs. That’ll teach ’em.”
Authorities say Napier told investigators the post was a joke. Authorities say the gun was later determined to be an airsoft gun.
Online records say Napier is set to appear in court Tuesday. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.
SERVICE DOG COMPLAINTS
Dozens of families file complaints about service dog company
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – More than 40 families have filed complaints against a recently shuttered North Carolina company that trained service dogs.
WRAL-TV reports Attorney General Josh Stein called the complaints against Ry-Con Service Dogs “deeply troubling,” saying his office is investigating.
Customers said they paid hefty sums for dogs that weren’t properly trained to work with their special-needs children.
Rebecca Peluso of Florida says she paid $9,600 for a dog meant to calm her 6-year-old daughter with autism. She says the dog was an “underweight, skittish mess.” DeAnna Ranheim says she paid $14,600 for what amounted to a “very cute, very expensive pet” for her daughter with cerebral palsy.
Ry-Con founder Mark Mathis says financial difficulties caused the closure, which affected training, and the problems weren’t the result of a “willful act or scam.”
Man exonerated after decadelong incarceration for robbery
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man incarcerated for 11 years for an armed robbery he said he didn’t commit has been found innocent by a three-judge panel.
The Charlotte Observer cites a North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts release saying the panel unanimously concluded Friday that 32-year-old Israel Grant proved his innocence. Grant is the 11th person exonerated after an investigation by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, which started operating in 2007.
The charges against Grant stemmed from an alleged robbery of a man and a woman in 2005. The man identified Grant from a police lineup of photos. He was jailed until his 2007 trial. Commission investigators later found evidence the man and woman knew Grant and might have had other motives for identifying him.
Grant was paroled in 2016.
Woman medevaced from cruise ship off North Carolina coast
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – The U.S. Coast Guard has medevaced a woman from a cruise ship off the coast of North Carolina.
News outlets cite a Coast Guard release that says Carnival Pride crewmembers notified watchstanders on Monday that a 40-year-old woman had abdominal pains. A helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City was launched to hoist the woman from the ship, which was approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Cape Hatteras.
Accompanied by her spouse and a nurse, she was taken to a hospital in Morehead City.
Further details about the woman’s condition were not available. The release commended the ship’s crew for acting swiftly.
Feral cats spayed, neutered at mobile clinic in Forsyth Co.
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina county is trying to limit the number of feral cats that live there by sponsoring a mobile spay/neuter clinic.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports about 50 feral cats were fixed this past weekend by veterinary students working in a trailer in Forsyth County.
The first-time event was co-hosted by the nonprofits Humane Solution Spay-Neuter Program and Forgotten Felines of Forsyth. Ten third-year veterinary students from N.C. State University operated on the cats.
The feral cats also received rabies and distemper vaccines, flea and tick treatments and microchips.
Community members trapped the feral cats and brought them to the clinic Saturday and Sunday. After the surgeries, residents returned the cats to the traps, where they will recover for two days indoors before being re-released to their habitat.