Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
Reward in case of kidnapped N. Carolina teen rises to $20K
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – A total reward of $20,000 is being offered in the case of a 13-year-old girl kidnapped from a North Carolina mobile home park.
News outlets report Lumberton police announced Friday that Gov. Roy Cooper’s office is offering $5,000 for information that leads to Hania Noelia Aguilar. The FBI is offering $15,000.
Relatives say the eighth-grader went outside last week to start a relative’s SUV to prepare to leave for the bus stop. Police say a man then forced her into an SUV and drove off.
The FBI says the SUV was found in Lumberton Thursday, several miles from the mobile home park. Police Chief Michael McNeill asked nearby residents to check their property for anything unusual.
Investigators are seeking help identifying a person seen on surveillance video near the scene.
Suspect opens fire on officer through sunroof of car
ALBEMARLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police chief says that a suspect stood up through a car’s sunroof and fired a rifle at one of his officers in a police cruiser.
The Albemarle Police Department issued a statement saying that the officer was trying to stop a vehicle on Sunday that matched the description from an earlier shooting. The statement said that while the officer tried to make a traffic stop, a passenger stood up through the sunroof and opened fire, striking the cruiser three times. The officer was not hit.
Albemarle Police Chief Danny Bowen told WBTV and WSOC-TV that the suspect used a high-powered rifle.
Authorities were looking for the driver and passenger of the car Sunday afternoon.
MISSING NORTH CAROLINA TODDLER
North Carolina toddler found safe after search
GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) – Police say that a North Carolina toddler whose abduction triggered an Amber Alert has been found and reunited with her mother.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department issued a news release Sunday saying they assisted the U.S. Marshals Service as marshals apprehended a suspect in the Gastonia abduction. The news release said the Gastonia girl was being reunited with her mother. They said the suspect was arrested after a car crash in Charlotte.
The department referred further questions to the Gastonia Police Department.
Earlier in the day, a news release issued by state authorities said 3-year-old Destiny Boykins had been abducted from a Gastonia apartment in her pajamas.
Authorities had been looking for a 57-year-old black male. It wasn’t immediately clear what charges could be filed in the case.
TROOPER KILLED-NORTH CAROLINA
Memorial ride held for fallen North Carolina trooper
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Numerous people turned out for a motorcycle ride to honor a fallen North Carolina state trooper.
WWAY-TV in Wilmington reports that the ride honoring Trooper Kevin Conner went from Greensboro to Wilmington on Saturday. Two men have been charged in the October shooting that happened during a traffic stop in Columbus County.
Brittney Ney organized the event that also included other types of vehicles. She estimated that they have raised $20,000 for Conner’s family.
Chuck Leavitt came out on his motorcycle with a group known as Road Riders for Jesus. The two-decade veteran of law enforcement said he helped train Conner and wanted to support his friend.
DEADLY POLICE CRASH
Officer dies in crash during robbery investigation
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina authorities say one police officer died and another was injured in a crash during a robbery investigation.
A Greensboro Police Department news release Saturday said that the officers were attempting to locate the vehicle driven by the possible robbery suspect when the police vehicles crashed. The news release said no civilian cars were involved.
Two officers were taken to a hospital, where one died of injuries. The other officer’s injuries weren’t considered life-threatening.
Greensboro police identified the officer who died as 24-year-old Jared William Franks. A news release said he joined the department in 2016.
COAST GUARD RESCUE-NORTH CAROLINA
Coast Guard boat, helicopter rescues man off North Carolina
PORSMOUTH, Va. (AP) – The U.S. Coast Guard used boats and aircraft to bring a man to safety off North Carolina after he experienced chest pains.
A Coast Guard news release says the 57-year-old man was experiencing chest pains aboard a boat called the Marie Elena about 200 miles (322 km) southeast of Cape Hatteras.
The Coast Guard asked the vessel to head toward Cape Hatteras because of rough seas.
A Coast Guard cutter met with the Marie Elena and sent a small boat for him Saturday morning. A Coast Guard helicopter from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, then flew out and hoisted the man aboard. It took him to a hospital in Norfolk, Virginia.
The news release issued hours after the rescue didn’t include the man’s condition.
HOTEL WORKERS STRIKE-LAWSUIT
Honeymooners sue over Hawaii hotel workers strike
HONOLULU (AP) – A North Carolina couple has filed a class-action lawsuit saying they should have been warned about a Hawaii hotel workers’ strike before their honeymoon.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Dr. Ovais Inamullah and Sana Khalique booked a five-night stay at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki for more than $2,000. They say they weren’t told of the strike before arriving.
The lawsuit says they were still charged full price even though there was no housekeeping, valet parking and other services.
Thousands of Marriott employees on Oahu and Maui have been on strike since Oct. 8. They work at five properties operated by Marriott. The properties are all owned by Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts.
A representative for Kyo-ya had no comment. Marriot didn’t respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment.
Warming hurting shellfish, aiding predators, ruining habitat
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Valuable species of shellfish have become harder to find on the East Coast because of degraded habitat caused by a warming environment.
That’s the conclusion a pair of scientists reached in studying the decline in harvest of four commercially important species of shellfish in coastal areas from Maine to North Carolina. The scientists say their work shows change in the climate and environment, and not overfishing, is the reason for the shellfish decline.
The lead author of the study is Clyde MacKenzie, a shellfish researcher for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration based in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The work focused on eastern oysters, northern quahogs, softshell clams and northern bay scallops.
MacKenzie says one of the ways warming has negatively impacted shellfish is by making them more susceptible to predators.