Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
Man shot, killed by officers in NC after setting fire
MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. (AP) – Police say they shot and killed a man who jumped from the window of a North Carolina home with a sword after setting a fire in a bedroom.
Newsoutletsreport that Mount Holly Police responded to a domestic disturbance Saturday morning in the Dutchman Meadows community.
Police released no details on the identity of the man who died or the officer who shot him.
After setting the bedroom on fire and jumping out a second-story window, Police Chief Don Roper said officers caught up to the man and shot him after a confrontation. He died at the scene.
Police say nobody else was injured.
Suspect sought in vandalism of 60 cemetery headstones in NC
ROBBINSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities are investigating the vandalism of dozens of headstones in a western North Carolina cemetery.
The Graham County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday that it is seeking to identify a woman caught on surveillance video near the Lone Oak cemetery in Robbinsville.
The sheriff’s office says about 60 headstones were overturned.
The sheriff’s office is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Surveillance video appears to show the woman overturning headstones as she walks the cemetery and an adjacent church with her two dogs.
14 fire departments battle fire at North Carolina motel
OAK ISLAND, N.C. (AP) – A fire department in North Carolina says more than a dozen fire departments have worked together to fight a weekend fire at a two-story motel near the coast.
News outlets report the Oak Island Fire Department says crews responded to the blaze at the Ocean Crest Motel late Sunday night. It’s unclear if anyone was injured when the fire engulfed the 10,000-square-foot motel. Photos of the blaze show portions of the motel’s walls and roof collapsing.
The department says the fire has since been contained. It says assisting crews began to leave the scene around 2 a.m. Monday, though some crews will be on scene throughout the morning to fight hotspots.
The cause of the fire is unclear, and the department says an investigation is ongoing.
Former police officer among 3 killed in NC plane crash
LOUISBURG, N.C. (AP) – A former Raleigh police officer was among the three people killed in a North Carolina plane crash Friday night.
Newsoutletsreport that Brian Sjostedt (SHO’-stet) was piloting the Cessna four-seat aircraft when it crashed in a pond outside Louisburg.
Sjostedt was an officer with the Raleigh Police Department from 1998 to 2005 and also served in the Marine Corps
Also on board was Sjostedt’s girlfriend, Jessica Kenny.
Another woman who died in the crash has not yet been identified.
The plane had taken off from Triangle North Executive Airport and was headed for Hilton Head, South Carolina.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
NORTH CAROLINA-DISPUTED ELECTION-FATIGUE
North Carolina Democrats see opportunity in do-over election
ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. (AP) – A ballot-fraud scandal that has led North Carolina to order a do-over congressional election could give the Democrats a strong shot at taking back a seat that has been held by the Republicans since John F. Kennedy was in the White House.
Democrat Dan McCready has a head start in fundraising and name recognition, and the allegations of ballot tampering have cast a shadow over the GOP that could help him win in the deeply conservative 9th Congressional District.
An election date has not been set.
But there are also fears that the scandal could cut both ways, with fatigue and disillusionment over the electoral system keeping some voters home.
Bladen County resident Glendell Robinson said he hopes his fellow voters can overcome fears that their votes won’t count.
SCHOOL BUS INTO BUILDING
Driver cited after school bus crashes into building
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say the driver of a school bus has been cited after the vehicle crashed into a building with students aboard.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said in a statement on Friday that 35-year-old Lashandra Chere Williams was cited for failure to maintain lane control.
According to police, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bus left its lane and struck a car stopped in a turn lane on Thursday. The bus ran off the street and crashed into a condominium.
Police said two students were taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure but no serious injuries were reported.
HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL-NORTH CAROLINA
NC’s Blue Cross to rebate some customers after exceeding cap
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s largest health insurer will return money to about 700,000 customers after administrative and related costs outstripped a limit allowed by the health care overhaul law President Barack Obama pushed.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina reported Friday that for the first time it will rebate some members an average of less than $75 per member as required by the Affordable Care Act. The Durham-based nonprofit said it didn’t meet the law’s requirement that 80 percent or more of premium dollars be used for medical costs rather than administration, marketing or profits.
Rebates will go to individual, student and small-group policyholders.
Blue Cross recorded $685 million in profits in 2018 after collecting $9.1 billion in premiums.
About 6 million U.S. consumers have received insurance rebates since 2012.
NORTH CAROLINA-BALLOT BATTLE
Judge refuses to delay order voiding voter ID amendment
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A trial judge won’t delay enforcement of his ruling that voided constitutional amendments approved by North Carolina voters in November to require photo voter identification and lower the cap on income tax rates.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins on Friday denied the request from Republican legislative leaders to block his own order from last week while they appeal the substance of his decision. Senate leader Phil Berger’s office said GOP legislators would now seek the stay from the Court of Appeals.
Collins invalidated the legislation creating the referendums and the approved amendments. He wrote the General Assembly that fashioned the amendments last year was “illegally constituted” because lawmakers were elected from many districts previously declared as illegal racial gerrymanders.
Republicans contend his reasoning jeopardizes dozens of laws.