Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
A more skeptical high court to hear redistricting challenge
WASHINGTON (AP) – Last year, proponents of limiting partisan politics in the creation of electoral districts needed to win over Justice Anthony Kennedy. They couldn’t.
The issue is back before the Supreme Court again, with arguments on Tuesday, and it might be harder than ever to convince the justices to rein in the practice known as partisan gerrymandering, designing districts to benefit one political party.
A new round of redistricting awaits after the 2020 census, and the court’s decision could help shape the makeup of Congress and state legislatures over the next 10 years.
With Kennedy retired, the question is whether federal courts will remain open at all to complaints about political line-drawing.
Police looking for hit-and-run driver who ran from accident
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police say they are looking for a woman who ran from a fatal accident in Charlotte.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the woman was driving a Ford Fusion and turning left into a parking lot when she crossed into the path of a motorcyclist late Friday night.
Police said the motorcyclist was traveling above the posted speed limit when he hit the front right corner of the woman’s car. He was thrown from the motorcycle and onto the edge of the road.
Police identified the man as 40-year-old Daryl Lamont Miller. He was pronounced dead by paramedics.
Police said they are searching for a woman who was wearing a head scarf and a purple robe when she ran away.
California grower recalls avocados over possible listeria
ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) – A Southern California company is voluntarily recalling whole avocados over possible listeria contamination.
Henry Avocado, a grower and distributor based near San Diego, said Saturday that the recall covers conventional and organic avocados grown and packed in California. The company says they were sold in bulk across California, Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina and New Hampshire.
There have been no reports of any illnesses associated with the avocados.
The company says it issued the voluntary recall after a routine inspection of its packing plant revealed samples that tested positive for listeria.
The company says avocados imported from Mexico and distributed by Henry are not being recalled and are safe.
Listeria is a bacteria that can cause fever and diarrhea, and more dangerous complications in pregnant women.
CAPE HATTERAS FIRE
Cape Hatteras National Seashore fire is under investigation
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
FRISCO, N.C. (AP) – Officials at Cape Hatteras National Seashore say a suspicious fire that burned more than an acre of the national park is under investigation.
National Park Service officials said they are not sure what started the fire in Frisco Friday afternoon. They said they are seeking tips on “unusual activity in this area.”
The News & Observer reports that the fire destroyed back-dune vegetation north of Ramp 48, between the Inside Road and beachfront.
Park rangers were assisted by volunteer fire departments from Buxton and Frisco in putting out the fire.
The National Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch is looking into the fire.
Man dies after being rescued from house fire in Durham
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A 73-year-old man has died after being rescued from a house fire in Durham.
The Durham County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called to a home at about 1:40 a.m. Saturday to assist the Fire Department.
When firefighters arrived, a 45-year-old man was outside the burning home. He told firefighters two people were still inside and directed them to their locations.
Firefighters were able to rescue 73-year-old William Davis Sr. and 39-year-old Keisha Terry. Davis was taken to a local hospital where he died. Terry was taken to a local hospital, then transferred to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center for treatment of her injuries.
William Davis Jr. – the son of the man who died – was treated for smoke inhalation.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
PELLET GUN SHOOTING-THE LATEST
The Latest: Police ID man charged in pellet gun shooting
CARY, N.C. (AP) – Authorities have identified an 18-year-old man who allegedly fired pellet guns inside a North Carolina bookstore, creating panic and causing minor injuries to two people.
Town of Cary spokeswoman Kathryn Trogdon said Jonathan Kyle Courtney walked into a Barnes and Noble bookstore at about 7 p.m. Friday and began shooting two pellet guns “indiscriminately.”
A man and a woman received minor injuries.
Courtney has been charged with two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon and one count of discharging a barreled weapon into an occupied property. He is currently being held at the Wake County Public Safety Center in Raleigh.
Police Capt. John Szymeczek told WNCN-TV that the pellet guns were realistic looking.
Police say drunk passenger urinated on luggage during flight
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police say a drunk passenger urinated on another passenger’s luggage during a flight from Chicago to Charlotte, North Carolina.
News outlets reported that American Airlines asked law enforcement to meet Flight 1344 once it arrived in Charlotte at 12:52 a.m. on Thursday.
A police report said the victim was a female passenger. The report did not say whether any charges would be filed against the drunk passenger.
A spokeswoman for the Charlotte office of the FBI told the Charlottesville Observer Saturday that the FBI was notified of the police report Friday. The FBI investigates criminal offenses during airline flights.
COLD CASE RAPES
Man charged with 1981 rapes at knife-point in N Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police say they’re charging a man now living in Georgia with breaking into homes and raping women at knifepoint almost four decades ago.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Friday they’ve charged 64-year-old Johnny Ealey with burglary and raping two women in 1981.
Police say evidence collected from both women were analyzed in 1981, but underwent additional testing in both 2014 and 2016 that identified Ealey as a suspect.
Authorities say Ealey was arrested by his parole officer in Georgia on Tuesday and will be extradited to North Carolina.
Charlotte police continue investigating a string of cases from the summer of 1981 in which break-ins led to victims being threatened with knives and sexually assaulted.