Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
North Carolina ‘born-alive’ abortion bill wins final passage
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina lawmakers have given final passage to a bill to require doctors and nurses to care for babies born alive during a failed late-term abortion, a measure critics say is really intended to intimidate abortion providers.
The state House passed the bill Tuesday, a day after the Senate did so. The measure would bring prison time and big fines for medical practitioners who don’t give children born during a botched abortion the same protections as any other newborn.
Democratic Rep. Susan Fisher of Buncombe County criticized Republicans in the GOP-controlled legislature for pushing it through, saying the aim appears to be to intimidate health care providers from performing legally allowed abortions.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s office did not respond when asked Tuesday whether he planned to veto the bill.
Gerlach named interim chancellor at East Carolina University
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A former budget analyst at the North Carolina Legislature and adviser to the governor is now the interim chancellor at East Carolina University.
UNC System interim president Bill Roper announced Tuesday that Dan Gerlach will serve as ECU’s leader. Gerlach replaces Cecil Sutton, who announced on March 18 that he would resign effective May 5.
A news release from ECU says that since October 2008, Gerlach has served as president of the Golden LEAF Foundation, a nonprofit which works to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities.
Gerlach previously served as a legislative budget analyst, nonprofit policy director and senior adviser to the governor. He has served on over a dozen commissions on budget, tax, agriculture and economic development at the state and national level.
North Carolina looking for teachers to evaluate textbooks
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina commission is narrowing down the pool of teachers who will be sizing up the school textbooks of the future.
The North Carolina Textbook Commission meets Wednesday in Raleigh to discuss the recruitment and selection of book evaluation advisers.
Commission members have been seeking out classroom teachers who teach in the subject in which they’re reviewing the school books. The teachers are expected to work in both traditional and charter schools and could be set to work this summer.
Plane makes emergency landing at Florida airport
(Information from: Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com/)
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Officials say a plane traveling from Florida to North Carolina had to make an emergency landing.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that JetBlue flight 1126 took off from Fort Lauderdale Monday night but was diverted to Orlando International Airport. An airport spokeswoman says there may have been a reported pressurization issue, but JetBlue didn’t immediately confirm what the problem was.
The plan had been carrying 97 people. No injuries were reported.
The flight was back in the air about five hours after landing in Orlando and made it to Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday morning.
NORTH CAROLINA-DISPUTED ELECTION
North Carolina lawmaker’s funding leads 10 in GOP House race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina lawmaker who loaned his campaign $250,000 leads fundraising among 10 Republicans seeking a congressional seat left vacant because a ballot rigging probe voided last November’s contest.
Federal Elections Commission reports show State Sen. Dan Bishop of Charlotte collected $130,717 from individuals in the year’s first quarter, atop his $250,000 loan. Bishop reported Monday that his campaign had $380,000 on hand at the end of March.
Former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour was second among Republicans, raising nearly $64,000 and holding more than $62,000 in cash as a May primary for the 9th Congressional District looms.
Democrat Dan McCready faces no primary opponent, but raised $1.5 million in the quarter.
A new election was ordered after a political operative for McCready’s previous Republican opponent collected mail-in ballots last November.
Sheriff: Man had 2 children with him during fatal shooting
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina man had two young children and his girlfriend with him in a car when he fatally shot a man as he went to buy drugs.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office tells news outlets 26-year-old James Hooker of Fuquay-Varina is charged with murder and child abuse after Monday’s fatal shooting. Arrest warrants indicate Hooker had a 2-week-old infant, a 1-year-old child and his girlfriend with him at the time. Investigators say 36-year-old Michael Antwan Farrington of Cary died at a hospital of a gunshot wound.
Hooker was jailed on a $100,000 bond on the child abuse charges and faced a scheduled court appearance Tuesday. Authorities didn’t say whose children they were or identify them further.
It’s not known if Hooker has an attorney.
Chimp dies after 35 years as alpha female in N. Carolina zoo
ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Zoo says a 46-year-old chimpanzee has died after 35 years as the dominant female of her group.
Zoo officials said in a news release that the chimp named Maggie was humanely euthanized on Friday after health issues including an infection and lung problems. Zookeepers noted she had already lived longer than most female chimpanzees, who typically live to around age 40.
Maggie was the last member of the original troop of chimps established at the zoo in 1980. She had come to North Carolina from a zoo in Virginia.
As the alpha female, Maggie built relationships and served as a leader to younger chimps.
The zoo says it now has 15 chimpanzees in its troop. Chimps are considered endangered in the wild.
North Carolina man gets life for triple murder of neighbors
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has been sentenced to life in prison for the triple murder of his neighbors who had accused him of child molestation.
News outlets report Jonathan Sander was sentenced Monday for the 2016 deaths of Sal Mazzella’s wife, adult son and daughter-in-law.
Before the sentence was handed down, Mazzella said he has forgiven Sander. Sander sarcastically applauded that announcement and launched into a nearly 30-minute rant that blamed and insulted other people.
He began to threaten jurors and was cut off by Judge Graham Shirley, who said Sander would die in obscurity despite his crimes.
Sander was friends with Mazzella’s son Sandy, and the family accused him of child molestation in 2016. Evidence says he burst into their home with a shotgun while screaming, “Child molester? Really, Sandy?”