Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
ELECTION 2019-NORTH CAROLINA-3RD DISTRICT
Congressman’s death triggers election, glut of candidates
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Jr.’s North Carolina congressional seat was expected to be up for grabs soon, but it happened more quickly than most people anticipated.
Months after the Republican announced his 2018 campaign would be his last, Jones’ health faded. He died in February at 76.
Jones’ death drew people from a broad political spectrum to praise his commitment to his constituents, his faith and his willingness to buck party leadership, such as when he opposed the Iraq War.
It also drew over two dozen candidates from four parties into an off-year special election to replace him in the GOP-leaning 3rd Congressional District.
The primaries are April 30.
With 17 Republican and six Democratic candidates, one or two runoffs could be required in July before a September general election.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENT PROTEST-ARREST
Police: Vandals defaced Confederate statue with KKK hoods
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Police say they arrested two people who climbed and placed Ku Klux Klan hoods on statues at a Confederate monument in North Carolina.
Newsoutlets report that Enzo Niebuhr and Jody Anderson were detained Sunday during a protest near the North Carolina Women of the Confederacy monument. The monument is located in the capital of Raleigh near the Statehouse.
Police said Niebuhr and Anderson are charged with defacing a public monument and disorderly conduct. The reports did not say whether the two have attorneys who can speak on their behalf.
The news outlets quote the “Smash Racism Raleigh” group as saying that its members were holding a peaceful protest to provide context about the history of the statues. The group says Niebuhr and Anderson shouldn’t have been arrested.
Police: Wind may be factor in fatal skydiver accident in NC
(Information from: The StarNews, http://starnewsonline.com)
SOUTHPORT, N.C. (AP) – Police say a 29-year-old man has died in a skydiving accident in North Carolina.
The Wilmington Star News reports that the accident occurred Sunday morning at the Cape Fear Regional Jetport in Southport. It’s about 45 minutes south of Wilmington.
The man who died has been identified as Justin Goff of Florida.
Oak Island Assistant Police Chief Chris Franks said wind may have been a factor.
Airport director Howie Franklin said he spoke to staff who witnessed the incident. Franklin said he believes that Goff’s chute collapsed while he was making a turn and couldn’t get enough wind to re-open it. He called it “a freak accident.”
NC governor seeks economic aid for businesses at blast site
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper wants the federal government’s help in assisting businesses in a North Carolina city also feeling the results of a deadly natural gas explosion at cash registers.
Cooper has written the U.S. Small Business Administration asking it take action so that some Durham businesses can access disaster loans after the April 10 explosion. The blast killed one person and injured 25 others.
Cooper’s office said the gas leak led to heavy damage to at least nine businesses, destroying four of them. Cooper’s letter dated Friday says a survey of affected businesses shows a cumulative economic loss of 40 percent of more compared to the same period a year ago.
An investigation into the explosion continues.
N Carolina’s Earth Day: Invasive species out, clean power in
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Environmentalists are honoring Mother Earth and discussing the work ahead to protect it.
North Carolina Earth Day events to demonstrate support for environmental protection are scheduled Monday in Raleigh, Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Asheville. Pilot Mountain State Park in Stokes County is organizing volunteers to help dig up or cut out invasive plants crowding out local species.
People who want to see a day when all the energy used is generated by sources like wind, water and sun are gathering at North Carolina State University.
Renewable energy has grown fast, with the country producing nearly eight times more solar and wind power than in 2007. Legislation in the state’s General Assembly would pick up the pace of change, with a goal of North Carolina operating fully on clean energy by 2050.
POLICE SHOOTING-MAN DEAD
Police kill suspect at North Carolina shopping center
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina investigators are conducting a probe into the fatal shooting of a man by a police officer in the state’s capital city.
Raleigh police announced Sunday that 30-year-old Soheil Antonio Mojarrad was shot in an encounter with an officer Saturday night at a shopping center in the eastern part of the city.
Officials did not immediately disclose whether Mojarrad was armed with a gun or other weapon when he was shot.
Police identified the officer involved in the shooting as W.B. Edwards. Officials said Edwards was equipped with a body-worn camera at the time of the shooting, but that it was not activated. Raleigh police and agents with the State Bureau of Investigation are reviewing other video related to the incident.
ROAD RAGE-CHILDREN SHOT
2 children shot in road rage incident involving father
MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina man has been arrested after two children were shot in a road rage incident.
Surry County officials say 41-year-old Byron Donnell Green of Mount Airy is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, discharging a weapon into an occupied property causing bodily injury and assault by pointing a gun. Bond for Green was set at $600,000.
Investigators say a 9-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl were shot Saturday afternoon after Green became involved in a road rage incident with their father in the Flat Rock community of Mount Airy.
The children were driven to the hospital by their father. The boy was treated and released, and the girl was reported in stable condition after undergoing surgery.
WILMINGTON CRIME LAB
NC sheriff’s office could take control of police crime lab
(Information from: The StarNews, http://starnewsonline.com)
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – When the Wilmington Police Department founded a crime lab more than 10 years ago, it had hoped to use it to convince the state to build a satellite facility there.
Instead, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office could assume control of the lab with a troubled history.
The StarNews of Wilmington reports the two agencies are proposing that sheriff’s office oversee the lab, which would remain at police headquarters. The sheriff’s office would provide 60 percent of funding, with the police department providing the rest.
The crime lab’s fate has hung in the balance since January, when a forensic chemist was fired for lying about calibrating machines used to determine whether a substance is an illegal narcotic. Police now send suspected drugs to the state crime lab to be tested.