Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Florence slows, weakens; still major hurricane
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) – Hurricane Florence is slowing down as its outer bands of wind and rain lash North Carolina’s barrier islands.
As of 11 a.m., the Category 2 storm was centered about 145 miles (230 kilometers) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 195 miles (315 kilometers) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Its forward movement slowed to 10 mph (17 kph) and top sustained winds dropped slightly to 105 mph (165 kph).
Still, National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham says there is nothing “minor” about this hurricane. Water causes the most deaths during tropical storms and hurricanes, and Florence is expected to cause dangerous flooding.
Graham said areas that repeatedly get hit even with weaker winds at Florence’s edges could see heavy rainfall for hours. Storm surge flooding also could push 2 miles (3 kilometers) or more inland if Florence lingers for days along the coast.
Florence sends couple’s wedding to city named Hurricane
(Information from: WCHS-TV, http://www.wchstv.com)
HURRICANE, W.Va. (AP) – A couple who planned to marry on the Outer Banks in North Carolina has moved their wedding to another state to avoid an uninvited guest: Hurricane Florence.
WCHS-TV reports months of planning were swept away as Florence approached, so Marsha Bradbury called the mayor of Hurricane, West Virginia, to see if he could help. Mayor Scott Edwards says this a rare exception as the city hasn’t allowed people to reserve City Hall for events like this. But he says this was the right thing to do.
Bradbury and Jon Gillenwater plan to exchange vows this Sunday. Edwards says it’ll be the “second best thing” to the couple’s planned coastal wedding as they’ll be wed “in Hurricane during the hurricane.”
Ankle monitor ties men to string of North Carolina break-ins
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
PITTSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Those behind a string of break-ins in North Carolina had an Achilles’ heel, authorities say: an ankle monitor.
According to a Chatham County Sheriff’s Office release, authorities started investigating after eight reported break-ins from July 23 to 25. Over the course of nearly a month, they got a description of the suspects and vehicle, and were able to recover stolen items like jewelry and a crossbow.
A ninth break-in on Aug. 21 was committed by suspects matching the description, and a GPS ankle monitor worn by one tied the group to the location.
The News & Observer reports that 21-year-old Jonathan Davidson and 25-year-old Gaberial Harris were arrested Friday, and 28-year-old Deshawn Bailey is still being sought.
The newspaper didn’t include comments from the suspects or representation.
Contractor gets prison for sabotaging Army computer program
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – An Atlanta man convicted of sabotaging a computer program housed on servers at an Army base in North Carolina has been sentenced to two years federal prison.
Citing a U.S. Attorney’s Office release, WRAL-TV reports 49-year-old Mittesh Das, a defense contractor, was also ordered to pay the government $1.5 million in restitution. He was convicted on a charge of knowingly transmitting malicious code with the intent to cause damage to a U.S. Army computer used in furtherance of national security.
In November 2014, a Fort Bragg-based program handling pay and personnel actions for nearly 200,000 reservists began experiencing problems. Troubleshooting found suspicious code. Investigators determined Das installed malware.
The Army spent more than $2.5 million to remove the malware, restore lost information and conduct a thorough check.
Deal gives community college graduates shot at $10K degrees
(Information from: News & Record, http://www.news-record.com)
JAMESTOWN, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina community college has brokered a deal to help its graduates earn bachelor’s degrees for no more than $10,000.
The News & Record reports Guilford Technical Community College signed an arrangement with Fayetteville State University this week to join its $10K Pathway Plan.
FSU has similar plans with three other state community colleges. Both GTCC and FSU belong to The Frontier Set, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation program to improve access to college.
The plan is open to GTCC graduates pursuing degrees in criminal justice, fire and emergency services administration, business administration, psychology and sociology.
The deal offers a discount of around $3,000 on the typical tuition and fees associated with two years at a community college and two years at FSU. Students will take classes online.