Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
TODDLERS SMOKING-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina women charged with helping children smoke
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police have charged two women with helping three children smoke an apparently drug-laced cigar on social media video.
A Winston-Salem Police Department news release says officers arrested the women Tuesday after numerous reports about the Facebook video. Police seized drug paraphernalia.
Jail records show Michaela Pearson and Candice Little were held on charges of child abuse and contributing to delinquency of minors.
The children were treated at a hospital and remain there for observation.
Video obtained by WXII-TV shows an adult handing three young children a cigarillo that they puff on. Police said the cigar contained an illegal substance but didn’t elaborate.
Phone listings for the women couldn’t be found. The public defender’s office said it won’t know if the women have lawyers until an upcoming court appearance.
NOT FENTANYL-JUST SUGAR
Lab: 13 pounds of white powder seized is sugar, not fentanyl
(Information from: WECT-TV, http://www.wect.com/)
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office thought it made a huge drug bust, seizing 13 pounds of fentanyl worth $2 million on the street. The powder was found in a home along with other drugs and paraphernalia. A field test indicated it was the powerful opioid, justifying a host of charges against three suspects.
Most of those charges soon evaporated when a state lab concluded that whatever the powder was, it wasn’t fentanyl.
The sheriff’s office then sent the powder to a private lab, and the results arrived this week. New Hanover Sheriff’s Lt. Jerry Brewer tells WECT-TV that the powder seized in July includes no illicit ingredients, and is nothing more than “a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates.” In other words, sugar, worth about $8 at the grocery store.
POLICE SHOOTING-BURGLARY SUSPECT
Officer shoots, kills burglary suspect in North Carolina
TARBORO, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say an officer shot and killed a burglary suspect.
Tarboro Police Chief Jesse Webb tells news outlets that officers responding to a burglary at a home Tuesday night confronted the suspect near the back door. Police said in a release that an officer fired a gun after “a brief encounter” with the suspect. Police aren’t saying whether the suspect had a weapon.
The officer’s identity hasn’t been released, and the suspect’s identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
The shooting is under investigation. More details haven’t been released.
Tarboro is in northeastern North Carolina, near Rocky Mount.
NORTH CAROLINA-BALLOT BATTLE
Republicans say they’re ending appeals in ballot cases
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Republican legislative leaders have stopped fighting litigation addressing proposed constitutional amendments and partisan labels for a few judicial candidates for this fall’s ballots.
Key GOP lawmakers say paperwork is in to end appeals of lower court rulings they lost.
The state Court of Appeals accepted Tuesday their withdrawal motion in a case where judges blocked referendums for two constitutional amendments because the questions weren’t clear enough. Republicans say the legislature finalized Monday new amendments and referendums that comply with the ruling. Gov. Roy Cooper and interest groups challenged the earlier amendments, and Cooper’s office says further legal action should be expected.
Republican leaders also say they’re leaving intact a ruling halting enforcement of a law removing party designations next to names of judicial candidates who switched affiliations close to filing.
Hurricane recovery, pipeline focus of legislative panel
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Republican lawmakers want to publicly talk some more about Hurricane Matthew relief and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The General Assembly’s chief government oversight committee when not in session meets Wednesday. Presentations on hurricane recovery and the pipeline’s permitting process are on the agenda.
Eastern lawmakers have been unhappy with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration on the pace in which over $200 million in federal funds are being distributed to homeowners and landlords for repairs and rebuilding. State officials say federal environmental reviews approved this week in three key counties should accelerate money distribution.
Cooper’s representatives are expected at Wednesday’s meeting.
As for the pipeline, an appeals court this month vacated two key federal permits for the project covering West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.
DEFENSE CONTRACTOR EXPANSION
Defense contractor to expand in North Carolina, add 200 jobs
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Officials say a defense contractor is adding 200 jobs to its North Carolina workforce in exchange for more than $2 million in financial incentives.
New outlets report Gov. Roy Cooper formally announced the expansion by Virginia-based Booz Allen Hamilton on Tuesday. The company will expand an existing facility Fayetteville and then expand in Cumberland County over the next five years. Most of the new jobs involve informational technology and pay an average salary of about $61,000.
Cooper says the company chose the area because of the workforce, which includes military spouses and veterans who live near Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune. The state Economic Investment Committee, Fayetteville City Council, Cumberland County Board of Commissioners and state community college training fund have committed funds for the expansion.
Ruling could shake up North Carolina congressional elections
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – This year’s U.S. House elections in North Carolina could see repercussions after federal judges struck down the state’s congressional map, saying Republicans went too far using political data to preserve GOP-held seats.
The panel of judges raised the possibility this week of redrawing the districts by mid-September so they could be used in November elections, or before the next session of Congress in January.
GOP lawmakers say requiring a new map now could bring voter chaos and confusion, but the state Democratic Party says voters shouldn’t have to suffer through another election with unconstitutional districts.
Election officials would face big challenges using the new districts on short notice.
Late congressional elections could bring huge attention to these races if the party that controls the House hasn’t been settled by then.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS-NORTH CAROLINA-THE LATEST
The Latest: UNC board working on Confederate statue plan
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – The board that oversees North Carolina’s public universities has asked the University of North Carolina’s campus at Chapel Hill to come up with a plan for preserving a Confederate monument torn down by protesters.
The resolution approved Tuesday by the Board of Governors does not indicate whether university leaders favor returning the statue to its former location, or putting it elsewhere.
The resolution simply asks the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s chancellor and trustees to present them with a plan for the monument’s “disposition and preservation” by Nov. 15.
A week ago, protesters used ropes to pull down the statue known as “Silent Sam” during a demonstration attended by hundreds.