AP-NC Newswatch

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October 2, 2018
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October 2, 2018
AP-NC Newswatch

 

 

 

 

Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT

 

HIT-AND-RUN-TODDLER KILLED
Teen pleads guilty to fatal hit-and-run
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) – An upstate New York teen has pleaded guilty to a hit-and-run crash that killed a toddler and injured her brother and father.
Felix Santos entered his plea on Monday to charges of manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal crash and reckless driving.
Police say Santos was driving in Syracuse when he hit a car, jumped the curb and struck two children on the sidewalk and their father in May 2017.
Two-year-old Jameisha Stanford died of her injuries, and her 1-year-old brother and father were injured.
Santos fled the scene and was found in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He was 17 at the time of the crash.
Santos faces three to nine years in prison during his sentencing scheduled for Oct. 30.

 

 

CONSERVATION FUND
Lawmakers debate fix after conservation fund lapses
WASHINGTON (AP) – A popular program that supports conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the country has expired after Congress couldn’t agree on language to extend it.
Lawmakers from both parties back the Land and Water Conservation Fund, but the program lapsed Monday amid a dispute over whether its renewal should be part of a broader package of land-use bills.
A Senate panel is set to vote Tuesday on a bipartisan bill to permanently reauthorize the fund and ensure it’s fully paid for.
The top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state, sponsored the bill. She calls the conservation fund “the key tool” Congress uses to help preserve recreation opportunities and make cost-effective use of public lands.
Cantwell’s bill has 47 co-sponsors, including six Republicans.

 

 

ELECTION 2018-STATE SUPREME COURTS
Kavanaugh fight mirrors races for state supreme courts
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The bitterly partisan fight over President Donald Trump’s pick for the nation’s highest court, and the questions it has raised about the judiciary’s independence, mirror what voters are seeing in state supreme court races around the country.
Outside groups have already spent millions of dollars in those races trying to sway voters with attack ads and mailers. Some of the same national groups that backed the nomination of federal judge Brett Kavanaugh are spending big, hoping to reshape state courts that will decide cases on redistricting, voting rights, abortion restrictions and other issues.
Voters in 29 states will cast ballots this fall for state supreme court justices. The heated campaigns for some of those seats have already rivaled those for Congress or governor in their intensity.

 

 

AMERICAN AIRLINES-CUBA ROUTE
American Airlines seeks to end flight from Charlotte to Cuba
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – American Airlines wants to move its flight to Havana from Charlotte, North Carolina, to its main Latin American hub at Miami International Airport.
Citing an airline statement, The Charlotte Observer reports the change, if approved, would allow the airline to offer six daily flights from Miami to Havana.
Charlotte was one of 10 cities to receive a route to Havana after the Obama administration relaxed travel restrictions for U.S. citizens in 2016. But the Trump administration again tightened travel restrictions last year.
According to Sept. 28 filings with the U.S. Department of Transportation, those restrictions mean fewer passengers are flying from or through Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The daily flight was on average half-full during the first half of 2018.
The newspaper didn’t include comment from the Department of Transportation.

 

 

COOPER-CABINET
NC high court to decide if lawmakers OK governor’s top aides
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s highest court will decide whether legislators can reject a governor’s choices for important jobs like collecting taxes or registering automobiles.
The state Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday into whether a law unconstitutionally limits which top aides carry out the governor’s plans.
The Republican-led legislature passed the law in 2016, weeks after Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper defeated former GOP Gov. Pat McCrory.
Cooper’s lawyers agree the General Assembly can shape state agencies Cooper oversees, but possibly vetoing his management choices interferes with how the governor carries out duties.
Lawyers defending the law say it doesn’t violate the separation of powers principle because legislators who create agencies have a right to advise who runs them. Legislative lawyers say the governor can still supervise and remove the appointees.

 

 

FLORENCE-SPECIAL SESSION
N Carolina lawmakers take first crack at Florence recovery
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The first of several anticipated attempts by legislators to address the damage and displacement Hurricane Florence caused in North Carolina begins two weeks after the storm’s rains finally left the state.
The General Assembly is reconvening Tuesday for a special session called by Gov. Roy Cooper.
The legislature is expected to pass laws focusing on immediate needs of affected residents and school districts, some of which still haven’t re-opened their doors. Republican legislators also want to set aside money to cover anticipated matching funds necessary to spend federal recovery dollars.
The session is expected to last one day, with lawmakers likely to return next week to consider requests from Cooper’s state agencies. And lawmakers already are planning to come back to Raleigh in November and January.

 

 

FRAUD-BANKROLLING NASCAR CAREER
Man whose fraud bankrolled son’s NASCAR career gets prison
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
HICKORY, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina businessman who authorities say defrauded investors while bankrolling his son’s NASCAR career has been sentenced to prison.
The Charlotte Observer reports that 54-year-old Robert Boston was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday. According a release from U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray’s office, Boston owes more than $27 million to victims after being found guilty of wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and conspiracy in December.
Boston founded electronic waste recycling firm Zloop in 2012. Prosecutors say he concealed a history of bankruptcy and past fraud issues from franchise owners and investors.
His son, Justin Boston, drove in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series in a truck emblazoned with Zloop’s logo. According to court filings, Kyle Busch Motorsports terminated the two-year, $6 million contract in 2015 for missed payments.

 

 

FAIRGOER SHOT
Police: Fairgoer shot from distance suffered minor wound
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina fairgoer suffered minor injuries in a shooting.
The Winston-Salem Journal cites a Winston-Salem police release that says Maria Jose Ortiz-Rivers was likely hit by a round discharged outside the Dixie Classic Fair property on Monday evening.
Ortiz-Rivers told officers she was standing on the midway when she felt something hit her chest and looked down to find an intact bullet. She suffered an abrasion with slight bleeding, and was treated for a superficial wound at a hospital.
Neither she nor officers had heard any rounds discharged, and no one else reported being struck. Police have not said how far away they believe the shooter was.
It doesn’t appear that any fairgoers were targeted.