AP-NC Newswatch

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October 4, 2018
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October 4, 2018
AP-NC Newswatch





Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT



Lawsuit: Help called too late for jailed woman who ate meth
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A lawsuit filed by the family of a woman who died while being held in a North Carolina jail says she died “an agonizing death under inhumane conditions.”
The Asheville Citizen Times reports the family of 34-year-old Michele Quantele Smiley filed the lawsuit Wednesday against several Buncombe County law enforcement officials, jailers and a nurse. Smiley died in 2017 while in the county jail on a probation violation charge.
The lawsuit alleges Smiley told jailers she ingested “a lot” of methamphetamine to avoid prosecution for possession. It says Smiley suffered a severe reaction, and medical help was called more than an hour later. An autopsy says she died of methamphetamine toxicity. A state report found the jail failed to check on Smiley enough.
Defendants declined to comment, citing pending litigation.



Florence damage to N Carolina schools could exceed Matthew’s
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s public school officials expect damage from Hurricane Florence to well exceed school losses after Hurricane Matthew two years ago.
After receiving a record number of claims, the director of the state’s public school insurance fund told the State Board of Education on Wednesday that $40 million has been set aside for claims from school districts and community colleges. Director Eileen Townsend says the fund paid $14 million in claims after Matthew.
Townsend says that while claims after Matthew were mainly for flooding, Florence caused more structural damage with winds and pounding rain.
Damage estimates will become clearer as adjusters reach schools that were still inaccessible last week because of flooding and road closures. Public schools in seven counties remain closed because of the September hurricane.



New big donor in North Carolina politics subject of subpoena
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal investigation seeks documents from a North Carolina government agency about business operations connected to a man who seemingly overnight became the largest individual donor in state politics.
The state Department of Insurance on Wednesday provided a copy of a grand jury subpoena demanding documents about Greg Lindberg, Durham-based Eli Global that he founded and several related companies.
The FBI and the federal prosecutor’s office in Charlotte declined to comment on the subpoena and investigation. WRAL-TV first reported their existence. Lindberg hasn’t addressed the subpoena publicly, either.
Campaign finance documents show Lindberg has given more than $5 million to North Carolina political committees since 2016.
Bob Phillips with Common Cause North Carolina says the probe reinforces questions about why Lindberg is donating. Lindberg has said little about why he’s giving.



Recall issued for hams from North Carolina company
WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal officials have ordered a recall of ham products from a North Carolina company after investigators found listeria contamination which led to one death.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Wednesday the ready-to-eat hams were produced by Johnston County Hams of Smithfield between April 3, 2017 to Oct. 2, 2018 and shipped to distributors in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina and Virginia.
The hams weigh between 7 and 8 pounds (3.1 kg and 3.6 kg) and carry establishment number “EST. M2646” inside the USDA inspection mark.
Department officials were notified last month that a person got sick after eating a Johnston County Hams product. An investigation confirmed four listeriosis cases, including one death, between July 8, 2017 and Aug. 11, 2018.



Volunteers from Puerto Rico help feed NC hurricane victims
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – They know what it’s like to suffer from a devastating hurricane, so chefs and volunteers from Puerto Rico are helping out in a North Carolina city damaged by Hurricane Florence.
Chef Lionel Rodriguez and others with a group called Operation Pay It Forward are preparing meals at the East Lumberton Baptist Church. Spokesman Jesus Flores said Wednesday the group arrived Monday and will serve lunch and dinner through Oct. 13.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz organized the delegation, which is working through Operation Blessing, a Virginia-based nonprofit.
Flores says Operation Blessing volunteers are serving about 2,000 meals per day.
Puerto Rico is struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria, which killed almost 3,000 people and caused damages estimated at more than $100 billion last year.



Holocaust survivor who became US Army major general has died
A man who survived the holocaust as a child, fought in Vietnam and went on to serve as a major general in the U.S. Army has died.
Sidney Shachnow’s wife said by phone Wednesday that he passed away Sept. 27 at a hospital in Pinehurst, North Carolina. He was 83.
Shachnow endured the horrors of Nazi-controlled Europe. He then spent more than 30 years as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army Special Forces.
His life came full circle when he commanded American forces in West Berlin during the Cold War. He said he lived in a house that was once owned by Hitler’s finance minister.
Shachnow was 6 or 7 years old when the Nazis forced Lithuanian Jews into a concentration camp. The vast majority of its prisoners died.



Jury finds ex-Charlotte QB Olsen not guilty of rape changes
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A jury has found former Charlotte 49ers quarterback Kevin Olsen not guilty on rape charges.
News outlets report the jury returned its verdict Wednesday.
Authorities had filed multiple charges against Olsen, including three counts of felony second-degree forcible rape and communicating threats. Kevin Olsen is the younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen.
The 23-year-old Olsen could have been sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison on each of the three rape charges. He was suspended from all athletic activities and kicked off the 49ers football team in September 2017.
Greg Olsen was in the courtroom when his brother’s verdict was read.

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Ohio family purchases US flag shredded by Hurricane Florence
CINCINNATI (AP) – An Ohio family says they bought the U.S. flag captured on a live camera as it was being torn to shreds by Hurricane Florence to honor the memory of a family member who recently died from cancer.
Mike Caruso, of Cincinnati says his family was motivated by the tattered flag’s ordeal during the hurricane, and it also reminded him of his brother, Charlotte resident Kevin Caruso. Kevin Caruso died Sunday, just hours before bidding on the flag closed.
Mike Caruso says the purchase was also motivated by online commentators nicknaming the flag “Kevin.”
The flag earned a national reputation while flying off the coast of North Carolina on the Frying Pan Tower, a former lighthouse that is now an inn.
The family won the auction for $10,900.



AP-WF-10-04-18 1021GMT