Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT
BC-TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Expert: Need to study why people don’t evacuate
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) – A Florida hurricane expert says officials need to study why so many people refuse to evacuate ahead of a deadly storm such as Hurricane Michael.
Craig Fugate is former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a former emergency management chief for the state of Florida.
Fugate is skeptical of reports that 285 people refused to obey mandatory evacuation orders, though he did not doubt that many people in the Panhandle felt like they could not afford to evacuate or thought the storm would not hit so hard.
He said, “Why people didn’t evacuate is something we should be studying … Is there more the government can do? But we ask that every time.”
He also said preventing more devastation in future hurricanes depends on people abandoning arguments that stringent building codes make homes too costly or difficult to build.
He called that “the realistic future Florida must face.” He added, “We have to build better, more resilient homes so hurricanes aren’t so devastating. It’s not that we don’t know how to build them.”
Fixer says he made cash payment in college hoops scheme
NEW YORK (AP) – A government witness at a college basketball corruption trial claims he made a secret $40,000 payment to the inner circle of a North Carolina State recruit.
Thomas “T.J.” Gassnola told a jury on Thursday that he delivered the cash to an assistant coach at the school in 2015. He said the coach was to give it to a personal trainer for the recruit, Dennis Smith Jr.
Gassnola has pleaded guilty in an alleged scheme to pay off top prospects’ families to get them to sign with programs sponsored by Adidas.
A former Adidas executive, a former amateur league director and a business manager are on trial in a Manhattan federal court.
Smith spent one year at North Carolina State and now plays for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.
BLACK TEEN ARRESTED
Ministers call for firing of officer who arrested black teen
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A group of black ministers is calling for the firing of a white school resource officer who arrested a black teenage girl at her middle school in North Carolina.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports Winston-Salem police Officer Tyler McCormick arrested 14-year-old Rockell Baldwin this month. Baldwin’s mother, Tamkea McLean, also called Wednesday for McCormick’s firing.
A short clip of the arrest shared online shows McCormick and Baldwin on the ground in a parking lot. Baldwin is heard screaming for help while McCormick handcuffs her.
Baldwin says she was calling her mother and walked past McCormick, who tried to trip her. Chief Catrina Thompson says McCormick was responding to a fight when he arrested Baldwin. She says his body camera recorded the interaction. But that footage isn’t public record under state law.
FORMER OFFICER CHARGED
Ex-cop accused of shooting man after motocross event charged
ATLANTA (AP) – A former Atlanta police sergeant faces charges after prosecutors say he shot a man while working off duty directing traffic.
Prosecutors said in a news release that 52-year-old Mathieu Cadeau was indicted Wednesday on charges including aggravated assault. It wasn’t clear if he had an attorney.
Prosecutors say Noel Hall of North Carolina and his family were leaving the Georgia Dome on Feb. 25, 2017, after his son participated in a motocross event. Hall was trying to retrieve his son’s motocross bike when he encountered Cadeau at an intersection.
Prosecutors say Cadeau refused to let Hall turn left and shot into Hall’s van when Hall tried to turn anyway. The bullet went through Hall’s arm and into his side before exiting through his chest. Hall survived. No one else was injured.
VEHICLES FATALLY STRIKE GIRL
Troopers: Girl walking to school fatally hit by truck, bus
WALKERTOWN, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s Highway Patrol says an 11-year-old has been killed by two vehicles that hit her as she was walking to school.
Trooper Ned Moultrie tells news outlets in a statement that Laniya Sebetha Wright was struck Wednesday morning while on her way to Walkertown Middle School. The sixth-grader died at the scene.
Moultrie says Laniya was hit while crossing a street, first by a pickup and then by a school bus traveling in the opposite direction as the truck. She was not in a crosswalk, and no students were on the bus.
Forsyth County prosecutors will determine whether charges are filed following an investigation. Authorities say both drivers are cooperating and speed does not appear to have been a factor.
Alex Hoskins, with Winston-Salem/County Schools, says extra counselors were available.
Newspaper: North Carolina man owes $1M for Airbnb rentals
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A city council in western North Carolina has denied an appeal from a resident who’s accumulated more than $1 million in fines for operating Airbnb homes, which are illegal in the city.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that its calculation shows Reid Thompson owes almost $1.1 million to the city of Asheville for his short-term vacation rentals. The council denied Thompson’s appeal at its meeting Wednesday.
For two years, Thompson racked up $1,500 daily fines – $500 for each of the three units he’s rented between his two properties. The city sued Thompson in 2017 and he countersued. A mediation session ended without a resolution.
Asheville Urban Planner Jessica Bernstein says waiving the fines could encourage others to break the city’s vacation rental prohibition.
More homeopathic products made in N. Carolina recalled
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Contamination at a North Carolina-based homeopathic manufacturer has led to further recalls.
The Miami Herald reports Sprayology issued a voluntary nationwide recall of 22 homeopathic water-based oral sprays Tuesday, citing possible microbial contamination at Asheville-based contract manufacturer King Bio.
King Bio recalled hundreds of its own products at the end of August, and Silver Star and MediNatura issued precautionary recalls last week.
Sprayology’s parent company, Eight and Company, said in the Food and Drug Administration release it hadn’t yet received reports of adverse effects.
The various recalled products are marketed as assisting with a host of issues, including jet lag, bruising, acne, hangovers and “sexual support.”
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported in 2017 King Bio manufactured more than 500 of its own products and more than 500 products for other companies.
TROPICAL WEATHER-RECOVERY CENTERS
Another hurricane closes Florence centers in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Individuals and business owners in North Carolina looking for face-to-face help after Hurricane Florence will have to wait while Hurricane Michael crosses the state with heavy rains and wind.
Federal and North Carolina emergency management officials closed the state’s disaster recovery centers on Thursday because of the potential for severe weather from Michael.
There are more than 20 stationary and mobile centers in over a dozen eastern North Carolina counties hardest hit by Florence last month.
Government officials anticipate reopening the centers Friday morning. Displaced residents and businesses can still get help online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by phone at 1-800-621-3362.