Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
Sheriff: Man shot off-duty officer, tried to ram deputies
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say a man shot an off-duty police officer and then was shot by responding deputies and troopers when he tried to ram them with his car.
Citing a release from the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, news outlets report deputies received a report that an off-duty Fayetteville police officer had been shot, and found the suspect and his vehicle shortly after arriving on the scene.
Deputies and state troopers tried to talk the man into surrendering, but officials say the incident escalated. The group of officers started shooting when officials say the man tried to ram his car into them.
The unidentified suspect was hospitalized in unknown condition. The unidentified officer was hospitalized in serious condition. It’s unclear what led to the initial shooting.
Debris found on North Carolina beach is from SpaceX rocket
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
OCRACOKE ISLAND, N.C. (AP) – A large sheet of metal found on a North Carolina beach has been identified as debris from a SpaceX rocket.
The National Park Service told The Charlotte Observer that Elon Musk’s rocket building company confirmed the 10-foot by 6-foot (3-meter by 2-meter) debris found Sunday was “rocket hardware.” Chief Ranger Boone Vandzura of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore says “it’s being handled appropriately.”
This isn’t the first time chunks of a SpaceX rocket has been found on an Outer Banks beach. Last October, a 15-foot (4.5-meter) long section of a jettisoned nose cone was found near Hatteras Village.
With Sunday’s Ocracoke Island find, the type of rocket and its launch date wasn’t released.
The Outer Banks were hit by Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael, which caused flooding that can wash debris ashore.
Head of VA medical center in fast-growing region resigns
(Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com)
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – The head of the medical center for one of the nation’s fastest-growing veteran populations has announced his resignation, after around six months on the job.
Army veteran James Laterza tells The Fayetteville Observer that he announced his departure from the Fayetteville VA Medical Center at a Monday morning meeting. He says he’s leaving before Thanksgiving, but didn’t provide a reason other than saying “it’s nothing bad.” He says he’ll speak more about his reasons later.
Since April, Laterza has overseen health care for more than 75,000 veterans in the communities around Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and Wilmington.
He’s held several town hall meetings with staff and patients, and last month highlighted a decrease in wait times for first appointments.
N. Carolina couple accused of shooting neighbors, killing 1
WAGRAM, N.C. (AP) – A couple in North Carolina is accused of shooting two of their neighbors, killing one of them.
News outlets report 69-year-old Jasper David Peeples and 73-year-old Barbara Ellen Peeples have been arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit attempted murder. Scotland County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jessica Sadonikov says the charges will likely be upgraded for Jasper Peeples.
Sadonikov says the shooting was related to an ongoing dispute. The source of the dispute is unclear.
Sadonikov says 68-year-old James Chestnutt died Sunday from wounds sustained in the Saturday shooting that wounded his 70-year-old wife. Authorities haven’t released the woman’s name. Sadonikov says she’s expected to make a full recovery.
It’s unclear if either of the Peeples have a lawyer. An investigation is ongoing.
In Florida, families seeking the missing amid storm damage
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) – In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, Florida Panhandle residents are struggling to locate friends and loved ones who haven’t been heard from, and it’s unclear how many people are missing.
As President Donald Trump visited the devastation Monday, the death toll from Michael’s march from Florida to Virginia stood at 17, and the search for victims continued.
Since the storm, many people have been rescued. Emergency officials said that because of widespread cellphone outages, others could be safe and just haven’t been able to tell friends or family.
Cities that were hit the hardest include Mexico Beach and Panama City, both in Florida. George Ruiz of Geaux Rescue, a nonprofit search-and-rescue operation, says authorities aren’t allowing volunteer groups into either city.
ANIMAL SHELTER DEADLINE
Animals shelter: Dogs will have to be killed if not rescued
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
KENANSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina animal shelter is sending out an urgent plea on behalf of 13 dogs which will have to be euthanized if no one adopts them.
The Duplin County Animal Shelter issued an “S.O.S.” on its Facebook page saying “almost every dog in this shelter will be out of time” Tuesday, and there’s been no interest shown.
Coordinator Bobby Kennedy told The News & Observer of Raleigh there were 77 dogs and cats at the shelter, and there’s limited space and time to get animals adopted or moved into rescue or foster homes. Kennedy said the shelter can only keep them five days before they’re either rescued or adopted because there are only 14 general kennels.
The shelter is in Kenansville, about 58 miles (93 km) east of Fayetteville.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENT-NORTH CAROLINA-THE LATEST
The Latest: Judge withholds Confederate vandalism punishment
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) – A judge has declined to punish a University of North Carolina graduate student who admitted to splashing red ink on a Confederate statue on campus last April.
Orange County Judge Samantha Cabe noted that Maya Little had admitted to the crime on the stand and that the facts showed she was guilty of the misdemeanor charge of defacing a public monument. But Cabe used a North Carolina judicial maneuver known as a “continued judgment” to essentially withhold the guilty verdict after hearing impassioned testimony about how Little and others struggled with the statue’s Confederate symbolism.
Judges are allowed the option for certain minor crimes. Little’s defense attorney Scott Holmes described the outcome as similar to a tie.
Cabe also waived court fees and restitution.
The statue was torn down by protesters in August. Little doesn’t face charges in the toppling of the statue.
A judge has ruled the University of North Carolina’s chancellor doesn’t have to testify at the trial of a woman accused of pouring red ink on a Confederate statue that was later torn down by protesters.
Maya Little’s trial on a misdemeanor count of defacing a public monument began Monday with the judge watching video of her pouring red ink on the statue known as Silent Sam last April. The statue was torn down by protesters in August. Little isn’t among those charged with toppling the statue.
Defense lawyers sought to force Chancellor Carol Folt and campus Police Chief Jeff McCracken to testify.
Orange County judge Samantha Cabe denied the request, saying other witnesses have more direct knowledge of the charge against Little.
Testimony was scheduled to resume Monday afternoon.
FLORENCE-SPECIAL SESSION-THE LATEST
The Latest: NC commits $400M now for Florence recovery
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina legislators are spending $400 million to speed recovery from Hurricane Florence and setting aside another $450 million for upcoming needs, temporarily setting aside the sharp partisanship that’s typified government.
Legislators on Monday approved a second emergency spending plan a month after Florence slammed into the state. Lawmakers set aside $50 million to match federal disaster relief funds during a special session last week.
The new package includes $95 million for repairing and upgrading public school, university and community college property damaged during Florence. About $7 million will help college and university students remain enrolled despite sudden, storm-related expenses.
Most of the money would come from the state’s emergency reserves. The state has about $2 billion in its rainy day reserves.