Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
North Carolina GOP, Causey, big donor subjects of complaint
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A former county Democratic Party official alleges a large donation from the North Carolina Republican Party to state Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey’s campaign broke laws so a big donor could bypass individual giving limits.
Ex-Wake County Democratic Party leader David Bland filed accusations this week with the state elections board against Causey, the state GOP and Greg Lindberg.
Lindberg founded a Durham investment company that controls several insurance firms. He’s given $1.5 million to the party in the 18 months ending June 30. Finance reports show the party sent $240,000 to Causey’s campaign in July.
The complaint alleges donations to Causey are earmarked from Lindberg’s party giving. GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse says the giving complied with campaign laws.
A September federal subpoena seeks Insurance Department documents about Lindberg and related companies.
Metal band Manowar drops guitarist amid child porn charges
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The lead guitarist for heavy metal band Manowar has been charged with possessing child pornography in North Carolina.
According to Mecklenburg County jail records, 53-year-old Karl Logan was arrested Aug. 9 on six counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. That charge involves possessing material showing a minor engaged in sexual activity.
The band acknowledged the charges Oct. 26, when it issued a statement from management company Magic Circle Entertainment. The statement says Logan will not perform with Manowar “due to the fact that Karl and his attorneys are dealing with these issues.”
The band has several 2019 tour dates, concentrated in northern and eastern Europe. It says that tour and its new album won’t be affected.
Reports didn’t include comment from Logan’s attorneys.
OFFICER SHOT-SUSPECT SHOT
Sheriff: Suspect shot after wounding North Carolina deputy
SNOW HILL, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina deputy was shot and wounded while trying to stop a speeding vehicle. The suspect was shot multiple times.
Greene County Sheriff Lemmie Smith tells news outlets that deputies joined a Stantonsburg police chase after receiving a call about a reckless driver Tuesday night. The chase ended when the suspect rammed into the back of a patrol car.
The suspect has been identified as Devin Bigler. The sheriff says Deputy Phillip Heck’s arm was grazed by a bullet, and Bigler was shot several times.
Heck was treated at a hospital and released, while Bigler underwent surgery. His exact condition is unknown, but authorities say he’s stable.
The incident is under investigation.
MUSLIM GROUP-MOSQUE THREAT
Muslim advocacy group seeks investigation into mosque threat
WASHINGTON (AP) – A Muslim advocacy organization is asking for an investigation into what it says was a bomb threat against a mosque in North Carolina.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a news release it would like the alleged incident investigated as a hate crime.
Police said someone called in a bomb threat to Muhammad Mosque 36 in Charlotte last Sunday.
Communications director Ibrahim Hooper said at a time of attacks and threats targeting houses of worship, members of minority groups and national political figures, it’s imperative that the bomb threat be investigated as a hate crime and the perpetrator brought to justice.
The Washington-based civil rights organization is urging mosques and other houses of worship and faith-based and advocacy organizations to take extra security precautions.
Former county official pleads guilty to accepting kickbacks
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A former North Carolina official has pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the federal government by accepting bribes in exchange for government contracts.
The Asheville Citizen Times reports former Buncombe County Assistant Manager Jon Creighton entered the plea Tuesday as part of an agreement. Former County Manager Wanda Greene and Assistant Manager Mandy Stone also are charged in the scheme and have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors say they accepted bribes from Georgia-based contractor Joe Wiseman, who hasn’t been charged.
The former managers were indicted as part of an ongoing federal investigation into county corruption that also netted Greene’s son and former County Business Intelligence Manager Michael Greene. He has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the federal government.
North Carolina amendments could cement GOP agenda in place
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democrats hope to win enough state legislative seats Election Day to strip Republicans of their veto-proof majorities. But the Republicans’ imprint on the state could last decades if voters also approve up to six constitutional referendums.
Among other things, the amendments would mandate photo identification to vote, lower the income tax rate limit in the state constitution and swing power over judicial vacancies and the state election board from the governor to the legislature.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, fellow Democrats and allies are fighting all six, calling them unnecessary, confusing or GOP power grabs. Pro- and anti-amendment forces are spending millions of dollars combined.
Republican Sen. Paul Newton backs all six. He criticized the blanket opposition and says voters can make informed decisions on each of them.
NORTH CAROLINA-SCHOOL SHOOTING-THE LATEST
The Latest: Affidavit points out fight prior to shooting
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – An affidavit filed in connection with a fatal shooting at a North Carolina high school indicates a recent fight in a store parking lot may have sparked the shooting.
WSOC-TV in Charlotte reports a Mecklenburg County arrest affidavit, based on a police interview, said Jatwan Cuffie was involved in the fight last Friday with four other boys outside a grocery store. According to the affidavit, Bobby McKeithen wasn’t involved in the fight, but was asked his opinion as to who won.
The affidavit said Cuffie took a gun to school for protection Monday, and when the teenagers arrived at Butler High School, McKeithen punched Cuffie in the face as they stood in a hallway. According to the affidavit, Cuffie then shot McKeithen and went to a classroom, where a teacher took a bag with the gun.
Police in Matthews, a Charlotte-area suburb, said Tuesday the gun was reported as stolen in August.
Cuffie made a court appearance Tuesday, charged with first-degree murder. His public defender requested a low bond and that Cuffie be be placed in his mother’s custody. A bond hearing on the matter is set for Nov. 7.
SEXUAL ASSAULT-COLD CASE
Police make arrest in 26-year-old sexual assault cold case
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have arrested a man in connection with a 26-year-old sexual assault case.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a news release Tuesday 52-year-old Kenneth McIllwaine is charged with first-degree kidnapping and second-degree rape.
According to police the victim reported on June 5, 1992 that she had accepted a ride home from the suspect, who drove her to another location and sexually assaulted her. A police report said the suspect then forced the woman to get inside a garbage bin and fled the scene.
A sexual assault kit was collected and tested in 1992. Additional testing completed last year helped confirm McIllwaine as the suspect.
Officials say McIllwaine is currently serving time for a rape committed in 1995 for which he was identified as a suspect in 2015.