Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
USING AAA WHILE BLACK
Police can’t find white woman in racist rant that went viral
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say they can’t find the white woman recorded threatening her black neighbors while they waited for AAA.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police tell news outlets they attempted to serve a warrant Tuesday on 51-year-old Susan Westwood for misusing 911. Criminal summons for communicating threats and simple assault were issued last week.
And now police have released audio from the 911 calls . Leisa and Mary Garris called twice to report harassment. Westwood called 911 as well, telling the dispatcher she would pay $2,500 “to get them out of here.”
Westwood has since been fired from the $125,000-per-year job she boasted about while the sisters recorded the encounter.
The sisters’ attorney Michael Phillips says the apartment complex has agreed to initiate a process of evicting Westwood.
BIG DONOR-NORTH CAROLINA
Insurance commissioner sending challenged donation to feds
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey says he’s sending money his campaign received from the state Republican Party to the federal government, whose investigators already are scrutinizing a leading state political donor.
Causey told WRAL-TV it was the FBI’s idea to send in the $240,000 received in July. The agency told him he couldn’t return it to the GOP.
A state elections complaint filed Monday by a former county Democratic Party official alleges the money came from $1.5 million Durham investment firm founder Greg Lindberg. The complaint claims Lindberg gave the money to the Republican Party to bypass individual donation limits to campaign committees.
Causey and a state GOP leader said campaign finance laws were followed.
Federal investigators have subpoenaed the Insurance Department seeking information on Lindberg and related companies.
For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics
POLICE OFFICER-FATAL WRECK
North Carolina police officer dies after car hits tree
DALLAS, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police officer has died after his patrol car ran off a road and hit a tree.
Dallas Police Chief Allen Scott told news outlets 22-year veteran Cpl. Travis Wells was killed around 10 a.m. Thursday.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said the 46-year-old Wells was the only person involved in the wreck and was pronounced dead at the scene. Scott is survived by his wife. The couple has no children.
A state trooper said a report from the medical examiner will be needed to determine the cause of the accident, but added the wreck may have been caused by a medical issue.
The trooper said the patrol car will be inspected “just to make sure there was nothing mechanically wrong with the vehicle.”
Warrant: Body of missing man was possibly fed to hogs
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A new search warrant application says the body of a missing North Carolina man may have been fed to hogs.
WRAL-TV reports 26-year-old Charleston Prentice Goodman was last seen in January when witnesses say he argued with several people before being shoved into a van. Authorities recently applied for a search warrant to obtain data from his cellphone. The warrant says someone saw Goodman’s body in that same van days later.
It says an informant told police a drug dealer believed Goodman stole cocaine from him. It says the informant told officers the dealer then hired a crew to kidnap Goodman. That informant says Goodman’s body was stored at an unknown location, but another informant told officers Goodman’s body “is believed to have been fed to hogs.”
North Carolina school board delays vote on school takeover
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s statewide school board has delayed a vote on whether it will order a second academically low-performing school to be taken over or closed.
State Board of Education spokesman Drew Elliot said the board voted 7 to 5 to delay a decision until Dec. 6. Some board members wanted more time to build community support and to view additional data.
The board is considering whether Wayne County school leaders must turn over or shut down Carver Heights Elementary School starting next year.
Only about 18 percent of the Goldsboro school’s students were proficient in skills expected at their grade level, the lowest of the six elementary schools that were under takeover consideration.
A takeover could mean replacing teachers and administrators. Parents and local school officials are resisting losing control.
ILLEGAL LOGGING-MAN CHARGED
North Carolina man accused of logging on conservation land
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities have arrested a man who they said engaged in illegal logging on 10 acres of conservation land.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office said 48-year-old Scott Bobby Turner of Leicester was charged with civil contempt for failure to appear at a hearing in March to determine his assets and ability to pay a civil judgment.
Turner, who was arrested Monday, was arrested a year ago in a case of illegal timber harvesting on conservation land owned by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.
In January, a judge ordered Turner to pay $194,647 plus interest and costs for cutting and harvesting timber on property owned by the conservancy, which works to conserve unique plant and animal habitat, clean water, farmland and scenic beauty across western North Carolina.
UNC SYSTEM PRESIDENT
Hospital CEO to serve as interim UNC system president
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – The chief executive officer of UNC Health Care is stepping in as the interim president of the University of North Carolina system.
Officials said in a news release Thursday that Dr. William Roper has been named interim president of the system, effective Jan. 1. He takes over from Margaret Spellings, who last week announced her resignation.
In addition to being CEO of UNC Health Care, the 70-year-old Roper is dean of the UNC School of Medicine and a vice chancellor at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Roper held leadership positions in the White House for both Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Spellings was education secretary from 2005 to 2009 under President George W. Bush.
North Carolina confirms its season’s first flu-related death
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina has confirmed the state’s first flu-related death as flu season picks up.
The News & Observer in Raleigh reported Thursday that the illness claimed the life of an adult in the central part of the state.
Health officials did not name the person or offer other identifying details to protect the person’s privacy. They said the person died this week.
State Epidemiologist Zack Moore said in a statement that people should get a flu shot.
Flu season starts Oct. 1 and runs through May. Nearly 400 people died in North Carolina during the last flu season.
Flu deaths can happen any time of the year. But they increase when temperatures drop and the virus becomes more active.