Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
Sanctions lifted on Turkish officials after US pastor freed
WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States has lifted sanctions on two senior Turkish officials that were imposed in connection with the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.
The U.S. had sanctioned Turkey’s justice minister, Abdulhamit Gul, and interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, in August for their role in Brunson’s arrest and detention.
Brunson spent nearly two years in confinement in Turkey on espionage and terrorism-related charges. He was sentenced to three years in prison in October but then was released and allowed to leave the country for the time already spent in custody.
The Treasury Department says a statement Friday that Gul and Soylu have been removed from a sanctions list.
Brunson’s confinement in Turkey caused a major rift in Turkish-U.S. relations.
Lawsuit: Police chief groped officer days before suicide
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
ROLESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A former police officer says a North Carolina town’s police chief touched him inappropriately days before he died by suicide.
The News & Observer reports Nicholas Zappia sued the town of Rolesville on Monday, seeking unspecified damages.
The lawsuit says Police Chief Bobby Langston II arranged to lift a hiring freeze so Zappia could become an officer in August 2016.
The two attended training in Charlotte in March 2017 and shared a hotel room, per town policy. Zappia says Langston groped him, apologizing the next morning.
Zappia returned to Rolesville to resign and filed a written complaint. Langston was found dead of what authorities say was a self-inflicted gunshot wound later that month.
Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles referred the newspaper’s questions to Town Attorney David York, who couldn’t be reached.
Some NC students may get day off for Muslim holiday in 2021
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Students in North Carolina’s largest public school district may get the day off for one of Islam’s most important holidays in 2021.
The News & Observer reports a Wake County calendar committee decided Wednesday to make Eid al-Fitr a teacher work day during the 2020-2021 year.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. The day off would apply to its first day, which likely falls on May 13 in 2021.
Parent Maya Shaikh started a petition to recognize the Muslim holiday. She attended Wednesday’s meeting and said two Hindu holidays and one Jewish holiday were also set at teacher work days, in addition to the Christian holidays already identified on the state schedule.
Schools spokeswoman Lisa Luten says it’s important the calendar reflects the community.
The school board must approve the calendar.
NC man, 40, accused of assaulting youth football player, 11
(Information from: WTVD-TV, http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/)
SELMA, N.C. (AP) – A 40-year-old North Carolina man is accused of assaulting an 11-year-old boy during a youth football game.
Johnston County Sheriff’s Office arrest records show that Robert Eugene Holloman was arrested Wednesday on a charge of assault on a child under 12, in connection with the Oct. 24 game.
WTVD-TV reports that the incident took place at a Parks and Recreation-sponsored game where the Selma Yellow Jackets played the Princeton Bulldogs at Smithfield-Selma Senior High School.
Chris Jackson is the parent of a Yellow Jackets player. He says Holloman grabbed a player by the helmet and swung him to the ground.
Selma Town Manager Elton Daniels said in a statement that the school resource officer was able to de-escalate the situation.
It’s unclear whether Holloman has a lawyer.
Sheriff: Mom of kid left at wrong spot threatened bus driver
PINETOWN, N.C. (AP) – A mother whose child was dropped off at the wrong location is accused of threatening the bus driver with bodily harm.
News outlets report 21-year-old Karly Rae Gurganus was charged with disorderly conduct on a school bus and communicating threats in connection with the Oct. 24 verbal altercation.
A release from the Beaufort County sheriff’s office says Gurganus tracked the bus down, approached the driver’s window and threatened the substitute driver while using profanity in front of the children still on the bus.
Gurganus is also banned from her 5-year-old daughter’s elementary school for the remainder of the year.
In a statement to WCTI-TV , Gurganus says she “did flip out” as her daughter was scared, but asserted she didn’t threaten the bus driver.
AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM
Ex-NFL owner gives $5 million to African-American Museum
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – The former owner of the Carolina Panthers is giving The International African American Museum in South Carolina $5 million.
The museum said in a news release that Jerry and Rosalind Richardson are making the largest donation from individuals so far for the museum, scheduled to open in 2020.
Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley made the announcement at the museum site at the former Gadsden Wharf, where tens of thousands of enslaved Africans first entered America.
The Richardsons did not attend Thursday’s ceremony.
Richardson put the Panthers up for sale after a December Sports Illustrated report that he made inappropriate sexual comments to women and at least once, directed a racial slur at an African American scout.
Museum organizers say they are focusing on the benefit the gift will give.
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.”
DEEP SOUTH-WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Storm threat spreads up East Coast
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Forecasters said most of the East Coast was at risk for severe weather Friday, with winds as strong as 60 mph, isolated tornadoes and heavy rain possible as the Gulf Coast recovered from storms blamed for two deaths.
Waves of weather moving in from the Gulf of Mexico at daybreak brought rain and lightning to parts of the Florida Panhandle struck last month Hurricane Michael, and the threat was supposed to spread to the north and east through the day.
The Storm Prediction Center said there was a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms along a line running from Florida’s west coast to southern New Hampshire in New England.
At least two deaths along the Gulf Coast were blamed on storms that hit Wednesday night and Thursday.
Powerful storms are expected to continue Friday through a region still trying to recover from Hurricane Michael.
Storms covered a wide area of the country reaching from beaches to the Great Lakes, but howling wind and driving rain threw a particular scare into the Florida Panhandle, which was ripped apart by Hurricane Michael less than a month ago.
At least two people’s deaths have been attributed to the storms and at least 12 tornadoes had been confirmed by Thursday night in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, with the damage surveys expected to continue Friday.
Officials are concerned about heavy rain and any structures that have already been damaged, as well as loose tree limbs being toppled by strong wind or rain, Lawrence said. Hundreds of homes protected only by flimsy tarps were particularly vulnerable.
The Storm Prediction Center reported downed trees and utility lines from eastern Texas to northwest Alabama. The Southeastern storms left nearly 110,000 homes and businesses without electricity at the height, and both weather-related deaths occurred in wrecks.