Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
Man killed at a Walmart in N. Carolina, suspect in custody
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a man has been killed at a shooting in a Walmart and a suspect is in custody.
News outlets report Huntersville police say the shooting happened Monday afternoon. Police Chief Cleveland Spruill says a man was shot and killed near the produce section of the store. He says it’s too early in the investigation to say how the suspect and victim were connected.
Spruill says an on-duty officer was in the store and responded upon hearing gunfire. Other officers and a SWAT team training nearby then arrived.
Authorities haven’t released the names of the victim and suspect yet. Walmart released a statement about the attack, thanking police for a quick response that ended in an arrest.
ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina voters decide on legislature’s direction
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina voters are deciding whether Gov. Roy Cooper and his Democratic colleagues will gain influence in the current Republican-dominated legislature, and if GOP policy proposals should be etched in the state constitution.
All 170 General Assembly seats are up for election Tuesday. Democrats needed to win four additional House seats or six more Senate seats to end the Republicans’ veto-proof control. That’s allowed Republicans to pass legislation at will, in particular those eroding Cooper’s powers the past two years.
Voters also are choosing seats for the U.S. House, county offices and for state courts, including one on the state Supreme Court. There are six constitutional amendments on the ballot.
A record number of voters cast early in-person ballots for a midterm, despite there being no major statewide race.
FBI assisting with search for girl abducted from mobile home
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – The FBI has joined the search for a 13-year-old girl reportedly kidnapped from a North Carolina mobile home park.
News outlets report an FBI release says investigators were following nearly 50 leads in the disappearance of Hania Noelia Aguilar. Lumberton police Chief Michael McNeill has said a witness saw a man grab Hania Monday morning.
Family members say the eighth grader went outside to start a relative’s SUV to prepare to leave for the bus stop. Police say the man then forced her into a green Ford Expedition with South Carolina license plates NWS 984 and drove off.
Capt. Terry Parker says this is being investigated as a stranger abduction. The FBI says the state Bureau of Investigation, state Highway Patrol and others are expected to join the search Tuesday.
2 charged in slaying of man found in burned N Carolina home
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say two men are in custody in connection to the slaying of a man found dead in a burned North Carolina home.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports 38-year-old Ronald Lee Moser was arrested Saturday on charges including first-degree murder and arson. Arrest warrants on those charges also have been issued for 20-year-old Carson Glenn Simmons, who was being held as a fugitive Monday by a Louisville, Kentucky sheriff’s office.
Both are accused in the slaying of 56-year-old Dennis James Vernon, who was found dead in a burned mobile home last month. An autopsy determined he died from an assault and not the fire. The relationship between the men is unclear.
It also is unclear if Simmons or Moser have a lawyer.
Judge blocks feds’ effort to shrink red wolf territory
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge says federal authorities are violating endangered species protections with their plan to shrink the territory of the only wild population of red wolves, a move that would hasten the animal’s demise.
U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle ruled in an order signed Sunday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also violated the Endangered Species Act by authorizing private landowners to kill the canine predators when they aren’t threatening humans, livestock or pets.
The lawsuit by the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife and Animal Welfare Institute argued that the federal government’s neglect allowed the red wolf population to decline.
About 35 red wolves remain in the wild, all in eastern North Carolina. They numbered about 120 a decade ago. Another 200 live in captive breeding programs.
Police accuse man of threatening synagogue, burning cross
CARY, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have accused the son of an appeals court judge of burning a cross in a park and threatening to damage a synagogue.
Cary police Capt. Randall Rhyne said a man went to the synagogue Saturday and rang the doorbell, which was answered by a woman who was monitoring it. Police said the man made disparaging statements against Jews and their religion.
Investigators say the same man burned a cross in a city park Oct. 26.
Authorities filed charges against 20-year-old William Josephus Warden of Cary. He is the son of state Court of Appeals Judge Lucy Inman. She said in a statement that the incident stems from her son’s mental illness.
Warden is jailed on a $20,000 bond. It’s not known if he has an attorney.
Suicide raises Florence death toll to 41 in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s official death toll from Hurricane Florence is now 41, after a man whose home was damaged by two hurricanes in the past three years took his own life.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner added the 69-year-old Robeson County man to the Florence death count last week. He died Oct. 22, more than a month after Florence made landfall on Sept. 14. He had also suffered losses from Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
The man is the second suicide on the official death count. An 82-year-old Carteret County man whose home was condemned due to Florence-related flooding also killed himself.
The state’s official tally says 10 of the dead drowned in their vehicles, the top cause of fatalities. Six other storm-related deaths were the result of motor vehicle crashes.
UNC-Chapel Hill cancels classes after water main break
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has canceled classes after a water main break.
The school issued an alert Monday announcing that all non-mandatory operations are suspended. The school is encouraging faculty and staff to leave campus so services can focus on residential and essential needs. Students living in residence halls can remain on campus.
The Orange Water and Sewer Authority says a main water line leaving a plant broke, draining its storage. The utility is asking people to boil water while it experiences low pressure and to limit consumption to essential use, such as drinking and hygiene.
The water shortage prompted UNC Medical Center to temporarily suspend elective surgeries. The hospital isn’t accepting transfer patients and trauma patients are being sent to other facilities in the area.