Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-THE LATEST
The Latest: North Carolina Congress race still very close
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina congressional race remains too close to call even after all precincts reported their totals.
Election numbers show Republican Mark Harris narrowly ahead of Democrat Dan McCready in the south-central 9th District. The unofficial results have Harris with a lead of about 1,850 votes from almost 280,000 ballots cast in the race. Absentee ballots will continue to trickle in this week.
The current margin between Harris and McCready means McCready could seek a recount.
Republicans have held the 9th District seat since the early 1960s. Harris is a Baptist minister who upset Rep. Robert Pittenger in the May GOP primary. McCready is an Iraq War veteran and solar energy investment firm owner whose campaign outraised Harris.
FBI offers $15K reward in case of kidnapped N Carolina teen
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward in the case of a 13-year-old girl kidnapped from a North Carolina mobile home park.
News outlets report the search for Hania Noelia Aguilar also expanded Tuesday as authorities circulated her picture across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.
Family members say the eighth grader went outside Monday morning to start a relative’s SUV to prepare to leave for the bus stop. Police say a man then forced her into a green Ford Expedition with South Carolina license plates NWS 984 and drove off.
FBI Supervisor Andy de la Rocha read a statement from Hania’s mother saying she doesn’t “have anything against whoever did this to” her daughter and just wants her back.
Conservancy buys land to protect Seven Sisters peak
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. (AP) – A new purchase by a North Carolina-based land trust has expanded protection of the “Seven Sisters,” a string of mountain summits officially known as the Middle Mountains.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Tuesday Jim and Marcia Verbrugge sold 123 acres (50 hectares) on Brushy Knob to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy for $400,000, less than half the assessed price.
SAHC Executive Director Carl Silverstein says the deal means the peak’s western flank will join its eastern slopes in being protected forever from housing or other development.
While the Montreat Conservation Easement and the Asheville Watershed protect much of the Seven Sisters, hundreds of acres are privately owned by Camp Merri-Mac and the Billy Graham Estate.
The Verbrugges said in a statement that they wanted to make sure the land was persevered.
Man pleads guilty to taking pictures of boy in park restroom
(Information from: The Gaston Gazette, http://www.gastongazette.com)
STANLEY, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man who acknowledged taking photos of a boy in a park restroom will serve at least two years in state prison.
The Gaston Gazette reports 35-year-old Christopher David Hayes pleaded guilty to felony secret peeping, indecent liberties, assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run Tuesday.
Prosecutors say the 10-year-old was using the bathroom May 12 when he heard a camera in the stall next to him and ran out screaming. While trying to leave the park, Hayes ran over someone’s foot and backed into a car.
He was arrested later at a rehabilitation center.
His lawyer says alcohol impaired his judgment. The boy’s stepmother said in court that he’s scared of adult men.
Hayes will be required to register as a sex offender for 30 years.
CHILD VAN-FATAL CRASH
Police: Impaired driver hits day care van, killing woman
CLAYTON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say an impaired driver crashed into a day care van, killing its driver.
News outlets cite a North Carolina State Highway Patrol release that says 38-year-old Seth Charles Tracy crashed head-on into a Kids Country of Clayton van on Tuesday afternoon. The van’s driver, 39-year-old Martha Darlene Peterson, died at the scene.
Several elementary-school-age children were in the van at the time, with some suffering minor injuries.
Tracy was driving a work truck owned by Bizzy Bee Plumbing. He’s charged with driving while impaired and felony death by motor vehicle. He suffered minor injuries and is being held in Johnston County Jail. His bail is set at $1 million.
It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer to comment on his behalf.
Teen arrested in N Carolina stabbing over vaping device
(Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com)
KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a 15-year-old boy is in custody in connection to a stabbing attack over who owned a vaping device.
The Virginian-Pilot reports Kill Devil Hills police officers responding to the scene Friday found a 19-year-old man suffering multiple stab wounds. He had life-threatening wounds and was taken to a hospital for treatment. His condition is unclear.
A police release says officers are seeking a juvenile petition against the 15-year-old boy. It says a juvenile petition is required for suspects younger than 16. The teen is being held at a juvenile detention center in Greenville.
Police say alcohol was involved.
ELECTION 2018-VOTING PROBLEMS-NORTH CAROLINA
Officials: Ballot troubles at some North Carolina polls
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina officials say high humidity is to blame after receiving reports that ballots in some precincts can’t be fed through tabulators, but they stress that all ballots will be counted.
The State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement said in a news release Tuesday that it received reports that ballots can’t be fed through tabulators in some precincts in Wake County and elsewhere. Officials say such ballots are stored securely in “emergency bins” and will be tabulated as soon as possible.
Officials also announced the state board will meet Tuesday afternoon to consider the Columbus County Board of Elections’ request to extend voting hours at a precinct where workers didn’t have the correct ballot when polls opened.
UNC-Chapel Hill to resume classes 2 days after water issues
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Officials at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill say classes will resume Wednesday, two days after a water main break forced a cancellation.
An announcement on the school’s news webpage said the campus would resume normal operations at 5 p.m. Tuesday, with classes beginning at 8 a.m. the next day. A boil water advisory remains in effect for the campus and surrounding areas.
UNC Medical Center temporarily suspended elective surgeries. The local school system dismissed students early.
The Orange Water and Sewer Authority says a main water line leaving a plant broke, draining its storage.
In February 2017, a water main break led UNC officials to cancel classes and forced restaurants and hotels to close. A men’s basketball game had to be moved from Chapel Hill to Greensboro.