Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
Teacher identified as woman who accidentally killed herself
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police have identified an elementary school teacher as the woman they say accidentally fatally shot herself in the stomach inside a Ruby Tuesday restaurant.
News outlets report police have confirmed the victim as 28-year-old Madison Moore. The Charlotte Observer reports Moore was a third-grade teacher in a school district north of Charlotte.
Investigators said last week that Moore was storing a 9mm gun she owned in her purse when it fired and killed her.
In a news release, police called the death “accidental.”
MUSLIM STUDENTS SLAIN
N Carolina man pleads guilty to killing 3 Muslim students
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina man charged with killing three much-admired Muslim university students has pleaded guilty four years after the slayings.
Craig Hicks pleaded guilty to three counts of murder on Wednesday in a Durham courtroom filled with dozens of the victims’ family and friends.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of shooting into an occupied dwelling.
Police said Hicks claimed the confrontation was sparked by competition for parking spaces at the condominium complex where they all lived.
The families of 23-year-old University of North Carolina dental student Deah Barakat; his 21-year-old wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her 19-year-old sister Razan Abu-Salha said they believe Hicks acted with anti-Muslim hatred. They also said Hicks objected to the head scarves the women wore in observance of their faith.
Judge rules federal prison must treat inmate’s breast cancer
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A judge has ordered the federal prison system to make sure a North Carolina woman gets timely treatment for breast cancer while she is incarcerated in Alabama.
The News & Record of Greensboro reports that a judge admonished federal officials for what she called a ‘longstanding failure’ to make sure 47-year-old Angela Beck gets the cancer treatments she needs.
The Monday order would require prison officials to coordinate with medical providers to get tests and treatment for Beck, who is serving almost 14 years for drug and firearms offenses.
Beck filed a federal lawsuit, saying her prison in Alabama waited over eight months to get a biopsy after she found a lump in her breast in August 2017, then another two months to schedule surgery.
Senate considers bill directing NC sheriffs on ICE requests
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina legislation designed to address recent decisions by some new North Carolina sheriffs to stop assisting federal immigration agents is resurfacing in a committee.
The Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled debate Wednesday on a House bill that passed that chamber in April. The House legislation required sheriffs in all 100 counties to fulfill detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A few sheriffs elected late last year have said they wouldn’t.
The bill authors say it would only put into law the cooperative approach that sheriffs have had with federal law enforcement for decades. Critics are worried that directive would undermine community safety because immigrants in the country unlawfully would fear reporting crimes.
Advocates for immigrants have held several rallies opposing the bill.
North Carolina panels retooled in bill heading to governor
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The General Assembly has cleaned up the composition of six boards and commissions that North Carolina judges ruled were unconstitutional because the governor lacked enough control over them.
The legislature gave final approval on Tuesday to legislation that began when judges last summer declared the panels didn’t comply with state Supreme Court opinions. Legislative leaders previously could select a majority of members, and the governor could neither easily remove them nor overturn panel actions.
Gov. Roy Cooper sued to challenge the boards’ makeup. The bill headed to his desk now gives the majority of seats on each board to him.
The reconstituted boards are the Private Protective Services Board, Child Care Commission, Clean Water Management Trust Fund board, State Building Commission, Parks and Recreation Authority and Rural Infrastructure Authority.
Environmental groups sue over offshore drilling rule changes
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Environmental groups are challenging what they view as the Trump administration’s decision to weaken critical safety rules created after the nation’s worst offshore drilling disaster.
National groups including Earthjustice and the Sierra Club and groups on the Gulf and Carolina coasts filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday in San Francisco.
They say the federal agency created to oversee offshore drilling safety acted before some rules took effect.
Federal spokeswomen did not immediately respond to phoned and emailed requests for comment.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in March that the changes would eliminate unnecessary regulation while keeping safety and environmental protection.
The rules were imposed after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 workers and spewed an estimated 130 million gallons (493 million liters) of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Senators want tougher language returned to driving phone ban
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Some North Carolina state senators plan to try restoring robust language prohibiting handheld cellphone use while driving in legislation that got watered down before leaving the House last month.
Sen. Jim Burgin of Harnett County said Tuesday he intends to propose wording that’s close to the bill’s original version when it gets debated in a Senate committee soon.
That original measure made it illegal for nearly all drivers to hold wireless devices or face $100 fines that grow to $200 for repeat offenders. The House altered that measure to make handheld cellphone use unlawful when authorities determined it contributed to careless or reckless driving.
Parents of children who died from distracted driving spoke at a Legislative Building news conference and urged passage of a strong “Hands Free NC” law.
DEMENTIA-MISSING WOMAN FOUND
Missing for days, woman with dementia found alive in woods
WHITEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – An 85-year-old woman with dementia was found alive but dehydrated in North Carolina four days after she went missing in South Carolina.
News outlets report a caregiver for Jaxie Rogers left the woman in a car Friday while she went inside a grocery store in Latta, South Carolina. The caregiver last saw Rogers driving away at a slow speed.
Utility crews in Columbus County, North Carolina, spotted Rogers’ abandoned car on Tuesday near the Lumber River. Sheriff’s deputies from two counties then searched for her, finding Rogers in woods about a half mile (0.8 kilometers) away. Officials believe she traveled through high water to get to the spot where she was found.
Deputies say Rogers, though dehydrated, was in good spirits. She was checked out at a hospital.