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July 1, 2019
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July 1, 2019
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Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT



Special Forces medical sergeant dies in Afghanistan
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – The U.S. Army says a medical sergeant has died from non-combat injuries in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Army Special Operations Command issued a statement saying that Sgt. 1st Class Elliott J. Robbins died Sunday in Helmand Province. The 31-year-old was from Ogden, Utah, and was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group.
The news release provided no more information about the cause of death.
Robbins joined the Army in 2006 and deployed to Iraq the following year with the 101st Airborne Division.
After completing Special Forces qualification, he deployed to Afghanistan in 2017 and this year with Special Operations.



Police: North Carolina man arrested after killing 3 people
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say they’ve arrested a man on charges that he fatally shot three people.
Burlington police said in a statement Monday that 26-year-old Hyquan Johan Parker faces three counts of first-degree murder.
Police said they found three people who were dead in an apartment on Sunday. They have not yet been positively identified.
Police said they don’t believe the shootings are random. They said Parker knew at least one of the victims and had been at the apartment earlier in the day. Police also said that a person called authorities and offered a description of the suspect and the direction he fled.
Parker is being held in the Alamance County Jail in lieu of $3 million bond.
Burlington is about 70 miles (112 kilometers) from Raleigh.



North Carolina authorities investigating inmate death
GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina authorities are investigating the death of an inmate in the Gaston County Jail.
The Gaston County Sheriff’s Office said jail personnel tried CPR on the 56-year-old man after he was found unresponsive Sunday, but couldn’t revive him.
The man’s name was being withheld so family could be notified.
Sheriff Alan Cloninger told The Gaston Gazette that he couldn’t say anything more now that the case is in the hands of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.



Illinois man fatally falls while ‘free climbing’ NC mountain
MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) – Emergency officials say a rock climber has died in an 80-foot fall on Shortoff Mountain in North Carolina, where he was apparently “free climbing” without protective gear.
Burke County Emergency officials said other climbers tried to resuscitate 31-year-old Austin Howell of Chicago while emergency crews rappelled down to his body. He was pronounced dead at the scene Sunday afternoon.
A statement from Emergency Management Director Michael says Howell was apparently not using ropes or a harness when he fell. Willis also told the News & Observer the place where Howell fell was known as “one of the most difficult portions,” of the mountain’s Linville Gorge. He says they get up to 100 emergency calls from the area each year.



No charges filed against officers who killed N. Carolina man
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – No charges are being filed against two North Carolina police officers who fatally shot a reportedly suicidal man in May.
New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David told news outlets Friday that he believes Wilmington Police Officers Brian Wilson and Scott Bramley should return to work “as soon as they are able.”
Police say Ann Tremblay called authorities on May 29 and reported that her 62-year-old husband, Gerard Arthur Tremblay, was threatening to kill himself.
Assistant District Attorney Crystal Lawler says body camera video shows the responding officers asking Tremblay to lower his weapon at least 70 times. Lawler says Tremblay told officers his wife was divorcing him. Wilson requested non-lethal force from dispatch, but help didn’t arrive until after Trembley pointed his gun at officers and was shot.



NC redistricting fight turns to state courts after ruling
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Opponents of North Carolina’s district maps are putting their hopes in state courts after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts aren’t the place to settle partisan gerrymandering disputes.
An election reform group, the state Democratic Party and voters will go to court next month to try to persuade state judges that Republican-drawn General Assembly districts discriminate against Democrats based on political beliefs and voting history.
Voting-rights advocates across the country have vowed to turn to state litigation after Chief Justice John Roberts wrote Thursday that federal courts have no authority to determine whether partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional.
The pending case filed in Wake County court marks at least the eighth lawsuit challenging North Carolina maps since 2011.



North Carolina’s freshwater fish record falls after 36 years
WAGRAM, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s decades-old freshwater fish record has fallen.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission says angler Alphonso Jackson caught a 2-pound, 1-ounce redbreast sunfish June 10 while fishing the Lumber River in Wagram.
It broke the record set 36 years ago by 5 ounces.
The 43-year-old Maxton resident used a cricket as bait. He says he was fishing with his three children in a pond that day but decided to move when they weren’t having any luck. He then caught the massive sunfish.
The commission this week said Jackson had the fish weighed on certified scales at a grocery store in Maxton.



Body found in pond behind Durham senior living facility
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina are investigating the death of a man whose body was found in a pond behind a senior living community.
The Durham Police Department says the body was found Sunday.
The man has not been publicly identified. It is unclear whether he was a resident of the senior living community.
The pond is about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) southwest of Duke University.



AP-WF-07-01-19 1520GMT