Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
WRONG UNITED FLIGHT
Mom: United put teen son on the wrong international flight
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman says United Airlines put her teenage son on the wrong international flight, nearly sending him to Germany instead of Sweden.
Christer Berg tells WRAL-TV that her 14-year-old son was traveling alone to visit his grandparents and realized something was wrong as the plane prepared for takeoff. She says her son texted her from the runway that it was odd a flight to Sweden was filled with so many people who spoke German.
Berg says her son alerted a flight attendant, who sent the plane back to the terminal. He missed his correct flight and was put on a later one. He arrived at his grandparents’ home on Monday.
United Airlines spokesman Frank Benenati told USA TODAY that the company has apologized to the family.
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.
BILL OF RIGHTS
North Carolina’s original Bill of Rights copy on display
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – It’s not every day you can see North Carolina’s copy of the Bill of Rights, but you’ve got a chance this week in Raleigh.
The original copy is on display to visitors at the North Carolina Museum of History through Sunday, including July 4.
Each of the 13 original states received a copy of what were initially 12 amendments to the Constitution, signed by then-Vice President John Adams. Ten amendments were soon ratified.
Historians say the copy was stolen from the old Capitol building in 1865 by a Union soldier. The document wasn’t recovered until 2003 during an FBI sting operation involving an antiques dealer.
The copy is on display from time to time. It otherwise sits in one of two vaults in the State Archives.
HOLIDAY ROAD CLOSURES
Some closed lanes in N Carolina to open for holiday traffic
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s Transportation Department is suspending most road construction projects that cause lane closures on major routes across the state for the July Fourth holiday.
The department says in a news release that it will suspend those projects Wednesday through Friday, where possible. In some locations, the roads must remain closed for safety reasons.
In some cases, the lane closures also might be suspended on Sunday, when heavy traffic also is expected.
In addition, sobriety checkpoints will be in place in all 100 counties through Sunday as part of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s Operation Firecracker. That campaign began this week and is geared toward catching people who are driving under the influence.
PATROL CHASE-SUSPECT KILLED
Officials: Suspect shot, killed in chase involving trooper
CLAYTON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a suspect involved in a chase with a state trooper has been shot and killed.
News outlets report Smithfield Police Chief Keith Powell said on Monday that the suspect stole a wrecker from an auto dealership and led law enforcement officers from several towns on a chase. It ended when officers deployed stop sticks that led to a crash on U.S. 70 Business. The wrecker went airborne and crashed into a wooded area.
Authorities also told news outlets that both the suspect and the trooper fired shots during the chase. The trooper was not hurt.
Neither the trooper nor the suspect had been publicly identified Monday evening.
Bill addressing absentee ballot mischief advances in Senate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The procedure for requesting North Carolina absentee ballots would be altered and request records would become confidential in legislation advancing after an investigation into a congressional election last fall.
The Senate’s elections committee voted on Monday for the measure, which would eliminate a statewide absentee ballot request form that can be mass copied, filled out and turned in to local county boards. Now, individuals would have to write personal requests.
Rolls of absentee ballot requesters would now stay private until Election Day.
Sponsor Republican Sen. Ralph Hise says the bill seeks to discourage illegal “harvesting,” when someone takes another person’s actual mail-in ballot, either to fill it out or destroy it. Absentee irregularity evidence led the State Board of Elections to order a new election in the 9th Congressional District.
MAN SHOT-TEENS CHARGED
2 teens now charged with murder after shooting victim dies
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say two teens accused in a shooting involving a Texas man are now charged with murder after the victim died.
Winston-Salem police say in a news release Monday that 28-year-old Tevin Lamar Bonner of El Paso, Texas, died on June 22, five days after he was found in the street with at least one gunshot wound in his back. According to police, Bonner was in Winston-Salem as part of his job installing alarm systems and had been in Louisiana and High Point for work the week before he was shot.
Police say a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old are now charged with murder. When they were initially charged, a police spokesman said the teens and the victim appear to have known each other.
Innocence commission pick draws ire of defense attorneys
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A former prosecutor has been appointed to a third term on a fact-finding commission that reviews claims of innocence from North Carolina residents convicted of crimes. But this time, he’ll represent criminal defense attorneys, some of whom say he’s not qualified.
Johnson Britt represented district attorneys on the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission until the end of the year, when he retired. He had been a prosecutor for 30 years.
Britt was a defense attorney for two years in the late 1980s. He resumed that work about six months ago and says he has no qualms about his qualifications to serve in the new role.
But several defense attorneys are questioning the appointment, saying the commission needs the perspective of an experienced criminal defense attorney.