Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
GOP consultant’s private files viewed in gerrymandering case
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s legislative districts for having excessively political boundaries is going to trial, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court declared it has no authority to rule on partisan gerrymandering claims.
What’s different about the case in Raleigh is that it’s getting heard in state court, and the claims are based on alleged violations of the North Carolina Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution.
The Supreme Court’s majority opinion last week involving North Carolina’s congressional map focused only on federal courts.
The state lawsuit challenging state House and Senate districts is scheduled to go to trial July 15.
A big issue during Tuesday’s pretrial hearing will be whether a Republican consultant’s private files will be allowed as evidence.
RAFTERS RESCUED-NORTH CAROLINA
Rafters rescued after becoming stuck in NC’s Cape Fear River
ERWIN, N.C. (AP) – A group of 17 rafters were rescued from North Carolina’s Cape Fear River when they became stranded after dark.
News outlets report the group of adults, teenagers and children had set out to tube down the river Monday afternoon. Erwin Fire & Rescue Chief John Wilkins said they told rescuers that once it got dark, they became disoriented and couldn’t find their way out.
The water levels were also low, which turned the float trip longer than expected. No injuries were reported when crews eventually rescued the group around 10 p.m.
WRAL reports firefighters gifted each of the rescued with an Erwin Fire Department T-shirt.
USC PLAYER SHOT
Police say former U. South Carolina quarterback shot in NC
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police say former University of South Carolina quarterback Anthony Wright is recovering in the hospital from being shot in a domestic dispute.
Concord Police said in a news release they think Wright got into an altercation with his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend when the ex-boyfriend showed up to drop off his daughter. Police say they were called to a home Monday when an argument followed and shots were fired.
News outlets report Wright is in stable condition after undergoing surgery for gunshot wounds.
Concord Police have a warrant out for William Moses Hooker Jr. for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
Wright began his football career at South Carolina in 1995. He later played for the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants.
NC woman cited for contempt of court after outburst
(Information from: Times-News, http://www.thetimesnews.com)
GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) – A woman attending a hearing for a North Carolina triple-murder suspect is behind bars, serving a 10-day sentence for contempt of court.
Media outlets report that 24-year-old Josselyn Farrior of Durham was sentenced Monday after a hearing in Alamance County court for 26-year-old Hyquan John Parker, formerly of Durham. He’s being held without bond in the shooting deaths of three men Sunday in Burlington.
The Times News of Burlington reports that District Court Judge James Hill had asked four women associated with the victims to leave as he proceeded with other cases. Deputies say Farrior yelled at Hill from the hallway: “That’s why you got voted out in Durham.”
Hill lost his re-election bid in November. He was filling in for other judges Monday in Alamance County.
VICTIMS SUPPORTER ARRESTED
Supporter of slain person arrested for disturbance in court
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A supporter of a North Carolina slaying victim was arrested outside of county court for reportedly disturbing the proceedings and cursing at the suspect and the judge.
The Times-News of Burlington reports the first-appearance for 26-year-old Hyquan Parker, accused of murder in a Sunday night triple-homicide , escalated into a screaming match between a victim’s relatives and Alamance County Court officials Monday.
The newspaper says one of the victims’ supporters clapped when it was announced Parker wouldn’t receive bond. Judge James Hill told the relatives “this isn’t a sporting event,” and they continued to engage. Someone reportedly cursed at the judge and Parker.
The paper reports 23-year-old Josselyn Farrior was later arrested in the hallway as the disturbance continued. Hill sentenced her to 10 days in jail.
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.
Atlanta OKs ban on smoking inside bars, restaurant, airport
ATLANTA (AP) – Atlanta’s city council has approved a far-reaching ban on smoking and vaping in restaurants and bars – and inside one of the world’s busiest airports.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that city council members approved the ban on Monday. It covers cigarettes, cigars and electronic cigarettes. If signed by the mayor, it would take effect on Jan. 2, 2020.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the few major U.S. hubs where people can still smoke inside designated rooms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a 2017 report that most busy U.S. airports ban smoking in all indoor areas. Denver International Airport last year closed the last of its indoor smoking lounges and is now smoke-free indoors.
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.