Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. EDT
Trump to hold 2020 rally on day of Mueller’s testimony
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump will be holding a campaign rally in North Carolina on July 17 – the day that former special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to testify before Congress.
Trump’s reelection campaign has announced he will host a “Keep America Great” rally at Williams Arena in Greenville that evening.
Mueller is scheduled to publicly testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Democrats are hoping to draw more attention to the report that Mueller gave to the Justice Department in March. It detailed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and reviewed several episodes in which Trump tried to influence Mueller’s probe.
Trump has frequently criticized Democrats’ efforts to get Mueller to testify. The president tweeted Tuesday that “this Witch Hunt must now end,” adding, “No more Do Overs.”
DAYCARE CLOSED-INFANT HURT
North Carolina closes daycare where infant was dropped
SNEADS FERRY, N.C. (AP) – State officials have closed a North Carolina daycare where a worker is accused of intentionally dropping an 11-month-old boy last month.
News outlets report the corporate office of Childcare Network confirms that the state closed its daycare at Sneads Ferry until further notice.
Police have charged 23-year-old Bethan Pringle with felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury. An investigation showed that Pringle hurt the 11-month-old boy on purpose on June 10.
Also, Childcare Network said Pringle, another teacher in the room at the time of the incident and the school’s director have been fired. The daycare’s infant room has been closed.
Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Col. Chris Thomas says deputies were still investigating and reviewing surveillance video from the daycare, adding that more charges could be filed.
Files from dead mapmaker focus of NC redistricting hearing
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legal admissibility of documents recovered from the house of a recently deceased Republican mapmaker is the focus of a hearing in a partisan gerrymandering restricting lawsuit in North Carolina.
Lawyers in the case argued before judges Tuesday, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court declared it had no authority to rule on partisan gerrymandering claims.
This case continues because it’s in North Carolina state court and addresses alleged state constitution violations.
The hearing focused largely on computer files the lawyers for Common Cause, the state Democratic Party and voters subpoenaed from the daughter of the late Tom Hofeller (HAW’-fel-er) and want to use in the July 15 trial. Attorneys for Republican lawmakers who drew General Assembly maps say the documents can’t be properly authenticated because Hofeller is dead.
North Carolina rural hospitals loan program passes Senate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Struggling North Carolina rural hospitals could get taxpayer-funded loans to help them stay open while they downsize or reshape services in legislation getting bipartisan support in the state Senate.
The chamber voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday for the measure that would create a Rural Health Care Stabilization Fund.
Senate leader Phil Berger is the chief advocate of the bill now heading to the House. He says loans with favorable terms could provide a financial bridge to hospitals trying to change with the times but that are in the red.
While the University of North Carolina health care system would oversee the initiative, the Local Government Commission would approve loans.
The separate budget bill approved by the legislature but vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper would give $20 million to the fund.
North Carolina’s largest city tops homicide total for 2018
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A woman who was stabbed to death inside a home has pushed North Carolina’s largest city past the number of homicides it recorded for all of 2018.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a news release that officers responding to assault with a deadly weapon call around 1:55 a.m. Tuesday found 35-year-old Aliyah Sakinah Terry with a stab wound. Emergency personnel took Terry to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Police said officers went to the same home Monday night and determined there had been a dispute between Terry and her live-in boyfriend, who had already left. Police have issued a warrant for 32-year-old Isaih Andrew Henderson III, charging him with murder.
With half of 2019 remaining, Charlotte has recorded 59 homicides, one more than for all of last year.
US won’t impose rule to protect against coal ash spill costs
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – The Trump administration says it won’t require electric utilities to show they have money to clean up hazardous releases from power plants despite a history of toxic coal ash spills that have contaminated waterways.
Environmental Protection Agency officials said Tuesday that modern industry practices and recently enacted regulations are sufficient to shield taxpayers from potential cleanup costs.
The finding comes after the EPA last year reversed a related proposal under President Barack Obama that would have imposed new financial requirements on the hardrock mining industry.
In both cases, industry lobbyists pushed back against requirements that could have meant higher costs for companies.
Under a court order, the EPA has spent the past several years reviewing the extent to which the nation’s most polluting industries cover cleanup costs from pollution.
POLICE CHASE-WOMAN DEAD
Body found in NC may have been connected car chase suspect
CLAYTON, N.C. (AP) – A woman who knew the suspect that was killed in a high speed police chase in North Carolina has been found dead, but authorities haven’t said if the death may have prompted the suspect to flee and begin the chase.
Smithfield Police Department Chief Keith Powell said a woman’s body was found at a home Tuesday after being reported missing. Police say they’ve now launched a homicide investigation.
Powell told news outlets the suspect stole a vehicle from Paul Auto Sales, which appears to be less than a mile from where the woman was found.
Officers and the suspect exchanged gunfire during the chase. Police used stop sticks to curb the vehicle, which crashed, killing the driver.
Police haven’t identified the driver, the woman or the nature of their relationship.