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



Dem in tainted NC US House race: $1.74M raised last quarter
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Democrat in a special U.S. House election forced by a ballot-collection scandal reports raising $1.74 million in the three months ending in June.
The quarterly fundraising total means Dan McCready’s campaign has nearly $1.8 million to spend for September’s special election.
The April through June period included a Republican primary in which state Sen. Dan Bishop finished atop nine other GOP candidates in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.
Bishop’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for similar fundraising figures. McCready spokesman Matt Fried wouldn’t release the full campaign fundraising report ahead of Monday’s federal deadline.
Last November’s election was voided after a political operative working for the former GOP candidate collected and could have tampered with mail-in ballots.



North Carolina company mislabeled meat as Atlantic blue crab
COLUMBIA, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina seafood company has been charged with selling almost 200,000 pounds of foreign crab meat falsely labeled domestic Atlantic blue crab for $4 million.
Charges filed last month by the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of North Carolina say Capt. Neill’s Seafood of Columbia repackaged and mislabeled crab from Asia and South America as a “Product of the USA.”
The charging documents accuse the company of selling the mislabeled crab meat from 2012 through 2015.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that a company statement acknowledged that a “small portion” of its crab meat didn’t have a sticker accurately listing its country of origin. But the company said the meat was still high quality and safe to eat, and it says they’ve only sold correctly labeled domestic crab since then.



2 workers injured by metal beam in UNC construction accident
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – University officials say two contractors were injured when a metal beam fell on them in a construction accident on the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill campus.
Chapel Hill Fire Department officials said emergency crews rescued the two injured workers after the fortifying beam fell, and brought them to UNC Hospitals. The Herald-Sun reports they were both conscious at the time.
Fire Chief Matthew Sullivan described the accident as a trench collapse. The workers were reportedly repairing a utility steam vault in front of a campus academic building.
It’s unclear what the two workers’ conditions are.



Woman’s horseback protests against pipeline is almost done
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A Virginia woman protesting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline by riding her horse along the route is nearing the end of her journey.
The Fayetteville Observer reports Sarah Murphy arrived this week in Cumberland County and expects to finish in the next week or so at the pipeline’s end near Pembroke.
The 36-year-old Murphy has been riding two horses and traveling on foot since she left her home near Charlottesville, Virginia, in September.
The 600-mile, $7 billion natural gas pipeline is to run from the mountains of West Virginia to eastern Virginia and to Robeson County in North Carolina. Construction began last year but has been delayed by federal litigation.
The pipeline is a project of Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Company Gas.



North Carolina pastor accused of sex acts with 13-year-old
FOUR OAKS, N.C. (AP) – A pastor at a North Carolina church is accused of engaging in sexual acts with an underage girl.
Johnston County Sheriff’s officers charged 61-year-old Stephen Arthur Morris on Friday with statutory rape/sex offense and indecent liberties with a child.
Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Jeff Caldwell says Morris is accused of committing crimes against a 13-year-old from 2013 to 2014.
News outlets report Morris has led the Oliver’s Grove Baptist Church in Four Oaks. His bail was set at $2.5 million ahead of a July 25 hearing.
It is unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment on his behalf.



North Carolina officers remove hundreds of pets from home
CARY, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina animal control has opened an animal cruelty investigation after officers found more than 200 rats, dogs, cats and other pets inside a home.
News outlets report the officers were asked to perform a welfare check on the home.
Town of Cary Public Safety Director Allan Cain said they decided to remove most of the pets, based on the large number and the unsanitary environment they found. The seized animals also included turtles and guinea pigs.
Town of Cary Spokeswoman Deanna D. Hawkes said in an email sent to the News and Observer Tuesday that 242 animals were removed but the investigation is ongoing and more could be taken.



Forest to kick off NC gubernatorial campaign next month
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will formally begin his 2020 campaign for governor next month at a weekend rally.
Forest’s campaign committee says the Aug. 17 event will be held at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds.
Forest is a Raleigh architect who was first elected lieutenant governor in 2012. He won re-election four years later and is the highest-ranking GOP executive branch official in North Carolina government since Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s 2016 victory. Cooper is seeking re-election.
While Forest has been raising campaign money for an expected gubernatorial run, he described his campaign six months ago as an “exploratory committee” for governor. A campaign news release on Tuesday said the “exploratory” language has now been dropped.



Murphy wins North Carolina GOP congressional primary runoff
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A urologist and state legislator is the Republican nominee for a North Carolina congressional district seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Walter Jones Jr.
Voters in Tuesday’s 3rd District GOP primary runoff chose Dr. Greg Murphy of Greenville over Joan Perry, a pediatrician and first-time candidate. They were the top vote-getters in the April primary.
Murphy advances to the September special election to face Democratic nominee Allen Thomas and two other candidates. That winner completes the remainder of Jones’ two-year term.
Jones died in February after more than 24 years representing the Republican-leaning 3rd District, which stretches from Greenville to the Outer Banks and includes military installations like Camp Lejeune.
Washington-based political groups spent well over $1 million supporting one or the other of the two conservative candidates.