Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
North Carolina partisan gerrymandering state trial begins
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina state court trial on whether legislative districts are illegal partisan gerrymanders starts just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it wasn’t the purview of federal courts to decide if boundaries are politically unfair.
A three-judge panel prepared for two weeks of arguments and testimony beginning Monday.
Common Cause, the state Democratic Party and voters challenged House and Senate maps that Republicans drew in 2017. They say the lines maximized GOP advantage beyond what political geography can explain and want new boundaries for 2020.
GOP legislators say legislative elections are competitive, and Democrats simply want judges to create a favorable political outcome they couldn’t achieve at the ballot box.
This case continues despite the Supreme Court’s ruling because the plaintiffs argue the maps violate North Carolina’s constitution.
Skydiving landing incident leaves woman dead in S. Carolina
CHESTER, S.C. (AP) – County emergency officials in South Carolina say a woman died because of a hard landing while skydiving.
Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker told news outlets the 33-year-old woman died from blunt force trauma Sunday.
She was jumping with Skydive Carolina. In a news release the company says her parachute was fully functioning and deployed without incident. An ‘advanced parachute maneuver’ caused her to sustain injuries while landing.
The company also says the Charlotte woman was an experienced skydiver with more than 800 previous dives. Her name wasn’t immediately released.
This is the third experienced skydiver to die at Skydive Carolina since 2016. A 68-year-old woman died last year after a malfunction in the air and in 2016 a 32-year-old man died after crashing into another diver mid-air.
WILD HORSE DEATH
Second North Carolina wild horse dies this summer
COROLLA, N.C. (AP) – One of North Carolina’s famed wild mustangs was killed when it ran into a power line, making it the second death in the herd this summer.
News outlets reports the Corolla Wild Horse Fund says the mare was found tangled in unmarked wire Saturday morning. The horse was the mother to a young foal born in March. In a Facebook post , the fund said the foal was in good hands with other older horses in the herd and was being closely monitored.
It’s the second death reported this summer among the Outer Banks’ herd of 100. In June, one of the horses was euthanized after becoming injured in a fight with a fellow horse. Shortly after, another horse was injured when it was hit by a car on the beach.
Child stuck by sheriff’s vehicle on Outer Banks beach
(Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com)
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – A 7-year-old boy vacationing in the Outer Banks has been flown to a Virginia hospital after being struck by a sheriff’s department vehicle.
Currituck County Fire and EMS Chief Ralph Melton tells The Virginian-Pilot the child was hit by a four-wheel drive vehicle on Carova Beach over the weekend.
Melton says the boy sustained minor injuries and is in good condition but was taken to a Norfolk hospital as a precaution.
He says he believes the child ran unexpectedly into the path of the vehicle, which was on patrol.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is investigating.
Officials say driver in fatal N. Carolina crash fell asleep
CLAYTON, N.C. (AP) – Officials in North Carolina say a 19-year-old fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into another car, killing that driver.
Clayton officials told local media Gavin Eugene Knight was driving around 6 a.m. Sunday when he crossed a median into oncoming traffic. His vehicle struck a white Nissan, killing 35-year-old Torey Vernell Rascoe of Clayton.
Police say Rascoe, who was wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.
WRAL-TV reports a breath test showed no alcohol in Knight’s system.
He has been charged with careless and reckless driving and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
2 killed, 1 injured in Charlotte shooting
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in Charlotte are investigating a shooting at an apartment building that left two people dead and one seriously injured.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said in a statement that officers were called to the scene early Sunday morning after a report of an assault with a deadly weapon. They found three males with gunshot wounds outside the building.
Police say two were pronounced dead at the scene and another was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. None of the victims was immediately identified.
A homicide investigation is ongoing. Detectives are trying to determine whether there were any additional witnesses.
Decorated soldier dies in combat operations in Afghanistan
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – U.S. military officials say a decorated Special Forces company sergeant major has died during combat operations in Afghanistan.
A spokesman for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said in a statement Sunday that 40-year-old James G. “Ryan” Sartor was killed Saturday during combat operations in Faryab Province.
Sartor was from Teague, Texas, and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group in Fort Carson, Colorado.
He joined the Army in 2001 as an infantryman and had deployed numerous times to Iraq and Afghanistan. He had received dozens of awards and decorations and will posthumously receive a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
A statement from the Department of Defense says Sartor was injured by enemy small arms fire. The incident is under investigation.
WATER RESCUE EQUIPMENT
26 swift water rescue teams get new equipment
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – As hurricane season bears down, several swift water rescue teams in North Carolina have received new equipment that will help them save people in disasters.
State officials said in a news release that 26 teams recently received new gear, thanks to more than $2 million in funding from the state.
They say the new equipment will enhance what the teams already have or will replace aging equipment.
Most of the money was spent on new water rescue equipment, including 46 inflatable swift water rescue boats, 62 motors and accessories to support the teams, including fuel tanks, life jackets, dry suits, paddles and other gear to maintain the boats and motors.