Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
Organs of man who died at NC beach donated to save dozens
OAK ISLAND, N.C. (AP) – The family of a man killed in a freak beach accident says his organs are being donated to save the lives of dozens of people.
Lee Dingle’s parents told WSOC that his organs will be donated to 55 people in all.
Lee Dingle’s wife, Shannon Dingle, said on Twitter she had no doubt Lee Dingle would want his organs donated. She said the decision was difficult, but she “had an extra reason to say yes,” as donor tissue was used to reconstruct her knee ligaments in 2017.
Lee Dingle was killed while swimming off the North Carolina coast when a wave crashed into him, slamming his head into the sand and breaking his neck. Shannon Dingle said her husband was playing in the water with several of their six children.
SEXUAL ASSAULT LAWSUIT
Sexual assault victims file suit against NC school district
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – The victims of sexual assaults by a former North Carolina teacher are filing a class action lawsuit against the school district.
News outlets report the victims of Michael Kelly filed the complaint Tuesday against him, the New Hanover County Board of Education and others.
Kelly pleaded guilty last month to child sex charges. Investigators say Kelly abused nearly 20 victims. He’s worked for New Hanover Schools since 1992.
Attorney Jim Lea says they’re seeking compensation for victims, better safety procedures for students and major leadership changes among administrators.
New Hanover District Attorney Ben David said Kelly told investigators the school looked into allegations of his behavior, but cleared him.
The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into claims that the administration knew about Kelly’s action but failed to report them.
Remains of missing North Carolina man discovered
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina authorities say they’ve discovered the remains of a 23-year-old man who disappeared last week.
Raleigh police officials announced their investigation turned up the remains of Brendan Hurley on Saturday.
News outlets report 21-year-old Anthony James McCall also disappeared with Hurley. Authorities are still trying to identify remains found in a neighboring county.
The friends were headed to take care of McCall’s mother’s dog when they disappeared. Family members told news outlets Hurley’s car was found near a recycling plant with blood on a seat.
Twenty-one year old James Dai’Shawn Robinson and 19-year-old Ryan Craig Veach are charged with murder in both men’s deaths.
Hurley’s mother said she didn’t recognize the suspects and believed the slain friends were in “the wrong place at the wrong time.”
FISH DISPOSAL-GUILTY PLEA
Captain admits throwing illegally caught fish overboard
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A fishing captain has pleaded guilty to throwing away fish to prevent the Coast Guard from seizing it.
Federal prosecutors say in a Tuesday news release that 51-year-old William Juel of South Carolina pleaded guilty to disposing of illegally caught fish.
Authorities say the Coast Guard approached his boat and boarded it in November 2017. The release says Coast Guard investigators videotaped Juel throwing fish overboard to prevent them from seizing the catch. Court documents say he was in the jurisdiction of North Carolina-based federal prosecutors.
Prosecutors say the illegal catch included a type of grouper closed to fishing because quotas had been met that year.
Juel faces up to five years in prison at sentencing in October.
A defense attorney declined comment Tuesday and said Juel was unavailable.
Smokies officials seek input on African American experience
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are inviting the public to help with an effort to research the African American experience in southern Appalachia.
According to a news release, participants in open house events will have the opportunity to learn about the history of African Americans in the park and share their personal experiences or family stories.
The first discussion event takes place Aug. 1 at the Blount County Public Library in Maryville, Tennessee. A second event is scheduled for Aug. 5 at the Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center in Waynesville, North Carolina. Both events start at 6:00 p.m.
Superintendent Cassius Cash said in the release, “We hope that even more people will see themselves included and connected to the Smokies through this effort.”
Changes to HIV criminal laws divide advocates and experts
ATLANTA (AP) – In about 20 states, it’s a crime for people with HIV to have sex without first informing their partner of their infection.
But advances in viral suppression now make it effectively impossible for a person with the proper medical treatment to transmit the disease.
North Carolina and Michigan recently exempted HIV patients from prosecution if they are on medication that has suppressed their virus.
But many advocates for HIV patients say the new policies create an underclass of people who don’t have access to drugs and are therefore still vulnerable to prosecution.
They say states should instead decriminalize HIV exposure altogether unless the person intends to infect someone.
Defenders of the laws say HIV is still a threat to public health.
LGBT RIGHTS-NORTH CAROLINA
Settlement expands transgender restroom rights in N Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge has approved a legal settlement allowing transgender people to use restrooms matching their gender identity in many North Carolina public buildings.
The consent decree approved Tuesday by a federal judge could end a protracted lawsuit by transgender people against North Carolina’s so-called bathroom bill and the law that replaced it.
The agreement between the plaintiffs and North Carolina’s Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says that nothing in state law can be interpreted to “prevent transgender people from lawfully using public facilities in accordance with their gender identity” in buildings controlled by the state’s executive branch.
In return, plaintiffs have agreed to drop pending legal action against the governor and other defendants.
North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders had opposed the agreement.
Shelter: NC lion died after being overheated by high temps
PITTSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A rescue group in North Carolina says one of its lions has died after becoming overheated and suffering organ failure.
Carolina Tiger Rescue wrote in a Tuesday Facebook post that the 17-year-old lion named Sheba wasn’t able to recover despite staff efforts. News outlets report a heat wave recently hit the east coast, bringing with it temperatures above 90 degrees.
The nonprofit cat sanctuary says on its website that it works to protect big cats in the wild and in captivity, taking in animals that have been confiscated, abandoned or need of a new home. An earlier Facebook post by the group says Sheba was previously used in a cub petting practice in which cubs are taken at birth to be handled by humans for monetary gain.