Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
Waiting-in-line badge: NC airport overwhelmed by Boy Scouts
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Preparation failed to pay off for thousands of Boy Scouts leaving a worldwide jamboree who overwhelmed Charlotte International Airport over the weekend.
Passengers reported security lines 500 deep on Friday as scouts who attended the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia tried to return home.
The airport is about a three-hour drive from the Jamboree site and was a popular spot for those who chose to fly to the event.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Scout leaders coordinated for weeks in advance with the airport and airlines, but bad weather and high volume conspired against them.
American Airlines operates a hub out of Charlotte and reported that 70 percent of its flights were held Friday to try to accommodate passengers stuck in security lines.
North Carolina man charged with stealing ambulance
GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has been charged with stealing an ambulance from a hospital parking bay and leading police on a high-speed chase.
Newsoutlets report that the ambulance belonging to the Dallas Rescue Squad was taken from CaroMont Regional Medical Center Friday night.
Police charged 29-year-old Joshua Kyle Poindexter of Kings Mountain with larceny of a motor vehicle, fleeing to elude arrest, failing to heed a siren and reckless driving.
Authorities say GPS software allowed police to track the stolen ambulance. They said Poindexter led police on a chase that exceeded the speed limit by 15 mph (24 km/h) before he was arrested in Cherryville, almost 20 miles (32 km) away.
No one was injured.
MISSING GIRL FOUND
Missing 4-year-old from NC found in Texas, left with pimp
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A 4-year-old girl missing for more than two months from North Carolina has been found in Texas after police say she was left with human traffickers.
The Fayetteville Police Department said Friday that 4-year-old Aubriana Recinos was found at a home in Lewisville, Texas.
She was reported missing after police say the mother, 23-year-old Carmen Lowe, violated a custody order and failed to return Aubriana to her father.
Newsoutletsreport that Lowe was arrested Thursday in New Orleans and charged with crimes including prostitution.
Fayetteville police Maj. Robert Ramirez said Aubriana had been turned over either to a pimp or to the pimp’s family that was involved in a human trafficking operation under investigation by the FBI.
Judge tosses charges against 2 arrested in monument protest
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina judge has dismissed charges against two students accused of disorderly conduct and defacing a public monument after placing Ku Klux Klan hoods on statues at a Confederate monument.
N.C. State students Enzo Niebuhr and Jody Anderson were arrested Easter Sunday during a protest at the North Carolina Women of the Confederacy monument in Raleigh.
Newsoutlets report that a judge dismissed the charges Friday after a hearing in which the students’ lawyer argued that their actions were protected speech.
The officer who arrested them testified that the students used profanity and that placing hoods on the statues was like a hate crime.
Chapel Hill pastor arrested; fake Cartier jewelry seized
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina pastor has been arrested after authorities say they found more than 3,000 fake Cartier bracelets in a Chapel Hill church.
State officials say the bust is the largest seizure made by agents with the Anti-Counterfeit Trademark Task Force since it was established in 2004.
The 3,200 bracelets would carry an estimated retail value of $24.4 million if they were authentic.
Thirty-four-year-old JianGang “Frank” Lan of Chapel Hill was charged with felony use of a counterfeit trademark after agents searched the Deer Park Community Church, where Lan is listed as an associate pastor.
The North Carolina Secretary of State’s office said it was acting on a tip it received from the federal Department of Homeland Security The Secretary of State’s Office has authority to enforce trademark laws.
MISSING TEEN-GUILTY PLEA
Adoptive mother of missing teen pleads guilty to murder
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) – The adoptive mother of a North Carolina teen who was missing for years before her body was found in South Carolina has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges.
WCCB reports Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said Casey Parsons was sentenced to life in prison on Friday after also pleading guilty to felony counts of child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury, concealment of death and obstruction of justice in Rowan County Superior Court.
Her husband, Sandy Parsons, remains jailed pending trial on the same charges.
The two were charged in the death of Erica Parsons, who was reported missing in July 2013. She had last been seen alive in 2011, when she was 13.
In 2016, Sandy Parsons led authorities to Erica’s body in Chesterfield County, South Carolina.
Man with gun stopped by security at N Carolina legislature
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A man faces a charge of carrying a concealed handgun into North Carolina’s legislative building, which this year implemented airport-style searches and scans of people seeking to interact with lawmakers.
Police records show 36-year-old Abraham James Zeiger of Raleigh was charged with entering the building armed on Wednesday. His lawyer said Friday that Zeiger sought to speak to his legislator and didn’t realize he was carrying the gun.
The General Assembly’s chief management officer didn’t return a call Friday seeking more arrest details.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that Zeiger was stopped by officers who spotted a suspicious item as his bag passed through an X-ray scanner. General Assembly Police Chief Martin Brock said officers found a 9 mm handgun and two magazines, each loaded with 15 bullets.
DUKE ENERGY-COAL ASH
N Carolina agency’s Duke Energy coal ash excavation backed
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina hearing officer says a state agency can order the country’s largest electric company to excavate all its coal ash pits by 2030 so that they quit polluting neighboring rivers.
A state administrative judge on Friday dismissed claims by Duke Energy Corp. that North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality can’t order the work that could cut the risk of toxic chemicals leaking into water supplies.
The company’s administrative appeal represents the first round of a legal fight that could continue for years.
Duke Energy wants to instead cover the storage pits at six power plants with a waterproof cap that stops rain from filtering chemicals through the unlined bottoms. The company said Friday capping the sites would be quicker and cheaper since excavation could cost billions of dollars.