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Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT






The Latest: NC Gov. Cooper: Republicans assaulted democracy

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says Republican House members “waged an assault on our democracy” with their surprise vote to override his budget veto.

The Democratic governor held a news conference on Wednesday, hours after the unexpected call for a vote by House Speaker Tim Moore. The override still must be successful in the Senate, but the House was always the greater obstacle for GOP leaders in a 2½-month budget stalemate.

Barely one-third of the House Democrats were on the chamber floor. Democrats said they had been told that no recorded votes would be taken Wednesday morning. Cooper said “this was a lie.” Several House Democrats screamed at Moore on the floor as he pushed through the override vote.

Cooper urged Senate Democrats to stay united and uphold his veto. He said Wednesday’s “fiasco” has destroyed the trust he could have with House Republican leaders.




The Latest: GOP’s Bishop wins N Carolina special election

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Conservative Republican Dan Bishop has won a special election for an open House seat in North Carolina, averting a demoralizing Democratic capture of a district the GOP has held for nearly six decades.

But Bishop’s narrow victory over centrist Democrat Dan McCready didn’t erase questions about whether President Donald Trump and his party’s congressional candidates face troubling headwinds approaching 2020.

Bishop is a state senator best known for a North Carolina law dictating which public bathrooms transgender people can use. He tied himself tightly to Trump, who staged an election-eve rally for him, and Tuesday’s voting seemed no less than a referendum on the president.

Trump quickly took credit for the triumph, proclaiming a “BIG NIGHT FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY” on Twitter.




Asheville police chief resigns, citing personal reasons

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina police chief has resigned after two months on the job, citing family problems.

The city of Asheville announced on Wednesday that Police Chief Chris Bailey will leave his position on Sept. 27.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports Bailey said he was resigning to deal with family problems that resulted from being apart from his wife and children, who had intended to join him in Asheville, but are still in Indianapolis, where he was deputy police chief before taking the job in Asheville.

Bailey took over as chief on July 29, replacing Tammy Hooper, who resigned following turmoil over the police beating of a black pedestrian and news that she ordered an intelligence operation to monitor local civil rights groups.

Bailey is the city’s fifth police chief since 2003.




2 found guilty of vandalizing monument to black workers

(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) — Two people accused of vandalizing a memorial to enslaved and free black workers who built UNC-Chapel Hill have been ordered to pay fine and perform community service.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports 31-year-old Ryan Francis Barnett of Sanford and 50-year-old Nancy Rushton McCorkle of Newberry, South Carolina, were found guilty of injury to real property and larceny, both misdemeanors.

An Orange County judge sentenced Barnett and McCorkle to 200 hours of community service, 18 months of unsupervised probation and a $500 fine.

The two were accused of marking the Unsung Founders Memorial in March with what the school’s interim chancellor said was “racist language.”

The memorial is in a central plaza that also featured a statue of a Confederate soldier before protesters tore it down in August.




Ex-NFL player, doctor are arrested in Georgia opioid case

ATLANTA (AP) — A former NFL football player and a Georgia doctor face charges of illegally distributing prescription drugs, including opioids.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that former New Orleans Saints player Sedrick Hodge sold oxycodone pills in Cartersville, Georgia, northwest of Atlanta. The 40-year-old Hodge is accused of illegal distribution of controlled substances, among other charges.

Prosecutors say 86-year-old Dr. Victor Hanson of the metro Atlanta city of Brookhaven faces 14 counts of illegal drug distribution involving prescriptions.

Two other suspects also face charges.

Lawyers for Hodge didn’t immediately respond to calls and emails requesting comment. It wasn’t known whether the others have lawyers yet.

Hodge, a linebacker who played in college for North Carolina, was drafted by the Saints in 2001. He spent all five of his NFL seasons in New Orleans.




NC man charged in shooting by child who kicked his holster

(Information from: The Hickory Daily Record, http://www.hickoryrecord.com)

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has been charged in a shooting by his child who kicked his gun holster and wounded the child’s mother.

The Hickory Daily Record reports 23-year-old A-Duan Namon Walker is charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit in the Sept. 5 shooting at Valley Hills Mall in Hickory.

Police Chief Thurman Whisnant said Tuesday that the child kicked the holster while being picked up by Walker, shooting the woman in both feet with a single bullet.

The police chief says the shooting was apparently accidental and the woman was treated.

Two spent shell casings were recovered from the scene. Whisnant says authorities don’t know why there were two shell casings, as security video and witness accounts led police to determine only one shot was fired.




9-year-old drowns in North Carolina retention pond

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say a 9-year-old has died after drowning in a retention pond near his home.

The Goldsboro Police Department said Monday on Facebook that Jaylen Suggs went under water and didn’t come back to the surface over the weekend.

Emergency officials responded to the possible drowning and pulled the boy out of the water. Investigators say he was airlifted to a hospital where he was listed in critical condition, but later died from his injuries.

News outlets report officers are investigating the death and the department’s Criminal Investigations Division went to the pond.




Court strikes down Montana law barring political robocalls

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A federal appeals court says a Montana law that restricts automated telephone calls about political campaigns violates the First Amendment’s free-speech protections.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that so-called robocalls can’t be regulated based on the content of their messages.

The ruling that strikes down the 1991 Montana law barring political robocalls also applies to the eight other Western states within the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction.

The judges say the court has previously upheld state laws that regulate robocalls, such as those that aim to protect consumers from scams.

But they say restricting a robocall based on its content is a different matter. The opinion written by Judge Richard Paez says “prohibiting political robocalls strikes at the heart of the First Amendment.”