AP-NC Newswatch

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September 20, 2019
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September 20, 2019
AP-NC Newswatch





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


North Carolina university bars fraternity for 3 more years
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
BOONE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina university has barred a fraternity from campus until 2023, extending a suspension levied in 2017.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Appalachian State University has removed its official recognition of Tau Kappa Epsilon. The fraternity applied for reinstatement in April after the school initially suspended it in February 2017 over violation of school policies.
Jeff Cathey, Appalachian State’s director of student engagement and leadership, told a fraternity official in May that while the fraternity was suspended, he learned of several problems, including problematic social media posts about the fraternity and referral of several chapter members to ASU student conduct proceedings.
The newspaper says word of the decision was released last week by a law firm representing a student who filed a complaint targeting the fraternity.


Hugo at 30: Remembering the first US modern hurricane
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – From evacuating hundreds of thousands of people from the coast to live TV coverage in the shrieking wind and rain, 1989’s Hurricane Hugo might have been the first U.S. storm of the modern age.
When Hugo slammed into South Carolina just minutes before midnight on Sept. 21, 1989, the storm’s 135 mph (217 kph) winds made it the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 20 years. Its $9.5 billion of damage made it the costliest storm in the nation’s history, although now it ranks 18th.
The 20-foot (6.1-meter) wall of water that surged inland just north of Charleston is still an Atlantic Coast record.
Because of the evacuation, just 13 people died in South Carolina in Hugo. Officials say more people – 22 – died in the cleanup.


North Carolina woman found guilty in husband’s 2017 death
NEW BERN, N.C. (AP) – A jury has found a North Carolina woman guilty in the 2017 shooting death of her husband.
News outlets report jurors took 61 minutes on Thursday to return their verdict in the trial of Sharon Whitford.
Whitford said she shot her husband in self-defense in Craven County in December 2017. Testimony showed that Jimmy Whitford called his wife’s lover, saying he knew they were having an affair.
Defense attorneys tried to paint Jimmy Whitford as an abuser who drew a shotgun on his wife after beating her.
A judge sentenced Whitford to between 20 and 25 years in prison, and ordered her to pay $15,000 in restitution to her father in law.


3 teens arrested for threats to North Carolina high school
NEW BERN, N.C. (AP) – Police have arrested three teenagers accused of threatening violence against a North Carolina high school.
The New Bern Police Department says in a Friday news release that investigators were tipped off Wednesday to threats of a violent attack at New Bern High School. Police said two 17-year-olds were charged with communicating threats, and a 16-year-old was charged with simple affray, meaning he caused terror to the public.
Police say none of the three are students at the school.
News outlets reported that extra police were at the high school on Thursday after the threats were discovered on social media the night before.


Slain NC woman had protective order against murder suspect
HURDLE MILLS, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina have charged a man with killing a woman who’d taken out a restraining order against him two months before her slaying.
News outlets report Orange County sheriff’s deputies charged Timothy Wade Parnell with murder on Thursday in the death of Anne Kirkpatrick, whose body was found Sept. 8 strewn across her front yard in Hurdle Mills.
Sheriff Charles Blackwood said in a news release that neighbors told officers they’d heard shots that morning, but no one called 911 at the time.
Kirkpatrick had a domestic violence protective order against Parnell, requiring him to stay 1,000 feet (305 meters) from her. In the July order, she stated Parnell had grabbed her by the neck after he reportedly got angry at her for looking at another man.


After rural hospital’s closure, county seeks other options
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – About two years ago a rural, mountainous Virginia county lost its only hospital, and local officials have now all but given up trying to bring it back.
Gov. Ralph Northam signed bipartisan emergency legislation intended to help the Pioneer Community Hospital reopen. But in recent interviews, community leaders say they have moved on to seeking other ways to improve health care services in a county that sorely needs it.
They hope a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission can help.
Officials say the main obstacle in the effort to reopen the hospital has been the $5 million price tag on the 1960s-era facility.
Patrick County isn’t alone in its struggle. Rural hospitals across the country are closing, and it’s rare for one to reopen after a shutdown.


Blue Cross North Carolina CEO charged with drunken driving
ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) – The chief executive of North Carolina’s largest insurer will retain his job despite a drunken driving arrest earlier this summer.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina issued a statement Thursday saying that its president and CEO, Patrick Conway, was in a car accident in June.
Newsoutlets report that court records show Conway was involved in a June crash on Interstate 85 in Randolph County. No one was injured, but Conway’s two daughters were in the car at the time; he was charged with driving while impaired and misdemeanor child abuse.
A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 8.
In its statement Blue Cross said its board of trustees has reviewed the incident and decided to retain Conway, citing his leadership skills.


North Carolina university shooting suspect pleads guilty
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The man charged with killing two North Carolina university students and wounding four others in their classroom in April has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder.
Trystan Andrew Terrell also pleaded guilty Thursday to four counts of attempted murder and discharge of a firearm on educational property. State prosecutors accepted Terrell’s plea during a hearing that was previously scheduled to decide whether the gunman could face the death penalty for the killings at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Terrell had faced the charges in connection with the April 30 shooting as classmates gathered in a lecture hall.
Terrell told investigators he gave up on the attack after being tackled by one of the students who died.


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