AP-NC Newswatch

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September 23, 2019
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September 23, 2019
AP-NC Newswatch





Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT

Dorian-flooded NC school to get iPads for displaced students
OCRACOKE, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s top education official says the state will send hundreds of iPads to students and teachers on an island damaged by Hurricane Dorian.
North Carolina Public Schools said in a press release that Superintendent Mark Johnson announced Monday the department of public instruction would send 200 iPads to Ocracoke School, where flooding forced 185 students out of their building.
The department says it hopes the iPads will help students stay on schedule with schoolwork until their building can be reopened. Students are currently attending classes in a teaching center.
The release says the Sept. 6 hurricane flooded Ocracoke School with more than 3 feet (1 meter) of water.
Gov. Roy Cooper has asked President Donald Trump to declare the island a disaster area so federal funds can be accessed.


NC man trying to stop car thief gets pinned between vehicles
NEBO, N.C. (AP) – A sheriff’s office in North Carolina says a store clerk trying to stop a thief from stealing his car has been seriously injured after the suspect pinned him between two vehicles.
The McDowell County Sheriff’s office says 37-year-old William Matthews spotted someone trying to get into his jeep outside of the convenience store he works at in Nebo, North Carolina, late last week. That’s when the office says Matthews jumped through a passenger side window and tried to stop the suspect. Instead, the suspect accelerated and slammed into a truck in the parking lot, pinning Matthews between his jeep and the truck’s tailgate.
Matthews was transported to a hospital with serious injuries.
Deputies announced Friday they’d arrested an unidentified suspect.


Ocracoke recovery to get North Carolina governor’s review
OCRACOKE, N.C. (AP) – The barrier island that suffered the most damage from Hurricane Dorian in North Carolina is getting another visit from Gov. Roy Cooper.
Cooper’s office says he’ll examine recovery work on Ocracoke Island on Monday. He’ll be joined by Cabinet members and emergency management officials.
Dorian’s heavy rains and storm surge 2 1/2 weeks ago flooded Ocracoke, leaving hundreds of residents temporarily stranded. State agencies and nonprofits have provided food and water, fuel, medical care and portable toilets and showers. Ocracoke access is still limited to residents, homeowners and some others.
Cooper visited Ocracoke the day after Dorian departed the North Carolina coast.
Ocracoke is in Hyde County, one of 13 counties in which Cooper has asked President Donald Trump to declare as disaster areas to access additional federal funds.


Pain management company files for bankruptcy amid legal woes
(Information from: The Greenville News, http://www.greenvillenews.com)
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) – A pain management company that operated clinics across the Carolinas has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Oaktree Medical Centre submitted the filing last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The Greenville News reports that Oaktree operated 10 medical offices under the name Pain Management Associates. It shut down all of its operations last month, affecting about 23,000 patients and 380 employees.
The development comes as the company faces a series of lawsuits. Federal prosecutors in South Carolina sued Oaktree Medical Centre earlier this year, accusing the company of a series of elaborate fraud schemes that maximized profits at the expense of patients and taxpayers.


Progressive group to spend $50M boosting Sun Belt turnout
WASHINGTON (AP) – Many Democrats are focused on winning back several Rust Belt states that backed President Donald Trump in 2016. But a progressive group plans to spend $50 million making sure opportunities aren’t overlooked in the Sun Belt.
The group, Way to Win, wants to elect Democrats in Georgia, Arizona, and Texas. Florida, Virginia and North Carolina are also targets.
Way to Win aims to make inroads with people of color, women and young people who increasing make up the Democratic electorate.
Group leaders will outline their plans at a donor retreat in Arizona on Monday.
An advance copy of their blueprint provided to The Associated Press details an effort focused less on top-level races than building infrastructure that could help up and down the ballot – and for years to come.


Georgia Tech student dies swimming in Chattahoochee River
(Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com)
ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Institute of Technology officials confirm that a student has died after a swimming accident in the Chattahoochee River.
Dean of students John M. Stein said in a letter to the Georgia Tech community that second-year student James Strock was swimming in the river Saturday afternoon at Paces Mill Park when he went underwater and never resurfaced. Teams searched Saturday evening and recovered James Strock’s body Sunday morning.
Audrey Strock told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution her brother was swimming with friends when he got caught in the current. She said his friends tried to save him.
The newspaper reports James Strock moved to Atlanta from North Carolina to pursue a computer engineering degree. Officials say James Strock was an active member of the campus community and was involved in campus ministry.


Bribery case raises focus on GOP rising star and fundraising
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Republican organizations tied to a GOP rising star in Congress show no signs of giving up nearly a quarter-million dollars they received from a North Carolina political donor indicted on bribery charges.
Some politicians who got donations from businessman Greg Lindberg offloaded his money to charities. A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Mark Walker says the North Carolina congressman did the same with Lindberg’s direct campaign cash.
But spokesman Jack Minor says Walker didn’t control most of the over $238,000 that Lindberg gave his campaign and affiliated committees. Most of that went to national GOP groups, which wouldn’t describe what happened with it.
The situation illustrates how political donations benefiting federal candidates can flow through a network of supporting groups, obscuring where the money winds up and what it’s used for.


Men found dead at hotel died of alcohol, drug intoxication
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – State autopsies show that the two men found dead in a North Carolina hotel room in June died of drug and alcohol intoxication.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Saturday the autopsies of James Patrick Landreth and Jacob Bruton Galloway list the cause of death as “fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and ethanol toxicity.”
The North Carolina men were visiting the area for a rugby tournament and had celebrated their victory June 8. They were found dead the next day by another person staying in the room at the Ashville Best Western.
A search warrant said police found no indication of drug use or foul play.
Police initially believed carbon monoxide poisoning may have caused the two deaths. But three tests by the city’s fire department found no elevated levels in the room.


AP-WF-09-23-19 1520GMT