AP-NC Newswatch

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October 1, 2019
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October 1, 2019
AP-NC Newswatch





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

UNC governing board elects new chair, vice chair
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – The governing body of the University of North Carolina system has two new top officers.
UNC officials said in a news release that the Board of Governors elected Randy Ramsey to serve as chairman and Wendy Murphy as vice chairman. They were elected Tuesday at a specially called phone meeting of the board.
Ramsey is the board’s previous vice chair. An online biography says he co-founded Jarrett Bay Yacht Sales, which merged with Bluewater Yacht Sales in 2012. He’s also co-founder and president of Jarrett Bay Boatworks in Beaufort.
Their appointments are in effect until June 30.
The vacancies occurred when the previous chairman, Harry Smith, said on Sept. 24 that he was stepping down early and returning to the board as a member. His resignation was effective Tuesday.


Medicaid expansion subject of N Carolina Democrats’ hearing
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democrats at the legislature are trying to build momentum to expand Medicaid to more low-income residents now that some House Republicans recently revived the idea.
The House and Senate minority leaders scheduled a hearing for Tuesday at the Legislative Building on the need to offer Medicaid to more uninsured adults. Other expansion advocates planned a news conference earlier in the morning. The hearing isn’t an official committee meeting, so no bill can move through the legislative process there.
A state budget stalemate has gone on for three months, primarily because the budget bill lacks expansion. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper wants expansion and vetoed the budget.
Republican House Speaker Tim Moore has allowed a stand-alone expansion bill to advance in the House, but Senate Republicans strongly oppose the idea.


Uber rides, sex abuse are subjects of new N Carolina laws
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – New North Carolina laws taking effect in October are designed to keep Uber and Lyft passengers safe, protect girls from sexual abuse and help people enter state-regulated trades.
All or parts of nearly 40 pieces of legislation the General Assembly approved this year take effect on Tuesday.
One law adds new requirements upon ride-sharing drivers over time. Now they must display license tag numbers at the front of their vehicles so consumers can match them easier with what’s on their smartphones.
Another law makes it a felony to perform female genital mutilation on a child. The legislation responds to a judge’s ruling last year determining a federal law against the practice is unconstitutional but that states can regulate it.
Simplified licensing qualifications for dozens of state-regulated professions begin on Tuesday.


Suspect fatally crashes during North Carolina police chase
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A sheriff’s office in North Carolina says a suspect leading deputies on a car chase has died in a crash.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office says they were responding to a call that someone was making threats in a Raleigh neighborhood on Sunday, when a suspect crashed into their squad car and fled. Spokesman Eric Curry said on Monday that deputies began chasing the man, but lost sight of the car and later found it wrecked.
The sheriff’s office says the driver lost control of the vehicle. He died at the scene and an injured passenger was taken to a hospital.
The News & Observer reports video taken by a witness shows the car against a tree with passengers trapped inside, screaming for help.
The State Highway Patrol is investigating.


Tennessee raccoons to get vaccinated for rabies
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Department of Health is working to prevent the spread of rabies by raccoons through the distribution of vaccine packets coated with fishmeal.
According to the department, the packets will be distributed by helicopter and airplane between Oct. 3 and Oct. 20. The baiting program takes place in cooperation with the U.S. Agriculture Department along Tennessee’s borders with Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
The vaccine products are safe, but the USDA Wildlife Services program says residents should instruct children to leave bait alone. Baits also should be removed from where a pet could eat them. Using gloves or a towel, residents should toss them into a wooded or fencerow area.
While there is no harm in touching undamaged baits, they have a strong fishmeal smell.


Man gets prison for rape, murder of artist visiting DC
(Information from: WTOP-FM, http://www.wtop.com)
WASHINGTON (AP) – A man has been sentenced to life in prison for raping and killing a North Carolina artist.
WTOP-FM reports 30-year-old El Hadji Toure was sentenced Friday in the March 2017 attack on 34-year-old Corrina Mehiel. He previously was convicted of 13 charges, including first-degree murder, first-degree sexual assault and burglary.
Mehiel was attacked as she moved out of an apartment in Washington, D.C., where she was part of a work-study program at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. Her body was found the next day; She had been bound, repeatedly stabbed and sexually assaulted.
Prosecutors say Toure also stole Mehiel’s car and debit card, which he used to withdraw cash from several ATMs in Maryland and Virginia. Prosecutors say Mehiel and Toure were strangers.


The Latest: 4th Ohio escapee arrested in North Carolina
CARY, N.C. (AP) – An Ohio sheriff reports the last of four inmates who escaped his county’s jail has been captured in North Carolina.
Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin says Lawrence R. Lee III was taken into custody by police in Durham, North Carolina. No details were immediately released.
The other three were captured without incident early Monday morning in Cary, North Carolina. Authorities said the four inmates overpowered two female corrections officers and escaped early Sunday.
Lee had gotten away at the time the other three were arrested.


Duke Energy seeks 6% rate rise for customers in western NC
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – About 2 million Duke Energy customers in central and western North Carolina would face an average 6% rate increase if state regulators approve the country’s largest electric company’s request.
Duke Energy said Monday it needed another $290 million a year to recoup spending on grid upgrades, coal-ash cleanup, storm repairs and to increase its potential profit margin to 10.3%. The company also proposes recouping money faster for three coal-burning power plants, potentially leading to earlier closings.
The proposal would add about $8.06 per month to the typical residential customer’s bill.
A rate increase that took effect last year was expected to increase residential rates by 1.2% over four years.
The Duke Energy subsidiary serving eastern North Carolina is expected to file a new rate request within a month.


AP-WF-10-01-19 1520GMT