Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
OUTER BANKS DROWNING
Maryland man’s death is third this week in Outer Banks surf
(Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com)
NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) – A Maryland man who died Thursday after swimming in North Carolina’s Outer Banks is the third person found dead in the surf there in the last week.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the 51-year-old victim from Davidsonville, Maryland, was seen floating face down in the surf Thursday at about 3 p.m. His name was not released.
Nags Head Ocean Rescue responded and tried unsuccessfully to revive him.
A 58-year-old National Weather Service administrator died in the ocean off Duck on Monday. A 75-year-old New York man died Sept. 28 off Hatteras Village trying to escape the rip current.
Rip current warnings have been issued recently along the Outer Banks.
NC superintendent says students remain displaced from Dorian
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
OCRACOKE, N.C. (AP) – A month after Hurricane Dorian inundated a North Carolina barrier island, students still haven’t been able to return to their school building.
The News & Observer reports the State Board of Education on Thursday got an overview of the storm’s impact on state schools. Hyde County School Superintendent Stephen Basnight, who oversees Ocracoke School, told the board the community remains “devastated.”
Ocracoke suffered the most damage from the early September hurricane. Ocracoke School was flooded with more than 3 feet (1 meter) of water. Basnight said the gym is still a pond, and expensive equipment in other rooms remains damaged.
Ocracoke students have been taking classes online with the aid of iPads from the state. They’re scheduled to physically return to class on Oct. 7 at different locations.
Report: Hot tub displays likely caused Legionnaires’ cases
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina health officials say hot tub displays inside a building at a fair are likely to blame for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease last month.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said on its webpage Thursday that early findings show that people diagnosed with the disease likely visited the Davis Event Center at the Mountain State Fair last month and walked by the hot tub displays.
According to the department, early results from laboratory testing of environmental samples identified Legionella bacteria in one water sample taken from the event center. Results are still pending from other samples taken in the investigation.
The department says 124 cases of Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever had been reported as of Wednesday.
North Carolina fair bans mist fans as health measure
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina fair is banning the use of hand-held mist fans to guard against an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease like the one that happened at another fair last month. A spokeswoman for the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem also says the fair’s lone water ride will be disinfected daily, and drinking fountains will be available inside a building adjacent to the fairgrounds. Spokeswoman Siobhan Olson says the fair is following guidelines established by the N.C. Department of Agriculture for the fair opening Friday. State health officials say more than 120 people have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease after attending last month’s Mountain State Fair in Fletcher.
STATE BAR-RANSOMWARE ATTACK
NC State Bar says it was target of ransomware attack
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina State Bar says it was the target of a ransomware attack this week.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the organization says the attack late Monday infiltrated the network through a server and began encrypting the system, server by server. A rapid response team stopped the attack from spreading, but the system has to be restored and repaired using backup data.
The organization says there is no indication that any State Bar data, including personally identifiable information, was taken, but access to the State Bar website and membership/continuing legal education portal is currently unavailable.
The State Bar also said no ransom has been paid.
MURDER TRIAL-LIFE SENTENCE
North Carolina man found guilty of killing 2, gets life
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina jury has convicted a man of first-degree murder in the deaths of his mother and his girlfriend in 2015, and the judge in the case sentenced him to life in prison without parole.
News outlets report Brandon Lee was sentenced after the jury returned its verdict on Thursday.
WRAL-TV reports that Lee confessed to a 911 operator, in a police interview and when he testified this week to killing his mother and his ex-girlfriend in their Cray apartments.
Defense attorneys argued that Lee didn’t premeditate the crimes, but instead snapped after his mother yelled at him and threatened him with a knife. They asked the jury to consider second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, which would bring lesser sentences.
SWIMMER DEATHS-NORTH CAROLINA
2nd swimmer dies in rough surf on North Carolina coast
KURE BEACH, N.C. (AP) – Officials in a coastal North Carolina town are warning beachgoers to be especially cautious after two swimmers died on the same day.
Police in Kure Beach told news sources that the first swimmer was found unresponsive in the water just after 10 a.m. Wednesday near a beach access. Authorities say the second swimmer was found unresponsive in the ocean a few hours later at a different beach access.
Strong swells from the remnants of Hurricane Lorenzo in the eastern Atlantic Ocean created rough surf along the coast. The National Weather Service in Wilmington on Thursday issued a rip current warning for all east-facing beaches in New Hanover and Pender counties. Forecasters said conditions are expected to begin improving on Friday.
CHILD SOLD FOR CAR
Police: Mother sold child to couple in exchange for car
(Information from: The Dispatch, http://www.the-dispatch.com)
LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A grand jury in North Carolina has indicted three people after police say a mother sold her 2-year-old child to a couple for a car.
The Dispatch of Lexington reports the Thomasville Police Department says detectives began an investigation in July after a hospital report of a 2-year-old child with bruises.
Investigators said 47-year-old Tina Marie Chavis told hospital workers that she was the child’s mother. Chavis then claimed to have adopted the child, but couldn’t produce documentation. Investigators later learned that 45-year-old Alice Leann Todd gave the child to Chavis and 53-year-old Vicenio Mendoza in exchange for a car last year.
All three are now charged with unlawful sale, surrender or purchase of a minor and jailed under a $50,000 bond apiece. It’s not known if they have attorneys.