Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. EDT
FATAL HELICOPTER CRASH
Sheriff: At least 1 dead in North Carolina helicopter crash
NEW SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say at least one person died when a helicopter crashed while spraying a field in North Carolina.
News outlets quote the Union County Sheriff’s Office as saying the helicopter appears to have become entangled in a power line while spraying the field near New Salem on Thursday. The community of New Salem is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Charlotte.
Authorities didn’t immediately release the identity of the person who died or provide further detail about the crash. It’s unclear how many people were in the helicopter.
Cooper declaration to aid NC people hurt most by Dorian
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper’s disaster declaration for more than a dozen eastern North Carolina counties following Hurricane Dorian means individuals harmed most by the winds and flooding can get financial help from state government.
Cooper’s declaration on Thursday is meant to target people living in Carteret, Dare, Hyde and New Hanover counties, which took the brunt of last month’s storm. But the federal government declined last week to issue a federal declaration for individual assistance in those counties, saying there wasn’t enough damage to warrant one.
The U.S. Small Business Administration did authorize low-interest disaster loans in the four counties and those surrounding them. So now, Cooper authorized a state grant program created for people who are denied the SBA loans or have damages not covered by insurance.
Autopsy shows judge died of fentanyl, heroin overdose
(Information from: News & Record, http://www.news-record.com)
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – An autopsy report shows a North Carolina judge died of a fentanyl and heroin overdose.
The News & Record of Greensboro reports District Court Judge Tom Jarrell was found unresponsive on the bedroom floor of his home in High Point on Aug. 3.
The report from the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner also says the 56-year-old Jarrell had alcohol in his system.
According to the report, Jarrell had a medical history with an irregular heartbeat, but police found a plastic bag with a powdered substance in his pocket. The autopsy found that there was a possible needle puncture in his right arm with dried blood. Also, the report said police found a pocketknife and a piece of paper containing a powdered substance in his bathroom.
North Carolina officials emphasize voting security efforts
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina elections and government security officials want to know they’ve got the backs of voters concerned about the integrity of casting and counting ballots today and entering the 2020 elections.
The State Board of Elections on Thursday unveiled the start of a “voter confidence campaign.” It will rely heavily on social media to get the word out about efforts and procedures already in place to protect free elections from hacking and other interference.
A U.S. Senate committee’s report released this summer found that the Russian government directed “extensive activity” against U.S. election systems ahead of the 2016 election.
A 2018 North Carolina congressional election also had to be redone this year, as last November’s results were invalidated following absentee voting fraud allegations.
BABY DEATH-MURDER CHARGE
Sheriff: North Carolina mother hid newborn baby in closet
MONROE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says it has charged a woman with first-degree murder and felony child abuse after an investigation showed she hid a newborn baby in a closet to conceal the fact that she had been pregnant.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Thursday that deputies responding to a 911 call from her husband on Sunday found 27-year-old Khrystina Marie Rice of Indian Trail on a bathroom floor and bleeding.
Investigators say paramedics later found a newborn infant tightly wrapped in a blanket inside of a trash bag in a bedroom closet. The sheriff’s office says paramedics performed CPR, but the infant died at a hospital.
Rice, who has two other children, has been jailed without bond. It’s not known if she has an attorney.
MICHAEL JORDAN-MEDICAL CLINIC
Michael Jordan opens first of 2 medical clinics in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – An emotional Michael Jordan unveiled the first of two medical clinics he and his family funded to provide care to underprivileged members of the community.
The six-time NBA champion and Hornets owner was on hand Thursday for the grand opening of the $7 million Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic. Tears streamed down Jordan’s cheeks as he said, “This is a very emotional thing for me to be able to give back to a community that has supported me over the years.”
The clinic, located in a lower-income section of the city, will provide vital access to primary and preventive care to individuals in the community, including those who are uninsured or underinsured.
Jordan vowed to do more, saying “this is just the start of a battle of being able to touch as many people as we can.”
Jordan first announced the $7 million gift in 2017.
The Latest: Billionaire gov says he wasn’t aware of subsidy
LEWISBURG, W.Va. (AP) – The billionaire governor of West Virginia says he didn’t know one of his family businesses took in a $125,000 federal subsidy meant to help farmers through the U.S. trade war with China.
Gov. Jim Justice told reporters on Thursday that he wasn’t aware Justice Farms of North Carolina received the payment. He also said many other farms got the subsidy and that he wants “goodness for everybody.”
A recording of Justice’s comments was posted online by a reporter for Ogden Newspapers. They came after a fundraiser for his reelection that was headlined by Donald Trump, Jr. and held at a lavish resort Justice owns called The Greenbrier.
Records reviewed by The Associated Press show Justice Farms of North Carolina received $121,398 for soybeans and $3,602 for corn earlier this year.
Justice has a net worth estimated at $1.5 billion and is considered to be West Virginia’s richest man.
3 pedestrians killed in separate accidents in North Carolina
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say three pedestrians died in separate accidents within an hour of each other.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports police say a man was struck and killed at an intersection in north Raleigh on Wednesday night.
Police said in a news release that the driver was taken into custody, but no charges have been filed so far.
In Holly Springs, police say a 14-year-old girl was struck and killed by an SUV as she tried to cross N.C. Highway 55, and Garner police report a man was killed after being hit by a car near U.S. Highway 70.