AP-NC Newswatch

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November 4, 2019
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November 4, 2019
AP-NC Newswatch




Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST



Funeral service held in NC for former US Sen. Kay Hagan
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Family and friends have paid tribute to former U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, who died of a rare virus at the age of 66.
Hagan’s funeral service was held Sunday at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, where she lived for decades.
Gov. Roy Cooper and former Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill were among those who eulogized Hagan during the service.
About three years ago, Hagan contracted a rare virus spread from ticks to humans, leading to brain inflammation that made it difficult for her to speak and walk. She died Oct. 28.
The Democrat was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008, after a 10-year state legislative career. Hagan served one term before losing to Republican Thom Tillis in 2014.



North Carolina police arrest man pretending to be officer
WILSON, N.C. (AP) – Police say a North Carolina man has been arrested for impersonating a law enforcement officer after he got himself involved in a police chase.
News outlets report that the incident happened on Oct. 5 after Wilson police stopped a car at a grocery store in search of a possible murder suspect. As they approached the car, it sped off.
Police had chased the car for about two miles when a Ford Taurus with blue lights sped past the officers and got in front of the suspect’s car.
Police said the Taurus’ driver, 30-year-old David Adams Jr., forced five men out of the suspect car at gunpoint. Adams was later arrested for impersonating an officer.
The men in the car were also arrested. Police said they found drugs in the car.



Teacher accused of segregating students on political beliefs
(Information from: WNCN-TV.)
FOUR OAKS, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina school officials are investigating a Spanish teacher who has been accused of segregating students based on their religious and political beliefs.
WNCN-TV reports that Johnston County Public Schools confirmed that South Johnston High School Spanish teacher Julia Lopp has been suspended with pay as the school and district investigate.
Lopp is accused of segregating students in her class based on their religious beliefs and whether or not they support abortion.
Superintendent Jim Causby called the incident “unfortunate” in a statement. He said it is “never appropriate” for a teacher to segregate students based on religious, political or personal beliefs.
Causby said he will review the findings of the investigation once it is completed and determine what final decisions need to be made.



11-year-old boy critically injured at trunk-or-treat event
(Information from: WFMY-TV, http://www.wfmynews2.com/)
OAK RIDGE, N.C. (AP) – An 11-year-old boy was critically injured when he was struck by a vehicle while attending a trunk-or-treat event at a church in North Carolina.
WFMY-TV reports that the boy – identified as Noah Chambers – was attempting to cross the road at the event Friday night about 7:15 p.m. The event was held at Bethel United Methodist Church.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said the boy remained in critical condition Saturday at Brenner Children’s Hospital.
A family member told the television station that the family is praying that “God will heal Noah.” The family member said: “We need a miracle.”
First responders told WFMY that the driver of a Jeep SUV who hit the boy stopped and remained on the scene during the investigation.



Krispy Kreme orders student to halt doughnut resale service
(Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com)
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota college student says Krispy Kreme has told him to stop making doughnut runs to Iowa.
Twenty-one-year-old Jayson Gonzalez of Champlin, Minnesota, would make weekend runs to a Krispy Kreme store in Clive, Iowa, and pack his car with boxes of doughnuts that he would deliver to customers around the Twin Cities.
But less than a week after the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported about his road trips, Gonzalez says he received a phone call from Krispy Kreme’s Nebraska office telling him to stop selling the company’s doughnuts in Minnesota. Krispy Kreme stores left Minnesota 11 years ago.
Gonzalez tells the Pioneer Press he was told his sales created a liability for the North Carolina-based company.
In a statement Sunday night, Krispy Kreme said it’s looking into the matter.



Woman gets up to 32 years in killing of ex-sheriff’s deputy
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A 20-year-old woman has been sentenced to up to 32 years in prison in the killing of a former sheriff’s deputy she had dated.
WITN-TV reports that Caitlin Ridgeway entered an Alford plea in court Friday on second-degree murder and robbery charges in the 2017 death of former Onslow County deputy William Clifton. Under an Alford plea, a defendant acknowledges there is enough evidence for a conviction, but doesn’t admit guilt.
Ridgeway was sentenced to serve between 24 and 32 years in prison.
A second suspect, William Welch Jr., pleaded guilty to the same charges in March. He is awaiting sentencing.
The 48-year-old Clifton was found dead in a park by a jogger. He had been shot multiple times.



North Carolina redistricting cases could offer map to others
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Critics of political gerrymandering often point to North Carolina as an example. Now, court rulings against legislative and congressional districts there could become an example for other states.
State judges cited violations of North Carolina’s constitutional protections of free elections and speech. Many states have similar provisions in their constitutions. Legal analysts expect similar lawsuits could be filed elsewhere after the next round of redistricting following the 2020 census.
After the U.S. Supreme Court told federal judges to steer clear of political gerrymandering disputes, such cases in other states may hinge on whether judges there are willing to act as assertively as those in North Carolina.
Some advocates want permanent changes to drawing lines, such as by removing mapmaking power from legislators and giving it to independent commissions.



Plaintiffs seek review of decision on state House districts
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging how some North Carolina legislative districts have been redrawn want the state Supreme Court to review this week’s decision upholding the new maps.
Common Cause NC said in a news release on Friday that eight of the districts remain partisan gerrymanders. At issue are districts in two county groupings, Columbus-Pender-Robeson and Forsyth-Yadkin.
Common Cause says the House “acted with clear partisan intent, overemphasized incumbency protection, and recreated specific features of the prior unconstitutional districts.”
A three-judge panel said it would not meet demands for a third-party expert to take over redrawing nearly 20 state House districts.
Democrats and Common Cause successfully challenged Republicans in their lawsuit, prompting the remapping. But the judges disagreed with complaints that the redrawing process wasn’t transparent, as judges ordered.