Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
SMALL PLANE CRASH-NORTH CAROLINA
Report: Pilot had trouble seeing runway in small plane crash
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Federal authorities say a veterinarian who died along with his wife when the plane he was piloting crashed in North Carolina was having trouble seeing the runway on a nighttime approach.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued a preliminary report on the Oct. 20 crash that killed Harvey and Patricia Partridge of Terra Ceia, Florida. Their plane crashed near Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
The report says Partridge was within a few miles of the airport when he told air controllers he saw “lots of lights” but not the runway. Shortly after, Partridge said he could see only the beacon, so runway lights were turned up. He finally told a controller he had the runway in sight shortly before controllers lost communication.
The preliminary report doesn’t make final conclusions about the crash.
ICE agents arrest man release from custody by NC sheriff
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Federal agents have arrested an illegal immigrant from Mexico who was released from custody by a North Carolina sheriff’s office after being convicted of felony death by motor vehicle in a drunken-driving incident.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested Jose Barajas-Diaz on Friday, one week after the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office refused to honor an ICE detainer and released him from custody.
Barajas-Diaz was convicted on Oct. 24 and given a five-year suspended sentence with credit for time served. The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office then refused to honor the ICE detainer and released him into the community.
Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis said Tuesday that the sheriff continues to put reckless sanctuary policies ahead of public safety, and that residents of Mecklenburg County are less safe due to misguided sanctuary policies.
North Carolina lawmakers back to begin new Congress map
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina legislators are already starting the process of redrawing the state’s current congressional map after state judges last week blocked its use because they said there was evidence of likely excessive partisan bias in those districts.
A House-Senate committee plans to hold its first meeting on Tuesday. The legislature already has planned to resume its session Nov. 13 in part to consider drawing and voting for a new map.
The judges haven’t given the GOP-controlled General Assembly a deadline to draw a new map, but they’ve suggested that acting soon would allow the congressional election schedule to stay on track.
Meanwhile, some voters have sued in federal court to try to keep the current map in place for the 2020 elections.
CHILDREN DEAD-BURNING HOME
Sheriff: Bodies found may be linked to arson, murders
MOUTH OF WILSON, Va. (AP) – The remains of three people found in a charred pickup truck in Virginia appear to be connected to the deaths of two children in North Carolina.
News outlets report Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman says the bodies are believed to be Maria Calderon Martinez, Juan Carlos Mendez-Pena and Luis Fernando Sanchez. They were found Monday morning in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.
Calderon Martinez is the mother of 11-year-old Angel Pacheco and 12-year-old America Pacheco. The children’s bodies were found in a burned home in Alexander County, North Carolina in June. Crews had previously searched the Catawba River for the mother’s body.
Mendez-Pena and Sanchez hadn’t been seen since the fire.
Thirty-year-old Areli Aguirre-Avilez and his 16-year-old girlfriend are charged with murder in the deaths of the mother and her children.
MOBILE PARK TRIPLE SHOOTING
North Carolina teenager indicted in triple shooting
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – An 18-year-old man has been indicted on charges he shot and seriously injured three teenagers near a basketball court at a North Carolina mobile home park.
Eduardo Ozuna was indicted Monday on three counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. He’s accused of shooting the three teens with a handgun in August. Court records say he was on probation at the time.
Winston Salem police Lt. Amy Gauldin has declined to release more details. But the Winston-Salem Journal reports that a neighbor said police have her security camera’s recording of the attack, showing a car drive up and an occupant open fire with dozens of shots at the boys.
Ozuna is in jail on a $75,000 bond. Online records show his next court date is Dec. 6.
Sheriff: NC child found dead in SC lake in apparent accident
(Information from: The Herald, http://www.heraldonline.com)
LAKE WYLIE, S.C. (AP) – Authorities say a 3-year-old girl from North Carolina has been found dead in a South Carolina lake.
The Herald reports York County coroner Sabrina Gast has identified the girl found Saturday as Maryam Atabek, of Raleigh. Her cause of death has yet to be released, though county sheriff’s spokesman Trent Faris says the death appears to be an accident. An autopsy is scheduled, and an investigation is ongoing.
Faris says the girl was reported missing Saturday afternoon by family visiting friends near Clover on Lake Wylie Road. He says the girl apparently wandered off. Her body was found in the lake’s water about two hours later.
NC Wildlife Resources Commission buys 6,300 more acres
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has purchased an additional 6,310 acres (2,553 hectares) adjacent to its North River Game Land.
A news release from Ducks Unlimited on Monday says the purchase, the first of two along the North River, was helped by donations from Ducks Unlimited and the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund.
The partnership, which helped make the purchase, will preserve forests and wetlands that furnish habitat for numerous waterfowl species, black bears, bald eagles and endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers. It also protects more than 16 miles (25 kilometers) of stream and river frontage as part of the Game Land system.
The commission will own and manage the land, meaning water quality and wildlife habitat will be protected and provide the public with access to hunting, research and recreational opportunities.
North Carolina voters choose mayors, decide on referendums
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Municipal residents across North Carolina are picking their next mayors and council members.
Elections are being held on Tuesday in cities, towns and villages covering 92 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Precinct polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Mayors are being chosen in places like Wilmington, Durham, Rocky Mount and Charlotte, where incumbent Democrat Vi Lyles is seeking a second two-year term. She faces Republican David Michael Rice. Charlotte city council and Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board candidates also are on the ballot.
Bond referendums are on local ballots. And Mecklenburg County voters also are deciding whether to raise the local sales tax for parks, education and the arts.