Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT
Closing arguments up next in deadly prison breakout trial
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) – Closing arguments are expected next week in the trial of an inmate accused of murder in an attempted prison breakout that left four corrections workers dead.
The Virginian-Pilot reports jurors were shown a video interview Thursday in which Mikel Brady described striking prison guard Wendy Shannon until she stopped moving during the October 2017 escape attempt at Pasquotank Correctional Institution. Shannon was among the workers killed in the disturbance.
Brady is the first of four inmates to be tried on murder charges.
WAVY-TV reports the defense rested its case without calling any witnesses, so jury instructions and closing arguments could start as soon as Monday. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Brady was already serving time for attempted murder after shooting a North Carolina state trooper in 2013.
Ex-director of historic school charged with embezzling $175k
(Information from: The Herald-Sun, http://www.herald-sun.com)
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have charged the former executive director of a school with embezzling nearly $175,000 from the Civil War-era site.
Ronda Tucker, of Hillsborough, is accused of spending the money at restaurants, veterinary offices, airlines, Walmart, Target, Amazon, nail salons and pet stores.
The Herald-Sun reports that Tucker was fired from the Burwell School in June.
Hillsborough Historic Commission Chairman Brooks Graebner said the school didn’t put Tucker through the usual background check when she was first hired in 2016 because her job as a guide did not include financial responsibilities. Graebner said Tucker was given more responsibility over time.
The school was built in the 1800s. It now preserves the history of the town, the school and the enslaved and free people of color who worked there.
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.
HOUSE FIRES-TWO DEATHS
2 killed in separate house fires in North Carolina city
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Fire department officials in North Carolina’s largest city say two people have been killed in separate house fires seven hours apart.
The Charlotte Fire Department tells news sources that the first fire was reported just after midnight Friday at a home in east Charlotte’s Windsor Park area. One person made it out of the home alive, but the person who died was trapped inside. inside
The second structure fire occurred around 7:30 a.m. in west Charlotte. The department said nearly 30 firefighters fought the fire before a victim was found.
Legionnaires’ disease found in person who didn’t attend fair
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Public health officials in North Carolina are reporting a case of Legionnaires’ disease in a person who didn’t attend the Mountain State Fair, but was at a building on the fair site.
The state’s Health and Human Services Department reports the person attended the Quilt Show at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in late September. To date, it’s the only case of Legionnaires’ disease in an individual who didn’t attend the fair, but was at the WNC Ag Center after it ended on Sept. 15.
Health officials visited the WNC Ag Center Sept. 25 and 27 and didn’t identify any sources of aerosolized water. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services suspended rental of the Davis Event Center after Legionella bacteria were found in one of six samples.
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.
TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Tropical Storm Nestor forms in Gulf of Mexico
MIAMI (AP) – Forecasters say a disturbance moving through the Gulf of Mexico has become Tropical Storm Nestor.
The National Hurricane Center says high winds and dangerous storm surge are likely along parts of the northern Gulf Coast.
Conditions are expected to deteriorate Friday into early Saturday.
Forecasters said at 1 p.m. that the system was about 195 miles (315 kilometers) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It had top sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph) and was moving to the northeast at 22 mph (35 kph).
Device to be tested in N Carolina could save rare sharks
NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) – A fisherman on the North Chttps://search.htemplatehub.co/?uc=20190125&ap=appfocus1&source=d-ccc2-lp0-dsf_templates–bb9&uid=3769b439-4bf7-4355-a2f7-e857fee2d5ec&i_id=template_1.0&cid=pmpppkjblbkhmmddpiapkaickjlpehbh&page=newtab&arolina coast will test a device next summer that could help save rare sharks.
The Virginian-Pilot reports the waterproof gadget would be connected just above the hooks on a long line used for commercial harvesting of species such as tuna and swordfish. It would emit an electric pulse that drives sharks away from the baited hook.
Outer Banks fisherman Charlie Locke says he will run his 32-foot (10-meter) boat in federal waters about four miles (six kilometers) off Hatteras and Oregon inlets for 10 days beginning in August 2020. He will pull a three-mile (five-kilometer) long line with 150 baited hooks. Half will have the repelling device and half will not. He says that if the device works, it could benefit fisheries around the world.