Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
DAMS-LEGACY OF NEGLECT-NORTH CAROLINA
N Carolina No. 2 in risky dams where failure could kill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina has the country’s second-largest collection of poorly maintained dams built in places where a failure could kill people.
A two-year investigation by The Associated Press identified 168 high-hazard dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition in North Carolina. That trailed only Georgia among the 44 states and Puerto Rico that provided full information in response to the AP’s public records requests.
High hazard means someone could die if a dam fails, though that could mean risk for a single house or a community of thousands.
Nationwide, the AP identified at least 1,680 high-hazard dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition.
In some cases, it’s hard for the public to know the potential danger. North Carolina officials cited security concerns while declining to publicly release emergency action plans for some dams.
FATAL SHOOTING-MARINE DESERTER
Marine deserter sought in fatal shooting of Virginia man
HARDY, Va. (AP) – Authorities in Virginia are searching for a Marine who deserted his post in North Carolina and has since been named as a person of interest in the shooting death of his mother’s boyfriend.
News outlets report 22-year-old Michael Alexander Brown is wanted for questioning in the Saturday death of Rodney Brown in Franklin County, Virginia. Authorities say Michael Brown is a combat engineer who deserted his Camp Lejeune post last month and was later spotted in Franklin County.
The Craven County Sheriff’s Office says Michael Brown may now be in North Carolina as his last known address was in New Bern, around 250 miles (400 kilometers) southeast of Franklin County and 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Camp Lejeune.
Authorities say anyone who spots him should act with “extreme caution.”
VETERANS DAY-NC GOVERNMENT
Veterans Day observed in N Carolina with Cooper proclamation
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina state government is set to thank service members on Veterans Day.
Gov. Roy Cooper will sign a special proclamation for the holiday on Monday at the Executive Mansion.
While state and federal offices are closed, the North Carolina Museum of History will be open. General admission to the museum is always free, and all active duty and retired military members get a discount on Monday at the gift shop.
The federal government says North Carolina ranked seventh among the states in total veteran population in 2017 with over 730,000 veterans.
MARSHALL PLANE CRASH ANNIVERSARY
Memorial service set for 1970 Marshall plane crash
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) – An annual memorial service is set this week to honor the 75 lives lost in a 1970 plane crash involving Marshall University’s football team.
The service is set for noon Thursday in Huntington, West Virginia. Each year, the water at the Marshall Memorial Student Center’s fountain is turned off to remain silent until spring.
On Nov. 14, 1970, 36 football players and 39 coaches, administrators, community leaders, fans and crew died when the team’s chartered jet returning from a game at East Carolina crashed into a hill just short of the airport.
It remains the deadliest crash involving a sports team in U.S. history.
Next year will mark the crash’s 50th anniversary.
North Carolina attorney pleads guilty in tax case
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina attorney is awaiting sentencing after federal prosecutors say he illegally spent at least $297,000 from his law firm on plastic surgery, luxury cars and a boat.
The U.S. attorney for western North Carolina announced that John Francis Hanzel of Cornelius pleaded guilty on Friday in Charlotte court to filing a false tax return and now faces up to three years in prison. The Charlotte Observer reports Hanzel declined comment on Saturday.
An indictment and records show Hanzel never paid himself a law firm salary, writing checks instead from his firm account for personal and living expenses. A news release from prosecutor Andrew Murray’s office says Hanzel hid money from the IRS by living out of his business bank account and falsely deducting personal expenses as business expenses.
3 accused in 2016 of Mandarin school teacher in N Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police say they’ve charged three men in the 2016 death of a teacher from China shot while leaving a concert in North Carolina’s largest city with her fiance and friends.
Media outlets report Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police obtained murder, robbery and conspiracy warrants against the men. They’re accused in the death of 33-year-old Ruijuan Guo, who was teaching Mandarin at a Union County school. She was shot during a robbery in the South End section of Charlotte. She had moved to the United States four years earlier.
Police wouldn’t say on Friday what evidence led to the warrants.
A police news release says Cecil Lamont Marble was arrested without incident, while brother Michael Mandrell Marble was already jailed on other charges. Police say third suspect Keric Teron Watt is in federal prison.
CHEMISTRY CLASS-STUDENT INJURED
Family: N Carolina student injured during chemistry class
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A high school student is recovering after her family says she was injured during an explosion during an on-campus chemistry class.
Media outlets report the injuries occurred last week at Western Guilford High School in Greensboro.
WXII-TV says the student – identified by her family as Aimee Green – was in good condition on Friday at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. The hospital said nobody with that name was in its system Sunday night.
The Guilford County Schools has said a student was injured in an “incident” at Western Guilford but is saying little else.
The student’s mother said in a public Facebook post that her daughter’s hair, face, chest, hands and arm were burned.
Murder charges in shooting with 2 dead in N Carolina city
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police say a suspect injured in a weekend shooting in North Carolina’s largest city that left two people dead has now been charged with murder in those fatalities.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department announced on Sunday that 75-year-old Caldwell Cole Jr. has been charged with two counts of murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. He’s accused in Saturday’s deaths of 40-year-old Janet Elizabeth Scronce and 39-year-old Furahn Karren Woods Morrow. Police had responded to a south Charlotte address.
The department says in a news release that Cole was released from the hospital Sunday after being treated for injuries from Saturday’s incident, was interviewed and then taken to the county jail.