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November 22, 2019
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November 22, 2019
AP-NC Newswatch




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



East Texas Legionnaires’ outbreak linked to hot tub display
(Information from: Tyler Morning Telegraph, http://www.tylerpaper.com)
TYLER, Texas (AP) – Authorities say a hot tub display at an East Texas state fair in September is the likely source of contamination which led to a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that’s killed one person and sickened seven others.
Officials in Tyler have closed the convention center where the state fair took place.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports officials plan to remediate the convention center’s plumbing system.
This is the second outbreak linked to a state fair in the U.S. this year. Officials in North Carolina say four people have died and nearly 100 were hospitalized after contamination also linked to a hot tub display at a September state fair.
Legionnaire’s is a flu-like illness contracted when infected water vapor is inhaled. The elderly and people with weakened immune systems can be particularly susceptible.



Congress filing in North Carolina delayed during map fight
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina judges are officially delaying candidate filing for the state’s congressional districts while they sort out whether a replacement map approved by Republican legislators should be used for next year’s elections.
The three-judge panel’s order dated Wednesday means election officials can’t accept congressional candidate paperwork when the filing period begins for other 2020 races on Dec. 2.
On the same day, the judges will hold a hearing that will address whether a lawsuit filed by voters challenging the previous district lines should end because a new map is in place. But those voters argue the new districts are just another illegal partisan gerrymander.
State election officials have said the congressional primary could still be held March 3 as previously scheduled if a final map is set by Dec. 15.



New portion of bypass around North Carolina city opens
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A new freeway that opened to traffic seven months ahead of schedule will relieve congestion and improve safety for travelers around an eastern North Carolina city.
The state Department of Transportation said in a news release that the Southwest Bypass near Greenville opened Thursday after a ribbon cutting event.
Ronnie Keeter, the transportation department’s eastern chief deputy engineer, says the bypass will help boost economic development in and around Greenville by creating better connections in the region.
The Southwest Bypass is a four lane, 12.6-mile (19-kilometer) freeway that begins about 2 miles (3 kilometers) south of Ayden on Highway 11, wraps around the west side of Ayden and Winterville and ends at the U.S. 264 Bypass west of Greenville.



N Carolina police rule robbery death ‘justifiable homicide’
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say they won’t charge a man who fatally shot someone trying to rob him during a botched drug deal.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Lt. Gregory Dorn said 25-year-old Charvez Kent Brown went to a home on Tuesday to sell 22-year-old Danielle Miller marijuana. However, Dorn says the potential buyer, along with 22-year-old Ajian Lynell Jones and 19-year-old Andres Harris, tried to rob Brown. The newspaper says Brown ran away but the three began shooting at him. He was wounded and returned fire, also wounding the others.
Police say Jones later died from his injuries.
Dorn said Brown acted in self-defense and won’t face any charges. Jones’ death has been ruled a justifiable homicide.
Miller and Harris both face several firearms, assault and robbery charges.



Interstate 40 reopens in N Carolina’s Pigeon River Gorge
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Motorists may again travel westbound Interstate 40 through the Pigeon River Gorge in North Carolina after repairs were completed to a bridge.
The state Department of Transportation says barricades were removed, opening the westbound lanes between mile markers 15 and 20 on Thursday. The repairs involved a bridge over Jonathan Creek and White Oak Road, and have been finished in time for the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.
Division 14 resident engineer Nathan Tanner says there were worries that the work could take up to five days, but the contractor finished the repairs in three days.
Work was also performed on the eastbound lanes.



Sheriff: Worker shot, wounded 2 at N Carolina plant
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
TAR HEEL, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say they’ve captured a gunman who opened fire in a hog processing plant early Thursday, seriously wounding two co-workers.
Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker tells WRAL-TV that the suspect is in custody after attacking the two employees in a stairwell at The Smithfield Packing Company plant in Tar Heel.
A sheriff’s statement says deputies responded to an active shooter situation at the plant and airlifted the wounded man and woman to hospitals. Their conditions were unclear as of later Thursday morning.
It says the shooter, dressed in all black, ran from the meatpacking plant and was captured in a nearby wooded area.



Lt. Gov. Forest wants FBI to examine Cooper role in pipeline
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest wants the FBI to get more answers about a natural-gas pipeline permit and special fund that’s already put Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and his administration under the legislature’s microscope.
Forest released his statement seeking the FBI’s public corruption unit to step in on Thursday, the day after private investigators hired by a General Assembly committee released their findings about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Forest is running next year to unseat Cooper.
The investigators’ report determined Cooper appears to have improperly used his office to pressure utilities to agree to a $58 million mitigation fund. They didn’t find evidence that the governor benefited personally from actions.
Cooper said he did nothing wrong. His office said the report used “inaccuracies and bad facts to reach illogical conclusions.”



Police: Officer shoots man who fired at police after chase
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A shootout between a man and a police officer on an interstate in North Carolina has ended with the suspect wounded.
Greensboro police officer Ron Glenn says in a news release the man was speeding and driving recklessly Wednesday afternoon. Police chased the driver until he lost control on Interstate 85, crashed into another vehicle and then ran off the road.
Glenn says the man shot at officers as they approached his vehicle. Chief Wayne Scott told news outlets the man was shot at least once when an officer returned fire. Another officer disarmed the man.
No officers were injured. The wounded man was taken to a hospital in what police described as serious but stable condition.
The man’s identity hasn’t been released and no charges have been announced.



AP-WF-11-22-19 1120GMT