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MISSING TEEN-GUILTY PLEA
Teen’s adoptive father pleads guilty to second-degree murder
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) – The adoptive father of a North Carolina teenager who was missing for years before her body was found in South Carolina has pleaded guilty to murder and other charges. News sources report Sandy Parsons, the adoptive father of Erica Parsons, pleaded guilty in Rowan County Superior Court on Tuesday to second-degree murder, child abuse, concealment of death and obstruction. Casey and Sandy Parsons were charged in the death of Erica Parsons, who was reported missing in July 2013, two years after she had last been seen alive. In August, Casey Parsons was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder and other charges.
US senator proposes money, oversight to boost dam safety
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing to boost federal efforts to fortify the nation’s dams following an Associated Press investigation that found scores of potentially troubling dams around the country. Gillibrand said Tuesday that new legislation should ensure that federal standards are in place to make dams more resilient to extreme weather stemming from climate change. She also called on her colleagues in Congress to increase federal funding to fix unsafe dams. An AP report last month identified at least 1,688 high-hazard dams rated in poor or unsatisfactory condition as of last year in 44 states and Puerto Rico.
MISSING HISTORICAL MARKER
Highway marker honoring Native American athlete is missing
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina officials say a highway marker honoring a Native American Olympic gold medalist has gone missing. News outlets report the marker honoring James “Jim” Francis Thorpe was reportedly still at its post in Rocky Mount as of last week. The state says Thorpe was born on an Oklahoma reservation in 1888 and became a professional baseball player in 1909 when he joined the Rocky Mount Railroaders in North Carolina. It says he also played professional football and was a standout in track and field. Three years later, he won gold medals in the pentathlon and the decathlon at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. A town in Pennsylvania is named after him.
Microsoft keeps building in N Carolina with 500 more jobs
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Microsoft Corp. is ready to grow its North Carolina workforce even further with 500 new jobs in the Raleigh-Durham area. áGov. Roy Cooper and Microsoft executives made the announcement Tuesday, áless than two months after the software and cloud-computing giant unveiled 430 additional positions for Charlotte. The latest round of jobs predominantly will go to software engineers and developers, with average wages of $125,000. Microsoft can receive state cash incentives for both the Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham expansions if the company meets job-creation and investment goals.áMicrosoft already has nearly 2,000 employees in North Carolina. Houston was also in the running for theájobs announced Tuesday.
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-WALKER
N Carolina Rep. Walker won’t run in ’20, eyes Senate in ’22
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker isn’t running at all in the 2020 election, as recent redistricting made his current U.S. House seat very difficult for him to win. The three-term House member and recent head of the conservative Republican Study Committee announced his decision late Monday. He’s the second North Carolina Republican congressman to stand aside next year because their districts have shifted to the left politically. Walker had considered mounting primary challenges to GOP colleagues in the state. Now Walker says he’ll look at running in 2022 for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by retiring Republican Richard Burr.
Emails: NAACP leader chided women who made harassment claim
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Emails and recordings obtained by The Associated Press show that the NAACP’s national president chastised women who went public with a sexual harassment claim. The records also show that President Derrick Johnson was reluctant to swiftly deal with accusations against a former North Carolina officer in the civil rights organization. Johnson spoke in early October at the North Carolina state convention, less than two weeks after Jazmyne Childs said at a news conference that she had been sexually harassed in 2017. áSome women who attended say the comments are indicative of the NAACP’s misogynistic culture. Johnson and an NAACP didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.
Modest but passionate turnout at pro-impeachment rallies
DENVER (AP) – Tens of thousands of people across the country are marching in support of the impeachment of President Donald Trump. The hundreds of rallies were scheduled on the eve of the House of Representative’s debate on two articles of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday. The crowds they drew were smaller than many other demonstrations during Trump’s presidency. That highlights the odd politics of impeachment, which has been deadlocked in opinion polls and rarely mentioned by Democratic presidential hopefuls. But the comparatively modest numbers didn’t mean lack of passion, as demonstrators called for the removal of a president they said threatens democracy itself.
North Carolina officer charged in body-slamming incident
HENDERSON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina district attorney says misdemeanor charges have been filed against a school resource officer seen on video body-slamming a middle school student. News sources report the officer, identified as Warren Durham, was fired earlier this week. District Attorney Mike Waters said Tuesday that Durham will be charged with assault on a child under 12, misdemeanor child abuse and willful failure to discharge his duties. An officer was seen on surveillance video Dec. 12 violently slamming a boy to the floor twice and then dragging him out of camera range. The child was not seriously injured.