Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
Tina Turner mural defaced at North Carolina record store
ASHVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Employees at a record store in North Carolina say a mural of pop star Tina Turner has been defaced with a red swastika. The Citizen Times reported Thursday that the mural is outside Static Age Records in downtown Asheville. Store owner Jesse McSwain said someone unconnected to the storeácovered the mural with a sheet before he could address the situation. Static Age called police and theáSouthern Poverty Law Center. McSwain said his store is “a widely inclusive, safe space” and that “hate speech will get you out the door.”
AP-NC-STOLEN CHURCH TRAILER
Stolen church trailer quickly recovered after Facebook post
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – A church pastor in North Carolina says it only took an hour to locate a stolen trailer after putting out word on social media. The Fayetteville Observer reported Thursday that members of Vertical Church in Lumberton noticed the trailer was missing during a recent Christmas celebration. They called police and posted a message to Facebook. They found the trailer an hour later with the church’s name spray painted over. But nothing had been stolen. Pastor Hector Miray said that whoever took the trailer would have been better off reaching out to the church rather than stealing from it.
Police: 1 person injured in shooting with police
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say one person was injured in a shooting with at least one officer. News outlets report the shooting happened early Friday at an apartment complex in Charlotte. The police department says in a tweet that the person received injuries that aren’t considered life threatening. The identity of the injured person hasn’t been released. No officers were hurt. Police say the state bureau of investigation is handling the case.
North Carolina mountains home to ‘Hobbit’-themed Airbnb
WEAVERVILLE, N.C. (AP) – O’er the misty mountains of North Carolina is a “Hobbit”-themed Airbnb. The News & Observer reports the hobbit house named “Hobbithenge” is nestled into a meadow in Weaverville. The listing says the house, which appears to be tucked into the earth, was handcrafted out of clay and wood. In addition to the wood stove and queen-sized futon, the listing says the rental also comes with mud, dust, spiders and a door that doesn’t lock just yet. It emphasizes the home as “rustic,” noting it also doesn’t have hot water or much privacy. This rental is about 25 miles outside Asheville and isn’t the only Tolkien token. Similar rentals are available in states including Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.
Red wolves court battle reignites as governor urges action
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Wildlife advocates have returned to court to prod the federal government to jump-start its recovery efforts for the critically endangered red wolf. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has lent his voice to efforts to bring the animal back from the brink of extinction in the wild. Amid the pressure, federal biologists plan to promote wild breeding among several wolf pairs. But environmental groups say much more work is needed.áIn November, Cooper sent federal officials a sharply worded letter warning that “the American red wolf is on the brink of extinction.” He noted only about a dozen remain in the wild.
TRAFFIC STOP-FATAL CRASH
Police: 1 killed, 3 hurt after stolen car crashes into tree
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say one person was killed and three were injured when a car believed to have been stolen crashed into a tree after an officer attempted to make a traffic stop. Burlington police tell news outlets that the car fled from a parking lot on Christmas Day when an officer attempted to make the stop after identifying the car. After the crash, átwo occupants were able to get out of the car, while a third person was trapped and the fourth person was dead. Their identities haven’t been released.
N Carolina couple call 911 on vacuum thought to be intruder
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina couple awoke just after midnight on Christmas to the sounds of clanking coming from their first floor. In a panic, they hid in a closet and called 911 to report a possible home intrusion. WGHP-TV reports responding Forsyth County deputies searched the home and found a robot vacuum clanking about. Homeowner Thomas Milam says the couple had only had the vacuum for about two days.
States are on front lines of 2020 election-security efforts
SPRINGFIELD, Va. (AP) – Local officials once had limited responsibilities on election days. They’d keep track of who might show up at the polling stations and ensure all the equipment and supplies were in place. Now they’re on the front lines of efforts to defend U.S. elections from an attack by Russia, China or other foreign threats. The federal government will be gathering intelligence and scanning systems for suspicious cyber activity in the 2020 election. But it will be state and county officials on the ground, charged with identifying and dealing with any hostile acts. Officials from 24 states recently attended election-security training held by the Defending Digital Democracy Project in Virginia.