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AP-NC-SNAKE IN OVEN
They were heating up a frozen pizza – and a snake
WAKE FORREST, N.C. (AP) – A couple in North Carolina say they popped a frozen pizza into the oven only to discover that a snake was burning inside about 10 minutes later. Amber Helm told the Raleigh News & Observer Wednesday that her family had hoped to have an easy dinner on Monday night in Wake Forrest. But Helm said the oven started smoking and smelling terrible as they waited for their pizza to cook. The snake was about 18 inches long and the diameter of a quarter.
AP-NC-MALL SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
Police: Suspect arrested in mall shooting that killed girl
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say they’ve arrested a suspect in the shooting at a mall that left a 13-year-old girl dead. The Charlotte Observer reports that Dontae Laquavious Milton-Black was arrested Wednesday morning. The 18-year-old was charged with one count each of first-degree murder and felony riot. Milton-Black is being held without bond at the Cabarrus County jail. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer. Avenanna Propst, 13, was killed and two juveniles were injured after a fight broke out at the Concord Mills mall northeast of Charlotte. Concord police said Propst and the injured teens were not the intended targets of the gunfire.
BC-NC-LOTTERY TICKET CLAIMED
Hankering for goulash leads to $1 million lottery ticket
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A man in North Carolina has claimed a $1 million lottery ticket that he bought while shopping for ingredients to make goulash. North Carolina’s lottery said in a statement Tuesday that Edward Snyder bought the Cash 5 ticket at a Food Lion grocery store in Mooresville, which is north of Charlotte. Snyder told lottery officials that the winnings will bring him closer to retirement. He said ticket was a “great Christmas gift and an incredible way to start the New Year.”
AP-NC-SHORT TERM RENTALS-POLICE CONCERNS
Police ask landlords to register AirBnBs, citing parties
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina are urging owners of short-term rentals to register their properties so police can more quickly shut down parties that get out of hand. The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday that registrations will help police know who owns a property when they respond to a 911 call. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said at a recent news conference that there have been “a number” of incidents where an AirBnB looks like “a nightclub in a condo or an apartment or even a residence.” The department has compiled a list of 50 short-term rental properties where officers have responded to 911 calls. But police say there are likely more.
AP-NC-PIZZA STORE ROBBERY
Police: Man with machete robbed Domino’s, tried to set fire
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a man robbed a Domino’s Pizza with a machete and then tried to set the store ablaze. The Citizen Times reports that the alleged incident occurred late Monday night in Asheville. Police said in a statement that Curtis Andrew Wallace Jr. told Domino’s employees that he would “chop heads off” before locking them in an office and then a freezer. Police said Wallace took nearly $700 from a safe. They said Wallace then tried to start a fire in one of the pizza ovens when the employees were still trapped. He was taken into custody when police arrived.
Attack on US Embassy in Iraq shows stark choices for Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) – The attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad by Iran-supported militiamen shows that President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran has not crippled its ability to strike at American interests. Trump says Iran will “pay a very BIG PRICE!” He adds: “This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!” It’s not clear whether that might mean military retaliation. After about 100 Marines were sent to the embassy, the Pentagon announced the deployment of about 750 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division; a U.S. official says the deployment to Kuwait may eventually total about 4,000 soldiers.
“Sordid history” cited as judge blocks NC’s voter ID law
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The federal judge who blocked the newest version of a voter ID law in North Carolina cites the state’s “sordid history of racial discrimination and voter suppression” as she ordered officials to not enforce the law in 2020. áU.S. District Court Judge Loretta Biggs’ decision was issued Tuesday and prevents North Carolina from requiring voters to provide ID. áBut Republican legislative leaders have asked North Carolina’s Department of Justice to appeal. The federal court had advised last week that Biggs would formally block the ID requirement until a lawsuit filed by the NAACP and others is resolved.
Inmate convicted in state prison attack moves to US prison
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) – The man sentenced to death in the killings of four workers during an attempted escape from a North Carolina prison has been transferred to a federal prison in Kentucky because of safety concerns. The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reports Mikel Brady was transferred to U.S. Penitentiary Big Sandy in Inez, Kentucky. He was being held at Central Prison in Raleigh. Brady was convicted in October 2019 on four counts of first-degree murder for his role in the 2017 áescape attempt at Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City. It was the deadliest attempted prison breakout in North Carolina history.