Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
North Carolina poised to gain another seat in Congress
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina is among seven states that are poised to gain at least one new congressional seat. The Charlotte Observer reports that another seat would give the state 14 House members as well as 16 electoral votes. Only six other states would have more. U.S. Census Bureau estimates released this week show that North Carolina’s population has grown to 10.5 million. That’s an increase of 10% since 2010. Final population figures will be determined by the 2020 Census. A new seat would be carved out in 2021. That’s when redistricting of congressional and legislative districts would normally occur after the census.
Duke Energy agrees to remove coal ash in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The state of North Carolina says it has secured an agreement with Duke Energy to excavate nearly 80 million tons of coal ash at six facilities. The Department of Environmental Quality said in a Thursday press release that it will be the largest coal ash clean up in the nation’s history. It also settles various legal disputes between Duke and parties that include environmental and community groups. For decades, coal ash has been stored in landfills or in ponds, often near waterways into which toxins can leach.
Police: Woman charged in slaying of 2 children, adult man
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a woman has been charged with murder in the deaths of two children and an adult. Greensboro police responded to a home for a welfare check Wednesday morning. Officers observed an aggravated assault but later said the incident was being investigated as a homicide. The victims were identified as a 2-year-old girl, a 10-year-old girl and a 61-year-old man. Their causes of death haven’t been announced. Police say 28-year-old Brittany McKinney was taken into custody and charged with three counts of first-degree murder. It’s unclear whether she had an attorney who could speak for her.
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.