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Bust of Orville Wright found on North Carolina beach
KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) – The National Park Service says a bust of Orville Wright that was stolen from the Wright Brothers National Memorial on the North Carolina coast has been found.
A news release from the park service Tuesday says a visitor to the beach at Kill Devil Hills called authorities in Dare County to say the bust was tucked into some dunes.
The park service said initially that the monument was damaged either Saturday evening or Sunday morning. The granite base on which the bust was mounted had been toppled and damaged.
An investigation continues into the theft as well as damage to the granite base. Homeowners have been asked to review security video footage for suspicious activity.
The memorial honors aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright.
JIM CROW RAIL CAR
Grant to help renovate ‘Jim Crow’ rail car in North Carolina
SPENCER, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina has received a federal grant to renovate a 1920s rail car that was built to comply with the racist Jim Crow laws of the 20th century.
State officials say the National Park Service awarded a grant of more than $287,000 to renovate the railroad car that’s now at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer. The 44-seat coach hasn’t been used since 1969.
The car has 22 seats in the rear designated for African Americans so that it complied with segregation laws. It needs extensive renovation, including asbestos removal.
The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources says it’s one of few such cars held by a museum for public viewing. Another one is at the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
HEALTH CARE FRAUD
Pain MD owner, employees accused of $38M health care fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The majority owner of Pain MD and three employees are charged with more than $38 million in health care fraud.
The charges are part of an indictment filed Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nashville. It charges that between 2010 and May 2018, Michael Kestner, Brian Richey, Jonathan White, and Daniel Seeley conspired to enrich themselves by submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE.
Kestner, of Nashville, was the owner and CEO of MedManagment Inc. and the majority owner of Pain MD. MedManagment also managed Pain MD, which operated clinics in Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. Richey, of Cookeville, White, of Tullahoma, and Seeley, of Batesville, Mississippi, were employees.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
POLICE SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
Sheriff’s office involved in 2 fatal shootings in 24 hours
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is looking into two unrelated shooting deaths involving the same sheriff’s office within 24 hours.
News organizations report two Guilford County sheriff’s deputies were shot Monday during a standoff with a man barricaded in a house in High Point. After the 11-hour standoff, deputies entered the house, exchanged gunfire with the man and shot him dead.
Authorities say deputies had been trying to serve the man with civil papers. The two deputies were hospitalized, but one has since been released.
In the other shooting, deputies were performing a welfare check Tuesday at a home in Jamestown. A department spokesman says when deputies arrived, the man fired at them as he stood outside the home. The deputies fired back and killed him.
North Carolina police arrest man in 9-year-old’s death
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have arrested a man in the August shooting death of a 9-year-old boy.
Durham police say in a news release on Tuesday that multiple charges were filed against 24-year-old Antonio Nathaniel Davenport Jr., including first-degree murder.
The news release said Davenport was charged at the Durham County Jail, where he was being held on charges from a domestic violence case.
Investigators say 9-year-old Z’yon Person was shot and killed on Aug. 18 as he rode in an SUV with his aunt, sister and three cousins to get snow cones. An 8-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to his arm.
The shooting, one of two fatal incidents over two days, led local and federal officials to pledge to work together to crack down on gun violence.
APPEALS COURT-HOTEL ARSON
Murder, arson convictions upheld in death of Army veteran
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina court has upheld a man’s first-degree murder and arson convictions in the death of an Army veteran set on fire in a hotel room.
The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected arguments by Garry Joseph Gupton, now serving life in prison for Steven White’s 2014 death. Gupton’s lawyer failed to persuade the judges that prosecutors didn’t prove it was arson and that prosecutors failed to show Gupton was sane when the crime occurred.
Court documents show Gupton and White met at a Greensboro gay bar and appeared intoxicated. Gupton testified he “started freaking out” and hallucinating after White became sexually aggressive at the hotel. Evidence shows Gupton struck and strangled White and lit the bed’s comforter on fire before putting it on him. White died later.
PLANE CRASH-PILOT KILLED
Pilot killed in North Carolina plane crash
CAMERON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a man has been killed in a plane crash.
Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields told news sources that 66-year-old Charles Grant Fitzgerald of Cameron died in the crash, which occurred late Monday. Officials say he was the only person onboard the aircraft.
According to the sheriff’s office, Fitzgerald was reported missing before his body was found in the wreckage by sheriff’s deputies in a heavily wooded area in the Cameron-Vass area of Moore County. Fitzgerald was reportedly flying from an airport in Camden, South Carolina, to a private airstrip in Vass.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.
North Carolina health agency warns of measles exposure
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina health officials are warning people who visited a specific airport and hotel may have been exposed to the measles.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the Guilford County Health Department say in a news release that people may have been exposed if they visited Piedmont Triad International Airport between 11:15 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 2, and between 1:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. on Oct. 3.
Visitors to the Greensboro Wyndham Garden Hotel may have been exposed between 1:30 p.m. and midnight on Oct. 2, and between midnight and 4 p.m. the next day.
Officials say if visitors haven’t been vaccinated and were at either location during those times, they should call either the county health department or their doctor as soon as possible.