Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT
2 more North Carolina gov’t funding bills signed by Cooper
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has signed into law two more bills that mimic portions of the state budget bill he vetoed in June.
The Democratic governor announced Monday that he signed a measure increasing access to grant money for rural broadband projects. The other bill locates money for more prosecutors, judges and judicial staff as more young offenders get funneled to the juvenile system instead of adult court. Cooper signed that bill even while criticizing some position allocations as politically motivated.
Republican lawmakers have run several stand-alone bills containing popular topics from the vetoed budget. Cooper opposes the piecemeal approach but so far has signed all but one “mini-budget.” So many have been enacted that GOP legislators may be content to adjourn soon without resolution on the vetoed budget.
DEAD FBI PHOTOGRAPHER
FBI photographer from Alabama found dead in N Carolina creek
NANTAHALA, N.C. (AP) – Authorities are investigating the death of an FBI photographer whose husband said she drowned in a creek in North Carolina.
Emergency call records obtained by The Asheville Citizen-Times say a man reported a woman falling into water and not being able to get out on Oct. 6.
Graham County Chief Deputy Chuck Stewart tells WAFF-TV that the call was placed by the husband of Kathleen Polce Miller, a forensic photographer from Huntsville, Alabama.
Authorities found her body the next day. Stewart says the husband said they had stopped in the Nantahala National Forest while on their way to a campsite.
An official cause of death is pending. The FBI says Miller wasn’t on duty.
SLAIN KENTUCKY WOMAN
Kentucky woman found dead, burned in South Carolina ditch
CHESTER, S.C. (AP) – Authorities have identified a burned body found in a South Carolina ditch as that of a Kentucky woman.
News outlets report the sheriff’s office of Chester County, South Carolina, identified the woman as 31-year-old Melissa I. Whitis, of Frankfort. Authorities didn’t immediately release her cause of death.
A sheriff’s office statement released last week says Whitis’ body was found on Sept. 20, about 100 miles from where she’s believed to have been in North Carolina three days earlier.
WBTV-TV reports it took about 20 days for authorities to identify Whitis. Sheriff Max Dorsey says they had to track down the manufacturer of her medical implant and possible hospitals where it was implanted. He says authorities want information from anyone who saw or contacted Whitis between Sept. 17 and Sept 20.
Big changes to grueling Special Forces course draw scrutiny
CAMP MACKALL, N.C. (AP) – Army commanders are making big changes to the grueling course that soldiers must pass to join the elite Special Forces.
The goal is to meet evolving national security threats and to shift from a culture that weeds out struggling soldiers at every point to one that trains them to do better.
But some Special Forces say the brass wants to make it easier to pass, as a way to boost recruiting numbers and ensure women will eventually qualify.
The fear, such critics say, is that Green Berets will become weaker and “dangerously less capable than ever before.”
Army leaders say the nearly two-year course had to be shortened, so some training will be done when soldiers get to their units, where it can be tailored to more specific needs.
WRIGHT BROTHERS MONUMENT DAMAGED
Orville Wright bust stolen from North Carolina monument
KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) – The National Park Service says a copper bust of aviation pioneer Orville Wright has been stolen from the Wright Brothers National Memorial in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The Park Service and local law enforcement officials are investigating the case and are asking the public for any information.
The agency in a statement says the monument was damaged either Saturday evening or Sunday morning. The granite base that the bust was mounted to was toppled and damaged.
Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities in Dare County or the Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch at 888-653-0009.
The National Park Service says a portion of the park may be temporarily closed to visitors Sunday while the investigation continues.
The memorial honors Wilbur and Orville Wright.
WEEKEND SHOOTING DEATH-ACQUITTAL
Teenager acquitted in fatal shooting in western N Carolina
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A teenager has been acquitted in the 2018 shooting death of a man in a public housing complex in western North Carolina.
The Asheville Citizen Times on Saturday reported a jury in ?Buncombe County found the defendant not guilty after deliberating for five hours.
The newspaper did not name the teenager because of his age. Prosecutors had accused him of shooting 21-year-old Devon Jervay Harvin and another man on April 2018 in Ashville over a gang-related dispute. Harvin died at a hospital of injuries to the neck, leg and back.
The defendant argued he acted in self-defense. A news release from the Buncombe County District Attorney’s office says a witness testifying for the state said Harvin was armed but put his weapon down before the confrontation with the teenager.
Fort Jackson to hold memorial for soldier who died
FORT JACKSON, S.C. (AP) – A memorial service is scheduled this week to honor a soldier who died after suffering a medical emergency at Fort Jackson.
Fort Jackson’s commander, Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr. says 18-year-old Pvt. Andrew McLean died Sept. 10 and his “absence is still felt throughout his unit.” McLean, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was a part of the 3rd Battalion 60th Infantry Regiment.
McLean experienced an unspecified emergency while preparing to do physical training in his battalion area. He was transported to Providence Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Hospital staff has said the death was not heat related.
Beagle said in a statement McLean’s cause of death remains under investigation.
The service will be Friday at 10 a.m. at the Daniel Circle Chapel on the military base in Columbia.
Police: Suspect in North Carolina girl’s abduction arrested
(Information from: News & Record, http://www.news-record.com)
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say a woman accused of abducting a 3-year-old girl from a playground at an apartment complex has been arrested.
The News and Record reports authorities say 22-year-old N’deneszia Lancaster on Saturday was taken to a police station in Greensboro by someone she knows.
Greensboro Police Ron Glenn says Lancaster did not resist arrest and is being questioned. Police say Lancaster is facing a first-degree kidnapping charge in the abduction of Ahlora Lindiment.
Authorities have said Lancaster took Ahlora from the playground Wednesday. The girl’s siblings ran and told an uncle that a woman had left with their sister.
The newspaper reports a pastor on Thursday found Ahlora walking near a church located about six miles from the apartment complex.
It’s unclear if Lancaster has an attorney.