Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
NC will appeal ruling that blocked voter photo ID law
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s attorney general says the state will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that blocks a photo identification voting law. But Attorney General Josh Stein says in a statement released Thursday that his office won’t seek a stay of the ruling before the March 3 primary because that would create too much confusion. On Tuesday, a federal judge blocked the photo identification requirement until a lawsuit filed by the state NAACP and others is heard. The judge ruled the ID mandate is tainted by bias that would deter black and Latino residents. Although the primary is two months away, mail-in absentee voting starts in less than two weeks.
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.
2 people, 2 dogs escape N Carolina plane crash uninjured
KENANSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A couple and their two dogs were flying in a small plane from Massachusetts to Florida when it suddenly crashed in North Carolina. News outlets report Ken and Becca Brown and their Goldendoodles, Abby and Willa, escaped injury in the Thursday crash. Ken Brown credits a parachute attached to the plane with saving the family’s “bacon,” as it allowed the plane to safely stop in some trees just feet above the ground. It’s unclear what caused the plane to go down. Brown says the flight seemed average right up until he heard silence and realized the engine had quit. An investigation is ongoing.
BC-VA-CHILD ASSAULT CHARGES
Police: Man accused of molesting children beaten by father
SPOTSYLVANIA COURTHOUSE, Va. (AP) – Police in Virginia say they may have saved the life of a man who was accused of molesting two small children and then attacked by the children’s father. Authorities in Spotsylvania County told The Free Lance-Star on Thursday that the father was not charged. But the other man was arrested after he was rescued from a beating. Mark Anthony Stanley, of Burlington, North Carolina, faces two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and assault. Police said deputies rescued Stanley from further injury after the father obtained a weapon.
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.
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.