Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
4 suffer minor injuries in North Carolina plane crash
RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say four people have been taken to a hospital with minor injuries after a small plane crashed in western North Carolina. Local media outlets reported the plane went down around 5 p.m. Sunday. Rutherford County Emergency Management Director Edward Hamrick told TV station WHNS the four-seat aircraft was flying out of Henderson County as part of an exhibition flight for children who were on board. The FAA will investigate.
Good Samaritan stops man accused of trying to kidnap girl
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A good Samaritan has stopped a man who police say attempted to kidnap an 8-year-old girl inside a North Carolina restaurant. News outlets report 55-year-old Timothy Jon Fry tried to grab and take the girl as she came out of the restaurant’s bathroom last month in Greensboro. Police say another customer confronted Fry and he let go of the girl and left the restaurant. The customer took pictures of Fry and his truck as he drove away. Police say those photos helped them identify the suspect and arrest him. It’s unclear whether Fry had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
BULLET THROUGH WALL
North Carolina teen struck by bullet through apartment wall
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a 19-year-old woman is in critical condition after she was struck in the head by a bullet fired from a neighboring apartment. Asheville police say the gun was fired on Saturday at the Hillcrest Apartments. Investigators confirm the bullet ripped through the victim’s wall from an adjacent unit and struck her as she was in an upstairs bedroom. Lt. Sean Ardemaátold news outlets the woman was “alert and talking” as she was taken to a hospital, though she’s listed in critical condition. The officer said the woman didn’t appear to be a “target” for the shooting. The investigation is ongoing.
Lawsuit over Asheville hotel set for Supreme Court hearing
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A costly three-year legal battle over a proposed hotel in downtown Asheville is set for a hearing before the North Carolina Supreme Court. The Citizen-Times reports arguments will be heard Monday in Raleigh in the case over the city’s denial of the project, a 185-room Embassy Suites hotel and parking deck. City council members cited concerns about parking, traffic and a high concentration of hotels when they voted against the project in 2017. Hotels have become an increasingly fraught issue in the popular tourist destination, which implemented a one-year moratorium on hotel projects in September.
LIBRARY LATE FEES
Wake County library system does away with late fees
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – One of North Carolina’s most populous counties is doing away with late fees at its library system. The News & Observer reported over the weekend that Wake County Public Libraries wiped out late fees as of Jan. 2 for nearly 300,000 people and won’t issue any more in the future. Ann Burlingame is assistant director of the library system that has nearly two dozen branches. She says the system is trying to get resources into the hands of people who need them the most and saw waiving fees as one way of doing that.
SOUTHPORT-FORT FISHER FERRY
Southport-Fort Fisher ferry set to close for 3 months
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A popular North Carolina ferry route is set to close for three months to allow crews to perform repairs. The StarNews reports the N.C. Department of Transportation will close the Southport-Fort Fisher ferry beginning Monday to update ramp equipment at both ferry terminals. The department’s ferry division said contractors expect work on the approximately $3 million project should be done by early April. The closure will be a headache for tourists and commuters. What was a 30-minute trip over the water could taken an hour-plus by road.
On short notice, US fast-response force flies to Mideast
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – Hundreds of U.S. soldiers have deployed from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Kuwait to serve as reinforcements in the Middle East amid rising tensions following the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general. Lt. Col. Mike Burns is a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division. He told The Associated Press that 3,500 members of the division’s quick-deployment brigade will have deployed within a few days. The wife of one soldier who recently deployed said that his departure was so abrupt she didn’t have the chance to say goodbye in person or by phone.
No injuries in Raleigh police shooting that followed chase
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Raleigh police are investigating an officer shooting they say followed an attempted carjacking and pursuit. Police said in a news release Saturday night that no one was injured in the incident earlier in the day. Police say an 18-year-old suspect overtook a city trash truck at gunpoint but fled on foot when he couldn’t operate the vehicle. A pursuit ensued and an officer fired shots, but Riley wasn’t struck. He was taken into custody. An investigation into his actions is also ongoing.