Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
Man accused of kidnapping ex-girlfriend could get life term
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Federal prosecutors have charged a man with kidnapping his ex-girlfriend in North Carolina while out on bond on an assault charge. Officials say 37-year-old LuisáPineda-Anchecta is expected in court Friday. He was out on bond in Charlotte when prosecutors say he kidnapped his ex-girlfriend and drove her to a wooded area in May 2019. The woman told authorities he threatened to kill her. She was able to get away. He was arrested after a standoff two days later. He could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on the federal kidnapping charge.
WINLESS COACH-ASSAULT CHARGES
High school basketball coach accused of assaulting heckler
LINCOLNTON, N.C. (AP) – A winless North Carolina high school basketball coach has been accused of assaulting a heckler who raised his hand to admit that he made the remark. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office says one of its deputies working security at the game heard the man yell at 48-year-old Chadwick Rock Wright after the West Lincoln boys lost their 13th game of the season. The sheriff’s office says Wright went into the stands, hit the man in the head and the two began wrestling in the stands. Wright faces multiple charges, including simple assault and battery. It’s not known if he has an attorney.
AP-NC-BAD WIG BANDIT
FBI is trying to catch a “bad wig bandit” in North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The FBI is asking the public’s help in catching a so-called “bad wig bandit” who’s been robbing banks in North Carolina. The FBI said in a statement on Thursday that the suspect wore a different wig during each heist in the Charlotte area. One wig was blonde. Another was black. The third was red. The FBI said he robbed a BB&T in Huntersville on áDec. 13. He then robbed two banks on Jan. 7. The first was a New Horizon Bank in Belmont. The second was a Wells Fargo in Gastonia.
FLU DEATHS-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina health officials report pediatric flu death
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina health officials are reporting the state’s first pediatric flu death for the 2019-2020 season. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says in a news release that a child in the western part of the state died in December from complications from the flu. The department released no further information, including the child’s age.
FAKE SWEEPSTAKES SCAM
North Carolina couple says they were scammed out of $100K
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina couple says they were scammed out of $100,000 in the pursuit of winning a fake $10 million sweepstakes. A few months ago, the Rowan County couple said they received a call from a man claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, a real company that offers sweepstakes and prizes. The county sheriff’s office says a man on the phone told the victims they won a $10 million prize, but that they would have to pay 1% up front to secure it. The couple sent $100,000 worth of goods and gift cards to the scammers before realizing the contest wasn’t legitimate. Capt. John Siffordásays they likely won’t ever recover the funds. On its website, Publishers Clearing House warns against such fraudulent scams.
PUBLIC HOUSING-CARBON MONOXIDE
Tests: No carbon monoxide in baby deaths at housing complex
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s state medical examiner’s office says it has found no sign of carbon monoxide poisoning in the deaths of two infants at a public housing community in Durham where the gas has forced recent evacuations. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner issued a news release Thursday saying that the two infants who lived in McDougald Terrace tested negative for the gas. The news release said that a determination about the causes of the infants’ deaths are pending an autopsy but that it it was releasing the information about the negative tests because of public health concerns.
CHILD CARE GRANTS
N Carolina to get $56M for early childhood education, health
CARY, N.C. (AP) – The federal government is giving North Carolina up to $56 million over the next seven years to help improve early childhood education and health outcomes for at-risk children. Gov. Roy Cooper announced the grant awards on Thursday at a Cary child development center. About $40 million will be used in part to pay for professional development and coaching for early childhood teachers, as well as to expand a home-visitation program by nurses for parents of newborns. Up to $16 million implements a whole-being wellness program for children who receive Medicaid coverage and other services.
NC personal finance mandate means 1 less US history class
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The State Board of Education has adopted new graduation requirementsáthat are the result of a legislative mandate requiring high school students take a personal finance course. The requirements approved on Thursday for this fall’s entering freshmen means they’ll only have to take only one course solely focused on American history to get a diploma, not two as in the current rules. State education officials contend the change won’t result in less student knowledge of American history. A revamped high school civics class also will contain history. Personal finance mandate proponents say it will help students become more economically savvy as adults.