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Former N Carolina legislator, mayor Oscar Harris dies at 80
DUNN, N.C. (AP) – A former North Carolina state senator, small-town mayor and close ally of Democratic governors has died at age 80. A family spokesman of Oscar Harris said he died late Tuesday near his home from an apparent heart attack. Harris served five terms as mayor of the Harnett County city of Dunn before choosing not to seek reeelection last year. Harris served four years in the Senate beginining in 1999. He was the campaign treasurer for Gov. Beverly Perdue and also served on the state Board of Transportation as an appointee of four-term Gov. Jim Hunt.
Regional airline fined in death of Charlotte airport worker
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Officials in North Carolina have levied a fine against a regional subsidiary of American Airlines months after the death of an airport worker. The Charlotte Observer reports that the N.C. Department of Labor fined Piedmont Airlines $19,600 after its investigation into the death of Kendrick Hudson, a worker at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Hudson was killed last summer when the baggage tug he was driving overturned after he had swerved to avoid a piece of luggage on the tarmac. Hudson’s family has filed a lawsuit against the airport and American Airlines.
Report to be released on fatal Legionnaire’s outbreak in NC
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Health officials will release their final report on the investigation into an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in people who attended a state fair last year in western North Carolina. Officials with the state Department of Health and Human Services say they’ll release the report Thursday, along with Buncombe County officials. An interim report released in October showed most of the 141 cases of Legionnaire’s disease or Pontiac fever developed in people who attended the North Carolina Mountain State Fair in September at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher. At least four people died, and 94 were hospitalized.
WORKPLACE DEATH INVESTIGATION
NC man’s death at work site being investigated by state
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – State safety investigators are looking into the death of a North Carolina man at a work site where he was pinned under a dump truck. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the N.C. Safety and Health Division is investigating the death of 54-year-old Daniel Ray Boles. Police say Boles died Monday when he was pinned under a truck. A spokeswoman for the state Labor Department says the safety division has opened an investigation with Gwyn Electrical Plumbing Heating and Cooling Inc. of Winston-Salem. An office manager for Gwyn confirms that Boles was the company’s commercial sales and project manager.
POLICE OFFICER-FATAL SHOOTING
North Carolina police officer shoots, kills fleeing man
GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police officer has fatally shot a man who fled a home where the officer was attempting to serve warrants. Graham Police Chief Jeff Prichard identified 20-year-old Jaquyn Oneill Light of Graham as the shooting victim Wednesday. Police had drawn multiple warrants for Light for charges including misdemeanor communicating threats and misdemeanor simple assault. The police department has not released the name of the officer involved, or the races of the officer and the dead man. The officer has been placed on administrative leave as an investigation begins into the shooting.
Restaurant honors ‘Good Samaritan’ who helped stop abduction
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man who a couple says saved their 8-year-old daughter from being kidnapped has been honored with free food for a year at the restaurant where he helped prevent the abduction. News outlets report North Carolina A&T graduate student Cody Byrd received the “Good Citizen Award” at a ceremony presented by Biscuitville on Tuesday. According to news outlets and police, Byrd was dining at the Greensboro location on Dec. 27 when he noticed a man try to grab the child near the bathrooms. Byrd confronted the suspect and he let the girl go and ran away. Greensboro policeáconfirm that photos Byrd captured helped them arrest 55-year-old Timothy Jon Fry.
North Carolina city declares ‘climate emergency,’ sets goals
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A city in North Carolina has become the first in the state to declare a climate emergency and has now set goals on warming greenhouse gases and renewable energy. Asheville City Council unanimously voted for the declaration Tuesday after months of negations between officials and young climate activists. áMembers of Sunrise Asheville and other local groups inspired by Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg had pushed for a resolution for months. The council committed to ending greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and switching municipal operations to 100% renewable energy also by 2030. The declaration did not give cost details for the goals.
NC lawyer gets probation in plea to lobbying-related charges
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An attorney received probation and will be disbarred after pleading guilty to lobbying-related charges. North Carolina regulators say Mark Bibbs made the plea this week in Wake County Superior Court. Bibbs had been indicted in 2018, accused of lobbying legislators on behalf of a bail bonds company without properly registering. Bibbs said Monday by email that he doesn’t believe he committed a crime but made the plea agreement to “put my children first.”á Secretary of State Elaine Marshall says the plea upholds the right of the public and legislators to know who’s being paid to influence governmental action.