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July 27, 2018
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July 27, 2018
AP-NC Newswatch




Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT


Before Lost Colony, he started 1st science lab in New World
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Before the legendary Lost Colony vanished from North Carolina’s coast, the first science center in the New World was established near that same spot. And it was headed by the first known Jewish person to arrive on the continent.
Archaeologists plan to return this fall to the site of the science center headed by Joachim Gans, an expert metallurgist who came to America in 1585 at the request of Sir Walter Raleigh. The state will honor Gans in a ceremony Friday in Manteo. Speakers will include the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic.
The First Colony Foundation is sponsoring the excavation. Foundation President Phil Evans says the Gans story adds layers to the simpler tale of the Lost Colony, a collection of English settlers who had vanished mysteriously by 1590.



Jilt turns to gilt as man wins $8.8M from wife’s boyfriend
(Information from: The Herald-Sun, http://www.herald-sun.com)
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A judge says a Texas man’s affair with a North Carolina man’s wife should cost him nearly $9 million.
The Herald-Sun of Durham reports that Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson awarded Keith King $8.8 million in compensatory and punitive damages Thursday from Francisco Huizar III. King had sued Huizar for, among other complaints, criminal conversation and alienation of affection. North Carolina is one of a few states where jilted spouses can sue affair partners.
Attorney Joanne Foil says the affair and an alleged assault by Huizar cost King’s company, BMX Stunt Shows, revenue and an employee, as his wife worked for the company. Huizar’s attorney, Cheri Patrick, says the Kings’ marriage was damaged before Huizar met the wife at a BMX show. Patrick says King was controlling and manipulative.
Huizar plans to appeal.



The Latest: Inn owner says employees are devastated by death
CANTON, N.C. (AP) – The owner of a scenic North Carolina inn says his workers are devastated after one of the employees was charged with killing another one.
Owner Bruce O’Connell says there are grief counselors for his approximately 100 employees after their co-worker was found dead on Tuesday. He said he has owned and operated the Pisgah Inn since 1979.
O’Connell said that the group is tight-knit and that many travel around to work seasonal jobs at resorts year-round.
Federal court documents filed Thursday say Derek Shawn Pendergraft faces a charge of second-degree murder in the death of a female cook. The 20-year-old faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted.
Sara Ellis, 29, was reported missing Tuesday night. Authorities say she was found several hours later near a path to employee housing.



N Carolina elections board back in court in power struggle
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The repeatedly altered composition of North Carolina’s elections board has returned to court as a proxy for the lengthy power struggle between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Republican-dominated legislature.
A three-judge panel listened but didn’t immediately rule Thursday on the request by Cooper’s lawyers to throw out a third iteration of the elections board. Structures of two earlier versions created by GOP lawmakers since have been declared unconstitutional.
The governor appoints all nine members, but he says he can’t ensure a majority supports his policy preferences. Attorneys for GOP leaders say the board’s current configuration gives Cooper sufficient board control.
GOP lawmakers and Cooper have been embroiled in litigation and political disputes since Cooper was elected governor in 2016. Lawmakers have passed several bills that have eroded Cooper’s powers.



Fish found far from home amid record N Carolina rainfall
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
SHILOH, N.C. (AP) – Heavy rainfall in North Carolina has diversified the farm of one family, who found fish flopping in between their rows of soybeans.
The Charlotte Observer reports a video posted on Facebook by Pasquotank County officials shows foot-long fish swimming through the rows of soybeans. The video was filmed by Carolyn Jennings on Tuesday afternoon, and has been viewed around 65,000 times.
The state has seen record-breaking rain in July, particularly around coastal areas that measured nearly a foot of rain since July 20. More than 16 inches (41 centimeters) of rain have been recorded this month at Cape Hatteras by the National Weather Service, breaking a 1949 record.
Flooding from runoff has enabled fish to leave their native creeks and lakes. One family caught several off their back porch in Manteo.



North Carolina law may end emissions testing for 26 counties
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Emissions testing during vehicle inspections in North Carolina is likely to end in 26 counties thanks to a new law which has the support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality says the EPA signed the proposed rule on July 16. It could take up to five months before drivers see the changes because several more steps are required before the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles can implement the new rule.
Lawmakers passed the changes last year as part of a Senate bill, and Gov., Roy Cooper signed it into law last spring.
The push follows changes from 2015 that ended North Carolina emissions tests for cars less than three years old and with fewer than 70,000 miles.



N Carolina deputies cleared of wrongdoing in fatal shooting
(Information from: The Hickory Daily Record, http://www.hickoryrecord.com)
LENOIR, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina district attorney has found that deputies acted lawfully during an apparent fatal shootout with a man who wounded another deputy.
The Hickory Daily Record reports District Attorney David Learner announced Thursday that the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team is cleared of wrongdoing in Kerry Edwin Townsend’s death.
Authorities have said Townsend shot Deputy Jordan Sherrill during a traffic stop this month. Townsend fled and was later found by the SWAT team at a home in Caldwell County. Authorities say Townsend pointed his gun at the team, prompting the team to open fire. Efforts to save Townsend’s life were unsuccessful.
A woman in the home, 40-year-old Stephanie Lee Sipes, was uninjured and charged with being an accessory after the fact. The wounded deputy has been released from the hospital.



Southport chief, officer face public corruption charges
SOUTHPORT, N.C. (AP) – The police chief of a coastal North Carolina city and another officer have been arrested after authorities say an investigation found they were working at second jobs while on the clock.
Brunswick County District Attorney Jon David said at a press conference Thursday that the two Southport officers had a “habitual and repeated pattern” of leaving their police posts for work at a trucking company.
David said Police Chief Gary Smith and Lt. Mike Simmons left Southport and even the state at times.
Both face charges including obtaining property by false pretenses. It wasn’t immediately clear if either had an attorney. Attempts to reach them were not successful.
Southport Mayor J.V. Dove said he asked the sheriff’s office to take over law enforcement functions until further notice.



AP-WF-07-27-18 1020GMT