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July 26, 2018
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Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT


Federal immigration officials detain registered sex offender
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Federal immigration officials say they arrested an immigrant who is in the U.S. illegally after a sheriff declined their request to keep the registered sex offender in custody.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Raleigh-based agents arrested Udiel Aguilar-Castellanos at his Carrboro, North Carolina, residence Monday. ICE discovered he was a sex offender when he registered with Orange County on July 11. He is being held at the Stewart Detention center in Lumpkin, Georgia.
On June 27, Aguilar-Castellanos pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery of an 11-year-old girl and was released the same day.
ICE says the Orange County Sheriff’s Office refused to enforce an immigration detainer filed in 2017 and failed to notify the agency of Aguilar-Castellanos’ release. The sheriff’s office was not immediately available for comment.



North Carolina board to resolve early voting in 15 counties
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Early-voting locations this fall in at least 15 North Carolina counties must be settled by the state elections board because local boards couldn’t agree on the details.
State law requires county elections boards to make unanimous decisions on early-voting schedules, or the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement will decide for them.
The state board is expected to meet early next month and approve plans for Wake, Buncombe, Durham, Orange and the other deadlocked counties. State board decisions don’t have to be unanimous.
Almost 80 of the 100 counties have reported adopting unanimous plans. Seven counties hadn’t reported their decisions to the state board as of Wednesday.
A new law requires more uniform opening and closing times for early-voting sites statewide, including for sites open on weekends in counties.



N. Carolina police: Handcuffed suspect escapes in patrol car
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a man handcuffed in the back of a patrol cruiser managed to escape by getting into the front seat and driving away.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a news release as officers were searching the suspect’s car Tuesday, the man managed to get the handcuffs in front of him, squeeze through the window inside the car and drive off.
The news release said the marked police cruiser was found but the suspect remains at large.
Police say 20-year-old Dontray Anotnio Pharr is wanted on multiple charges, including larceny of a motor vehicle, flee to elude arrest and impersonating law enforcement.
Police also say they’re reviewing potential modifications to cruiser windows to prevent a similar incident.



Police seek suspect after man fatally shot, baby next to him
(Information from: News & Record, http://www.news-record.com)
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Police are looking for a suspect after a man was shot to death at a North Carolina apartment complex and a crying baby was found next to his body.
The News & Record of Greensboro reports police said officers found 28-year-old Michael Anthony Rollins dead Tuesday.
Greensboro police spokesman Ron Glenn said the baby was taken to a local hospital to be examined. Glenn said the baby wasn’t hurt and is with its mother.
So far, there have been no arrests in the case.


North Carolina state House candidate to drop out due to blog
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A Democratic candidate for the North Carolina House says she plans to quit the race after being criticized for a 2006 blog post that made incendiary remarks about Mexican immigrants.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the N.C. Democratic Party distanced itself from Cathy Von Hassel-Davies last week after hearing of the post. Von Hassel-Davies was challenging Republican Rep. Dennis Riddell in an Alamance County district between Durham and Greensboro.
An expletive-laden post on her blog, “Cat’s Craft Corner: Rantings and Ravings of Perhaps a Lunatic,” suggested Mexican immigrants were “illegal” and criticized the U.S. for accommodating Spanish speakers. Von Hassel-Davies later apologized, saying her words were “indefensible” but inspired by her German father’s precarious employment.
State law lets local Democrats pick a replacement if Von Hassel-Davies withdraws.


FBI investigates discovery of woman’s body in North Carolina
CANTON, N.C. (AP) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the discovery of a body at an inn in North Carolina.
FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch told area news outlets the general manager of the Pisgah Inn called Blue Ridge Parkway dispatch Tuesday to report a missing female employee.
National Park Service rangers joined local rescue crews in a search, and searchers found a woman’s body near a path connecting the inn to the inn’s employee housing around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. The woman’s identity hasn’t been released and the cause of death isn’t immediately known.
Because the incident occurred on federal property, the FBI is taking the lead in the investigation with help from the National Park Service and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation.



Sales of monkfish will pay for the science that studies them
BOSTON (AP) – Scientists will receive grants to study monkfish using money generated from selling the bottom-dwelling fish.
Monkfish, also called goosefish, are subject of a major East Coast fishery. They’re also the subject of a “research set aside” program in which research is paid for by the commercial fishing business via money generated from sale of fish.
University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, is undertaking one of the research projects. The university will conduct a two-year-study about determining the age of monkfish. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the work will cost about $164,000.
Another project focuses on work to reduce accidental catch of skates in the monkfish fishery. Another will study the reproduction of monkfish in southern New England.
The monkfish fishery was worth about $20 million in 2016.



American pastor charged in Turkey put under house arrest
ISTANBUL (AP) – Turkey’s official news agency says an American pastor imprisoned for nearly two years on terror and espionage charges will be put under house arrest as his trial continues.
Anadolu news agency said Wednesday Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, a 50-year-old evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina would continue to be remanded at his house.
The case has strained ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States. President Donald Trump has repeatedly demanded his release.
Brunson was arrested in December 2016. He faces up to 15 years in prison for “committing crimes on behalf of terror groups” in reference to outlawed Kurdish militants and the network of a U.S-based Muslim cleric blamed for a failed coup attempt, and an additional 20 years for espionage.
Brunson strongly denies the charges.