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BC-NC–CAPE HATTERAS WEED
Federal prosecutors say that’s not seaweed on Cape Hatteras
OCRACOKE, N.C. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say investigators have found more than seaweeds at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
A North Carolina man has been arrested and charged with growing marijuana among the sea oats on the protected land on the Outer Banks.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh said in a news release that James Daniel Garrish III of Ocracoke was arrested Tuesday and charged with cultivating marijuana on federal property.
Garrish is also charged with introducing plants into the park ecosystem, littering, trespassing, and defacing and damaging real property. It was not known if he has a lawyer.
Authorities said the marijuana was found on the inland side of Ocracoke Island.
Ocracoke Island is home to Ocracoke Village, a former fishing settlement that has become a busy summer tourist destination.
SCHOOL GUARD-SEX ASSAULT
School guard accused of sexually assaulting 13-year-old girl
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A school security guard accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in North Carolina is under arrest and out of a job.
News outlets report 26-year-old Mario McIlwain of Rock Hill, South Carolina, is accused of assaulting the girl from February until May at a middle school in Charlotte.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say the girl’s mother notified them June 21 about the assaults.
A police statement said an investigation resulted in 27 warrants against McIlwain. He’s charged with sex acts by a custodian, statutory rape and indecent liberties with a child.
The school system said McIlwain’s employment ended Tuesday. It was not known if he has an attorney.
Higher tides expected in coastal areas across US
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Expected high tides in coastal areas across the country increase the likelihood of coastal flooding, potentially deadly ocean currents and sand erosion.
Citing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the News & Observer of Raleigh reports that higher-than-normal tides are expected from July 12 to July 16, and the southeastern U.S. will see peak tides July 12 to 14. The change is attributed to “perigean spring” or “king” tides, which is when the moon is closest to the earth.
NOAA says higher-than-normal tides are increasingly impacting coastal flooding because of the continued sea level rise.
Maryland physical oceanographer Greg Dusek advises those on the east coast to be mindful of rip currents.
CHICKEN PLANT SOLD
N. Carolina chicken-processing plant shuttered by fire sold
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
MOCKSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A poultry company has sold a chicken-processing plant to a longtime customer, months after a fire damaged the central portion of the North Carolina facility.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports the Davie County Economic Development Commission announced Tuesday that the Wisconsin-based Brakebush Brothers Inc. purchased the Mocksville plant from House of Raeford Farms, becoming the third owner in seven years.
Production at the plant has been halted since the mid-December fire. Brakebush plans to restore the 72,000-square-foot facility with new processing equipment and three production lines, with the goal of resuming full operational status by next spring.
Brakebush says it plans to retain most of the House of Raeford management, administrative and hourly staff. House of Raeford is expected to continue paying employees’ salaries through the one-year anniversary of the fire.
NC prisons pay $190,000 fine for drug record-keeping lapses
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina prison officials are agreeing to pay a $190,000 penalty for failing to keep track of prescription drugs that had the potential of being diverted to inmates.
Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that the dozens of lapses occurred during the last two years of former Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration at the two Raleigh prisons that house separate death rows for men and women.
U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon Jr.’s office said investigators found at least 88 occasions that medical staff at Central Prison and the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women failed to document how controlled substances were dispensed and disposed of. Prosecutors say there was no evidence drugs were illegally used, but the substandard record-keeping could have allowed substances to be diverted.
Public Safety Department Secretary Erik Hooks says his agency took responsibility for past practices and made corrections.
Attorneys: North Carolina Congress remap claims still stand
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Attorneys in North Carolina’s congressional redistricting litigation have made arguments to federal judges that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on partisan gerrymandering favors their respective clients.
The three-judge panel that last January struck down the state’s congressional boundaries received legal briefs before a Wednesday deadline. The Supreme Court last month vacated the judges’ earlier ruling and told the three judges to examine the case in light of its ruling involving Wisconsin legislative districts.
Wednesday’s briefs from advocacy groups, the state Democratic Party and voters say the Wisconsin ruling shouldn’t alter the three-judge panel’s previous decision that the lines violate several portions of the U.S. Constitution.
But lawyers for Republican lawmakers defending the map wrote that the Wisconsin ruling means the North Carolina boundaries should be left intact.
COLD CASE MURDER-ARREST
North Carolina man charged in 1987 murder case in California
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities have arrested a North Carolina man in a cold case murder and rape which occurred in California 31 years ago.
The Robeson County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release 62-year-old Kevin Thomas Ford of St. Pauls is awaiting extradition to San Diego for a first-degree murder warrant.
Officials say the San Diego District Attorney’s Office was seeking help in the 1987 murder and rape of a 79-year-old woman. The review turned up a fingerprint on a stove in the woman’s kitchen.
As Erich Hackney, investigator for Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt, reviewed the information, he found Ford had been charged in 2015 with communicating threats against a St. Pauls medical practice. A sheriff’s deputy got a fingerprint matching the one found at the 1987 crime scene.
North Carolina GOP candidate compares Democrats to Nazis
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A Republican candidate for the North Carolina state Senate is comparing Democrats to Nazis, roaches and a sitcom character.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports former Durham County sheriff’s deputy Rickey Padgett is challenging incumbent Democrat Mike Woodard.
On Twitter, Padgett’s posted in January an image depicting U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer in Nazi uniforms with the words “Chuck’s SS anti Trump unit.”
State Democratic Party spokesman Robert Howard called Padgett anti-Semitic and urged the GOP to distance itself from Padgett.
A February 2017 tweet features Sen. Elizabeth Warren labeled as a cartoon roach which says “Come on Pelosi and you Democrat cock roaches, Trump is on the way!”
Padgett also compared U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters to “Aunt Esther,” the foil to Redd Foxx’s character on “Sanford & Son.”