Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
N Carolina counties deadlock on early voting plans
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Early voting sites this fall in at least two North Carolina counties will be decided by state officials after local boards couldn’t agree on hours or locations.
Media outlets reported the Wake and Orange election boards deadlocked Tuesday.
Four-member county boards – comprised of two Democrats and two Republicans – across the state must approve unanimously early voting plans by July 20, or the nine-member state board will decide for them.
Wake County board members disagreed whether to have a site at North Carolina State University. The Orange County board couldn’t agree on weekend site hours.
The General Assembly recently moved up the October early voting start date one day, required weekday sites be open 12 hours a day and mandated uniform hours if sites are open additional weekend days.
North Carolina man arrested in death of woman at their home
HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of a woman who lived in their home.
Henderson County Sheriff’s Maj. Frank Stout said in a news release that deputies were called to a home around 9 p.m. Tuesday and found the woman dead.
The woman’s name has not been released yet.
Henderson said deputies have arrested 35-year-old Terry Jason Brank with first-degree murder. Stout did not explain the relationship between Brank and the victim.
But Stout did say deputies have been called to the home a number of times for domestic problems.
Brank is to make a first appearance in court Wednesday. There was no record of an attorney for him yet.
TEEN SHOOTER CHARGED
16-year-old charged with wounding North Carolina woman
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A 16-year-old male has been arrested and charged with shooting and wounding a North Carolina woman and her teen daughter.
Greensboro Police Capt. Nathaniel Davis told news outlets the teen from Elon faces eight charges in the June 30 shooting that left the woman’s daughter with a several spinal cord injury.
Davis would not discuss a motive for the shooting but said the teen knew his victims. He said investigators are not looking for additional suspects, but the investigation is continuing.
The teen is being held on $250,000 bail.
Sheriff: Man points shotgun at mother, threatens kidnapping
WENTWORTH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man is accused by sheriff’s deputies of pointing a shotgun at his mother and trying to kidnap her.
The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office says 33-year-old Gavin Anthony Davis is charged with several offenses, including felonious second-degree kidnapping and assault by pointing a gun.
A news release said Davis went to his mother’s home Tuesday and threw a rock through a window. The woman told investigators when she opened a door to see what had happened, Davis pointed a shotgun at her, entered the home and tried to make her get into his car.
She said Davis went outside, and she closed and locked the door, then called 911. She was not hurt.
Davis is jailed on a $100,000 bond. It’s not known if he has an attorney.
N Carolina school system upgrades security at 50 schools
(Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com)
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina school system plans to finish security upgrades at all 52 public elementary schools before school starts next month.
Cumberland County’s assistant superintendent for auxiliary services, Tim Kinlaw, tells the Fayetteville Observer that the school system’s 18 middle schools and 17 high schools will be finished during the year. The projects were originally scheduled to be completed in three years, but were accelerated to be done within 12 months after the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school in February.
Kinlaw says the security upgrades – which include buzzers, cameras and controlled access – are meant to buy time for school staff to put the campus in lockdown and protect students. He compared the security changes to those implemented at airports and courthouses.
North Carolina hospital seeks to resume low-risk deliveries
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina hospital is asking the state for permission to resume traditional and low-risk deliveries.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center said in a news release Tuesday it has submitted an application to state regulators to renovate two floors of the main hospital with a late 2019 completion date.
The project would include expanding and updating the neonatal intensive care unit, which would have 51 private rooms, with two reserved for twins.
Chief executive Julie Ann Freischlag, who is also dean of the medical school, said the service would be available to all women in the Winston-Salem area.
Wake Forest Baptist stopped the practice 41 years ago.
Forsyth Medical Center, also in Winston-Salem, has had the bulk of Forsyth County’s deliveries since 1977.
FIRES SET-FIREFIGHTERS CHARGED
10 North Carolina firefighters accused of setting blazes
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities have arrested 10 North Carolina volunteer firefighters and accused them of setting fire to abandoned buildings and woods over a year and a half.
News outlets report Robeson County Sheriff Ken Sealey said in a statement Tuesday the firefighters were from the Fairmont Rural and Orrum fire departments, and were involved in a conspiracy to set the fires over the last 18 months.
The sheriff said there are approximately 90 arson-related charges in the investigation with more charges expected.
Sealey said a former Maxton police officer and a state corrections officer were among those arrested.
Sealey’s statement didn’t cite a motive. None of those charged have been identified.
Bail for the former police officer corrections officers is set at $200,000. Bail for the others is $100,000.
Cooper unhappy constitution amendments on ballot, not bonds
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says he would have rather the Republican-controlled legislature put a statewide school bond package on ballots this fall, instead of several constitutional amendments that he considers “bad government.”
Cooper told reporters Tuesday he was disappointed that lawmakers decided against putting a nearly $2 billion school borrowing measure up for a referendum, saying construction needs for local districts are great. A 2016 state study put school building and infrastructure needs at $8 billion over five years.
The General Assembly instead asked voters to consider six constitutional amendments. Cooper is not likely to work to pass any of them. He says four of them are wrong-headed ideas, and two others – expanding crime victims and affirming the right to hunt and fish – are unnecessary.