Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
WOMAN’S BODY FOUND
SC police: Suspect in North Carolina woman’s death is dead
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) – Police say a suspect in the death of a North Carolina woman whose body was found in South Carolina last month has himself been found dead.
Horry County Police Capt. John Harrelson told news outlets that investigators have determined that William Sneeringer of Myrtle Beach killed 41-year-old Jennifer Dawn Fitchett of Middlesex, North Carolina, and left her body in some woods.
Fitchett’s body was found June 30 by a person walking in the woods.
Harrelson said Sneeringer was found dead in the backyard of a home on July 6. An Horry County police report said a shotgun was found beside Sneeringer.
Harrelson said police continue to investigate the killing to determine the circumstances behind Fitchett’s death.
Clingmans Dome Tower in Great Smokes closing for repairs
FORNEYS CREEK, N.C. (AP) – One of the most popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park closed on Tuesday for repairs.
The Clingmans Dome Observation Tower on the North Carolina-Tennessee state line is about 6,600 feet (2010 meters) above sea level, and the highest point in the Smoky Mountains.
Park spokeswoman Dana Soehn says the tower will be is closed through July 27.
Visitors will not be able to climb the tower while an overlay is installed on the lower ramp. But the Clingmans Dome parking overlook is open and offers scenic mountain top views. Also open are the visitor contact station and store, the trail up to the tower, and all access to the trailheads in the vicinity.
BIRDS AND BRIDGE
Purple martins reign for a few weeks on this NC bridge
MANNS HARBOR, N.C. (AP) – It’s time once again to slow down for birds on one bridge along North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
From mid-July through August, state transportation officials lower the speed limit at dawn and dusk along the William B. Umstead bridge over the Croatan Sound at Manns Harbor.
The 20-mph-speed limit goes into effect to protect the more than 100,000 purple martins that use the bridge as their home before their annual migration to Brazil. The birds roost under the west end of the bridge at night. They depart at dawn for feeding before returning at sunset.
The state Transportation Department also activates flashing lights on the bridge.
To view the flock, check out Dare County’s multi-purpose pier at the end of the bridge.
Forest, Troxler visit eastern N Carolina on hog suit warning
BEULAHVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Republican politicians are heading to an eastern North Carolina farm to talk why they’re worried litigation involving hog farms could harm the state’s economy.
A top GOP legislator says Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and other lawmakers plan to attend a news conference Tuesday at a Duplin County farm to highlight the “unfairness” of recent and pending lawsuits.
Neighbors to farms producing hogs for Smithfield Foods have filed dozens of lawsuits complaining their odors and activities are a nuisance. Juries for two lawsuits already tried have returned multimillion-dollar verdicts against Smithfield.
The first verdict caused the General Assembly last month to approve new restrictions on initiating these nuisance lawsuits, passing it over Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. But the new law can’t halt pending cases.
OUTDOOR RECREATION SUMMIT
North Carolina site for national outdoor recreation summit
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Nearly a dozen states are represented at a western North Carolina gathering designed to focus how to make their regions attractive to outdoor recreation companies and enthusiasts.
Gov. Roy Cooper and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper planned to participate in a panel discussion Tuesday at the “Outdoor Recreation Industry Confluence” summit, which is going on through Wednesday in Asheville.
The meeting is the second such summit nationally and is being held to improve collaboration in supporting and expanding the outdoor recreation industry.
The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina – which helps recruit industries – is helping put on the summit. The partnership says the industry creates $28 billion in consumer spending annually and supports 260,000 jobs. The partnership recently hired someone specifically focused on outdoor recreation matters.
FRANKLIN GRAHAM-TRUMP SHIRT
Franklin Graham sells Trump-referencing ‘PRAY FOR 45’ shirts
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – For $15.99, followers of Billy Graham’s son Franklin can get a T-shirt urging people to pray for the 45th president.
The Rev. Franklin Graham says on Facebook he was inspired to sell the “PRAY FOR 45” shirts after seeing news coverage of shirts with the slogan “IMPEACH 45.” Echoing Trump’s signature campaign motto, Graham writes: “Prayer can make America great!”
The shirts are for sale on the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The younger Graham, who leads his late father’s namesake association, has been an outspoken Trump ally and wrote in a recent memoir that he thanks God that Trump was elected.
Still, the call for presidential prayer comes several weeks after Graham criticized the Trump administration’s onetime policy separating children from parents at the border.
CHANNEL CHANGE-ASSAULT CHARGE
Deputies: Woman assaults boyfriend for changing TV channel
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina have accused a woman of biting her boyfriend after he changed the channel on a television she was watching.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office said the man told investigators 21-year-old Abby Nicole Saunders attacked him Saturday when he went into a bedroom to change the channel on the television.
Deputies say the man sustained bite marks on his neck, right forearm and the inside of his left arm. He also had a red mark on his chest where investigators said Saunders hit him.
Online records show Saunders is in the Davidson County jail, but it’s not known if she has an attorney.
WRONG-WAY CRASH-MURDER CHARGE
North Carolina woman with second-degree murder in wreck
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) – Police have charged a North Carolina woman with second-degree murder in connection with a crash that killed a man.
High Point police told local news outlets 32-year-old Serenity Love Givens of Greensboro is charged in the weekend crash which killed 28-year-old Joey L. Deweese of High Point.
Investigators say the car driven by Givens was heading north in the southbound lanes of Business Interstate 85 when it hit Deweese’s car Saturday.
Deweese was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, where police said he died from his injuries Sunday.
Givens was initially charged with driving while impaired, felony inflicting serious injury with a motor vehicle and driving while impaired. She’s in the Guilford County jail under $275,000 bail. It’s not known if she has an attorney.