Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
ECU STUDENT ELECTIONS
Trustees send letter of regret for student election actions
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Two East Carolina University trustees who tried to influence a student election said in a letter that they regret that their actions. The University of North Carolina system released the letter from the trustees on Thursday, along with a transcript and recording of their conversation. In the transcript, trustees Phil Lewis and Robbie Moore offer to assist the unidentified student financially but want their assistance kept confidential. Complaints have been filed about their actions. The UNC Board of Governors could consider the matter when it meets later this month.
North Carolina police: Armed suspect shot by officer dies
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police chief says an armed man shot multiple times by an officer while running away has died from his wounds. Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said it happened just after 3 p.m. Thursday on a sidewalk near Piney Grove AME Church. The chief said a woman had called 911 saying a man had dropped a gun and then put it in his pants, and that police might want to come before anyone was harmed. The chief says the department will seek the release of a body camera recording while the State Bureau of Investigation opens a criminal investigation.
ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Tillis holding cash advantage in North Carolina Senate race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The leading fundraisers to date in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race have announced largely similar contribution numbers for the previous three months.áRepublican incumbent Thom Tillis’ campaign says he took in $1.9 million for the fourth quarter. Democrat Cal Cunningham said earlier he raised $1.6 million. Tillis still appears to have had a significant cash advantage entering 2020. Friday is the deadline to file fourth-quarter reports. Five Democrats and four Republicans are running for their parties’ nominations in the March 3 primary. Tillis and Cunningham have already been running television ads.
COAST GUARD LIEUTENANT-HIT LIST
Judge to sentence Coast Guard officer accused of terror plot
GREENBELT, Md. (AP) – A Coast Guard lieutenant accused of stockpiling guns and drafting a hit list of prominent Democrats and TV journalists awaits sentencing for his guilty plea to firearms and drug offenses. Christopher Hasson faces a maximum of 31 years in prison when U.S. District Judge George Hazel sentences him on Friday. Federal prosecutors have recommended a 25-year prison sentence for Hasson. They have called him a domestic terrorist intent on carrying out mass killings. Defense attorneys urged Hazel to spare Hasson from a prison term. Hasson’s lawyers accused prosecutors of fabricating a bogus narrative that he was planning a terrorist attack.
DEATH AFTER ARREST
Police: State to investigate man’s death after his arrest
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have requested that the state investigate the death of a man who died after being taken into custody. News outlets report Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Thursday that the State Bureau of Investigation has been asked to conduct an independent review of the death of 41-year-old Harold Easter. He was arrested Jan. 23 and had a medical emergency during the booking process. Easter died Sunday. Four officers and a sergeant are on administrative leave. One of the officers, Brentley Vinson, was cleared in the 2016 shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott. That shooting sparked days of unrest.
Arkansas-based Westrock Coffee to acquire NC company
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas-based Westrock Coffee Company has announced plans to acquire North Carolina-based S&D Coffee & Tea in a deal worth $405 million. Westrock Coffee says it will be headquartered in Little Rock, and the company will employ 1,700 people globally. S&D Coffee & Tea is based in Concord, North Carolina, and it manufactures and supplies coffee and tea for restaurants and convenience stores.
FLU DEATHS-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina flu death toll reaches 54 after latest report
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Nine people died in North Carolina last week from complications of the flu, raising the death toll for the 2019-20 season to 54. In addition to last week’s deaths, the Winston-Salem Journal reports four deaths occurred in previous weeks. Of the 54 deaths during the season, 31 were 65 years old or older, 12 were ages 50 to 64, 10 were ages 25 to 49 and one was ages 5 to 17. Citing privacy reasons, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services doesn’t reveal hometowns, counties, ages or gender of flu victims.
BAR SHOOTING-SOUTH CAROLINA
2nd man charged in SC bar shooting that killed 3 people
HARTSVILLE, S.C. (AP) – Authorities say a second man has been charged in a shooting at a South Carolina bar that killed three people. Hartsville Police say 24-year-old Davijon McCall was arrested at a Durham, North Carolina, apartment and charged with murder. Police say McCall fired a gun in the shooting around 2 a.m. Sunday at Mac’s Lounge in Hartsville, Two people died shorty after the shooting and a college student from Maryland died from his injuries days later. Three others were injured. Investigators are still trying to sift through evidence and more arrests are possible. Authorities still have not released details on how many people fired or what led to the shooting.