AP-NC Newswatch

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February 4, 2020
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February 4, 2020
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST



North Carolina police arrest man they say set woman on fire
KINSTON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have arrested a man accused of dousing a woman in flammable liquid and lighting her on fire. News outlets report 41-year-old Venice Taylor was taken into custody on Monday night. A Kinston Police Department statement says an officer found 24-year-old Khloe McNeal on the sidewalk with severe burns. McNeal told police she had been driving and had come to a stop when a man approached her car, threw liquid on her and set her on fire. Taylor faces attempted murder and malicious maiming charges. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment on his behalf.



Transgender teen sues school district over bathroom access
SHELBY, N.C. (AP) – A transgender teen in North Carolina says his kidney disease worsened because his high school wouldn’t let him use the boys’ bathroom. The Shelby Star reports that the unnamed student is suing the Cleveland County school district, which is about an hour west of Charlotte. The suit claims that school officials let him only use girls’ restrooms before saying he could only use a separate restroom meant for teachers. The teen avoided using the bathroom during the school day. A doctor said in a court document that the teen’s kidney function was “compromised as a result of his lack of access to appropriate restroom facilities.”



Open sores, lower numbers likely not invasive lionfish’s end
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A new study says an unidentified disease has caused open sores that can eat into the muscles of invasive lionfish and appears to have contributed to an abrupt drop in their numbers in the northern Gulf of Mexico. But scientists at the University of Florida are quick to say it’s probably far from the end of the showy invader with long, venomous spines. Researchers can’t say for sure that the sores caused lower populations, and they note that a rebound may already have begun. The article was published online Tuesday in Scientific Reports



Police: ‘Dumpster diving’ at clothing store turned fatal
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina are searching a landfill for the remains of a woman believed to have been killed after climbing into a trash container to look for reusable items. The Burlington Police Department issued a news release Monday saying that Stephanie Cox was apparently collecting items from a large trash container behind a clothing store in Burlington after midnight one day last week when a truck came to service the container. Her car was later found left unattended on a service drive behind a shopping center. Police say her family confirmed that it was common for her to collect reusable items from the large containers.



Father accused of abuse after 1-year-old overdoses on heroin
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – The father of a 1-year-old boy has been accused of negligent child abuse after authorities say the boy overdosed on heroin. News outlets report 26-year-old Luis Castellon made his first court appearance Monday in Fayetteville. Cumberland County deputies say the child was administered naloxone Jan. 1 after he was found not breathing in a home in Roseboro. A search of the home turned up at least three clear plastic baggies containing white residue. A district judge rejected a request for a higher bond for Castellon. He’s been ordered not to have contact with minors. He has bonded out of jail. He had no comment when leaving court Monday.



Malware forces North Carolina county computers offline
KENANSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina county has taken its computers offline because of malware. News sources report officials in Duplin County say while some services to residents may be limited, emergency and essential operations will continue as usual. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Stalls says the county hasn’t yet received a ransom demand connected to the malware since officials discovered the malware so quickly. Stalls also said it’s too early to determine what systems have been damaged. Last year, both the city of Greenville and the Onslow Water and Sewer Authority were victims of ransomware, causing their systems to go down for weeks.



Slow-moving storm system prompts fear of flooding in South
ATLANTA (AP) – Forecasters say a slow-moving storm system could dump up to 5 inches of rain in some parts of the South, prompting flood watches. The National Weather Service says that two-dozen counties in north Georgia will be under a flood watch through Friday morning, where some rainfall amounts could eclipse 5 inches. Heavy rains early Tuesday were soaking large parts of Mississippi and Alabama as the system headed east towards Georgia. The national Storm Prediction Center says the system could also bring a few tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and hail to parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Wednesday.



Florida man killed in sledding accident at N.C. ski resort
SUGAR MOUNTAIN, N.C. (AP) – A Florida man has been killed in a sledding accident at a North Carolina ski resort. The Charlotte Observer reports that John Joseph Nevins IV, of Titusville, Florida, died Friday at Sugar Mountain Resort. Sugar Mountain Police Chief David Henson said the cause of death was blunt force trauma. Kimberley Jochl, the resort’s marketing director, said the incident happened about an hour after the ski slopes closed Friday night. She said sledding is prohibited on the resort’s slopes. Jochl said Nevins went down Sugar Mountain’s Big Birch and Lower Flying Mile slopes at high speed while riding a plastic disk. He was found unconscious next to a snowmaking machine.



AP-WF-02-04-20 1620GMT