Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
SCHOOL BUS THREATS
Police: Knife-wielding man boarded bus, threatened attack
GRIFTON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a road rage incident escalated when a knife-welding motorist climbed aboard a school bus carrying students, yelled racial slurs at the driver, then threatened to stab the driver. Grifton police said in a statement that the school bus was driving through an intersection Wednesday when Jeffrey Garris boarded it and confronted the person behind the wheel. Police said the driver ordered the man off and no injuries were reported. The bus driver told investigators Garris became enraged and accused the bus of cutting off his truck in traffic. He’s charged with assault on a school employee and ethnic intimidation, among other counts.
ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Ad backing Democrat could be primary mischief by Republicans
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A new political committee with Republican connections has started running television ads that praise a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate weeks before the Democratic primary. Records show the Faith and Power PAC was organized just last week and is sponsoring ads beginning Thursday in at least four North Carolina TV markets promoting state Sen. Erica Smith.áOn their face, the ad buys would appear to be a lifeline to Smith,áwho’s trailing fellow Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham in fundraising. But some Democrats suggest it could be a sign of GOP interference in the race. Incumbent Thom Tillis is the heavy favorite to win the Republican primary.
Deadline arrives to register for N Carolina primary-day vote
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina residents wanting to vote in next month’s primary will soon see their options narrowáon how to cast a ballot and where. Friday is the deadline to register to vote if someone wants to either vote in person on the actual March 3 primary day or cast a traditional mail-in absentee ballot. Friday is also the deadline for current registrants to change their party affiliation, which limits the primary in which they can vote. People who aren’t registered by Friday can still register at early in-person voting sites statewide open Feb. 13 through Feb. 29.
Barrier island freed of 9,000 truckloads of Dorian wreckage
OCRACOKE, N.C. (AP) – In the five months since Hurricane Dorian battered North Carolina’s Outer Banks, workers have hauled away more than 9,000 dump truck loads of debris from a single island, and they’re still not done. Hyde County emergency management director Justin Gibbs told The Virginian-Pilot that more than 6,650 tons so far have been put in trucks and ferried to the mainland for disposal in landfills. The waste includes thousands of damaged trees, parts of hundreds of ruined homes and big household appliances. The bill for removing the junk from Ocracoke Island was $26 million, and counting.
Rockslide closes North Carolina highway after heavy rain
TOPTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina highway is expected to be closed during daylight hours Friday due to a rockslide that may have been triggered by heavy rain. The North Carolina Department of Transportation says the slide closed U.S. 19/74 in the Nantahala Gorge on Thursday. Crews have been deployed to clear mud and debris. The location of the cleanup was near a road where a landslide a month ago closed the highway. The transportation department has set up a marked detour that is expected to add 20 minutes to a commute. News outlets report the area experienced excessive rain leading to multiple road closures on Thursday.
Man charged with fatally shooting passenger in rideshare car
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old passenger using a rideshare service. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say 28-year-old Trevor Lloyd Powell was also charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and other related drug and firearm charges on Wednesday. News outlets report that Powell is accused of shooting into a moving vehicle that was carrying passengers using a rideshare service on Saturday. Police said at the time that Jacquez Keyshawn Moore died of his wounds, and a 22-year-old corider suffered non-life threatening injuries. Investigators haven’t said whether Powell knew the victims, or what led to the shooting.
Bad weather moves into Eastern states; 5 dead in South
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – More than 300,000 homes and businesses in the eastern United States are without power following a storm that left at least five people dead in the South. The National Weather Service said early Friday the system was expected to strengthen as it moves up the Eastern Seaboard, bringing high winds and rain through the mid-Atlantic region. Gusts up to 55 mph were predicted for the nation’s capital. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from flooding in places across the Southeast, and many school districts have canceled classes. Five storm-related deaths were confirmed in Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.
MAN STRANGLED-DOG LEASH
Charge dropped against teen accused of strangling father
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina prosecutor ádropped the murder charge Thursday against a teenager accused of his father’s mysterious strangulation death. The Durham County District Attorney’s Office filed a court document dismissing the charge against Alexander Bishop in his father’s death in April 2018. Prosecutors cited insufficient evidence in dismissing the charge. The father, 60-year-old William Bishop, was found strangled in his home in a wealthy Durham neighborhood with a dog leash nearby.áDefense attorney Allyn Sharp says that her client is innocent and is grateful to be able to move on with his life.