AP-NC Newswatch

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February 11, 2020
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February 11, 2020
AP-NC Newswatch



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



Trump campaigns as a 2nd Amendment warrior
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is fully embracing the mantle of gun rights champion as he makes his pitch for reelection. In a campaign appearance Monday night in New Hampshire, Trump framed the right to bear arms as being as precious as the rights to privacy, free speech and religious freedom. It’s a stark turn from earlier moments in his presidency when he toyed with pushing Congress to enact stricter gun laws after mass shootings. Trump’s campaign advisers believe the Republican president can draw a sharp contrast on gun rights with the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.



Trump pays tribute to 2 soldiers killed in Afghanistan
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AP) – President Donald Trump traveled Monday night to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to pay respects to two U.S. soldiers killed Saturday in Afghanistan when a soldier dressed in an Afghan army uniform opened fire with a machine gun. The Defense Department has identified the dead American soldiers as 28-year-old Sgt. Javier Jaguar Gutierrez and 28-year-old Sgt. Antonio Rey Rodriguez. Trump saluted and Vice President Mike Pence placed his hand over his heart as transfer cases containing the remains were carried out of a plane and transferred to a transport vehicle.



North Carolina officer fired amid child porn investigation
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (AP) – Records show that a North Carolina police officer who was the subject of a child pornography investigation was fired last month. A termination notice obtained by news outlets Monday documents that the State Bureau of Investigation notified Wake Forest police on Jan. 10 that it was looking into Cpl. Alex Sims. The notice says Sims was fired three days later during an internal review. Investigators alleged Sims admitted to viewing child pornography and lied about fake profile names used on social media. He hasn’t been charged with a crime, and it’s unclear what the status of the agency’s investigation is. Sims couldn’t be reached for comment.



Woman with oxygen tank airlifted after smoking accident
ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s insurance commissioner is cautioning people to be careful with cigarettes and pipes after a woman with an oxygen tank was badly burned while smoking. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said in a news release that a resident at an assisted-living facility in Asheboro was smoking Saturday when her oxygen tank caught fire. She was airlifted to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill. Causey estimated that about one in ten of North Carolina’s 117 fire deaths in 2019 had smoking with an oxygen tank as a contributing factor. Causey said even after an oxygen tank is turned off, higher concentrations of the gas can remain in the air.



Congress advances naming post office for late NC Rep. Jones
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An eastern North Carolina congressman who died last year could soon be remembered with a local post office named in his memory.áMembers of the state’s congressional delegation have filed legislation designating the “Walter B. Jones Jr. Post Office” in Farmville. That’s where the longtime congressman lived until his February 2019 death at age 76. The House approved a resolution last week, while Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis introduced a measure this week. Jones is a former state legislator who had served in Congress since 1995 as a Republican. His father also was a congressman for over 25 years.



Remains found believed to be woman who was ‘dumpster diving’
TROY, N.C. (AP) – Remains found at a North Carolina landfill are believed to be a woman who police say climbed into a trash container to look for reusable items. Burlington police say the body recovered Monday at Uwharrie Environmental in Montgomery County is believed to be 30-year-old Stephanie Cox. She had apparently been collecting items from the trash container last month before a truck came to service the dumpster. Police launched a search party for her remains which was temporarily halted last week due to inclement weather. Police said the case highlights the dangers of what’s commonly known as dumpster diving.



GOP-linked group spends $2.4M for Democrat Senate candidate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A Republican-linked political committee that’s behind a TV ad praising Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Erica Smith is spending at least $2.4 million to push her candidacy in a primary race. The figure came in a document filed over the weekend with federal regulators by the Faith and Power PAC. The group bought TV ads that began running last week that highlights Smith’s support for liberal initiatives. The group hasn’t disclosed its donors, but connections to the PAC have led North Carolina Democrats to accuse Republicans of trying to interfere in their party primary next month.



Man convicted in killing of North Carolina newspaper carrier
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A man accused of killing a newspaper delivery man in North Carolina was convicted of first-degree murder Monday. The jury found Roger Timothy Best guilty in the death of Walter “Wes” Edwin Scott Jr., who was killed as he delivered The Charlotte Observer in the early morning hours of Feb. 15, 2017. Prosecutors in the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office said Scott left his truck running while he stopped at a convenience store to collect old papers and drop off that day’s edition. As he returned to his truck, Best and an unknown accomplice tried to rob him. Prosecutors said Best fired a handgun 12 times, hitting Scott multiple times.



AP-WF-02-11-20 1620GMT