AP-NC Newswatch

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February 14, 2020
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February 14, 2020
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EST



Schools chief accused of sending texts for political gain
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s State Schools Superintendent has been accused of using a database to send hundreds of thousands of text messages and emails for political gain. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Thursday that multiple ethics complaints have been filed against State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson. Johnson sent 540,000 text messages and 800,000 email messages that he accessed from a state database to voice his opposition to the “Common Core” educational standards. Johnson’s opposition to the standards is a major part of his campaign for lieutenant governor.



Police: Man cut off girlfriend’s arm with machete
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say that a man cut off his girlfriend’s arm with a machete. Citing court documents, The Fayetteville Observer reports that 54-year-old woman’s left arm had been severed below the elbow. Police officers quickly performed life-saving measures. She was airlifted to Duke Medical Center and underwent emergency surgery. Police said that 27-year-old Ryan Alexander Tyndall was charged with attempted first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflecting serious injury. He was taken to Cumberland County Detention Center. It’s unclear if he has an attorney. 



Prosecutors: Pot odor from car leads to heroin conviction
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a marijuana odor so strong it wafted from car to car led to heroin and firearm convictions and sentencing for a North Carolina man. Federal prosecutors say in a news release that Preston Miles, 35, was sentenced to more than six years in prison Thursday for possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, as well as a firearms charge. áThe news release said a Franklinton police officer observed that Miles was driving a car with heavily tinted windows in July of 2018 and noticed a strong smell of marijuana when he began to follow him. Upon stopping Miles, officers say they found heroin and a gun.



Man says scammer copied license plate, racked up toll fees
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man says he was hit with nearly $500 in toll fees because a scammer made a copy of his license plate. WTVD-TV reports Ronnie Dickerson got the bills from Virginia, but he hasn’t been to that state in two years. Virginia transportation officials sent Dickerson a photo of the car that was going through their tolls. It wasn’t Dickerson’s vehicle. He learned people can go online and order fake custom plates. Virginia officials waived the fees. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles says the best way to stop the scam was for Dickerson to turn in the personalized tag and get a license plate number.



Sanders returns to North Carolina for campaign rallies
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is returning to North Carolina to build support in a Super Tuesday state. Sanders scheduled rallies on Friday morning in Durham and in the afternoon in Charlotte. The Vermont senator is trying to build on momentum from a victory in Tuesday’s New Hampshire presidential primary and an essential first-place tie last week in Iowa’s caucuses. Sanders last visited North Carolina in September, but he’s back now that early in-person voting for the March 3 primary started Thursday.áMichael Bloomberg held rallies on Thursday in the Triad and in Raleigh.



Newspaper chain McClatchy files for bankruptcy protection
NEW YORK (AP) – McClatchy, the publisher of the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star and dozens of other newspapers nationwide, is filing for bankruptcy protection. The company has struggled to pay off debt while revenue shrinks because more readers and advertisers are going online. McClatchy said Thursday that its 30 newspapers will continue to operate normally. The company aims to emerge from bankruptcy in a few months with majority ownership by a hedge fund, ending 163 years of family control. The publisher’s origins date to 1857, when it first began publishing a four-page paper in Sacramento, California. That paper became The Sacramento Bee.



Former law clerk alleges harassment by late prominent judge
WASHINGTON (AP) – A former law clerk says she was repeatedly sexually harassed by the prominent federal judge she worked for. And she says the judiciary’s new system for reporting misconduct remains inadequate. The former clerk is Olivia Warren, and she testified Thursday before a House Judiciary subcommittee. The hearing was about protecting employees of the judiciary from harassment and other workplace misconduct. Warren clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt. He died in 2018 at age 87 after serving on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for more than 37 years, The judiciary last year revised its codes of conduct for judges and judicial employees to more clearly spell out inappropriate workplace behavior.



Newtown families in lawsuit get access to shooter’s computer
WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) – Families of those killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting are getting access to the shooter’s computer as part of their lawsuit against gun maker Remington. áA Superior Court judge in Waterbury, Connecticut, agreed Thursday to allow a forensic computer expert to examine Adam Lanza’s computer and present the findings to both the families and Remington. áThe families are looking for evidence of Lanza’s exposure to advertisements for weapons. á They are suing Remington under state law alleging in improperly marketed to civilians the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at the Newtown school.