Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
N.C. prosecutor ends probe of ex-congressional candidate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A local prosecutor says a former North Carolina congressional candidate won’t face state charges in an absentee ballot fraud investigation that’s already led to indictments against his hired political operative and a new election. The Wake County district attorney announced on Wednesday she was closing the matter related to the Rev. Mark Harris, who ran for the 9th Congressional District seat in 2018. Harris got the most votes in the November election but an investigation soon began into allegations centering around a man named McCrae Dowless. Dowless and some of his workers have been indicted on ballot fraud charges in state court.
City backs reparations in the form of community investment
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Officials in the North Carolina city of Asheville have apologized for its historic role in slavery and discrimination and voted to provide reparations. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that unanimous vote was taken by the City Council on Tuesday. The resolution on reparations does not require direct payments but will mandate investments in areas where Black residents face disparities. Priorities could include efforts to increase minority home ownership, access to affordable housing and minority business ownership. The resolution also mentions strategies to close the gaps in health care, education and pay. The resolution calls for the creation of a Community Reparations Commission to recommend programs and resources to be used.
BC-NC-MAN CHARGED-THREE KILLED
Police: North Carolina man charged with killing 3 people
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has been accused by police of killing three people. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Tuesday that Evan Hunter Small is accused of killing Patricia Brewton Small, Jimmy Wayne Small Sr., and Jimmy Wayne Small Jr. A news release from the Wake County Sheriff’s Office did not describe Small’s relationship to the three alleged victims. Small has been charged with three counts of murder. He is being held in the Wake County Detention Center. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney. A 911 caller had asked police to check on the three victims on Monday after not hearing from them.
CAPE HATTERAS SEASHORE-VISITORS
June visits to Cape Hatteras National Seashore near record
BUXTON, N.C. (AP) – Officials say nearly 400,000 people visited Cape Hatteras National Seashore in June, the second highest total for the month in the history of the park and coming despite the COVID-19 pandemic. A news release from the seashore on Wednesday says 399,364 people visited the park last month, which was an increase of almost 4% over June 2019. In June 2002, the park recorded 410,366 visitors. The Virginian-Pilot says the record comes despite months of closures and isolation brought on by the coronavirus. Many shops and restaurants offer limited services. State museums on Hatteras Island are closed.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Another N. Carolina inmate dies after getting coronavirus
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An inmate at a central North Carolina state prison who tested positive for the coronavirus has died. The Department of Public Safety says the prisoner at the Albemarle Correctional Institution in Stanly County died at a hospital Tuesday from preexisting conditions complicated by the coronavirus. The death marks the sixth coronavirus-related death involving a state prison inmate. More than 1,000 positive cases have been recorded among state prisoners since the pandemic began. The state reported Wednesday another overall record of current COVID-19 hospitalizations. The number of reported positive cases also increased by nearly 1,800 compared to Tuesday.
N.C. treasurer demands 2 DOT executives be replaced
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s elected state treasurer wants two top state Department of Transportation executives replaced following recent reports of overspending and salary raises at the agency. Republican Dale Folwell said Wednesday that DOT Secretary Eric Boyette should remove the chief operating officer and chief financial officer because the agency’s “continued mismanagement” threatens the state’s top-notch ratings when issuing debt. The department has been subject of two negative audits since May and two bailouts by the legislature since last fall. The department had no comment on Folwell’s demand. DOT is a Cabinet agency for Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
FATAL SHOOTING-ELDERLY SUSPECT
North Carolina police charge 87-year-old man with murder
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have charged an 87-year-old man in the shooting death of his neighbor. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Hermon Lowell Aycoth was arrested on a charge of murder in the death of 54-year-old Karla Ragsdale Essick. A news release from Winston-Salem police says officers responding to 911 calls about a shooting found a woman later identified as Essick dead of an apparent gunshot wound. Lt. Greg Dorn said Aycoth remained at the scene waiting for police to arrive and was taken into custody without incident. Aycoth is being held in the Forsyth County jail without bond, and it’s not known if he has an attorney.
3 children shot in separate incidents in North Carolina city
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Police say three children were wounded in two separate shootings in a North Carolina city in a four-hour span. Durham police said one adult and two children ages 4 and 8 were found shot at a residence around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Police said the adult and one of the children have critical injuries. The news release from police also said five adults arrived at local hospitals on their own for treatment of gunshot wounds. Early Wednesday, officers responding to a call found a 12-year-old and an adult who had been shot. Authorities say the 12-year-old child has life-threatening injuries.