Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
Ex-Marine to remain jailed in probe of paramilitary group
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A former U.S. Marine will remain in custody after being charged with plotting to illegally make and sell guns. Jordan Duncan faces up to five years behind bars. A federal magistrate judge on Thursday refused to release Duncan from custody after hearing a prosecutor describe him as a potentially violent man whose parents didn’t know about his white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideology. Duncan was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He moved to Boise, Idaho, in September and was arrested by the FBI the following month. He now awaits trial and remains in federal custody.
FORMER MARINE-FIREARMS CHARGES
Ex-Marine found guilty of illegally exporting firearms
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A former U.S. Marine has been found guilty of conspiracy to illegally export and smuggle firearms and controlled equipment from the U.S. to Haiti to train that country’s army in foreign armed conflict. A news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh says 34-year-old Jacques Yves Sebastien Duroseau was found guilty on Thursday at the end of a three-day trial. Prosecutors said Duroseau and a co-conspirator impersonated high ranking military officers, pretending to be on military business so they could illegally move eight firearms by commercial aircraft to Haiti.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-WORKER SAFETY
Worker groups pan NC labor chief on refusing new COVID rules
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina worker and civil rights advocates are unhappy with the outgoing state labor commissioner’s refusal to put more COVID-19 regulations upon employers. Representatives of groups that petitioned Commissioner Cherie Berry unsuccessfully planned a news conference for Thursday. They say more rules are needed to improve unsafe conditions for employees in manufacturing and food processing plants. Berry wrote last month that continuing to educate employers and workers about controlling the virus’ spread is a better solution than issuing punitive regulations. She also said case statistics indicate the virus threat is everywhere and not necessarily a “occupational hazard.”
GOP leaders, Cooper reach agreement on NC broadband money
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders say they’ve found a solution to address the potential loss of $30 million in federal coronavirus relief funds for rural broadband. The governor and GOP lawmakers disagreed on whether the money had to be spent by the end of the month. They worked out a deal whereby the $30 million will be used for other qualifying expenses. Then lawmakers will vote early next year to spend the same amount in state dollars for more broadband grants. Cooper’s budget office will review grant applications and prepare contracts while awaiting new legislative action.
2 men sentenced in Great Smoky Mountains National Park rapes
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Two men have been sentenced to federal prison in the rapes of young male victims in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Department of Justice said Monday that 41-year-old Dusty William Oliver and 49-year-old Richard Graham pleaded guilty to two counts each of aggravated sexual abuse. Oliver was sentenced to 25 years in prison and Graham was sentenced to just over 19 years in prison. Both received 15 years of supervised release. Prosecutors alleged that in June 2012 and in November 2015 the defendants raped two different male victims in the park. The statement said they sought out men who were homeless and addicted to drugs.
Search suspended for kayaker missing on North Carolina coast
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Officials have suspended the search for a kayaker who disappeared while fishing on the North Carolina coast, and a reward is being offered to anyone who finds him. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced on Wednesday that the agency had suspended its search for 26-year-old Alexander Rush of Kill Devil Hills. On Thursday, the commission announced that a local family was offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who finds Rush, who was fishing near the Old Manns Harbor Bridge in Dare County around 7 p.m. Saturday. According to the commission, Rush’s wife called 911 on Sunday when he didn’t come home.
THINK TANKS MERGE
North Carolina right-leaning think tanks are merging
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Two conservative-leaning think tanks in North Carolina are merging. The John Locke Foundation and Civitas Institute announced on Thursday that they’ll unite under the Locke Foundation name starting Jan. 1. The John Locke Foundation began in 1990, while Civitas started in 2005. Both groups have received operating funds annually from the John William Pope Foundation. That foundation is led by former state legislator and state budget director Art Pope. He and his family have given to conservative causes for decades. The political education arm of Civitas Institute called Civitas Action will remain in place as a separate sister organization.
NC DMV headquarters shift out of Raleigh almost complete
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The relocation of the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles headquarters from Raleigh to Rocky Mount is almost complete. DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup told a legislative commitee on Thursday that the final office shifts will be completed by Dec. 19. The move-ins began in July. Almost 500 positions are being relocated. The move is the result of a 2018 law. The Rocky Mount headquarters won’t provide in-person services to the public. Jessup says the state is trying to address a high vacancy rate with headquarters jobs. It’s likely that many workers didn’t want to make the move.