AP-NC Newswatch

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December 29, 2020
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December 29, 2020
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment



Marc Basnight, longest serving NC Senate leader, dies at 73
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – One of North Carolina’s most powerful contemporary political leaders has died. Former state Sen. Marc Basnight served a record 18 years as Senate leader. A family spokesperson said the Democrat died Monday afternoon at his home near the North Carolina barrier islands called the Outer Banks. He had been ill for years with what was later diagnosed as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His nine terms as Senate president pro tempore through 2010 made him the longest-serving head of a legislative body in North Carolina history. Gov. Roy Cooper served with Basnight in the Senate. Cooper called him a “giant” in North Carolina.



A divided nation asks: What’s holding our country together?
After a highly contentious, seemingly never-ending election season in 2020, many feel a sense of loss. For some folks, it’s that their candidate didn’t prevail. For others, the losses are more intangible, and heartbreakingly profound: A sense of dignity and respect for each other has waned over the past four years. And for still others, it’s the visceral realization that the very foundations of America have been shaken – not only by Washington-led rancor and partisanship, but by the deadly coronavirus pandemic, as well. If elections are meant to be a way to solve disputes and conflict, November didn’t deliver on that promise.



Police: Woman charged after sheriff’s deputy struck by car
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say that a woman has been arrested following a hit-and-run crash that injured a sheriff’s deputy in New Hanover County. WECT-TV reports that deputy Robert Mills pulled over a vehicle Dec. 4 on U.S. 421 when he was struck by a vehicle. It then fled from the scene. Mills was treated for leg and elbow injuries and needed six staples for a head injury. Highway Patrol Sgt. Brandon Long said that Maggie Amdur has been charged with felony hit and run resulting in serious bodily injury and failure to move over resulting in serious bodily injury. Amdur was given a $250,000 bond. It’s unclear if she’s hired an attorney.



State wants help deciphering old, hand-written documents
MANTEO, N.C. (AP) – The State Archives of North Carolina is looking for help in transcribing hundreds of old records with handwriting that one expert described as “colonial chicken scratch.” The Virginian-Pilot reported last week that some of the documents are 300 years old. The state has put the records on a website called Transcribe NC. Volunteers can take a stab at deciphering what they say. The documents are written in an outdated style with large swirls and long tails. The site offers a tutorial on how to decode the writings. Many of the documents are court records from before the Revolutionary War. There are also Slave trade documents as well as treaties with Native Americans.



Police: Winston-Salem man shot and killed in home invasion
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say that a man has been shot and killed during a home invasion in Winston-Salem. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the incident occurred Sunday night. Winston-Salem police said that several people forced their way into a home and had intentions of robbing the people inside. Robert Pedro Singletary was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said he lived nearby. It was unclear why one of the suspects shot Singletary. Authorities are asking anyone with information to call the Winston-Salem Police Department. The shooting is the 28th homicide in the city to occur this year. The city saw 32 homicides last year.



North Carolina puts Ringling Bros. train cars up for auction
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The state of North Carolina is selling nine railroad cars that once belonged to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus which they bought in hopes of refurbishing them for passenger service. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the N.C. Department of Transportation is also selling seven other old rail cars it says it no longer needs. The department paid $383,000 for the circus cars shortly after Ringling Bros. held its last performance in 2017. Since buying those cars, the state has received two federal grants which will allow the department to buy six new locomotives and 26 new passenger cars, meaning they won’t need the circus cars. 



Caesars to sell southern Indiana casino to Cherokee tribe
ELIZABETH, Ind. (AP) – Caesars Entertainment officials say the company has reached an agreement to sell a southern Indiana casino to the North Carolina-based Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for $250 million. The News and Tribune reports that Caesars Entertainment officials announced the sale agreement for Caesars Southern Indiana on Thursday ahead of the company’s Dec. 31 deadline to divest from the casino operation. The casino is located in the Harrison County town of Elizabeth, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. The 20-year-old casino retired its three-floor riverboat in late 2019 and moved into a new, $85 million land-based building.



N Carolina man sentenced for robbing pizza delivery driver
ROCKY MONT, N.C. (AP) – Federal prosecutors in North Carolina say a man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for robbing a pizza delivery driver at gunpoint. Emmanuel Marquise Morris ordered the pizza from Domino’s in Rocky Mount in January of 2019, according to court documents. The news release said that when the driver arrived, Morris displayed a handgun and stole his cash, wallet and car. Authorities say that Morris was arrested three days later in Greensboro. He pleaded guilty to state and federal charges, according to the news release. áA defense attorney didn’t immediately respond to an email Wednesday seeking.