AP-NC Newswatch

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January 12, 2021
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January 12, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment


Army investigating officer who led group to Washington rally
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The Army is investigating a psychological operations officer who led a group of people from North Carolina to the rally in Washington that led up to the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. Commanders at Fort Bragg are reviewing Captain Emily Rainey’s involvement in last week’s events. Rainey says she acted within military regulations and that no one in her group broke the law. Maj. Daniel Lessard says the 30-year-old is assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg. Rainey says her group attended the rally but did not enter the Capitol.



Supreme Court rejects UNC appeal on sex assault discipline
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill of a lower court decision requiring it to release disciplinary records of students who violated the school’s sexual assault policies. Last May, the N.C. Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the flagship school of the UNC system had to release the records. The school had been sued by a media coalition including Capitol Broadcasting Co. and the school’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel. In September 2016, the group requested documents under the North Carolina Public Records Act. The university denied the request.




Environmental group to sue over sea turtle protections
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – An environmental group says it will take the National Marine Fisheries Service to court over reductions in plans to keep endangered and threatened sea turtles from drowning in inshore shrimp nets off of eight states. The fisheries service in late 2019 scaled back plans to make inshore shrimpers in the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Atlantic put turtle escape hatches into their nets. Under U.S. law, people and groups planning challenges to actions taken under the Endangered Species Act must give the government 60 days notice. That’s what the Center for Biological Diversity is doing. A fisheries service spokeswoman says the agency cannot comment on pending litigation.



Smokies seeks volunteers to monitor visitor use patterns
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – Great Smoky Mountains National Park is looking for volunteers to monitor visitor use patterns in several of the park’s most popular locations. Park visitation has increased by more than 30% over the last decade, resulting in congestion at some of the most popular destinations. According to the park, that has caused problems like people parking along the roadside, causing damage and creating a safety hazard as they walk along busy roads. Managers will use the data collected by volunteers to develop recommendations to improve access and safety.



Ex-Rep. Batch heading to NC Senate; mayor joining House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A recently defeated state legislator and a small-town mayor have been appointed to fill vacancies at the North Carolina General Assembly as the new session convenes this week. Wake County Democratic activists over the weekend picked former Rep. Sydney Batch and Knightdale Mayor James Roberson to fill vacancies. Gov. Roy Cooper confirmed those choices by issuing formal appointments on Monday. Batch succeeds state Sen. Sam Searcy, who resigned last week. Batch served one House term before losing in November. Roberson will fill a House vacancy created as Rep. Darren Jackson was appointed to the state Court of Appeals by Cooper.



Coastal North Carolina town replaces town manager
DUCK, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina coastal town has named a new town manager after his predecessor resigned in the wake of a misdemeanor assault charge. The town of Duck says on its webpage that Drew Havens will begin his duties as town manager on Feb. 15 after serving as town manager of Apex, just outside of Raleigh. Havens, who has also served as a police officer and a firefighter, replaces Chris Layton, who resigned in July after being charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault on his assistant. Layton had been Duck’s manager since its founding in 2002.



State is probing death of inmate in eastern North Carolina
BAYBORO, NC. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina are investigating the death of an inmate at the Pamlico Correctional Institution in eastern North Carolina. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety said in a statement on Sunday that the person who died was Johnny Autry. The department said that Autry was being held in medium custody and was serving a sentence as a habitual felon and for drug possession. Authorities said he was in a paranoid state Saturday and that staff were unable to calm him after talking to him for an hour. He entered into medical distress and became unresponsive. Authorities said that staff members performed CPR and paramedics continued lifesaving measures. But Autry was declared deceased shortly after 9 p.m.