Latest North Carolina News:
FATAL I-95 ACCIDENT
Fuel tanker overturns, killing 1 and closing I-95 in N.C.
SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has died after his fuel tanker overturned on Interstate 95. The Sunday morning accident near Smithfield left I-95 closed in both directions throughout the day. News reports showed the flipped over tanker sitting in the highway median, affecting traffic on both sides with 4,000 gallons of gasoline spilled from the tanker. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said the driver, 25-year-old Bryan Cook of Erwin, was going south toward Fayetteville when he ran off the road and hit the guardrail around 6:15 a.m. Sunday. The State Department of Transportation said the northbound lanes reopened before 5 p.m. Sunday but the southbound lanes were expected to remain closed into the night.
Anti-abortion protester shoots himself in leg outside clinic
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An anti-abortion protester is facing a criminal charge after accidentally shooting himself in the leg at outside a North Carolina abortion clinic. Raleigh Police say the shooting occurred Saturday around 9 a.m. outside A Woman’s Choice of Raleigh. Police say the man fired his weapon accidentally, and he was taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He was charged with possession of a firearm at a protest. Police did not release his name. The clinic issued a news release criticizing police response to the shooting as insufficient and the criminal charge “a slap on the wrist.”
Judge tosses North Carolina lawsuit over remote learning
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by parents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools who want in-person learning for their students over virtual classrooms. The Charlotte Observer reports that parents filed the lawsuit in September. They argued that remote learning is particularly difficult for special education students and those without home computers. But Superior Court Judge Karen Eady-Williams ruled Friday that the parents failed to show how such learning hurt their children’s education. Students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools returned to in-person learning on a limited basis last month.
One killed, four others wounded in Fayetteville shooting
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A Fayetteville man is dead, a second is in critical condition and three others also suffered gunshot wounds after a shooting in the city. Police say the shooting occurred shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday on Shads Ford Lane. Thirty-two-year-old Albert Alexander Harris was pronounced dead at the scene. A second victim, who has not been identified, was in critical condition Saturday after being taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Three others suffered non-life threatening gunshot injuries. Police say multiple vehicles fled the scene, and that their investigation is ongoing.
LIFE FLIGHT CRASH-NTSB
NTSB: Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Federal investigators say the pilot of a Duke Life Flight helicopter that crashed in North Carolina in 2017 may have accidentally shut off one of the aircraft’s engines just before the second malfunctioning engine failed. News sources report the investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board suggested the pilot likely got confused by an array of emergency indicators about a problem with one of the engines. The helicopter was en route to Duke University Hospital in Durham from Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City on Sept. 8, 2017, when it crashed in a grassy field outside the town of Belvidere. All four people onboard were killed.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-RENT RELIEF
NC agency unhappy with rule changes in new virus aid bill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina government agency helping distribute aid to people facing economic hardship due to COVID-19 is unhappy with some language in a coronavirus relief bill now on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. The General Assembly passed legislation unanimously Thursday that distributes another $1.7 billion in federal assistance and makes changes to how previously allotted funds should be spent. The Office of Recovery and Resiliency is worried new restrictions would make it harder to get federal money out quickly to pay rent and utilities. A legislative Republican says the changes promote equity in distributing money to people in all 100 counties.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SATELLITE INTERNET
NC to participate in satellite internet pilot for students
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Public school students in some of North Carolina’s most isolated areas could benefit from a new initiative that offers high-speed internet through low-orbit satellites. Gov. Roy Cooper’s office says the pilot program will target young people in Hyde and Swain counties who lack reliable broadband service, or have none at all. The program was assembled by several state offices and paid for with federal COVID-19 relief funds. Cooper’s office says the funding will also be used to research and recommend how best satellite technology can help improve rural healthcare and rural economic development. The satellite internet company is connected to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Fauci, Corbett set for UNC-Chapel Hill virtual commencement
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – The class of 2021 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will hear from Drs. Anthony Fauci and Kizzmekia Corbett for their spring commencement. A news release from the school says the spring commencement in May will feature virtual remarks from Fauci and Corbett as well as live ceremonies which will host a limited number of invited guests to Kenan Stadium. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNC will host smaller graduation ceremonies over three days during the weekend of May 14-16. Graduates will hear from the two speakers at each of the ceremonies. Corbett is an alum of the UNC School of Medicine.