AP-NC Newswatch

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March 25, 2021
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March 25, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina News:



Deputy US Marshal shoots, kills man while attempting arrest
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a deputy U.S. marshal shot and killed a fugitive during an attempted arrest on outstanding warrants, prompting a vigil by mourners at the scene. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department issued a news release saying officers with the Marshals Service’s regional fugitive task force approached the man Tuesday morning to arrest him on outstanding warrants. The release said one of the officers shot him after perceiving “a lethal threat.” Authorities say they found a gun where the shooting happened at a gas station on the east side of the city. The man, 32-year-old Frankie Jennings, was pronounced dead at the scene. Mourners later gathered at the scene for a candlelight vigil. News footage showed several dozen people attending.



N.C. court to decide if voter defamation lawsuit can proceed
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina appeals court will soon decide whether a libel complaint can proceed to trial over false accusations representatives of former Gov. Pat McCrory made in 2016 alleging several residents had unlawfully voted. The lawsuit accuses McCrory’s supporters of participating in a “civil conspiracy” that harmed voters’ reputations. Damages exceeding $25,000 are being sought as a result. A ruling is expected in the coming months. A successful lawsuit could provide a pathway for lawmakers and their supporters to be penalized for making inaccurate voter fraud claims in future elections.



Police: Charges are possible after boy, 6, fatally struck
GARNER, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s State Highway Patrol says that possible charges could be filed after a 6-year-old boy was believed to have been struck by a truck in the Garner area. The News & Observer reports that investigators found a truck with front-end damage that is believed to have struck the boy on Tuesday night. Authorities identified the child as Fred Lamont Woodard Jr. He was found on the shoulder of N.C. 50 near just before 11 p.m. and died at a hospital a short time later. Investigators said they found a white Ford F-150 with front damage. The highway patrol said that a 73-year-old Raleigh man has been identified as the driver. 



House picks 5 current panelists, ex-legislator to UNC board
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The state House has elected a recently retired colleague along with five current University of North Carolina system board members to serve on the prestigious panel. The House voted Wednesday for a resolution to elect a slate of candidates to the UNC Board of Governors, which has 24 voting members and sets policies for the system’s 17 campuses. The board’s newcomer is former Rep. John Fraley of Iredell County, who recently wrapped up six years in the House. The House and Senate each usually elect six candidates to the board. The Senate approved its choices last week.



Asheville votes to remove monument to Confederate governor
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – The City Council for the North Carolina city of Asheville has voted to remove a monument dedicated to a racist governor of the Confederacy. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that the council voted 6 to 1 on Tuesday to remove the 75-foot granite obelisk at the center of the city’s downtown. The monument honors Zebulon Vance. He was a Buncombe County native and North Carolina governor during the Civil War as well as a U.S. senator. He also owned slaves. Scaffolding was placed around the monument in 2020. Local officials have said they want the monument to be replaced or altered in a way that honors the local history of African Americans.



Cooper seeks big debt package, pay hikes, Medicaid expansion
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is proposing a spending and borrowing spree that he says is critical to fulfilling education, health care and infrastructure demands evident before the pandemic but have been exacerbated since. Cooper pitched his two-year state budget plan on Wednesday. He says the proposal is affordable and ensures North Carolina continues a vigorous recovery from the COVID-19 recession. It includes large educator pay raises and bonuses and a $4.7 billion bond referendum. Now lawmakers will try to fashion a budget bill that they hope he will sign. Republican legislators and Cooper failed to enact a conventional budget in 2019.



Mississippi Lottery Corp. president set to retire June 30
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The first president of the Mississippi Lottery Corporation says he’s retiring June 30. Tom Shaheen was hired in May 2019 and started work the following month. The corporation started selling lottery tickets in November 2019. That was just over a year after Mississippi legislators voted to join the majority of other states that offer the games of chance. Shaheen had worked for lotteries in North Carolina and New Mexico and other states before moving to Mississippi. The board says it intends to hire a new president before Shaheen’s departure.



Cooper eases North Carolina gathering, occupancy limits
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolinians will soon be able to gather in larger groups and businesses will be able to operate at greater capacity. The updated pandemic guidance from Gov. Roy Cooper takes effect Friday and will remain in place until April 30. The statewide mask mandate remains in place. A required six feet of physical distancing may not allow businesses to reopen at the capacity caps outlined. The announcement comes as North Carolina works to shift its allocation strategy to support communities where a smaller share of residents have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine. The state is considering offering incentives to encourage vaccinations.