Latest North Carolina News:
North Carolina reverses course, urges masks in all schools
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday called on all K-12 public school students and staff to wear a mask indoors, even if they are already vaccinated. He’ll let his statewide mask mandate expire on Friday. Cooper had previously announced plans last week to let the statewide mask mandate expire and ease masking requirements for high school students starting on Friday. Spread of the more contagious delta variant rose sharply leading up to his earlier announcement and has only continued to skyrocket. Several COVID-19 metrics are at their worst levels in months. But there are some signs of encouragement that more people may soon come in for a vaccine.
North Carolina seeks origin of chemical spill on creek
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – State officials are for the second time trying to determine the source of potentially harmful compounds found in foam floating on a North Carolina creek. The Fayetteville Observer reports that in both instances, the man-made chemicals found in the Gray’s Creek area do not appear connected to the Chemours plant, which is in the same general area and makes a similar compound. The state Department of Environmental Quality says in a memo dated June 22 that tests were conducted in March on foam from an unnamed tributary of Rockfish Creek. The tests showed that the foam contained perfluorooctane sulfonate, also known as PFOS, and three other compounds.
SEX CRIMES-MAN CHARGED
North Carolina man accused of sexual assault of child
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office has accused a man of committing sex crimes against two children dating back to 2015. The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that 54-year-old Johnny Ray Perry is charged with statutory rape of a child age 15 or younger and two counts of first-degree statutory sex offense. According to the news release, the sheriff’s office received a report in August 2020 of a possible sexual assault involving a minor that allegedly occurred years ago. In January, there was another report of a sexual assault involving a different child. Perry is being held on a $300,000 bond.
HOUSE FIRE-THREE DEAD
Investigation into three deaths in North Carolina house fire
TROUTMAN, N.C. (AP) – Authorities are investigating a house fire in North Carolina in which three people died. The Charlotte Observer reports Iredell County Emergency Communications received a 911 call around 9 p.m. on Tuesday about a house fire in Troutman. The Troutman Fire Department and other fire departments responded and found the home engulfed on flames. Detectives confirm three people were in the house when the fire broke out. Officials on Wednesday said two people were killed in the fire. On Thursday, they announced that a third body had been found in the home. The cause of the fire has not been determined.
EXTORTION CHARGE-MAN SENTENCED
Man sentenced for trying to extort North Carolina attorney
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A district attorney says the operator of a local news website has been found guilty of extortion resulting from a 2019 incident with a North Carolina lawyer. News outlets report District Attorney Ernie Lee says Gerald Jackson Jr., the operator of “The North Carolina Beat”, was sentenced on Thursday to an active term of 11 months to 23 months. Jackson was found guilty on Tuesday. According to Lee, between Sept. 18 and Sept. 19, 2019, Jackson is alleged to have tried to extort $4,500 from a local Jacksonville attorney in exchange for not publicly disclosing personal embarrassing information about the attorney.
DAY CARE WORKER-FATAL CRASH
Plumber pleads guilty in crash that killed day care worker
SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) – A man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a traffic accident in 2018 which killed a North Carolina day care worker. WRAL reports 40-year-old Seth Charles Tracy of Holly Springs pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder and driving while impaired in the Nov. 6, 2018, crash that killed Martha Darlene Peterson. Tracy was sentenced to between 10 years and 13 years in prison. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says troopers determined that Tracy was impaired at the time of the crash. A blood test found both methadone, which is used to treat opioid addiction, and generic Xanax in his system.
Gun maker offers $33M to settle suit by Sandy Hook families
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has offered some of the victims’ families nearly $33 million to settle their lawsuit over how the company marketed the firearm to the public. Lawyers for now-bankrupt Remington filed the proposals late Tuesday in a Connecticut court, offering the nine families suing the company nearly $3.7 million apiece. The families’ lawyers say they are considering the proposals. A lawyer for Remington declined to comment. Remington made the Bushmaster rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six educations at the Newtown, Connecticut, school in 2012. The families say the company shouldn’t have marketed such a dangerous weapon to the public.
911 OPERATOR-HARASSMENT LAWSUIT
Feds sue North Carolina county over 911 operator’s firing
WILSON, N.C. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Justice is suing a North Carolina county, alleging that a 911 operator was fired after she complained about being sexually harassed on the job. According to the lawsuit, Jennifer Riddle began working for Wilson County Emergency Communications in 2017 and was sexually harassed by the agency’s assistant director. The lawsuit says that when she complained of the harassment, an investigation substantiated her complaints and county officials fired the assistant director. But the lawsuit says Riddle began experiencing hostility from her supervisor and co-workers, ending in a transfer and, ultimately, her firing.