Latest North Carolina News:
NC officials: Gov’t surplus became even larger than planned
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s tax windfall for the last fiscal year turned out even larger than the bonanza that state government economists predicted would arrive. The Office of State Budget and Management reports that the state collected $29.7 billion in revenues during the year that ended June 30. That’s $190 million more than the consensus forecast reached in mid-June with General Assembly analysts. That June forecast had already bumped up the anticipated collections by a massive $1.9 billion. That massive jump was attributed to a resurgent post-pandemic economy. This all means means North Carolina took in 24% more revenues compared to the year before.
BURIED IN CONCRETE
Sheriff: Caretaker charged with murder in NC woman’s death
NEWLAND, N.C. (AP) – A western North Carolina sheriff says a caretaker for a woman who was found dead last week in her home – buried in concrete in the basement – has been arrested and charged with murder. Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye announced on Sunday that Elizabeth Carserino of Goose Creek, South Carolina, was in the county jail on bond. She was taken into custody Saturday and faces other charges. Carserino was wanted in the death of 70-year-old Lynn Gay Keene of Linville Falls. Keene had last been in contact with her family in mid-June. Carserino’s first court appearance could be Monday.
Man arrested in N.C. for previously undisclosed S.C. murder
LONGS, S.C. (AP) – A man has been arrested in North Carolina on charges that he committed a murder in South Carolina that authorities didn’t previously disclose. Jaylon Hemingway was arrested Thursday in Tabor City, North Carolina. The 18-year-old is charged with murder in the June 17 killing of 26-year-old Chaquan Bellamy in Longs, South Carolina. Horry County police tweeted on June 17 that there was a shooting, but didn’t provide details. The Horry County coroner didn’t publicly identify the victim until Thursday after questions from The Sun News. When asked why he didn’t release information earlier, Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said Bellamy’s murder might have “slipped through the cracks.”
North Carolina county, city order indoor face mask mandate
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Face coverings will be required again within all indoor public places, businesses and establishments in Durham County and the city of Durham due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus. City and county leaders issued a new state of emergency on Saturday that takes effect at 5 p.m. Monday. Gov. Roy Cooper’s statewide mask mandate ended July 30, but that doesn’t prevent local governments from approving restrictions, including school systems. The Durham city and county mask mandate provides several exceptions. The highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 has helped raised dramatically the number of cases and hospitalizations nationally statewide.
SNAKE ON THE LOOSE
North Carolina man accepts plea for venomous snake’s escape
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A snake collector whose escaped zebra cobra caused a frenzy for days this summer in a North Carolina neighborhood has pleaded guilty to a charge. Nearly 40 other misdemeanor charges against Christopher Gifford of Raleigh were dropped as part of his plea agreement Friday in court. He pleaded guilty to failing to report the missing venomous snake back in November. Authorities captured it in late June. The agreement requires Gifford to pay over $13,000 in restitution and give up his snakes. Gifford says what he did was a “huge mistake” and that he’s trying to fix what happened.
Officials in North Carolina: Sheriff Clemmons dies
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (AP) – Richmond County officials say Sheriff James Clemmons has died at his home in Rockingham. Richmond County government offered condolences in a Facebook post on Thursday, calling Clemmons “a great friend to all and an awesome leader in our community.” News outlets report that Clemmons was hired as a patrol deputy in 1989 and was elected sheriff in 2010, becoming the first person of color elected to the post in Richmond County. Clemmons served as president of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association from 2018 to 2019 and was appointed to Gov. Roy Cooper’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice. Officials have not yet determined the cause of Clemmons’ death.
Medical marijuana now legal on Cherokee land in western NC
CHEROKEE, N.C. (AP) – The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians announced Thursday that it has approved growing, selling and using medical marijuana on its lands in Western North Carolina. The Charlotte Observer reports that the approval of the medical marijuana ordinance makes the territory the first place in the state where medical cannabis is legal. The National Conference of State Legislatures says medical use of cannabis is legal in 36 states and four U.S. territories. A Cannabis Control Board will control licensing for cultivation, processing and sale of marijuana and issue cards allowing people to buy marijuana. People will be limited to buying one ounce of marijuana per day, not to exceed six ounces per month.
GUN PERMIT DELAY LAWSUIT
North Carolina sheriff sued over gun permit delay
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Gun rights organizations and three residents are suing a North Carolina sheriff alleging that his office failed to issue pistol purchase and concealed handgun permits in a timely manner. The Charlotte Observer reports that Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation, Grass Roots North Carolina, Rights Watch International and three Mecklenburg County residents filed the lawsuit against Sheriff Garry McFadden and his office on Thursday. State law requires sheriffs to issue pistol permits within 14 days of the date of the application, and concealed handgun permits within 45 days. The lawsuit asks a judge to order McFadden’s office to comply with state law and immediately issue both permits to qualified applicants.