Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
4 arrested in shooting of horses in North Carolina
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Four people have been arrested for shooting and killing one horse and injuring two other horses in North Carolina.
Winston-Salem police said in a news release that 19-year-old Alonzo Djuan Cross of Winston-Salem was arrested Wednesday on three counts of felony cruelty to animals and firing a gun in the city.
Lt. Michael Cardwell would not say what led police to Cross. But officers found six guns in the home.
Police say three vehicles were driven onto a greenway on Saturday that is meant only for bicycles and pedestrians. There is a pasture next to the greenway. Officers found one of the vehicles Sunday and the other two on Tuesday.
Police say three 15-year-olds were also arrested in the investigation.
It was not known if Cross has an attorney yet.
Forecasters: Flooding dangers in western North Carolina
HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Forecasters are warning of flooding dangers in western North Carolina.
The National Weather Service in Greer, South Carolina, has a flash flood watch in effect through Friday morning for much of western North Carolina and the mountains of South Carolina.
The weather service says conditions are favorable for heavy rain and flash flooding is possible, closing some roads and bridges. The rain is expected to continue through Tuesday.
Several inches of rain fell near Hendersonville on Wednesday. Nearly 5,000 customers were without electricity in Henderson and Transylvania counties late Wednesday.
Forecasters say the area could get another 1 (2.5 centimeters) to 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain through Friday.
The Henderson County Rescue Squad responded to a number of calls about stranded vehicles and high water Wednesday.
Missing North Carolina found drowned in creek
MARION, N.C. (AP) – The body of a North Carolina woman missing for several weeks has been found drowned in a creek.
The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that the body found Monday afternoon was that of 31-year-old Brittney Crystal Bumgardner.
The sheriff’s office said an autopsy Wednesday at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem confirmed the body was Bumgardner. Doctors used dental records to confirm the identity.
There were no signs of physical injury and there were no signs of foul play in the drowning.
Family members had reported Bumgardner missing May 10 but said they had not talked with her since April 30.
ALGAE BLOOM-FISH DEATHS
N Carolina: Algae bloom, not chemical killed fish in lake
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
WHITE LAKE, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina officials have concluded an algae bloom killed fish in a swimming and fishing lake, not the chemical used to treat the outbreak.
The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday that officials concluded the bloom caused high pH levels that led to the May deaths in White Lake after studying the brains of some of the dead fish and reviewing water samples.
Town of White Lake officials say Algae blooms often cause a drop in dissolved oxygen levels, and that is what can kill all kinds of fish.
The town halted a treatment to lower the lake’s pH levels and improve water clarity after residents found the dead fish.
White Lake later completed the treatment and said it’s continuing its partnerships with scientists and environmental leaders to find solutions to the situation.
TEACHER PROTESTS-NORTH CAROLINA
Thousands of North Carolina teachers marched. Now what?
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina politicians and the public are waiting to see what happens next after thousands of teachers rallied to demand increased spending on public schools.
An estimated 19,000 people marched through the state’s capital city. Previous strikes, walkouts and protests in West Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky, Colorado and Oklahoma have led legislators to improve education funding.
The state’s teacher advocacy group wants the Republican-dominated legislature to stop tax cuts on upper-income households and corporations taking effect in January.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says the money should go for an average 8 percent teacher pay raise this year, plus money for textbooks and help for teachers who shell out for classroom supplies.
Legislative leaders have promised an average 6 percent pay raise for educators, which would be the fifth in five years.
SESSION OPENS-THE LATEST
The Latest: Legislative session gaveled in among teachers
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina General Assembly has opened its annual session as thousands of teachers descended on the Legislative Building in support of public school funding and teacher pay increases.
Speaker Tim Moore and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest gaveled in the House and Senate floor meetings shortly after noon Wednesday and legislators finished their work before 1 p.m. Moore welcomed teachers in the gallery. Over in the Senate gallery, four women were led away by police when they chanted loudly. No arrests were made.
The Senate seated a new member Wednesday – Sen. Toby Fitch of Wilson was appointed to fill the term of Sen. Angela Bryant, who resigned recently to join the parole commission.
The House Health Committee met briefly Wednesday afternoon and approved a bill designed to make it easier for out-of-state school psychologists to take similar jobs in North Carolina schools.
POLICE SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina police shoot man accused in father’s death
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina shot and wounded a man who they say killed his father.
High Point police tell local news outlets a woman called saying her brother showed up at her apartment Wednesday covered in blood, adding that her brother said he killed their father.
The woman sent police to her grandparents’ house to do a welfare check, and when they arrived, a man with a shotgun started firing at them from the roof. The wounded man was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where police said he is listed stable position.
The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting. The four unidentified officers involved were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure following a shooting.
Former mental health agency CEO files countersuit over pay
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The former CEO of North Carolina’s largest regional mental health agency has filed a countersuit to fight efforts to recover $1.7 million in severance pay which a new board of directors said he used for himself and other executives.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports Richard Topping, the former head of Cardinal Innovations, filed his countersuit Tuesday in Mecklenburg County Superior Court.
Last May, State Auditor Beth Wood ripped Cardinal for lavish spending on CEO pay and “questionable” credit card purchases, among other items. In October, a 17-page report from the Department of Health and Human Services criticized the severance packages Cardinal offered Topping and his team.
The next month, DHHS took over the agency and fired the board for approving a $3.8 million severance package for Topping and other executives.