AP-NC Newswatch

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August 24, 2021
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August 24, 2021
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Latest North Carolina News:

 

FELONS-VOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina judges: More felony offenders can now vote
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A panel of North Carolina judges is prepared to allow tens of thousands of residents convicted of felonies but whose current punishments don’t include prison time to register to vote and cast ballots. A judge hearing a trial last week said Monday that a panel majority would issue an order soon allowing more felony offenders to vote. Several civil rights groups and ex-offenders sued lawmakers and state officials in 2019, saying restrictions created in the 1970s are unconstitutional. The law says felons can register once they complete all aspects of their sentence, including probation and parole. An appeal is expected.

 

 

COOPER-CHARTER SCHOOLS
Cooper vetoes NC bill altering charter schools board makeup
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed legislation that would slightly rework the state panel that recommends whether charter schools can open or should be shuttered. The bill vetoed Monday involves the Charter Schools Advisory Board. The State Board of Education currently gets to choose two of the charter board’s 11 voting members. The bill would reduce it to one and give the other vote to the state schools superintendent. The governor named nearly all of the State Board of Education’s voting members. Cooper has vetoed five bills this year. The governor signed seven other bills into law on Monday.

 

 

TROPICAL WEATHER-FRED
Officials: 5th person found dead after N. Carolina flooding
CRUSO, N.C. (AP) – Officials have found a fifth person dead after flooding in western North Carolina. Haywood County Emergency Services announced in a Facebook post that they found the fifth victim, Frank Lauer Sr., 74, of Cruso on Sunday. It was the fifth day of rescue efforts in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Fred. Four others from the town of Cruso that were found dead were identified as 86-year-old Frank Mungo, 68-year-old Franklin McKenzie, 73-year-old Judy Mason and 83-year-old Charlene Mungo. Officials say one person is still missing and search efforts are continuing. As recently as Thursday, 20 people had been unaccounted for.

 

 

GRANDFATHER STABBED
North Carolina man accused of stabbing grandfather, 81
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have filed charges against a man who they say stabbed his 81-year-old grandfather. News outlets report Greenville police officers were dispatched to a residence on Friday in response to a report of a stabbing. Dispatchers were told 81-year-old victim Wheeler Brown had been stabbed following an altercation. Emergency and negotiation teams responded after word that the suspect had barricaded himself inside the home. Police say 23-year-old Aaron Brown was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder. He’s jailed on a $1 million bond, and it’s not known if he has an attorney.

 

 

MISSING SWIMMER-DEATH
Swimmer dies after being found in North Carolina lake
DAVIDSON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina college says a woman from South Carolina died after she was rescued from a lake. Davidson College said in a statement that campus police reported that rescue personnel were called to the college’s Lake Campus in Mooresville around 3 p.m. Sunday after receiving a report about a missing swimmer. According to police, 37-year-old Whitney Brooke Wilkins of Greenville, South Carolina, was found under water and unresponsive. Rescue personnel performed CPR but couldn’t resuscitate Wilkins and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Campus police say Wilkins was a guest of a college retiree’s family at the time.

 

 

EATING THE EVIDENCE
Man who tried to swallow memory cards in porn case sentenced
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge has handed down a 12-year prison sentence to a man convicted on child pornography charges after authorities say he tried to swallow memory cards containing pornographic images. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh says 31-year-old David Sierra Orozco was sentenced on Monday. Orozco was convicted in March of possessing child pornography. Harnett County sheriff’s deputies who stopped Orozco in July 2017 found more than $100,000 in cash and memory cards wrapped in a folded $100 bill. When several cards fell to the floor, Orozco tried to eat them.

 

 

OBIT-ROBERTSON
Jeanne Robertson, North Carolina humorist, dies at 77
ELON, N.C. (AP) – Jeanne Robertson, who parlayed her appearance in the Miss America pageant into a career as a speaker and humorist, has died at the age of 77. Her death was announced by Elon University, where she served as a trustee. A cause of death was not released. Robertson became Miss North Carolina at age 19, and won Miss Congeniality at the 1963 Miss America pageant. Her pageant experience and her 6-foot-2-inch frame often provided fodder for her comedy routines, delivered in her Southern accent. She taught physical education in North Carolina for eight years after graduating from Auburn University in 1967.

 

 

WAR VETERAN HONORED
Flags ordered to half-staff to honor North Carolina veteran
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered American and North Carolina flags at state facilities to be lowered to half-staff on Monday to honor a military veteran. The Salisbury Post reports local native Henry E. Ellis was killed on Nov. 30, 1950, in what is now North Korea. For about 70 years, Ellis was listed as killed in action although his remains hadn’t been found. Last September, a Department of Defense medical examiner determined remains found in 2012 to be Ellis. A funeral with full military honors is scheduled for Monday on the campus of the Salisbury VA.