Latest North Carolina News:
Outbreaks strand some students at home with minimal learning
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – As coronavirus outbreaks driven by the delta variant lead school districts around the U.S. to abruptly shut down or send large numbers of children into quarantine, some students are getting minimal schooling at home. Despite billions of dollars in federal money at their disposal to prepare for new outbreaks and develop contingency plans, some governors, education departments and local school boards have been caught flat-footed. Also, some school systems have been handcuffed by state laws or policies aimed at keeping students in classrooms and strongly discouraging or restricting a return to remote learning.
UNC STUDENT DEATH
Man charged in 2012 beating death of UNC-Chapel Hill student
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police department says a man has been charged with murder in the 2012 beating death of a college student. News outlets report Chapel Hill police announced Thursday that 28-year-old Miguel Enrique Olivares of Durham was arrested in the beating death of Faith Hedgepeth at her off-campus apartment. The student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was 19 years old when her roommate found her body in their apartment on Sept. 7, 2012. An autopsy showed Hedgepeth suffered extensive skull fractures and cuts to her face and head, and she was also badly beaten on her arms and legs.
N. Carolina Republican candidate Jim Snyder dead at 76
LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A memorial service will be held Friday for attorney, author and former North Carolina Republican candidate Jim Snyder Jr. His family says Snyder died last weekend at age 76 following an extended illness. Snyder won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in 2004 before losing to Democrat Beverly Perdue in the general election. He also ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2008 and for U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2014. Snyder grew up in Lexington and ultimately attended Wake Forest University and its law school. He served briefly in the legislature in the early 1970s. Survivors include his wife, two daughters and several grandchildren.
Lawsuit: Blind man, guide dog forced from N. Carolina mall
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An advocacy group for disabled people has filed a lawsuit against a North Carolina police department saying a blind man and his guide dog were ordered by police to leave a store at a local mall. Disability Rights North Carolina filed the lawsuit on behalf of Wilmer Oliva in connection with an incident at Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem in November 2020. According to the lawsuit, a store manager wanted Oliva removed because he had the dog with him. Winston-Salem police officers told Oliva to leave the store or face a trespassing charge. A police spokesperson said the city would release a statement.
FATAL BEATING-GUILTY PLEA
N. Carolina man pleads guilty to role in 2018 beating death
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to his role in the brutal beating of a man who was heard pleading for his life before he was killed. The Winston-Salem Journal reports 31-year-old Quincy Devorice Valentine, who had been facing a first-degree murder charge, entered a guilty plea to accessory after the fact to second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and concealment of a body after an unnatural death. Authorities say Curtis Jermaine Farrow was beaten by several men on Jan. 19, 2018. Witnesses testified that Valentine was one of the men who carried Farrow out of the house where the beating occurred.
Judge blocks NC law provision aimed at farm workers’ union
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s only farm worker union is pleased despite mixed decisions so far from federal courts about a 2017 law that it says obstructs mostly Latino field hands organizing for better benefits and conditions. U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs issued a permanent injunction this week declaring a provision unconstitutional that prevents legal settlements between workers and farms from including mandates for a farm to enter a collective bargaining agreement. The Farm Labor Organizing Committee sued over the provision and another union-related restriction that Biggs didn’t block. The other restriction relates to the collection of union dues.
Feds: Man pleads guilty to getting girlfriend to buy gun
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A federal prosecutor in North Carolina says a man who was prohibited from buying a gun because of a prior conviction has pleaded guilty to getting his girlfriend to buy one for him. Acting U.S. Attorney William T. Stetzer says in a news release that 31-year-old Travis Shaqwann Fair of Asheville went to a gun dealer in June 2019 and discussed buying a cheap gun with a store worker. Stetzer says 29-year-old Kourtney Nichelle Shivers went to the same store to buy the gun for Fair. On Wednesday, Fair pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm. He faces up to 10 years in prison at sentencing.
DEPUTY ASSAULTED-PAINT THINNER
Man arrested for splashing deputy with paint thinner
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office has filed charges against a man after he splashed a deputy with paint thinner. The Durham County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that deputies responding to a domestic dispute ordered the men to end their argument, but 26-year-old Derek Anthony Simmons picked up a small can of paint thinner and threw it at the car belonging to the person he was arguing with. The news release says the paint thinner splashed into the deputies’ eyes, mouth and nose. Simmons was charged with assault on a government official and released from jail on an unsecured bond.