AP-NC Newswatch

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October 15, 2021
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October 15, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch


Latest North Carolina News:


Marine who criticized Afghanistan withdrawal pleads guilty
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) – A former Marine battalion commander who was relieved of his duties after making comments criticizing the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has pleaded guilty in a special court-martial. An attorney representing Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller confirmed in a text message that his client pleaded guilty at Thursday’s court-martial at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Scheller was facing multiple charges, including conduct unbecoming an officer. A sentencing hearing followed on Thursday afternoon and is to continue on Friday. In an Aug. 26 video, Scheller demanded accountability from military leaders regarding the withdrawal from Afghanistan after 13 U.S. troops were killed in Kabul.



MIT grapples with early leader’s stance on Native Americans
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is grappling with the legacy of one of its pivotal presidents who also played a key role in the displacement of Native American tribes. Francis Amasa Walker helped propel the Cambridge college into prominence as its third president. But the former Civil War general also authored “The Indian Question,” a treatise on Native Americans that helped cement the country’s tribal reservation system. Native Americans students want MIT to rename Walker Memorial, one of the campus’ most iconic buildings, as part of their broader push to get the school to atone for its past and do more for Indigenous students.



Former NC Gov. Perdue back leading national testing board
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Former North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue is once again leading a board that oversees standardized tests designed to measure student achievement nationwide. U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced that Perdue will be chair of the National Assessment Governing Board for the next year. Perdue was also reappointed starting this month to another four-year term on the panel. Perdue previously was named board chair for a year in 2018. She was identified then as the first woman as chair in its 30-year history. Perdue is a former school teacher, Democratic legislator and lieutenant governor who was elected governor in 2008.



A day after swearing-in, new NC judge switches registration
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) – A new northeastern North Carolina judge changed her voter registration from Democrat to Republican the day after she was sworn in to the job for which Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper appointed her. District Court Judge Jennifer Karpowicz Bland switched her registration in early September. Cooper announced her Bland’s appointment the week before. There’s no requirement that someone of the governor’s or departing judge’s political party is picked by the governor. Historically governors have often favored someone of their own party to fill vacancies. Bland told The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City that her political views never came up during pre-appointment interviews with the governor.



North Carolina deputy stabbed, suspect shot to death
TARBORO, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says one of its deputies shot and killed a man who stabbed another deputy after they were called to a home. News outlets report the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were called to a home around 2 p.m. on Thursday following a report that the suspect was chasing a family member with an unidentified weapon. After the deputy arrived at the home, he was stabbed by the suspect. A second deputy responding to the call shot the suspect and killed him. The wounded deputy was taken to an area hospital and his condition is said to be stable.



New Jersey man receives 10 years for sex trafficking
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal prosecutor in North Carolina says a New Jersey man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for engaging in sex trafficking. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says in a news release that 40-year-old Mark Daniel Benavidez of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, also was ordered on Wednesday to pay $32,800 in restitution to his victims. Court documents say Benavidez was arrested in connection with an undercover prostitution sting at a hotel in Cary in July 2017. Investigators say he prostituted three women, one of whom he recruited in North Carolina. According to prosecutors, Benavidez controlled all aspects of their prostitution and took all the money they earned.



North Carolina man jailed for setting girlfriend on fire
KENANSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has been jailed on a $1 million bond after investigators say he set his girlfriend on fire. The Duplin County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that deputies responded to a call on Monday in which a woman said her boyfriend doused her with rubbing alcohol and set her on fire. The sheriff’s office says the woman suffered severe burns over a large portion of her body. Deputies arrested 64-year-old Raeford Bell and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. It’s not known if he has an attorney.



Governor: Lt. governor’s LGBTQ comments don’t speak for NC
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says it would be “appropriate” if Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson resigned for comments he made about sex education in public schools that critics say plainly disparaged LGBTQ people. Cooper spoke on Wednesday at a bill-signing ceremony. Robinson has taken heat since last week when a video from a church appearance in June surfaced. Many Democrats called on Robinson to resign. Robinson hasn’t apologized and says his comments were critical of books found in some public schools. Cooper says he wants people to know Robinson “does not speak for North Carolina,” which he said is a “welcoming and inclusive state.”