AP-NC Newswatch

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October 25, 2021
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October 25, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch

 

Latest North Carolina News:

 

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS-BRIBERY
Ex-tennis coach to plead guilty in college admissions case
BOSTON (AP) – A former Georgetown University tennis coach is expected to plead guilty Monday in Boston federal court in the ongoing college admissions bribery case. Gordon Ernst was accused of accepting more than $2 million to help the children of wealthy parents get into the school in Washington. The 54-year-old had been slated to face trial in November. Prosecutors say in the plea deal that they’ll recommend Ernst serve no more than four years in prison. Ernst has agreed to plead guilty to multiple counts of federal programs bribery and forfeit $3.4 million earned from the scheme.

 

 

RACE-BLIND REDISTRICTING
Race-blind redistricting? Democrats incredulous at GOP maps
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – After lawsuits alleging racial gerrymandering, Republicans drawing new legislative maps in Texas, Ohio and North Carolina this year say they won’t use racial or partisan data in the process. Still, the political maps they’re proposing would tilt heavily toward their party. Democrats and civil rights groups say veteran lawmakers don’t need a spreadsheet to know where voters of various races and different parties live in their state. Plus, they say, under certain scenarios, the Voting Rights Act requires the drawing of districts where the majority of voters are racial or ethnic minorities. Republicans complain that they can’t win.

 

 

EMERGENCY LANDING-RALEIGH-DURHAM
Airplane makes emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham Airport
MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Officials say a Frontier Airlines flight from Norfolk, Virginia, to Orlando made an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport due to fumes or an odor in the cabin. News outlets report that all 102 passengers and crew were evacuated safely on Saturday, but one passenger was taken to WakeMed. The passenger’s condition was not reported. The airport says Frontier Flight 1159 contacted RDU and requested the emergency landing about 5:45 p.m. When the plane landed, RDU Fire Rescue responded along with units from Wake EMS, Raleigh Fire, Wake County Fire Service and Wake County HazMat. 

 

 

MILITARY-CONFEDERATE NAMES
Stripping military bases of Confederate names stirs passions
BLACKSTONE, Va. (AP) – Civil War history casts a long shadow in Virginia, the birthplace of Confederate generals, scene of their surrender and now a crossroad of controversy over renaming military bases that honor rebel leaders. In and around the town of Blackstone, that shadow can stir passions when talk turns to nearby Fort Pickett. Some are troubled by Congress requiring the Pickett name be dropped as part of a wider scrubbing of military base names that commemorate the Confederacy or honor officers who chose to fight for it. Pickett is one of at least nine Army bases whose names will be changed.

 

 

HOME INVASION-TWO DEAD
2 dead after man says he shot people who broke into NC home
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police say two people are dead after a North Carolina man told officers that he shot home intruders on Saturday. The Fayetteville Police Department says officers were sent to respond to reports of a residential break-in shortly after 5 p.m. A caller told officers on their way to the scene that he shot people who broke into his residence. Police confirmed the two people were dead when they arrived. The shooter has not yet been identified. The names of the victims won’t be released until their relatives are notified. Authorities did not immediately say whether any charges would be filed.

 

 

AP-NC-ABANDONED SHIPWRECK
Shipwreck along North Carolina beach to be removed
MANTEO, N.C. (AP) – An abandoned vessel that ran aground on a North Carolina beach over a year ago will finally be removed. WRAL-TV reports that the removal process will start just in time for Halloween. Initially, most of the former scallop boat was visible along the shoreline. But it has been slowly sinking in sand along the beach south of Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Oregon Inlet Campground. Now, more than half of it is buried. The removal project is expected to cost around $295,000. It is expected to begin on October 25 and take roughly a month to complete.

 

 

BUMGARDNER-REPLACEMENT
Incoming NC House member says he was at January Capitol riot
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The soon-to-be successor to a North Carolina House member says he was outside the U.S. Capitol in January when the insurrection there occurred. WRAL-TV says Donnie Loftis confirmed his attendance at the Jan. 6 event. The former Gaston County commissioner and Army veteran was chosen by local Republican activists this week to succeed the late Rep. Dana Bumgardner. He says he was peacefully exercising his First Amendment rights, had no involvement in the rioting and categorically condemns the storming of the Capitol. The TV station says it also received screenshots of Loftis’ now-deleted social media posts about the event.

 

 

FIRE CHIEF RESIGNS
Orlando fire chief resigns citing North Carolina charges
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The Orlando fire chief has resigned his post citing a legal case where he’s accused of punching two people inside a North Carolina restaurant. The Orlando Sentinel reports Fire Department Chief Benjamin Barksdale sent an email to the city’s chief administrative officer saying his decision was for the “best interest” of the city. Barksdale is accused of punching a 55-year-old man and his daughter after going inside a restaurant seemingly drunk in late July, demanding to use the bathroom when the business was closed. Barksdale had served as Orlando’s fire chief since September 2019.