AP-NC Newswatch

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October 26, 2021
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October 26, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch


Latest North Carolina News:


NC redistricting hearing speakers criticize GOP proposals
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Speakers at a public hearing on North Carolina redistricting want Republicans to shelve proposed congressional district maps. They say the maps would likely give the GOP most of the seats and needlessly fracture the state’s largest counties. The House and Senate redistricting committees held meetings Monday to receive input on U.S. House maps that Republicans and Democrats have created. It’s the next step before the legislature begins voting on the plans. Lawmakers are hoping by early next month to enact new maps for use starting with next year’s elections. Almost all of the roughly 30 speakers at the in-person meetings Monday took issue with GOP plans.



North Carolina’s $25 reward helped boost COVID vaccinations
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – What works and what doesn’t when it comes to encouraging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19? A new study in North Carolina shows that offering $25 to people getting their first shot was an important factor. Less successful, however, was the state’s rollout of a $4.5 million lottery package that ultimately went to just eight winners. The report was released Monday by researchers with the state Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina Central University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They looked at a state pilot program offering prepaid cards worth $25 to people in four counties.



Sheriff: Newly ID’d Gacy victim’s death was news to family
CHICAGO (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina man who moved to Chicago was one of the victims of John Wayne Gacy, who was convicted of killing 33 young men and boys in the 1970s. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said at a news conference Monday that Francis Wayne Alexander would have been 21 or 22 years old when Gacy killed him sometime between early 1976 and early 1977. Alexander was one of eight Gacy victims whose remains were buried without police knowing who they were. Dart’s office exhumed those remains in 2011 in the hopes that DNA testing could help. Five victims now remain unidentified. In a statement, Alexander’s sister, Carolyn Sanders, thanked the sheriff’s office for giving the family some “closure.”



Timeline of serial killer John Wayne Gacy’s life, case
CHICAGO (AP) – Authorities have identified a victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy as Francis Wayne Alexander, a North Carolina man who moved to Chicago shortly before disappearing sometime between early 1976 and early 1977. The announcement Monday is the latest development in the case of the 1970s serial killer, who was convicted of killing 33 young men and boys in the Chicago area during the 1970s and was executed in 1994. The identification of Alexander’s remains leaves five victims still unknown.



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



School system sets Thanksgiving break for mental health
CHAPEL HILL, N,.C. (AP) – A North Carolina school system says it will give students the entire week of Thanksgiving off to support their mental health and wellness. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools announced that the new days off include an optional teacher work day and two new “wellness” days. áSuperintendent Nyah Hamlett cited feedback from employees, students and families as reasons for the initiatives, which also include two years of retention bonuses for most district staff. Chapel Hill High School student body president told the school board that there is a mental health crisis at the high school level.



North Carolina inmate who escaped in dump truck recaptured
ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina prison inmate who authorities say escaped from a work detail by driving off in a dump truck has been recaptured. The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office says it received two calls on Saturday regarding a suspicious person walking along a local road. When deputies reached the scene, they confirmed the man was 53-year-old Richard Alexander Mundy. He was taken into custody and turned over the N.C. Department of Corrections. On Friday, authorities found the dump truck he had stolen. The sheriff’s office says Mundy was working in an off-prison assignment in Laurinburg just before noon Thursday when he stole the dump truck.



Two charged in 30-year-old missing baby case in N. Carolina
NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) – Police have arrested two people in the death of a missing baby whose remains were found in a trash can rack on the North Carolina coast more than 30 years ago. The Nags Head Police Department says in a news release that 54-year-old Scott Gordon Poole and his wife, Robin Lynn Bynum, were arrested on Thursday by the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office. They’re both charged with concealing the birth of a child. In April 1991, Nags Head police officers the remains of an infant who had been dead for some time. A medical examiner determined the child died of blunt force trauma and asphyxiation.