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May 21, 2018
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AP-NC Newswatch




Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT


Man faces murder charges in restaurant crash that killed kin
BESSEMER CITY, N.C. (AP) – Families were eating a relaxed weekend lunch at the Surf and Turf Lodge when suddenly there was a loud boom and the splintering crash of a vehicle plowing into the restaurant.
Police say a man intentionally rammed a vehicle into the steak and seafood eatery shortly after midday Sunday in Bessemer City, leaving his 26-year-old daughter and his daughter-in-law dead and injuring his son, wife and granddaughter. The vehicle’s driver, Roger Self, was immediately arrested. Jail records show he’s been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Authorities say the preliminary evidence indicates he purposely drove all the way into the restaurant.
Caleb Martin, a 14-year-old who identified himself as a busboy at the restaurant, told WSOC-TV he saw the crash and heard a “loud boom.”



At least 2 dead in church van wreck in North Carolina
ROLESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – At least two people have died and 11 others were hurt in a wreck involving a church van in North Carolina.
The wreck was reported about 5:30 p.m. Sunday near Rolesville, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northeast of Raleigh.
The Highway Patrol says a van from First Missionary Baptist Church of Smithfield hit a deer and lost control. Investigators said the van sideswiped a van before colliding head-on with a sports utility vehicle.
The driver of the SUV, 62-year-old Deborah Powell of Roxboro, died at the scene.
A passenger in the church van, 84-year-old William Henderson Clayton also died at the scene.
Five passengers from the church van were taken to WakeMed, and six others were taken to the Duke University Medical Center.
No word yet on possible charges.



Woman shot to death in North Carolina’s largest city
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A woman has died after being shot on a street in North Carolina’s largest city.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said in a news release they were called around 4 a.m. Monday and found a woman suffering from a gunshot wound. She was taken to a hospital where she died.
Police spokeswoman Cindy Wallace said officers are looking for the shooter. Wallace says investigators think the woman and the shooter knew each other.
Her name has not been released while relatives are notified.
There was no word yet on a possible motive.



North Carolina prison guard attacked by inmate
TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – State prison officials say an officer at a North Carolina prison has been attacked by an inmate.
Jerry Higgins with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said in a news release that the attack occurred Saturday night at the Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville.
Higgins said Richard Lennox punched the officer, who was taken to a medical facility outside the prison and was evaluated and released.
Higgins says the attack happened in a hallway near a housing area when Lennox refused the officer’s orders.
There were no other injuries.
Higgins says prison officials will pursue assault charges against Lennox.



N Carolina officials assess damage from fatal mudslides
(Information from: Times-News, http://www.blueridgenow.com)
SALUDA, N.C. (AP) – Officials in one North Carolina county are assessing damage from floods and mudslides in hopes of qualifying for federal disaster aid.
The Times-News of Hendersonville reports Polk County crews and engineers with the state Transportation Department were assessing damage to homes, roads and bridges.
One person died in the storms, which dumped up to 6 inches of rain in three hours Friday night.
Authorities say a couple was trying to escape their home when the mudslide occurred. The husband survived being swept away while the wife was trapped between the house and a carport.
Her body was recovered Saturday morning. Officials haven’t released their names.
Duke Energy had reported several hundred power outages in Polk, Henderson and Rutherford counties. By Sunday afternoon, power had been restored to all but eight customers.


Seasonal speed limits in effect in some parts of Outer Banks
RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) – It’s the time of year when drivers must slow down along some parts of the Outer Banks or risk a speeding ticket.
The state Transportation Department says in a news release that it has temporarily lowered the speed limit along N.C. Highway 12 in several areas of Currituck and Dare counties.
The speed limits in areas through Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo and Frisco on Hatteras Island, along with Duck and Corolla, are now 35 mph instead of 45 mph. The lower limit is imposed because of more vehicle traffic and more pedestrians during the summer months.
The seasonal speed limits remain in effect until Sept. 15.



How a rehab boss exploited the drug epidemic – with impunity
A North Carolina rehab program has been sending people with addictions to work without pay as caregivers for elderly and disabled patients. A new investigation from Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting finds that the results often were disastrous. That’s based on government documents and interviews with former attendees and employees.
Rehab participants at Recovery Connections Community bathed patients, changed diapers and sometimes dispensed the same drugs that sent them spiraling into addiction.
Rather than getting treatment, they worked 16-hour days at adult care homes, with little training or sleep. Workers were accused of sexually assaulting disabled patients. The founder of the program has exploited it for her personal gain, and state regulators looked the other way. Founder Jennifer Warren defended the program, saying it offers help for people with nowhere else to turn.



N Carolina sends emergency, fire officials to help in Hawaii
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina officials say 10 emergency managers and fire service officials will work in Hawaii on the response to the erupting Kilauea volcano.
The state Department of Public Safety said in a news release that the 10 left Saturday after Hawaii’s state emergency management agency requested help.
The North Carolina team will work in Hilo and will support the Hawaii County Civil Defense agency.
Team members come from emergency management agencies in Bladen, Gates, Lee, McDowell, Moore and Onslow counties; fire departments in Cary, Charlotte and Greensboro and from N.C. Emergency Management.
The volcano began erupting more than two weeks ago and has burned dozens of homes and forced people to flee. It has gotten more hazardous in recent days, with flying lava causing the first major injury.