AP-NC Newswatch

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November 15, 2021
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November 15, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch


Latest North Carolina News:


Company fined $39k in trench collapse that killed worker
TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A construction company has been fined $39,200 by the North Carolina Department of Labor for a trench collapse that killed a worker in May. Shane Anthony Sharpe, of Taylorsville, was killed in the collapse of a 10-foot deep trench at an Alexander County shopping center. Crews were working on a drainage line. The collapse occurred in a parking lot outside Big D’s Diner & Country Store on Highway 64/90. After a six-month investigation, the Department of Labor levied $39,200 in penalties against the contractor on the job, Barnes Backhoe & Grading Inc. Attempts to reach the company were unsuccessful.



One teen killed, four others injured in North Carolina crash
MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina teenager has died in an early morning car crash that seriously injured four other teens. Officials say a 17-year-old girl was driving on Morrisville Parkway at about 1 a.m. Sunday when she lost control of the vehicle and crossed a median. Two passengers were thrown from the car as it rolled, including Jonathan Pooley, 18, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The second teen ejected from the car was listed in critical condition Sunday. WRAL-TV reports that the other two passengers, also teenagers, were “significantly” hurt. Investigators said the driver was the only person in the car wearing a seatbelt and did not have significant injuries.



Traffic delays expected for Interstate 40 bridge replacement
HARMON DEN, N.C. (AP) – State officials say a curvy stretch of Interstate 40 through the Pigeon River Gorge in North Carolina will become a little more circuitous and take more time to navigate as a bridge is replaced. The N.C. Department of Transportation says in a news release that one lane will be closed in each direction approaching Exit 7 starting Saturday. Crews are replacing the 56-year-old bridge on I-40 over Harmon Den Road and Cold Springs Creek in Haywood County. The department says the new bridge will include two wildlife paths under the bridge to keep wildlife from dealing with traffic.



Drug investigation leads to 18 convictions of gang members
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say 18 people have been sentenced in a multi-year drug investigation targeting gang members in North Carolina. During a news conference on Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina described a gang-related heroin/fentanyl conspiracy. áThe investigation, dubbed Operation Tiny Toons, began in 2017 and focused on the Gangster Disciples, including one person described as of the largest suppliers of heroin and fentanyl in the Wilmington area.



Rep. Madison Cawthorn running in new congressional district
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Rep. Madison Cawthorn says he’ll run in a new congressional district under North Carolina’s newly approved map. His Thursday night announcement to run in a redder district was a strategic move to thwart the chances of GOP state House Speaker Tim Moore. Moore said shortly thereafter that he would seek reelection as the House leader and would not pursue a congressional run. Looming over the March 2022 primary is a pair of lawsuits from voting rights groups accusing Republicans of partisan and racial gerrymandering. If the congressional map holds up in court, Republicans would likely win 10 or 11 of the 14 districts up for grabs in the 2022 midterm elections.



Ticket to whimsy: What’s behind popular seasonal train shows
NEW YORK (AP) – Many holiday-season train shows were canceled or limited to fewer visitors last year because of the pandemic. But this year the popular attractions are back – with health precautions – at botanical gardens, conservatories and elsewhere around the country. The shows feature a combination of model trains and detailed models of landmark buildings made from leaves, twigs and other dried plant materials. The shows have become a tradition in many places since beginning in 1992 at the New York Botanical Garden. The formula for mixing trains, gardens and fanciful structures was developed by Ohio landscape architect Paul Busse. His family business in Kentucky still makes what Busse called “botanical architecture.”



North Carolina man wrongfully imprisoned 24 years pardoned
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has pardoned a man who spent 24 years behind bars for a murder he has long said he did not commit. The pardon of innocence issued Friday allows Dontae Sharpe to apply for compensation of $50,000 a year up to $750,000 for his wrongful conviction. In 1995, Sharpe received a life sentence for first-degree murder. He was released from prison in 2019 after a medical examiner testified that the state’s theory of the shooting was not medically or scientifically possible and the state decided against pursuing a retrial. Sharpe had maintained his innocence throughout.



Bannon indicted on contempt charges for defying 1/6 subpoena
WASHINGTON (AP) – Steve Bannon, a longtime ally to former President Donald Trump, has been indicted on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena from the House committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The Justice Department said Friday that Bannon was indicted on one count for refusing to appear for a deposition and the other for refusing to provide documents in response to the committee’s subpoena. He’s expected to appear in court on Monday. A second former Trump aide, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, defied a similar subpoena from the committee on Friday.