AP-NC Newswatch

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December 23, 2021
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December 23, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch


Latest North Carolina News:


Court upholds civil rights leader’s trespassing conviction
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina appeals court says a civil rights leader received a fair trial in 2019 and his conviction on trespassing charges at the North Carolina General Assembly stands. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled the free speech rights of the Rev. William Barber II weren’t violated by his arrest. Jurors found Barber guilty after he led a call-and-response chant with roughly 50 people outside state Sen. Phil Berger’s office, protesting poor health care spending.



N. Carolina police officer killed during crash investigation
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police chief says one of his officers was killed early Wednesday as she and fellow officers were investigating a traffic accident on Interstate 85. According to a news release from Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, officers responded to a call in the southbound lanes of I-85 on the east side of the city. The accident involved an overturned tractor-trailer that spilled a load of grain onto the highway. Shortly after 3:30 a.m., a tractor-trailer heading south collided with a truck cab, causing them to hit multiple CMPD cars, the news release said. The department said 33-year-old Officer Mia Goodwin was pronounced dead at the scene.



Sheriff’s office arrests FedEx driver in series of break-ins
FRANKLIN, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a FedEx delivery driver has been charged in a series of break-ins over several weeks after he was captured on a video surveillance camera inside a home. The Macon County Sheriff’s Office says it got a break in the case when a homeowner called to report their surveillance video showed a man wearing shorts who was in their home for a brief time before fleeing when he saw the camera. Gregory Thomas Bufkin was arrested on multiple charges, including breaking and entering. FedEx said it was “appalled’ and added that Bufkin had been fired.



Drought conditions plaguing much of North Carolina
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – The combination of an extended period of abnormally dry weather and above-normal temperatures has plunged much of North Carolina into drought, and projections for 2022 suggest conditions won’t improve. The Fayetteville Observer reports that in the latest drought map, a belt of “severe drought” extends from roughly Statesville through Charlotte and the Fayetteville area into northeastern North Carolina. The U.S. Drought Monitor says severe drought means water users should eliminate nonessential uses of water and prepare for possible mandatory water restrictions. Early projections tied to a La Nina weather system in the equatorial Pacific show it could continue into 2022.



North Carolina man’s body found in house fire; cause unknown
VALE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has died in a house fire, and investigators are trying to determine the cause of the blaze. The Hickory Daily Record reports investigators identified the man as 63-year-old Robin Greeson Martin of Vale. Capt. Aaron Turk of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office said the medical examiner is still working to determine a cause of death. Catawba County Deputy Fire Marshal Jennifer Lowrance said Monday’s fire started in the interior bedroom of the home. Lowrance said while investigators know where the fire started, they don’t know what started it.



North Carolina man killed by wrong-way driver on I-85
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says a man was killed when the car he was driving on Interstate 85 was hit by another car headed in the wrong direction. News outlets report 37-year-old Noah Cameron, was heading home from his job when a wrong-way driver ran into his Chevrolet early Sunday. A family member told WSOC that he was driving home from his job in Matthews. Officials said Cameron died at the scene of the crash, near Moose Road and the town of Landis in Rowan County. The other driver was hospitalized with serious injuries,



North Carolina governor grants pardon to man freed in 2016
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has pardoned a man who had spent nearly 24 years in prison after allegations he sexually assaulted his 9-year-old daughter. The man, Howard Dudley, was freed in 2016 after his daughter recanted her testimony. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that the governor’s pardon makes Dudley eligible to file a claim for compensation under state laws for people wrongly convicted of felonies. Dudley maintained his innocence from the start. He was convicted in 1992 of first-degree sexual offense and taking indecent liberties with a minor. A judge in 2016 vacated Dudley’s convictions and ordered his release, calling the daughter’s recantation credible and believable.


Four charged after I-40 blocked by drivers doing stunts
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says charges have been filed against three adults and a teenager in connection with car stunts that shut down a portion of Interstate 40. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports patrol spokesperson Sgt. Christopher Knox said troopers responded to reports of vehicles blocking all eastbound lanes of I-40 near Aviation Parkway, close to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday. The newspaper reported video posted on Instagram showed at least two cars spinning in circles in the middle of the highway, while a small crowd of people stood nearby cheering them on.