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May 23, 2018
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Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT


Suspect arrested in chase that killed North Carolina trooper
ELKIN, N.C. (AP) – Authorities have arrested a man wanted in a chase that led to the death of a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper in a wreck.
First Sgt. Michael Baker said in a news release that 22-year-old Dakota Kape Whitt of Elkin around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Whitt is charged with murder, fleeing to elude arrest and driving with a revoked license.
Twenty-four-year-old Trooper Samuel Newton Bullard was killed when he and a second trooper were chasing a suspect who fled a driver’s license checkpoint.
The other trooper was leading the chase when he noticed Bullard was no longer behind him. Bullard’s patrol car had hit a bridge support along Interstate 77 in Yadkin County.
Whitt is in the Wilkes County jail. It was not known if he has an attorney yet.



Gene therapy company to create 200 jobs in North Carolina
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A gene therapy company says it will create 200 jobs in North Carolina.
AveXis on Tuesday agreed to set up operations in Durham County, after getting a state incentive package worth up to $3 million.
AveXis makes treatments for spinal muscular atrophy.
The company is expected to create engineering, manufacturing and supply chain jobs. The company expects to spend about $55 million in construction and setting up the facility.
Operations are expected to begin in next year.



Man arrested in shooting death at North Carolina apartment
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – A man has been arrested in the shooting death of another man at an apartment complex in North Carolina.
The Chapel Hill Police Department said in a news release Tuesday that 21-year-old Keon Tramel Council was arrested Monday night. Chapel Hill officers, Orange County Sheriff’s deputies and the U.S. Marshal Joint Fugitive Task Force.
Council is charged with murder in the May 17 shooting death of 52-year-old Mark David Stiles of Chapel Hill. He’s being held in the Orange County jail. It was not known if he has an attorney yet.
Investigators think the shooting followed a dispute between Council and Stiles.
Stiles died May 18 at UNC Hospitals from his injuries.



GOP heading to finalize budget likely without amendments
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – There’s more evidence North Carolina Republicans plan to skip some of the usual legislative process this year when making adjustments to the state budget.
House Speaker Tim Moore announced Tuesday a formal list of Republican negotiators for a bill he said would become this year’s budget legislation.
Traditionally one chamber unveils a proposal that can be amended in public before it heads to the other chamber, which makes its own changes before the two sides work out differences.
Moore’s announcement points to House and Senate GOP legislators being close to fashioning a final agreement behind closed doors that’s subject to only an up-or-down vote. That would prevent Democrats from offering amendments.
Any approved budget would be subject to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto, but Republicans could override it.



Democrats, gun-control advocates back new protection orders
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democratic legislators say creating a legal method by which someone found to be an imminent threat to hurt themselves or others would have to surrender their guns temporarily is a common-sense way to prevent mass shootings and suicides.
Several lawmakers and gun-control advocates visiting the Legislative Building promoted legislation Tuesday that would allow a District Court judge to issue “extreme risk protection orders.”
A family member or law enforcement agency could seek the order against someone. A judge could initially issue an order for 10 days, then expand it up to one year after hearing additional evidence.
A House committee studying school safety following a Florida school shooting in February that left 17 dead didn’t recommend the idea. Republicans have been cool to this and other gun-related proposals.



Math error: North Carolina county holds unnecessary primary
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) – A county school board in North Carolina held a primary earlier this month even though legally it didn’t have to.
Johnston County Election Supervisor Leigh Anne Price says it is her fault because she did not read election law correctly.
State law requires a school board primary for the nonpartisan seats if there are three more candidates than twice the number of seats being contested.
Price told The News & Observer of Raleigh she doubled the number of seats and added one.
Johnston County had eight candidates for three school board seats. The two candidates who thought they lost after the May 8 primary will be put back on the ballot for November’s general election.


Nesting birds cause Cape Point fishing site to close
(Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com)
BUXTON, N.C. (AP) – Nesting birds have caused the Outer Banks fishing site of Cape Point to close to anglers for the first time in nearly two years.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that rangers have made a buffer around a nesting colony of least terns at the popular surf-fishing site. Mark Dowdle is the deputy superintendent of the park. He says the point probably will remain closed through July when the terns leave the nest. Piping plovers have also nested in the area and the season’s first sea turtle nest appeared Saturday in Ocracoke.
Dowdle says people still can get within about a half-mile of the point. Cape Point used to close to anglers for long periods when nesting season began, but the rules changed three years ago to allow for smaller buffer zones.


North Carolina woman gets at least 10 years in fatal wreck
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman has been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in a wreck that killed her 13-month-old son.
Media outlets reported that 30-year-old Melissa Ann Henderson pleaded guilty in Wilmington on Monday to reckless child endangerment, death by motor vehicle and serious injury by motor vehicle.
She was sentenced to between 10 and 15 years in prison.
Henderson was driving in a fiery wreck in 2016 that killed James Cecil Andrews III and injured her nearly 3-year-old daughter.
She had been charged with involuntary manslaughter and other traffic and drug violations.