Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
Baseball stadium workers to be paid while they train
(Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com)
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Workers accepted to build a baseball stadium in North Carolina for a minor league team of the Houston Astros will be paid while they train for their jobs.
The Fayetteville Observer reports the first information hearing for those who want to work on the stadium will be held Monday at the Headquarters Library.
The Barton Malow Co. of Charlotte is overseeing the construction. Senior project manager Roslyn Henderson says the company needs about 30 people to work full-time.
Henderson says workers will earn wages during the eight-week training course.
The city signed a contract with the Astros in December 2016. That contract says a minor league team will play at the stadium for at least 30 years, starting next year.
5 charged with killing North Carolina restaurant operator
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Police say five people have now been arrested in the shooting death of a restaurant operator in North Carolina.
Durham police said in a news release Thursday that the arrests had been made in the April 15 shooting death of Hong Zheng, who operated a Chinese restaurant.
Police had arrested 28-year-0old Owen Wiley Jr. on April 27 and charged him with murder.
Twenty-one-year-old Hykeem Deshun Cox was arrested Friday and three 18-year-old Durham men were arrested earlier this week. They are Darryl Bradford, Semaj Maleek Bradley and Charles Winfor Daniels.
All of them are charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, attempted armed robbery, attempted burglary and firing a gun into an occupied dwelling or vehicle.
It was not known if the men have lawyers yet.
BEACH PARKING FEES
Visitors to popular off-road beach area must have permit now
(Information from: The Daily Advance, http://www.dailyadvance.com/)
CURRITUCK, N.C. (AP) – Visitors to one North Carolina coastal county now must pay for a permit to park on popular stretch of beach along the Outer Banks.
The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reports people who aren’t residents of Currituck County or don’t own property there must pay to park in the off-road area starting Friday.
The Currituck Board of Commissioners approved the parking permit system in March because of concerns about traffic in the four-mile off-road area.
A 10-day parking pass costs $50, and a seasonal pass costs $150. County residents and property owners will receive a parking permit for each vehicle they own for free.
Some residents and property owners will receive two additional guest permits that aren’t specific to a vehicle.
The permits are required until 11:59 p.m. Labor Day.
WHOOPING COUGH-NORTH CAROLINA
Western North Carolina county has 11 whooping cough cases
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A western North Carolina county has now reported 11 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis.
The Buncombe County Health and Human Services Department had reported four lab-confirmed cases earlier this week.
Medical Director Dr. Jennifer Mullendore said it’s important to work together to keep the community safe from the very contagious infection. Mullendore said it’s important to keep immunizations up to date.
She says those most vulnerable are infants, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems or pre-existing health conditions.
Symptoms include severe coughing fits, a high-pitched so-called whooping sound when taking a breath or vomiting after coughing fits for at least two weeks.
County health officials say people with pertussis should stay home from school, work and group activities until they have finished five days of antibiotics.
COAL ASH MEETING
Some protest North Carolina meeting on coal ash problems
(Information from: News & Record, http://www.news-record.com)
JAMESTOWN, N.C. (AP) – Some North Carolina residents are upset with the way state environmental officials conducted a meeting on coal ash ponds at two Duke Energy plants.
The meeting was held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Jamestown campus of Guilford Technical Community College.
The News & Record of Greensboro reported many neighbors of the Belews Creek Steam Station near Walnut Cove and the retired Buck Steam Station in Rowan County boycotted the meeting, saying it required travel on a weekday about dinner time.
The state Department of Environmental Quality said the hearing was set midway between the two plants so neighbors of each plant would have similar commutes.
There were only four speakers at the session, one of them from Duke Energy. The whole meeting lasted just half an hour.
Funeral on Friday for North Carolina trooper killed in wreck
NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper killed in a crash while chasing a suspect will be remembered in his hometown before being laid to rest.
Visitation for Trooper Samuel Newton Bullard is set for 10 a.m. Friday at the Walker Center at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro.
Bullard’s funeral will follow at 1 p.m. A procession will take his body to a private graveside service at Macedonia Baptist Church in Ronda.
The 24-year-old trooper was chasing a driver who fled a license checkpoint early Wednesday when his patrol car crashed into a bridge support along Interstate 77 in Yadkin County.
Bullard had been a trooper for three years.
The man Bullard was chasing, 22-year-old Dakota Whitt, has bene charged with murder.
Construction worker dies in elevator fall at 33-story tower
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A construction worker has died after falling out of an elevator on the 19th floor of a structure being built in North Carolina’s largest city.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said 24-year-old Juventino Mata-Hernandez was working on a 33-story tower when he died Wednesday afternoon in downtown Charlotte.
The building is being built near the Carolinas Panthers Bank of America Stadium. The bank has leased most of the office space. It’s expected to open next year.
Police said in a news release that Mata-Hernandez fell from the construction elevator when it was at the 19th floor.
The Occupational safety and Health Administration will investigate the death.
GOP budget includes ‘living wage’ minimum for state workers
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Thousands of the lowest-paid state employees would receive substantial salary increases in the North Carolina budget bill moving quickly through the General Assembly.
Republican budget-writers announced Thursday that rank-and-file workers in state agencies would receive 2 percent raises, with all full-time worker salaries reaching at least $31,200. Currently the salary floor is just over $24,300, so raises could approach 30 percent for those near the current minimum.
The State Employees Association of North Carolina described the proposal as creating a “living wage” equating to $15 per hour. SEANC (see-NICK) Executive Director Robert Broome says it would help those workers who haven’t benefited much during the economic recovery.
The budget is likely to be voted on by the House and Senate next week.