Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
FALLEN TREE-FATAL WRECK
Carolinas: Falling tree kills 2 journalists reporting storm
TRYON, N.C. (AP) – A South Carolina TV news station says two of its journalists have been killed by a falling tree on their SUV while reporting on severe weather associated with the fringes of the storm system Alberto.
Greenville, South Carolina, station WYFF-TV reported that anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer had died Monday in the wreck in neighboring North Carolina.
Authorities say the broadcast journalists were traveling on a highway near Tryon, North Carolina, when a large tree toppled on their SUV, killing the two instantly.
Local officials declined to directly attribute the deaths to the subtropical system Alberto. Authorities say the tree became uprooted from soil loosened by days of recent rains.
FLOOD WATCH-NORTH CAROLINA
Alberto’s rains threaten N Carolina with floods, landslides
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Forecasters warn the worst of the heavy rain from Subtropical Storm Alberto is far from over in North Carolina.
Rains on the fringes of the storm dumped 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain Monday along the coast near Wilmington and minor flooding was reported.
But now emergency officials are turning to the mountains, where flash floods and dangerous landslides are possible through at least Wednesday as Alberto’s remnants move to the west.
A flash flood watch is up for much of the state. Forecasters say the mountains could see up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain.
Some communities have already asked residents to leave the most vulnerable areas for landslides.
Forecasters say landslides happen most often after a sudden burst of heavy rain.
Collapsed retaining wall closes Chimney Rock State Park
CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say one of North Carolina’s more popular state parks has closed because a parking lot retaining wall has collapsed.
Officials at Chimney Rock State Park said the wall collapsed Saturday after a week of heavy rain. More rain is expected the next several days as the remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto pass by the west.
Authorities say visitors should check the park’s website at https://www.chimneyrockpark.com/ to see when it reopens.
Chimney Rock State Park has seen several rock slides in recent years including one on October that closed the park for several weeks.
The park in Rutherford County was set aside more than 100 years ago.
DERBY CAR WRECK
6 hurt when derby car veers off N Carolina hill into crowd
(Information from: WLOS-TV, http://www.wlos.com/)
BREVARD, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say six people have been hurt after a derby car ran off of a hill and into bystanders watching a race in a North Carolina mountain town.
Brevard Police Chief Phil Harris said the 13-year-old driver of the non-motorized wooden vehicle heard a pop, then lost control and veered into the crowd at Brevard’s White Squirrel Festival around 5 p.m. Sunday.
Harris told WLOS-TV that one person was taken by helicopter to an Asheville hospital with head injuries, four went to the local hospital and one person was treated at the scene.
In the derby races, young drivers build their own wooden cars without motors and race them downhill.
Just 2 projects use NC’s film grants so far this fiscal year
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – With one month left in the fiscal year, a feature film and ads for a home improvement chain are the only projects to use North Carolina’s film grant program.
The StarNews of Wilmington reports the program has attracted “Words on Bathroom Walls” that’s filming in Wilmington and five commercials for Home Depot.
Last summer, legislators approved $15 million in funding to be added to $19 million in leftover funds from the previous 2016-17 budget year and $31 million in recurring funds for each year after.
The film is eligible for more than $2 million in grant money based on its $9.3 million in estimated direct in-state spending. Along with $500,000 in eligible funding for five Home Depot commercials, the projects account for less than $3 million of earmarked funds.
MEMORIAL DAY SHOOTING
1 dead, 1 hurt after shots fired in North Carolina home
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say one person is dead and a second injured after shots were fired into a North Carolina home.
Fayetteville Police said someone called 911 around 12:05 a.m. Monday after the gunshots.
The statement from police didn’t give a motive for the shooting or identify the victims.
Police say detectives are investigating, but haven’t identified any suspects.