AP-NC Newswatch

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Latest North Carolina News:


Joint investigation nets arrest in 30-year-old murder case
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Officials say a Mississippi man has been arrested for the 1992 murder of a North Carolina woman after an investigation by state and local law enforcement agencies. The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation says in a news release that it was joined by the Surry County Sheriff’s Office in breaking the case. On the morning of July 7, 1992, the body of Nona Stamey Cobb was found alongside the northbound lanes of Interstate 77 in Surry County. Last year, DNA evidence pointed to 71-year-old Warren Luther Alexander as a possible suspect in Cobb’s murder. Alexander was arrested Tuesday in Mississippi and is awaiting extradition to North Carolina.



Sheriff: Man fires shot at grandmother, assaults her
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a man is facing multiple charges after he got into an argument with his grandmother and fired a shot a her with a rifle. The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release on Wednesday that deputies responded to a call from a residence in Burlington on Monday about an assault. When the deputies arrived, they saw the suspect assaulting his grandmother in the front yard. The news release says deputies stopped the assault, and that investigators learned that the suspect fired a high-powered rifle in the direction of his grandmother. No one was hit. The sheriff’s office filed multiple charges against 19-year-old Noah Church.



2 North Carolina insurance agents accused of fraud
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say two North Carolina insurance agents have been accused of submitting false insurance claims to collect more than $30,000. The N.C. Department of Insurance said in a news release that Christian LaFabian Ratliff, of Rockingham was charged with insurance fraud obtaining property by false pretense, both felonies. Ratliff also was charged with two misdemeanor counts of making false statements in an application for insurance. The department also said Jamel Dante Buie of Hamlet is facing similar charges. Both insurance agents are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.



North Carolina wildlife officials confirm avian flu cases
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Wildlife experts in North Carolina have confirmed that birds in four separate counties have died from the avian flu. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said in a news release on Wednesday that a snow goose in Hyde County, a redhead duck in Carteret County, a red-shouldered hawk in Wake County, and a bald eagle in Dare County, have all died from the flu. According to the news release, both the snow goose and redhead duck were observed with neurological signs consistent with avian flu prior to being euthanized. The hawk and eagle were found dead, Avian flu has been reported in 357 birds in 20 states this year.



Labor officials cite NC plant where 2 workers died
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina labor officials have cited an animal byproduct rendering plant for alleged safety violations after a September accident that killed two employees. The Fayetteville Observer reports the N.C. Department of Labor cited Valley Proteins last week for five violations with total penalties of $13,750. Bradley Zipp and Kevin Paul Hoeft were found dead at the Fayetteville facility Sept. 12 of asphyxiation from hydrogen sulfide inside a pet food pit basement. The citations state the men freed a jammed auger, but were exposed to fatal levels of hydrogen sulfide. The medical examiner’s report states other employees told investigators the ventilation fan wasn’t running. The company can request an informal conference, file a notice of contest or pay the penalty.



NC court: Officer not grossly negligent in pedestrian death
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina appeals court has halted a lawsuit filed against a Fayetteville policeman who fatally struck a pedestrian while responding to a call. Two of three judges on a state Court of Appeals panel ruled on Tuesday that there’s no evidence Officer Ashton Lambert was grossly negligent in the events leading to the death of Gregory Graham in July 2018. The officer was responding to a report of domestic violence when he hit Graham with his cruiser as Graham walked across the seven-lane road late at night. A dissenting appeals judge wrote that the lawsuit should be allowed to continue.



Officials: Driver who struck NC deputies’ vehicles shot
MONROE, N.C. (AP) – Officials in North Carolina say a driver was shot as he tried to flee a traffic stop, striking sheriff’s deputies’ vehicles. The Union County Sheriff’s Office says as a deputy initiated a stop Tuesday evening in the Sunny Food Mart parking lot in Monroe, the driver tried to flee, hitting at least three deputy vehicles. Officials say a deputy fired, striking the driver. The driver was taken to a hospital. No details were released about his condition. No deputies were injured. Officials say the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting and the deputies involved will be placed on administrative leave.



Grant aimed at reducing racial disparity in lung cancer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A $1 million grant has been awarded to Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center to study ways to reduce the disparity in lung cancer that affects Black residents. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the grant is part of a total $3 million donation to establish the Southeastern Consortium for Lung Cancer Health Equity. Investigators at Massey will collaborate with the cancer centers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of South Carolina. The money was donated by Stand Up to Cancer and pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb. Through research, the centers hope to develop better methods for identifying those at the highest risk for lung cancer and to increase cancer screenings.