AP-NC Newswatch

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May 5, 2022
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AP-NC Newswatch


Latest North Carolina News:


Another NC mini-session begins, with no action expected
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina General Assembly is bypassing work this week during another reconvened session that had been previously announced to take up any unexpected business. The House and Senate gaveled in their floor meetings at midday Wednesday, and both adjourned within 15 minutes. Republican leaders say there are no plans for recorded votes before the session ends Friday. A similar mini-session occurred in early April without action, either. The General Assembly’s traditional budget-adjusting session begins May 18. Senate leader Phil Berger says he and House Speaker Tim Moore are aiming to complete that session by July 1.



Abortion battles in states fire up after Supreme Court leak
The Supreme Court’s apparent intention to abolish a nationwide right to abortion, spelled out in a draft opinion leaked this week, will not be the final chapter in the nation’s most pitched culture battle. Democrats in states where the right to abortion is enshrined in law are bracing for a wave of legal attacks and other maneuvers seeking to undermine access, including from other states. California and Colorado are pushing to protect access to abortion in their state constitutions. Connecticut and Washington state are shielding providers from possible lawsuits as they anticipate that women seeking abortions will need to cross state lines.



US Rep. Butterfield tests positive for COVID-19
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield has tested positive for COVID-19. The Wilson Democrat who has represented northeastern North Carolina since 2004 made the announcement on Wednesday. He says he has mild symptoms and is vaccinated and boosted. Butterfield plans to work from home this week during an isolation period. Butterfield is the latest in a number of political figures who serve in Washington to announce a positive test, including Vice President Kamala Harris. U.S. Rep. Deborah Ross, a Democrat from Raleigh, announced a positive test last week. Butterfield is not seeking reelection this fall to his 1st Congressional District seat.



High school student drowns in North Carolina lake
HICKORY, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says an 18-year-old high school student has drowned in a lake. The Hickory Daily Record reports Catawba County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Aaron Turk says Zimera Aveonna Smith of Hickory drowned after jumping from a dock at the Lookout Shoals Lake access off of Lookout Dam Road. Turk says Smith and a friend walked to the end of the dock on Tuesday evening and decided to go swimming. After the two jumped into the water, Smith didn’t resurface and emergency personnel was called. Smith’s body was recovered from the water at the end of the dock.



Oath Keeper from NC pleads guilty to seditious conspiracy
A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to conspiring with other members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group to forcefully halt the peaceful transfer of power after President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory. William Todd Wilson, 44, is the third Oath Keepers member to plead guilty to a seditious conspiracy charge stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. More than 780 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot. Over 270 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. More than 160 of them have been sentenced.



Alabama church of ‘Bloody Sunday’ on endangered places list
An Alabama church that was at the center of the voting rights movement in the 1960s is now eaten up by termites and damaged by water leaks. Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma tops this year’s list of endangered historic places from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., works to highlight and preserve sites that are in danger of being lost. A Brown Chapel member says the church shut down at the start of the pandemic, and members found extensive damage when they returned. The building was constructed in 1908 and was the starting point for voting rights marches in 1965.



North Carolina sheriff’s office arrests man in 2012 murder
CLINTON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina man has been arrested in connection with a murder case dating back to 2012. News outlets reported the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Wednesday that Glen Allen Stewart, Jr. was identified as a person of interest during the initial investigation into the death of Kim Douglas Mckoy Jr., whose body was discovered on a road on July 19, 2012. But authorities said there was not enough evidence to proceed with charges. Last September, investigators met with District Attorney Ernie Lee, who determined there was sufficient evidence against Stewart to bring the murder charge. He was indicted in October and served with an arrest order on Tuesday.



Woman dies after getting armed trapped in bread machine
SELMA, N.C. (AP) – Officials say an employee of restaurant in North Carolina has died after she got her arm trapped in an industrial bread machine for almost 90 minutes. A spokeswoman for the state Occupational Safety and Health Division confirmed Wednesday that 44-year-old Vicky Lopez died Tuesday evening after she was taken by helicopter to Duke University Hospital. WRAL reported Lopez was cleaning the machine when she became trapped. Selma Fire Chief Phillip McDaniel said small tools were needed to free the woman from the machine. McDaniel said it appeared the machine remained on while Lopez tried to clean it.