Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
Bill with class fix, items aimed at Cooper to become law
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says he’ll neither veto nor sign a bill fixing an upcoming public school class-size dilemma but also changing the state elections board and a natural gas pipeline agreement.
According to rules in the state constitution, the bill will take effect in mid-March based on the governor’s decision. Cooper spoke to reporters on Wednesday regarding the bill approved by the Republican-controlled General Assembly the day before.
The Democratic governor says lawmakers heard the voices of parents and phased in lower student-teacher ratios in early grades. But he says their actions on other matters in the bill were purely political and threaten whether utilities developing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will pay the state $58 million.
COLD CASES-SEXUAL ASSAULTS
North Carolina police make arrest in sex assault cold cases
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police department has arrested a man in connection with two sexual assault cases dating back to 1988.
A news release from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police says 49-year-old Zellie Edwards is charged with two counts of second-degree rape and one count of second-degree kidnapping.
According to police, a 16-year-old girl was walking home in September 1988 when the suspect followed her, pulled her into a vacant apartment and sexually assaulted her. In April 1994, a 17-year-old girl was walking home when the suspect began walking and talking with her before sexually assaulting her in a wooded area.
In 2017, evidence from both cases was included for testing as part of a federal grant to CMPD. DNA evidence confirmed Edwards as the suspect, and he was arrested last Thursday without incident.
CHILD SLAIN-NORTH CAROLINA
Grand jury indicts man in death of North Carolina girl
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A grand jury has indicted a North Carolina woman’s live-in boyfriend in the death of her 3-year-old girl.
Local media outlets report the Onslow County grand jury indicted Earl Kimrey on charges including first-degree murder and felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury in the death of Mariah Woods.
Mariah’s body was found Dec. 2 in a Pender County creek after being reported missing from her home on Nov. 27. Kristy Woods, said at the time that she last saw her daughter when she put her to bed the night before she was reported missing.
Kimrey told authorities that Mariah got up after Woods was asleep and was sent back to bed, and that he left the door unlocked when he left the home for a short period of time.
Daughter of North Carolina Gov. Hunt running for legislature
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A daughter of former four-term North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt now also wants to serve in Raleigh by getting elected to the state legislature.
Democrat Rachel Hunt announced Wednesday she would run for the state House in a Mecklenburg County district currently represented by Republican Bill Brawley, a senior chairman of the House Finance Committee.
Hunt is an attorney who operates a college counseling firm and a company that helps Charlotte parents locate school options. She said she’s running because the state’s public education system has been undermined by politicians in Raleigh.
Rachel Hunt is one of Jim and Carolyn Hunt’s four children. Jim Hunt was first elected governor in 1976 and served through 1984. He then was elected to two more four-year terms through 2000.
FATAL CRASH-GOLFER INJURED-THE LATEST
The Latest: Man says Luke Wilson was hero in deadly crash
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A witness says actor Luke Wilson pulled an injured woman from a car after a Los Angeles crash that killed a 71-year-old man who was in a Ferrari with professional golfer Bill Haas.
Tattoo artist Sean Heirigs says he was directly behind the Ferrari and saw the whole accident and told his 14-year-old daughter to call 911.
He says Wilson, whose car was only clipped in the three-car collision, “was the hero” and “led the charge” in helping the victims.
He says smoke was everywhere and Wilson feared the woman’s car was about to catch fire. She was screaming but couldn’t get out because her leg was trapped.
Wilson figured out they could remove the woman through the back of her car and he and Heirigs removed her.
The woman is hospitalized with serious injuries.
Woman, 18-month-old unhurt after car crashes into building
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman and an 18-year-old child escaped injury after the car they were in crashed into a business.
Emergency personnel in Greenville said there were four people inside the store when the car crashed in at 9 a.m. Wednesday. None of the four people inside the Lendmark Financial Services office was hurt, but WITN-TV in Greenville reports the city’s chief building inspector has condemned the building until the damages can be repaired.
Police said 40-year-old Tiffany Slade was charged with driving without a license. The child’s relationship to Slade wasn’t immediately clear.
North Carolina Democratic Party rebukes veteran consultant
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Democratic Party has rebuked a longtime political consultant for party candidates because it says he’s forming a committee designed to back a Republican legislator seeking re-election.
The party is targeting Brad Crone, who’s worked for decades with Democratic candidates. The party cited a document showing Crone involved in a proposed group to raise money to support GOP Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary.
State Democratic Party Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said Wednesday that Crone’s efforts to create a “dark money” group are disturbing and should cause people working with him to question his motivations. Democrats are trying to eliminate the General Assembly’s Republican veto-proof majorities.
Crone wouldn’t comment about ongoing work with independent expenditure campaigns. He says he’s an unaffiliated voter and people know his reputation and character.
INFANT DEATH-BOYFRIEND CHARGED
North Carolina man charged in death of girlfriend’s baby
RAMSEUR, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man is charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend’s baby.
The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office told local media outlets that Dylon James Kirkpatrick was initially charged with felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury.
The infant was taken to the hospital on Thursday after deputies were called to a home to answer a call about an unresponsive infant.
The child died Saturday from the injuries.
Kirkpatrick, who authorities say is not the child’s father, was jailed on a $1 million bond before the murder charge was filed. Online records don’t indicate whether he has an attorney.