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CHILD SLAIN-NORTH CAROLINA
Mom’s boyfriend faces death penalty in 3-year-old’s death
(Information from: The StarNews, http://starnewsonline.com)
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man faces the death penalty in the death of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old girl, whose disappearance sparked a five-day search.
The StarNews of Wilmington reports that Fourth Prosecutorial District Attorney Ernie Lee announced Thursday that he intends to declare the first-degree murder case of Mariah Woods as capital and will seek the death penalty against Adolphus Early Kimrey II, citing aggravating circumstances.
Kimrey was first initially charged with lesser crimes Dec. 2, including concealing a death. He was indicted earlier this week on charges including first-degree murder and felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury.
It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.
TOWN SUED-RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
After 30 years, unincorporated community wins annexation
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WALNUT COVE, N.C. (AP) – A predominantly black unincorporated community has won its decades-long fight to be annexed by an adjacent North Carolina town.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports Walnut Cove’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the annexation of the Walnut Tree community on Tuesday. The vote follows 30 years of petitions by Walnut Tree community members and a September lawsuit alleging racial discrimination that’s been settled by a consent decree, resolving the dispute without admission of liability.
The 73-household Walnut Tree Community Association and four individuals had filed the lawsuit to accelerate annexation so residents could participate in town elections and receive the benefits and services available to Walnut Cove residents, including reduced water-sewer service rates.
The predominantly white town had rejected multiple annexation applications from Walnut Tree, while annexing predominantly white communities.
Aide: Cooper was never to be involved in fund distribution
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper’s office says it was never envisioned that he would decide who specifically benefited from $58 million paid into a fund by utilities building a natural gas pipeline through eastern North Carolina.
Republican legislators demanded Cooper’s lobbyist answer written questions by Thursday about an agreement signed by Cooper’s attorney and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Chief of Staff Kristi Jones responded instead.
The agreement directed money for environmental mitigation and economic development along the pipeline route. GOP lawmakers call it a “slush fund” to help Cooper’s allies and passed legislation giving the money to schools. Cooper criticized the move Wednesday but will let the bill containing it become law.
Jones says an executive order would have detailed distribution rules, with experts making award decisions, and with conflict-of-interest protections.
FIREARMS RAFFLE CANCELED
North Carolina sheriff cancels re-election firearms raffle
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff has canceled a re-election campaign firearms raffle that was to include the type of assault rifle used in Wednesday’s Florida high school shooting.
Local media outlets report Mecklenburg County Sheriff Irwin Carmichael had scheduled the event for Saturday. A tweet featured a picture of 15 handguns and long guns, including three semi-automatic assault-style rifles. Raffle tickets were $50 each or three for $100.
In a statement on Thursday, Carmichael said in light of what happened and out of respect for families affected by the shooting, Saturday’s gun raffle has been canceled. On Thursday, a tweet and a Facebook post announcing the raffle had been taken down.
Carmichael told WSOC-TV in Charlotte last year that such raffles are effective fundraisers.
Inmate accused of threatening to kill county officials
GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) – An inmate jailed on robbery and assault charges is accused of threatening to kill court officials and police.
At a news conference Thursday, District Attorney Patrick Nadolski told news outlets that 29-year-old Marcus James Wooden verbally threatened Alamance County officials involved in his criminal case. He said the Alamance County jail inmate conveyed the threats over the phone to multiple people.
Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson said Wooden is affiliated with the Bloods gang, and officials are looking for other involved individuals.
Wooden was originally arrested Feb. 7.
According to warrants, Wooden threatened to kill Johnson, Chief District Court Judge Brad Allen Sr., Assistant District Attorney William Harrison and Burlington police Sgt. Shane Brown with his “bare hands” after his initial court appearance.
It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.
NORTH CAROLINA GARAGE SHOOTING
Man who feared ‘hoodlums’ on trial for shooting black man
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A murder trial has begun for a white man who shot an unarmed black man after complaining about “hoodlums” in his neighborhood.
The defense and prosecution made opening statements to the jury Thursday in the trial of Chad Copley.
Copley fired a shotgun blast from inside his Raleigh garage that killed 20-year-old Kouren Thomas in August 2016.
Prosecutors argued that Copley appeared bent on violence when he called 911 to say he was “locked and loaded” to confront what he described as armed “hoodlums” making a commotion outside.
Defense attorneys countered that the 40-year-old was concerned about the safety of his family after two people leaving a nearby house party displayed guns to him. Copley faces up to life in prison without parole if convicted.
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Leaders in North Carolina’s largest city weigh 2020 GOP bid
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Government and civic leaders of North Carolina’s largest city are considering a bid to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Charlotte was home for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The city put out a news release Thursday saying it’s “evaluating options” to host the RNC as a precursor to submitting a proposal to the party.
About 35,000 delegates, media members and visitors came to the September 2012 Democratic convention, where President Barack Obama accepted his party’s nomination for a second term. The release says the event had an economic impact of more than $163 million.
Mayor Vi Lyles called another possible convention “a wonderful opportunity to showcase our city, our region and our state to the world.”
FLU DEATHS-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina health officials report 17 new flu deaths
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – State health officials say 17 more people have died from the flu in North Carolina, the fifth straight week in which more than 10 people have died from the virus.
There were no pediatric deaths in the latest report issued Thursday by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
The death toll for the 2017-18 season is now at 165. Of that total, 132 have died in the last five weeks.