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2 arrested in death of pastor’s wife during home invasion
LITTLETON, N.C. (AP) – Officials in North Carolina say two men have been arrested after a Sunday school teacher was killed and her pastor husband severely injured in a home invasion robbery ended with a house fire.
Warren County District Attorney Mike Waters told reporters Wednesday that Kevin Munn and Lester Kearney are charged with first-degree murder.
Sheriff Johnny Williams said the couple arrived at their North Carolina home last Friday and found the robbers inside. Williams said the suspects made Nancy Alford withdraw $1,000 from a bank before forcing her and her husband, John Alford, into the home and setting it on fire. Williams says John Alford escaped but couldn’t rescue his wife.
Nancy Alford taught at Sanford Memorial Baptist Church in Brodnax, Virginia. John Alford was pastor there for 10 years.
SCHOOL WALKOUTS-NORTH CAROLINA-BURR
Protesters rally at North Carolina senator’s field office
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – About 50 protesters supported student walkouts by gathering at the field office of a North Carolina senator to decry his connection to the National Rifle Association.
The protesters braved chilly temperatures and gusty winds outside U.S. Sen. Richard Burr’s office in Winston-Salem on Wednesday. Across the nation, young people walked out of classes to demand action on gun violence.
The NRA has spent nearly $7 million to support Burr’s campaigns over his career, according to watchdog group The Center for Responsive Politics .
Protesters held signs saying “Books Not Bullets” and “Is 7 Million Dollars Worth 17 People’s Lives?”
Some motorists honked their car horns in support. One driver told the group to protest opioids because guns don’t kill, drugs do. One protester responded, “They both do.!”
ILLEGAL CUSTODY AGREEMENTS
AP Exclusive: Illegally rehomed kids may be uprooted again
MURPHY, N.C. (AP) – An Associated Press investigation has found that a western North Carolina child welfare agency has been illegally removing potentially hundreds of children from their homes.
Those same children are now facing the possibility of being uprooted again – including some who have spent years adjusting to their new lives.
One of the parents, Brian Hogan, says the Cherokee County Department of Social Services threatened to throw him in jail or place his child in foster care if he didn’t sign an agreement giving away custody of his daughter.
To remove a child from a biological parent, social workers must get a court order from a judge.
Not only did child-welfare workers bypass that critical legal step with Hogan, they did the same thing with an untold number of other parents.
Anti-harassment training provided to General Assembly, staff
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina state lawmakers are getting opportunities to learn more about what constitutes workplace harassment so as to prevent it within the legislative branch.
The General Assembly’s chief administrator announced Wednesday training will be offered to all 170 legislators through an online video provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Permanent and temporary employees at the legislature also will receive mandatory in-person training sessions during April, offered by an employer trade group.
Legislative Services Officer Paul Coble said last month efforts were underway to address further workplace harassment and sexual harassment in light of recent news reports nationwide about the issues.
Lawmakers do receive ethics training after they are sworn in or re-elected. The training does address guidelines that explain workplace harassment is unethical conduct.
NO BAIL-COLD CASE
No bail for suspect in 1986 cold case killing
(Information from: WBZ-TV, http://cbsboston.com)
BOSTON (AP) – The man charged with the murder of a state police colonel’s sister appeared in court Wednesday.
WBZ-TV reports 61-year-old Michael Hand has been ordered by a Massachusetts court to be held without bail after pleading not guilty to the murder of Tracy Gilpin in 1986.
Hand was arrested on Saturday in North Carolina. Gilpin was the sister of Massachusetts State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin.
The fifteen-year-old went missing in Oct 1. 1986, and was found dead 21 days later.
Hand has admitted to police that he saw Terry Gilpin the night she disappeared, and is accused of dropping a rock on her head. A DNA test will be performed on the rock to determine Hand’s connection to the crime.
The next hearing is scheduled for April 13.
FARM FRESH-STORES SOLD
Farm Fresh sells off 21 grocery stores to Kroger, Food Lion
(Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com)
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) – The owner of a supermarket chain primarily found in Virginia is selling off 21 of its 38 stores.
Minneapolis-based Supervalu said in a statement Wednesday evening that 20 Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy grocery stores in Virginia and one in North Carolina will be sold for $43 million in cash.
Kroger’s Harris Teeter brand is acquiring 10 of the stores, while its Mid-Atlantic Division will acquire another eight. Food Lion has bought the remaining three, including the one in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the chain dominated the Hampton Roads area for decades, but grew too quickly and found itself in the middle of a crowded market.
Supervalu says it’s still in discussions to potentially sell the remaining 17 stores to Farm Fresh employees and wholesale customers.
SCHOOL WALKOUTS-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina students take part in gun violence protests
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – School students in North Carolina have taken part in the National School Walkout to protest gun violence after the shooting that killed 17 people at a Florida high school last month.
At East Chapel Hill High School, senior Talia Pomp said one of her best friends attends Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Florida and texted her during the rampage, leaving a lasting impact.
Pomp said that personal connection made shootings real she wants the Florida tragedy to be the last. Pomp handed out orange T-shirts with #enough written on them to her classmates.
Some of her classmates aligned their desks in a circle to discuss gun violence. Above them hung an image of Che Guevara, a prominent communist figure in the Cuban Revolution who became a universal symbol of revolution.
OBIT-WAKE FOREST COACH
Former Wake Forest golf coach Jesse Haddock dies at 91
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Jesse Haddock, the long-time Wake Forest golf coach who molded the early careers of many PGA Tour stars while collecting conference and national titles, has died.
A statement from the school said Haddock died Wednesday. He was 91. The Winston-Salem Journal reports former Wake Forest golfer Mike Brown said Haddock was admitted to hospice care about three weeks ago.
Bones McKinney resigned as golf coach in 1960 to focus on basketball and Haddock was named as his successor. With Haddock in charge, the Demon Deacons men’s golf team won 10 straight Atlantic Coast Conference championships from 1967 to 1976 and 15 ACC titles overall. He also captured three national titles in 1974, 1975, and 1986, and finished second in the NCAA Tournament three times.
Haddock retired in 1993.
Among the players he coached are two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange, PGA champion Lanny Wadkins and Jay Haas.
A memorial service for Haddock is scheduled for Monday in Wait Chapel on the Wake Forest campus.