Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
North Carolina airport imposes ground transportation fees
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina airport is imposing per-trip fees for ground transportation operators who pick up passengers.
The Asheville Regional Airport has ordered fees for all ground providers, including Uber and Lyft.
Uber has refused to comply, so its drivers cannot pick up passengers.
Uber and Lyft have been paying $7,000 annually for a permit to access to the airport. Now their drivers must pay $3.50 per trip. Taxis, shuttles and limousine services pay pickup fees of $2.50, as well as annual permit fees.
Airport spokeswoman Tina Kinsey says the companies could pay for the Uber and Lyft per trip fees, but have not agreed to do so. Kinsey said the new rules are a standard within the airport industry.
Uber and Lyft drivers can drop off passengers at the airport.
DYING MOM IGNORED-MONEY
Warrants: Man wanted mother’s $30K, left her on floor to die
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
CARY, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has been accused of leaving his mother on their home’s floor because he knew she would probably die and that he would get access to $30,000 she had in a bank account.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports 39-year-old Eric Paul Brunner was arrested March 13 and charged with murder and elder abuse. Warrants and other information from Wake County sheriff’s deputies say 74-year-old Cynthia Brunner had fallen “more than 24 hours” before her son and caretaker reported her death Feb. 19.
Investigator J.N. Yoakum says Brunner “wanted her to die” and admitted that “he and his mother have had a tenuous relationship.”
Brunner is being held without bail and is scheduled for a court hearing April 14. It is unclear if he has a lawyer.
North Carolina law on judicial primary before appeals panel
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina law that cancelled primary elections this year for state judges of all kinds is back in court.
Three judges of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, scheduled oral arguments Tuesday between Democratic Party lawyers that sued over the law and Republican legislative leaders about a lower court ruling.
A U.S. District Court judge in Greensboro had blocked temporarily part of the law that eliminated primary elections for state appellate judges but kept intact the part cancelling primaries for trial judge seats. But a 4th Circuit panel last month allowed the entire law to remain enforceable while the appeals court considered whether she should have issued a preliminary injunction at all.
Whatever the panel decides, there’s a trial on the law’s constitutionality in June.
ALLIGATOR HUNTING BAN
North Carolina town bans in-town alligator hunting
BELVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Officials in a North Carolina town are rejecting the trend of allowing alligator hunting inside town limits.
Media sources report leaders in the Brunswick County town of Belville passed a resolution on Saturday which rejects the option to allow hunting. Commissioner Joe Breault said town commissioners came to an agreement after expressing concern that hunting female alligators could lead to a decline in the overall gator population.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission approved an N.C. Alligator Management Plan with goals of alligator conservation, education and research. The commission later established a one-month hunting season from Sept. 1 to Oct. 1. The state had outlawed alligator hunting since 1973.
Alligator hunting in North Carolina is by permit only and each permit holder is allowed only one alligator kill per season.
Woman charged after being found with 6 near Canada border
HIGHGATE, Vt. (AP) – The U.S. Border Patrol says a North Carolina woman is facing a charge she was transporting people into the United States who didn’t have permission to be in the country.
A complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington says Border Patrol agents were alerted early Sunday that six people had walked into the United States from Canada in Highgate, Vermont.
Agents spotted an SUV driven by 31-year-old Carmen Melari Ferrufino Perdomo, of Charlotte, North Carolina, a U.S. citizen originally from Honduras. It’s unclear if she has an attorney.
In the car were six Mexican citizens who told investigators they had crossed into the United States that night.
The Border Patrol says the area where the group was first spotted has seen multiple smuggling events in the past few weeks.
US pastor faces 35 years in jail in Turkey for terror links
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey’s state-run news agency says an American pastor is facing up to 35 years in prison on charges of links to terror groups and espionage.
Anadolu Agency said Tuesday that an indictment prepared by prosecutors in the western city of Izmir accuses Andrew Brunson of working with U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen’s network and outlawed Kurdish rebels to stir chaos in Turkey and divide the country.
It wasn’t immediately clear when his trial would begin.
Brunson, who’s originally from North Carolina but has lived in Turkey for more than 20 years, was arrested soon after the July 2016 coup attempt.
The U.S. has demanded that Brunson, who denies the accusations, be freed.
Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, has denied involvement in the coup. Turkey is seeking his extradition.
PARKING LOT SHOOTING
Police: Bail bondsman shoots at man in mall parking lot
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police say a bail bondsman shot at a suspect as he and others were trying to take the man into custody at a shopping mall.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports Winston-Salem police say bondsmen approached the vehicle of 29-year-old Nathan Artillery Taylor in the parking lot of Hanes Mall on Saturday. Authorities say he drove erratically to elude arrest, and one of the bondsmen shot at Taylor, who kept moving and crashed into two other cars before he fled on foot.
Police said officers could not find Taylor, and it didn’t appear he was struck by the gunfire. The drivers of the other cars suffered minor injuries.
Taylor was initially wanted by police on a number of charges, including assault on a female and false imprisonment.
NC may test food near Chemours plant for industrial chemical
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina official may ramp up tests to measure how much of a little-studied industrial compound has gotten into food near a chemical plant that’s been producing it and related, riskier products for decades.
North Carolina waste management director Michael Scott said Monday environmental officials are discussing whether it’s time to test backyard vegetable gardens near The Chemours Co. chemical plant in Bladen County. That’s after Dutch researchers reported finding GenX and older, related chemicals in vegetables near a Chemours factory in the Netherlands.
Scott says plant neighbors have also questioned whether there are health risks from eating local fish and venison.
GenX is used in making non-stick Teflon and other materials. Studies point to GenX and related chemicals having toxic effects in animals. Effects in humans are not known.