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March 23, 2018
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March 23, 2018
AP Newswatch

Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
2 men in North Carolina shooting ID’d as soldiers, 1 dead
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Two men involved in a deadly shooting at a North Carolina home have been identified as soldiers.
U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt tells The Fayetteville Observer the Fort Bragg soldiers had been in an altercation that resulted in the shooting.
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Sean Swain says 33-year-old Mark Daniel Leshikar was pronounced dead after deputies and homicide investigators were dispatched to the residence Wednesday evening.
Swain says the soldier who shot Leshikar was still at the scene when deputies arrived, and investigators questioned people who were inside the home during the shooting. WRAL-TV reports no charges have been filed.
Leshikar’s body was taken to the state medical examiner for an autopsy.
Bockholt didn’t identify the other soldier. The command is based at Fort Bragg.



The Latest: Mom has court appearance in baby smoking case
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A judge has ordered a mother accused of helping her 1-year-old daughter smoke marijuana not to have contact with the girl while the case is pending.
Brianna Ashanti Lofton of Raleigh made a brief court appearance Thursday on charges including child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Police were alerted to the case after a video of the girl smoking received millions of views on social media.
The Wake County judge set her bond at $100,000.
Lofton said little during the hearing but indicated that she wanted a public defender. The public defender’s office didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment after the hearing.
A prosecutor asked for a higher bond, noting that the 20-year-old Lofton has faced several misdemeanor charges in the past two years, including assault and marijuana possession.
No one answered the door Wednesday at a Raleigh address listed for Lofton.
The daughter has been placed with child protective services.



Natural birthing center closes due to deaths of 3 newborns
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
CARY, N.C. (AP) – A natural birthing center in North Carolina has stopped delivering babies after the deaths of three newborns in the past six months.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Baby+Company in Cary has told its customers by email that it is sending all mothers in labor to WakeMed Cary, a local hospital which is its business partner. The company didn’t provide specific information on when the deaths occurred, citing privacy laws.
The company also said the Cary site has had four deaths since it opened in October 2014. That compares to only one death at its other five centers in three states.
Baby+Co. has also opened facilities in Charlotte and Winston-Salem. It also operates centers in Tennessee and Colorado, opening the first one in 2013.


Celebration of life for Woody Durham scheduled at UNC
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – The family of former North Carolina play-by-play announcer Woody Durham will join the school in a celebration of his life.
A statement from the school on Thursday says the service is scheduled for April 8 at 2 p.m. in Carmichael Arena.
The scheduled hour-long memorial service is open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-served except for reserved seats for Carolina basketball and football lettermen. Arena doors will open at 1 p.m.
Durham, who was the voice of the Tar Heels from 1971 to 2011, died on March 7 of complications of a neurocognitive disorder. He was 76.
Durham called more than 1,800 games, including 23 football bowl games, 13 men’s basketball Final Fours and six national championship games, including the NCAA title-winning seasons in 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009.



North Carolina health officials report 8 more flu deaths
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Health officials in North Carolina say eight people died from the flu last week, helping to push the record-setting death toll for 2017-18 to 328.
In addition to the eight deaths reported for the week ending March 17, officials say 15 people who died in previous weeks were determined to have had the flu. Of the total, 16 victims were aged 65 and older.
The death toll for last week marked the first time since the week ending Dec. 23 that there had been fewer than 10 deaths. By comparison, the most deaths for any week during the flu season have been 50 for the week ending Feb. 17.
The flu season usually runs from October until March 31, but has been known to run into April.



Duke Energy utility CEO got big boosts to severance, pay
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Duke Energy Corp.’s board is striving to keep CEO Lynn Good on the job, promising a bigger severance package if she’s forced out the door in addition to raising her pay by 55 percent.
A report released Thursday ahead of May’s annual shareholders meeting shows company directors increased Good’s potential severance package to more than $41 million last year, a nearly 50 percent increase over 2016. Shareholders will signal their views on executive pay by voting on a non-binding resolution.
Good’s total compensation nearly doubled over the past two years to top $21 million last year. The Charlotte-based electric utility’s proxy statement says that includes a one-time retention bonus of $7 million.
The country’s No. 2 electricity company has 7.5 million customers in the Carolinas, Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.



Report: North Carolina hospital misdiagnoses cancer cases
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina hospital is under review after an investigation showed three patients received unnecessary cancer treatments and a fourth had a cancer diagnosis delayed.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is awaiting word on a federal Medicare review of its correction plan. Concerns were raised during a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services investigation last month.
Wake Forest Baptist said last week that up to 10 patients were affected by pathology laboratory results and required a diagnosis change.
Hospital president Dr. Kevin High said in a statement that the hospital became aware of deficiencies in its pathology quality monitoring process last fall. He said the hospital determined that “most, if not all, of the misdiagnoses centered on a single individual” who’s no longer with the hospital.


North Carolina man sentenced to prison in 2014 shooting
(Information from: WITN-TV, http://www.witn.com/)
KENANSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man charged in a fatal shooting outside a fast-food restaurant in 2014 has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
WITN in Greenville reports authorities say 29-year-old James Newton also pleaded guilty in a Duplin County court on Thursday to first-degree arson.
Police say the body of McKinley Beatty Jr. was found on N.C. Highway 24 in front of a KFC in Warsaw on Feb. 13, 2014. An autopsy showed Beatty was shot five times and suffered multiple graze wounds.
Newton was arrested in California two weeks later. Prosecutors say he told investigators he acted in self-defense. Authorities also said Newton started a fire inside his cell at the Duplin County jail in July 2015.
A judge sentenced Newton to at least 14 years and two months in prison.

AP-WF-03-23-18 1021GMT