North Carolina News – November 20

North Carolina News – November 20


Death penalty sought against man accused of killing child

CLEMMONS, N.C. (AP) — A judge in North Carolina is allowing prosecutors to seek the death penalty against a Forsyth County man who is accused of killing a 1-year-old girl. The Winston-Salem Journal reported Thursday that Jesse Wayne Perkins faces a first-degree-murder murder charge in the death of Carolina Rose Dodd. Carolina was the daughter of Perkins’ girlfriend. The girl died in August of 2018 from what authorities said was asphyxia from being smothered. Assistant District Attorney James Dornfried said that aggravating circumstances make Perkins eligible for the death penalty. Dornfried said that Perkins had admitted to smothering Carolina and told investigators that Carolina resisted and struggled.


Pack of feral dogs is on the loose after killing 11 goats

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say a pack of dogs is still on the loose after killing 11 goats in Cumberland County near Fayetteville. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Friday that the feral dogs are reported to be German Shepherd mixes with white fur. Cumberland County officials said the dogs have not been aggressive toward people. But they have not been able to get within 50 feet of them. Officials received reports that an unidentified owner abandoned several dogs. Officials are asking for the public’s help with tracking down the animals. They said they’re trying to humanely capture them with the use of tranquilizer darts, special traps and snares.


Deputy shot during domestic call; officials look for suspect

LA GRANGE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a deputy was shot in the neck while responding to a domestic call. A news release says Lenoir County Deputy Steven Key was shot Thursday night outside a home in La Grange. The sheriff’s office says the shooter is 30-year-old Robert Lee Strother and he has not been captured. But Sheriff Ronnie Ingram says a perimeter has been set up around the area and authorities think they have him contained. The sheriff’s statement says Strother shot the deputy in the neck as he arrived at the scene. The deputy was hospitalized and released.


3 more dead from COVID-19 outbreak linked to NC church

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Officials say three more people have died of coronavirus-complications linked to convocation events at a North Carolina church. The Charlotte Observer reports 12 people have died from the outbreak linked to the gathering last month at the United House of Prayer for All People. Health officials said Thursday that 10 residents of Mecklenburg County have died, and two Gaston County residents died from the virus. Inside a nearby nursing home, the Mecklenburg County Health Department said there has been a related outbreak where two residents have died and 19 cases have been discovered.


Court upholds hog verdict; Smithfield announces settlement

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a 2018 jury verdict that led to monetary awards for neighbors of an eastern North Carolina industrial hog operation for its smells and noise. Thursday’s ruling by a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected calls for a new trial by Smithfield Foods. It’s a parent company of the firm sued by Bladen County residents living next to one of its previous contract farmers. Judges did rule in favor of Smithfield’s subsidiary on the issue of punitive damages. Smithfield announced later it had reached a settlement with plaintiffs involved in this and other hog nuisance litigation.


N.C. House speaker’s chief of staff going to UNC system

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — State House Speaker Tim Moore’s chief of staff is leaving the post for a job within the University of North Carolina system. Moore announced on Wednesday that Bart Goodson will become senior vice president for government affairs at the system. He’s been chief of staff since 2017 and previously served as Moore’s general counsel. Goodson will be replaced by current general counsel Neal Inman. The changes were announced two days after Republicans who won House seats on Election Day agreed that they’ll back Moore for a fourth term as speaker. The next two-year session begins Jan. 13.


Berger chief of staff Tripp leaving for UNC post

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The chief of staff for North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger is stepping down to take a position within the University of North Carolina system. Thursday’s announcement that Andrew Tripp will become the system’s general counsel and a senior vice president comes a day after House Speaker Tim Moore announced his chief of staff was leaving for another job within UNC’s general administration. Tripp has worked under Berger or former top lieutenant Tom Apodaca since Republicans took over the Senate following the 2010 elections. Tripp’s successor will be announced inn the coming days.


State hospital group says racism is a public health crisis

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A group that represents North Carolina’s 130 hospitals has joined a growing number of organizations and governments that have declared racism to be a public health crisis. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Wednesday that the North Carolina Healthcare Association has pledged to work harder to provide equitable care to everyone. The association said that challenges to achieving that goal are barriers to employment and education that people face because of their race. The group also referred to the coronavirus pandemic and long-term health disparities that “impact people of color and other marginalized groups.”

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