Thursday, October 21, 2021
North Carolina News – December 18

North Carolina News – December 18

AP-US-BIG-TECH-ANTITRUST-STATES

States making bold new legal claims in 2 Google lawsuits

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a wave of antitrust actions surges against Google and Facebook, states in two lawsuits are stretching beyond the cases made by federal competition enforcers to level bold new claims. States are taking new legal gambits as they clamor to join the widening siege against the two once seemingly untouchable behemoths. The latest case came as dozens of states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that the search giant exercises an illegal monopoly over the online search market, hurting consumers and advertisers. It was the third antitrust salvo to slam Google in the past two months.

AP-US-BIDEN-CABINET

Biden picks Regan for EPA nominee, Haaland for interior head

President-elect Joe Biden says he has chosen North Carolina regulator Michael S. Regan as his nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as interior secretary. Biden said Thursday that the selections round out what he said would be an experienced climate team ready from their first day in office to tackle the “undeniable, accelerating, punishing reality of climate change.” The picks also help Biden fulfill his promise to put together a Cabinet that reflects the diversity of America. Regan is Black, while Haaland would be the first Native American Cabinet member in U.S. history.

BC-NC-COLD CASE-SENTENCE

Man pleads to 1980 rape, killing of North Carolina girl

DOBSON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to charges connected to the 1980 rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl. The Winston-Salem Journal reported Thursday that Robert James Adkins pleaded guilty in Surry County Superior Court to second-degree murder and second-degree rape. The girl who died was Ronda Blaylock, a ninth-grader at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem. Adkins, who is 64, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Angela Puckett to 21 years to 25 years each on the rape and the murder charges. Court documents say that he will serve both sentences at the same time. Kevin Thomas, Ronda Blaylock’s first cousin, told the newspaper that the family hopes Adkins dies in prison.

AP-US-DRUG-RING-COLLEGES

Feds: North Carolina frat members were part of drug ring

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say fraternity members at North Carolina’s flagship school were part of a drug trafficking ring that funneled huge quantities of drugs into three college campuses. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Greensboro announced Thursday that 21 people have been charged in connection to the ring. Investigators say the drug ring funneled more than a half-ton of marijuana, several hundred kilograms of cocaine and significant quantities of other drugs into UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University and Appalachian State University. The majority of the suspects are in their mid-twenties. It’s unclear how many are students or were students at any of those three schools.

AP-US-BIDEN-CABINET

Biden picks Regan for EPA nominee, Haaland for interior head

President-elect Joe Biden says he has chosen North Carolina regulator Michael S. Regan as his nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as interior secretary. Biden said Thursday that the selections round out what he said would be an experienced climate team ready from their first day in office to tackle the “undeniable, accelerating, punishing reality of climate change.” The picks also help Biden fulfill his promise to put together a Cabinet that reflects the diversity of America. Regan is Black, while Haaland would be the first Native American Cabinet member in U.S. history.

AP-NC-CONFEDERATE MONUMENT-NORTH CAROLINA-APPEALS COURT

Appeals court rejects bid to return Confederate statue

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Court of Appeals has rejected a bid by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to force the city of Winston-Salem to return a statue of a Confederate soldier to its former downtown location. The appeals court ruled 2-1 on Monday that a Superior Judge did not make a mistake in May 2019 when he dismissed a lawsuit over the statue brought by the state and local chapters of the UDC. The dissenting judge said the city broke state and federal laws in removing the statue without giving notice and going through other procedures.

OFFICER KILLED-NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina officer fatally shot outside restaurant

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina police officer and an armed suspect have been killed outside a fast food restaurant after a shootout that also left another officer wounded. The shooting happened late Wednesday night in Concord, which is just northeast of Charlotte. Authorities identified the slain officer as Officer Jason Shuping, who joined the force last year. Police Chief Gary J. Gacek says two officers encountered a carjacking suspect at a Sonic Drive-in and were shot. He says another two officers then arrived and fatally shot the suspect. The fatal shooting marks the second time since last week that a police officer was killed near the Charlotte area.

COOPER-PARDONS

Gov. Cooper issues pardons of innocence to 5 inmates

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Roy Cooper has issued five pardons of innocence to people he believes are not guilty of the crimes they were charged with. Cooper’s pardons open the door for the ex-convicts to receive $50,000 from the state for each year they were wrongly imprisoned. They can secure a maximum of $750,000. Among the inmates pardoned is Ronnie Long. Long spent 44 years in prison for a rape he says he didn’t commit. Cooper also pardoned Teddy Isbell, Sr., Kenneth Kagonyera, Damian Mills and Larry Williams, Jr.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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