North Carolina News – March 25

North Carolina News – March 25


Effort underway to remove coast’s derelict, abandoned boats

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A large-scale effort is underway to remove abandoned and derelict boats from North Carolina’s coast. The Wilmington Star-News reported Wednesday that more than 75 vessels along the coast will be pulled from marshes and shorelines.  The large-scale effort includes everything from skiffs to an 80-foot shrimp boat. Boats have been accumulating in recent years in large part because of storms. North Carolina has more than 150 abandoned vessels that have been documented. And that number could increase with the next big storm. The General Assembly has allocated $1 million to the project. The process includes identifying the boats and placing a placard about the upcoming removal. Owners also receive a certified letter and have 30 days to respond.


Southern states brace for large tornadoes, flooding

ATLANTA (AP) — Forecasters say they expect severe flooding and a tornado outbreak across the South. The national Storm Prediction Center says parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee on Thursday will be at high risk of strong tornadoes that can stay on the ground for miles. Some of the metropolitan areas in the path of the storms include Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee; and Birmingham and Huntsville in Alabama. A flash flood watch Thursday covered northern parts of Alabama and Georgia and portions of Tennessee and North Carolina.


Deputy US Marshal shoots, kills man while attempting arrest

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say a deputy U.S. marshal shot and killed a fugitive during an attempted arrest on outstanding warrants, prompting a vigil by mourners at the scene. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department issued a news release saying officers with the Marshals Service’s regional fugitive task force approached the man Tuesday morning to arrest him on outstanding warrants. The release said one of the officers shot him after perceiving “a lethal threat.” Authorities say they found a gun where the shooting happened at a gas station on the east side of the city. The man, 32-year-old Frankie Jennings, was pronounced dead at the scene. Mourners later gathered at the scene for a candlelight vigil. News footage showed several dozen people attending.


N.C. court to decide if voter defamation lawsuit can proceed

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court will soon decide whether a libel complaint can proceed to trial over false accusations representatives of former Gov. Pat McCrory made in 2016 alleging several residents had unlawfully voted. The lawsuit accuses McCrory’s supporters of participating in a “civil conspiracy” that harmed voters’ reputations. Damages exceeding $25,000 are being sought as a result. A ruling is expected in the coming months. A successful lawsuit could provide a pathway for lawmakers and their supporters to be penalized for making inaccurate voter fraud claims in future elections.


Police: Charges are possible after boy, 6, fatally struck

GARNER, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s State Highway Patrol says that possible charges could be filed after a 6-year-old boy was believed to have been struck by a truck in the Garner area. The News & Observer reports that investigators found a truck with front-end damage that is believed to have struck the boy on Tuesday night. Authorities identified the child as Fred Lamont Woodard Jr. He was found on the shoulder of N.C. 50 near just before 11 p.m. and died at a hospital a short time later. Investigators said they found a white Ford F-150 with front damage. The highway patrol said that a 73-year-old Raleigh man has been identified as the driver.


House picks 5 current panelists, ex-legislator to UNC board

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The state House has elected a recently retired colleague along with five current University of North Carolina system board members to serve on the prestigious panel. The House voted Wednesday for a resolution to elect a slate of candidates to the UNC Board of Governors, which has 24 voting members and sets policies for the system’s 17 campuses. The board’s newcomer is former Rep. John Fraley of Iredell County, who recently wrapped up six years in the House. The House and Senate each usually elect six candidates to the board. The Senate approved its choices last week.


Asheville votes to remove monument to Confederate governor

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The City Council for the North Carolina city of Asheville has voted to remove a monument dedicated to a racist governor of the Confederacy. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that the council voted 6 to 1 on Tuesday to remove the 75-foot granite obelisk at the center of the city’s downtown. The monument honors Zebulon Vance. He was a Buncombe County native and North Carolina governor during the Civil War as well as a U.S. senator. He also owned slaves. Scaffolding was placed around the monument in 2020. Local officials have said they want the monument to be replaced or altered in a way that honors the local history of African Americans.


Cooper seeks big debt package, pay hikes, Medicaid expansion

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is proposing a spending and borrowing spree that he says is critical to fulfilling education, health care and infrastructure demands evident before the pandemic but have been exacerbated since. Cooper pitched his two-year state budget plan on Wednesday. He says the proposal is affordable and ensures North Carolina continues a vigorous recovery from the COVID-19 recession. It includes large educator pay raises and bonuses and a $4.7 billion bond referendum. Now lawmakers will try to fashion a budget bill that they hope he will sign. Republican legislators and Cooper failed to enact a conventional budget in 2019.

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