North Carolina News – April 15

North Carolina News – April 15


Thermo Fisher buying PPD in deal worth $17.4 billion

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — Thermo Fisher is buying clinical research company PPD in a deal valued at $17.4 billion. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. will pay $47.50 per PPD share. The transaction also includes approximately $3.5 billion in debt. PPD offers a range of clinical research and laboratory services to help increase drug development productivity. Its revenue totaled $4.7 billion last year.


Police: Teacher killed in shootout with Mexican drug cartel

GREEN LEVEL, N.C. (AP) — A popular teacher in North Carolina has died in what authorities said was an “old Western shootout” with members of a Mexican drug cartel. The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday that Barney Dale Harris taught Spanish at Union Academy Charter School in Monroe. He was found dead April 8 in an Alamance County mobile home that authorities called a drug “stash house.” Sheriff Terry Johnson said officers found Harris wearing a face cover, gloves and a bulletproof vest. There were also 30 shell casings in and outside of the mobile home. Authorities also said that 1.2 kilos of cocaine and about $7,000 in cash were found.


Police: Man charged in fatal road-rage shooting in Maryland

RIVERDALE PARK, Md. (AP) — Authorities in Maryland say that a woman has been killed in a road rage incident. The Washington Post reports that the fatal shooting occurred Friday evening in the Riverdale area of Prince George’s County. Authorities identified the woman as Keya Beale of Hyattsville. Police said the man who’s been arrested in her death has been identified as Maurice Terrell Bellinger of Riverdale. He faces charges that include first- and second-degree murder, attempted first- and second-degree murder. Authorities said he is in custody at a jail in the Charlotte area of North Carolina and is awaiting extradition to Prince George’s County. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney who can speak on his behalf.


Former North Carolina Gov. McCrory enters US Senate race

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory says he’ll run for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina in hopes of succeeding the retiring Sen. Richard Burr. The one-term governor revealed his plans Wednesday on his Charlotte-area radio show. McCrory is currently the most well-known candidate to have entered the contest. Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker is already in the race for the GOP nomination. Democrats have targeted Burr’s seat as a prime pickup opportunity to expand their razor-thin Senate edge. McCrory was elected as North Carolina’s governor in 2012 and served four years in office. He was also Charlotte’s mayor for 14 years.


Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82

NEW YORK (AP) — Bernie Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme, has died in prison. Madoff’s death at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, was confirmed by his lawyer and the Bureau of Prisons. The lawyer, Brandon Sample, said it was believed he died from natural causes related to his failing health. Last year, Sample filed court papers to try to get the 82-year-old released from prison in the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he had suffered from end-stage renal disease and other chronic medical conditions. The request was denied.


Fairness watchword at NC transgender sports ban hearing

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Calls for fairness predominated a North Carolina legislative hearing on a bill that would prevent transgender girls and women from competing in organized school sports designated for biologically female athletes. A House judiciary committee debated and took testimony Wednesday on the measure but did not vote on the Republican bill. Similar bills have become law in at least four states since last year. The North Carolina legislation would apply from middle school through college and include official teams, competitions and intramurals. Bill supporters say it’s needed to keep sports accessible to female athletes. Gay rights groups call the measure discriminatory.


Official: 1 dead in collapse of old N Carolina bridge

MANTEO, N.C. (AP) — Authorities on the North Carolina coast say one person is dead after a portion of an old bridge on the Outer Banks collapsed and fell into the water. Capt. Jeff Derringer of the Dare County Sheriff’s Office says workers were dismantling a section of the old Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks on Wednesday when that section fell approximately 110 feet into Oregon Inlet. The accident was first reported by OBX Today, and there was no official word on any other injuries. The Bonner Bridge sits adjacent to the Marc Basnight Bridge, which replaced it in 2019.


FBI increases reward for info in deaths of three women

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The FBI has increased the reward it is offering for information in connection with the deaths of three women found within a four-block radius of a North Carolina city. A news release on Wednesday says the FBI is offering up to $40,000 for information that helps determine what led to the deaths of the three women in Lumberton in 2017. The bodies of Christina Bennett and Rhonda Jones were found on the same day, and the body Megan Oxendine was discovered two weeks later. Lumberton police requested help from the FBI in June 2017 in the three death investigations.

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