North Carolina News – April 21

North Carolina News – April 21


Outer Banks Wright Brothers memorial gets autonomous shuttle

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina site of the world’s first powered flight has launched a pilot project to test out the safety and efficacy of another transportation innovation. The popular Wright Brothers National Memorial on the Outer Banks kicked off a three-month trial run Tuesday of a petite self-driving shuttle that will tote tourists around the park. The N.C. Department of Transportation and National Park Service say it’s the first electric, self-driving transit shuttle to be tested at a recreational public lands site in the nation. An employee able to manually stop the vehicle will be on board to monitor conditions.


8-month-old wounded in North Carolina drive-by shooting

SHELBY, N.C. (AP) — Police say an infant has been hospitalized after a drive-by shooting in North Carolina. WSOC-TV reports the 8-month-old girl was shot around 10 p.m. Tuesday inside a home in Shelby. Police say the baby was in her mother’s arms when she was struck. She was flown to a children’s hospital in Charlotte. The station reports no suspect information was immediately released.


Sheriff: Woman purposely drove into teens playing basketball

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A white North Carolina woman was charged with driving her car into a yard where three Black teenagers were playing basketball, injuring one of them. A Pitt County Sheriff’s Office news release said deputies responded Sunday afternoon to a report of a child intentionally hit by a car. The news release said that Daina Renee Forrest, 35, of Greenville, had been driving around and threatening the three teens by waving a knife and cursing. The release said Forrest “intentionally veered her car off the roadway and partially into the yard to strike the children.” A sheriff’s spokesman said authorities don’t think the case is a hate crime.


North Carolina won’t pass bill to ban youth trans procedures

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A top North Carolina GOP lawmaker will not advance a proposal seeking to limit medical treatments for transgender people under 21. The measure put forward by three Republicans earlier this month would have prohibited doctors from providing gender-confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to minors and young adults. State employees would have been required to tell parents if their child expressed desire to be treated in a way that is incompatible with the gender they were assigned at birth. LGBTQ advocates are glad the bill will not go forward but worry about the harm it has already done.


Bill seeks to end pistol purchase permits from NC sheriffs

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A House judiciary committee has approved a bill that would end the long practice of North Carolina sheriffs issuing permits to county residents before they can purchase handguns. The committee voted on the measure Tuesday. A sheriff decides whether an applicant is of good moral character, plans to use the weapon for a lawful purpose and conducts a criminal background check. Repeal supporters say the practice is outdated and carried out unevenly, depending on the county and the sheriff. Federal gun dealers already are required to perform national instant background checks on handgun purchasers. Sheriffs would still issue concealed-weapons permits if the bill became law.


North Carolina House finance chair stripped of position

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The current longest-serving member of the North Carolina House was stripped Tuesday of her chairmanship on the House Finance Committee. Speaker Tim Moore removed 17-term Rep. Julia Howard on Tuesday from the tax-policy committee and placed her on Appropriations Committee. The two have been in an unusually public feud in recent days over tax legislation. Howard said last week she felt pressured to run a bill through her committee that she opposed. It involves federal COVID-19 relief loans that many legislators with businesses have also received.


Ex-North Carolina police chief accused of stealing evidence

CHADBOURN, N.C. (AP) — A former North Carolina police chief who resigned nearly two weeks ago amid an investigation into missing evidence is accused by authorities of taking a variety of narcotics, thousands of dollars in cash and firearms. News outlets report former Chadbourn police chief William Anthony Spivey was taken into custody Monday and charged with 73 offenses, including 31 counts each of stealing or destroying evidence and embezzlement by a public official. Arrest warrants indicate the offenses occurred between August 2018 and March 2021. Spivey, who’s also accused of drug trafficking offenses, is jailed on a $665,000 bond and its not known if he has an attorney.


Two killed in head-on, wrong-way crash in North Carolina

LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — The N.C. State Highway Patrol says two people were killed after a car traveling in the wrong direction hit their car head-on. The Dispatch of Lexington reports the patrol says a vehicle was driving north on old U.S. Highway 52 on Monday when it crossed the center line and headed north in the southbound lane. A vehicle driving south tried to avoid the car but collided head-on with the wrong-way vehicle. According to the patrol, 76-year-old Jerry Lynn Thomas of Winston-Salem and 75-year-old Brenda Wallace Thomas, both of Winston-Salem, died in the collision. The patrol says the wrong-way driver was taken to the hospital, and adds that charges are pending.

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