North Carolina News – April 23

North Carolina News – April 23


Ex-officer in ‘Fatal Vision’ murders appeals release denial

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A former Army doctor serving life in prison for the so-called “Fatal Vision” slayings of his wife and two young daughters in 1970 is appealing to be released due to poor health. Attorneys for Jeffrey MacDonald filed their notice to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Thursday. MacDonald’s lawyers intend to challenge this month’s order by District Judge Terrence Boyle, who decided he lacked authority to adjust MacDonald’s prison time. The 77-year-old MacDonald is imprisoned in Maryland. He was convicted in 1979 for the killings at a North Carolina military installation.


Epic Games CEO saves old growth forests in North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The founder of Epic Games is donating a large stretch of North Carolina’s Appalachian highlands to be preserved as a haven for wildlife. The Asheville-based nonprofit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy says it will prevent development on the 7,500 acres in the Roan Highlands being donated by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that the land transfer to the nonprofit group should be complete next year. Sweeney is best known as the overseer of Epic’s Fortnite and Rocket League video game franchises. But he’s also a conservation philanthropist. These mountaintop parcels in the Roan Highlands are valued at tens of millions.


NC legislative leaders don’t expect delays to 2022 elections

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly’s top Republicans say 2022 election dates likely won’t be altered despite anticipated delays in receiving data for redistricting. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger made the comments Thursday. The Census Bureau won’t provide detailed population numbers needed to redraw district boundaries for Congress, the legislature and for dozens of municipalities until August or September. The executive director of the State Board of Elections recommended recently that lawmakers formally push back 2022 elections and this fall’s municipal elections because of the data delay. There’s a lack of legislative consensus about what to do with municipal elections.


Suit: Police tore Black librarian’s shoulder in traffic stop

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal lawsuit filed by a Georgia librarian says white officers used excessive force on the Black woman during a May 2019 traffic stop in North Carolina. The lawsuit filed Wednesday says Stephanie Bottom of Atlanta was pulled from her car by her hair and the officers also tore her rotator cuff when they threw her on the ground. The lawsuit says the woman, now 68, posed no threat to officers from the Salisbury Police Department and a county sheriff’s office.  A spokesperson for the city of Salisbury, North Carolina, declined to comment. Bottom pleaded guilty to failing to heed blue lights in the aftermath of the traffic stop.


Man killed by deputy recalled as storyteller, jokester

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — Relatives and friends of Andrew Brown Jr. say he had a smile that belied a lifetime of loss and troubles with the law. They say he was a doting father who was quick to crack a joke and was determined to make sure his children had better lives than he had. The 42-year-old Black man from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was shot to death Wednesday by one or more deputy sheriffs trying to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants. The shooting has prompted protests and demands for accountability. Court records show Brown had a history of criminal charges stretching back into the 1990s, and some pending felony drug charges.


Man arrested on firearm charge after trying to kill woman

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Federal authorities say a North Carolina man has been arrested on a charge of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon after allegedly attempting to kill a woman. G. Norman Acker III, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, says in a news release that 36-year-old Errol Rahnell Taheim Baston of Winterville was arrested by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The charges stem from a domestic incident in which Baston reportedly held a woman against her will, repeatedly assaulted and choked her and attempted to drown her in a bathtub.


Bill seeking permanent daylight saving in NC clears House

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An effort to stop the biannual clock adjustments in North Carolina required to comply with daylight saving time rules has passed the state House. The chamber voted overwhelmingly on Thursday for legislation that would move clocks up an hour for good, but only should Congress first pass a law allowing states to act. The measure now goes to the Senate. Some supporters of permanent daylight saving time say it will expand outdoor recreation activities in the evenings. But critics point out it would mean more dark mornings going to school and work. The state House passed a similar bill in 2019.


North Carolina tax break for business, jobless clears House

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina House has approved legislation that would provide several hundred million dollars in state income tax breaks for businesses and the unemployed. The bill received near unanimous support on Thursday and now heads to the Senate, where its future is unclear. The bill would give additional breaks to businesses by letting them deduct expenses paid for with proceeds from federal Paycheck Protection Program loans. The measure also would exempt from income taxes the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits that filers received in 2020. Federal income tax rules already permit both while providing financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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