North Carolina News – May 17

North Carolina News – May 17

AP-NC-Car Crash-Toddler Killed

N Carolina toddler killed when thrown from vehicle in crash

SNOW HILL, N.C. (AP) — The N.C. State Highway Patrol says a 2-year-old was killed when the child was thrown from an SUV which was involved in a crash. WITN reports the patrol says the child was not in a safety seat when they were thrown from a 1999 GMC Yukon in which the driver lost control on N.C. Highway 903 late Sunday night. The vehicle overturned multiple times. According to investigators, there were six children in the SUV ranging in age from 2 to 10 years old. The patrol says the driver, Christopher Harrell, is charged with DWI and felony death by motor vehicle.


Trump to speak at North Carolina GOP convention on June 5

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump will speak at North Carolina’s annual state Republican Party convention next month. Party officials announced Monday that Trump will speak at the June 5 convention dinner in Greenville. Trump has expressed interest in running for president again in 2024 but has not yet announced a decision. North Carolina GOP party leaders are hoping he’ll keep playing a role in state politics and help the party in the upcoming 2022 midterms. A party spokeswoman said Trump’s speech will be off-limits to the media and that journalists won’t be able to view it in any way.


As prisons close, communities look to repurpose buildings

As prisons close around the country amid declining crime rates, officials are looking at how they might repurpose the buildings. Since 2009, the percentage of U.S. residents who are in prison has dropped 17% according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. Former prisons have been converted into homeless shelters, centers for troubled teens and in at least one case, a movie studio. Some prisoner-rights advocates are calling for the buildings to be demolished to remove any incentive for using them as prisons in the future.


Removal of Asheville Confederate monument set to commence

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Work to demolish and remove a 75-foot-tall stone obelisk built to honor a Confederate leader will begin soon in Asheville, North Carolina. TV station WLOS reports barricades have been placed around the Vance Monument ahead of work that will begin this week. Asheville City Council members voted 6-1 in March to remove the monument, the culmination of a decision-making process that began after the police killing of George Floyd. Built in 1897, the obelisk honors Zebulon Vance, a former North Carolina governor, U.S. senator and Confederate military officer. The removal and restoration process will take weeks.


Treasured Southport dock reopens years after hurricane

SOUTHPORT, N.C. (AP) — A cherished dock in a coastal North Carolina city has reopened in time for tourist season, years after it was wrecked by a hurricane. The StarNews of Wilmington reports Southport officially cut the ribbon on its rebuilt city dock last week. The structure was originally built in the late 1950s but had been closed since 2016 due to damage from Hurricane Matthew. Mayor Joseph Hatem told the newspaper preserving that piece of Southport was particularly important as the city and Brunswick County grow rapidly. The dock is now open to the public, but some work on the project continues.


Old North Carolina Capitol building reopens to public

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The old state Capitol building in downtown Raleigh is reopening to the public after being closed for 15 months during the pandemic. Visitors can enter the 1840 Greek Revival-style building for self-guided tours starting Monday. It’ll be open on weekdays during normal business hours. The Capitol once housed offices of the governor, the Supreme Court and the House and Senate chambers. The General Assembly and the Supreme Court have their own buildings now. Many of the governor’s offices remain inside. The Capitol will provide protective barriers at information desks and hand sanitizer stations.


North Carolina school psychologist charged with sex crime

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina school psychologist has been charged with sexually exploiting a minor. The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office says Chris Reid was charged Thursday with one count of the felony. Sheriff’s officials say the 69-year-old was taken into custody after investigators seized electronic devices from his home while executing a search warrant. Additional charges could come after the State Bureau of Investigation performs a forensic examination of the devices. A Buncombe County Schools spokeswoman says Reid has been a psychologist with the system since 2017. Officials say Reid has been suspended pending an internal investigation. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment for him.


2 men wrongfully sent to death row awarded $75M in damages

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A jury in a North Carolina federal civil rights case has awarded $75 million to two Black, intellectually disabled half brothers who spent decades behind bars after being wrongfully convicted in the 1983 rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl. The News & Observer reports the eight-person jury on Friday awarded Henry McCollum and Leon Brown $31 million each in compensatory damages, $1 million for every year spent in prison. The jury also awarded them $13 million in punitive damages. The two were released from prison in 2014 after DNA evidence that pointed to a convicted murderer exonerated them.


Pipeline operator says “normal operations” have resumed

ATLANTA (AP) — The operator of the nation’s largest gasoline pipeline that was hit with a ransomware cyberattack says it has resumed normal operations and is now delivering millions of gallons of fuel per hour. The Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline had begun the process of restarting the pipeline’s operations on Wednesday evening. The company warned it could take several days for the supply chain to return to normal. In a tweet Saturday, the company said since that time it has returned the system to normal operations and resumed service to its markets, including a large swath of the East Coast. Many gas stations continued to lack fuel on Saturday.

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