North Carolina News – May 19

North Carolina News – May 19


Prosecutor finds deputies justified in shooting of Black man

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina prosecutor says sheriff’s deputies were justified in their fatal shooting of a Black man in April. District Attorney Andrew Womble said Andrew Brown Jr. struck a deputy with his car and nearly ran him over while ignoring commands to show his hands and get out of the vehicle. Womble told a news conference Tuesday that he won’t file any criminal charges against the deputies. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said in a video statement Tuesday afternoon that the deputies will keep their jobs but will be “disciplined and retrained.”


Cooper proposes how to spend latest virus relief aid from DC

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina is getting billions of dollars more from the federal government through another COVID-19 relief package. Now Gov. Roy Cooper is ready to tell lawmakers how he wants them to spend the money. Cooper scheduled a Wednesday news conference to unveil his recommendations for North Carolina’s share of American Rescue Plan funds. The state learned last week its portion would be $5.4 billion. The Democratic governor and Republican lawmakers worked well in tandem last year when they agreed how to spend $3.6 billion in coronavirus relief funds. State government coffers are already flush with revenues from state taxes and fees.


Experts: 1 pipeline each for NC natural gas, fuel a concern

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Energy industry experts told lawmakers that North Carolina is particularly susceptible to energy interruptions because gasoline and natural gas supplies originate mainly from two pipeline systems. Representatives of the state’s petroleum trade group as well as utility giants Duke Energy and Dominion Energy also addressed the Senate’s energy committee on Tuesday. The hearing happened in light of this month’s ransomware cyberattack upon the Colonial Pipeline. Former North Carolina Utilities Commission Chairman Ed Finley says a lack of diverse distribution and redundancy in distribution networks make a widespread outage — whether from natural disaster or cyberattack — hard to overcome quickly.


Thousands of NC sexual assault kits in backlog now tested

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein says over half of the untested sexual assault kits recently accounted for in law enforcement evidence lockers have now been tested or are awaiting testing at labs. Stein and Republican lawmakers held a Legislative Building news conference Tuesday to update efforts to test more than 16,000 older kits. Stein says testing nearly 3,000 of these kits so far has led to evidence resulting in at least 40 arrests. A 2019 law set aside $6 million to test these kits. The Democratic attorney general says another $9 million is needed from legislators to eliminate the backlog entirely.


Former Louisville assistant charged by feds with extortion

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Federal authorities have charged a former University of Louisville assistant basketball coach with attempting to extort the university. A federal charging document says Dino Gaudio threatened to go to the media with alleged NCAA violations by the team. He was in a March 17 meeting with team personnel when he says he would expose alleged violations by the team “in its production of recruiting videos for prospective student-athletes and in the use of its graduate assistants in practices.” Gaudio and another assistant left the team in March. Head coach Chris Mack says he is fully cooperating with the investigation.


Police: Pickup driver tried to run over man along exit ramp

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina are asking for help finding the driver of a pickup truck who tried to run over a man on the side of a highway exit ramp and instead hit a cart that contained the man’s belongings and his cat.  Asheville police said in a news release that a witness captured video of the encounter on the side of exit 44 of Interstate-40 East on Monday afternoon. The video released by police shows a man walking on the grass beside a highway ramp and the white Ford F-150 driving in a loop, then smashing into a cart. Police say the man and his cat were not injured. Police say the truck had a North Carolina license plate RCL-8595.


Mother sues North Carolina sheriff over son’s beating death

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The mother of a North Carolina jail inmate who died after an assault last year is suing the sheriff and nine staff members, saying they created an unsafe environment in a county jail. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the lawsuit filed Monday in federal court claims “deliberate indifference to the safety of prisoners” led to the death of Maurice King on March 4, 2020, in the Orange County jail. Chief Deputy Jamison Sykes told the newspaper in a text that the sheriff’s office hasn’t been served in the lawsuit and that its answer would be filed when the lawsuit is served.


Inmate found dead at North Carolina jail

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina are investigating after an inmate was found dead at a county jail.News outlets report that 20-year-old Karon Golightly was found unresponsive at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center-Central on Friday morning. First responders tried to revive Golightly, but the sheriff’s office says he was pronounced dead a short time later at a nearby hospital. The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating and the medical examiner will determine a cause and manner of death.The Charlotte Observer reports that the sheriff’s office said Golightly’s death is the first at the jail this year.

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