Search resumes after 3 tubers died, 2 disappeared on river
EDEN, N.C. (AP) — A search has resumed for two missing tubers on a North Carolina river after three others were found dead and four were pulled from the water. Authorities say the group of nine people was floating down the Dan River on inflatable tubes and went over a dam about 8 feet-high next to a Duke Energy plant Wednesday night. A Duke Energy employee spotted some of the tubers Thursday afternoon and called 911. Local television stations showed rescue crews resuming their search Friday morning, putting boats in the water north of Greensboro along the Virginia state line.
Warrant: Mom made daughter bury sister, 4, in backyard
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A search warrant says the mother of a 4-year-old girl whose remains were found at a North Carolina home last month forced her 13-year-old daughter to help bury her sister in the backyard. The Charlotte Observer reports an arrest warrant says 31-year-old Malikah Bennett is charged with murder, child abuse, inflicting physical injury and concealing a death. Police found Miegellic “Jelli” Young’s body buried outside Bennett’s home in Charlotte. The warrant accuses Miegellic’s mother of forcing her to stand in a laundry room for three days as punishment for soiling her pants. Authorities say she eventually passed out, hit her head and died.
AP-NC-DEATH ROW-INMATE FREED
Citing withheld evidence, judge frees death row inmate
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man who was convicted 12 years ago in a woman’s stabbing death has been freed by a judge who cited the discovery of evidence that could have strengthened his defense but wasn’t shared with his attorneys. The Charlotte Observer reports 65-year-old Michael Wayne Sherrill, convicted for the 1984 fatal stabbing and rape of Cynthia Dotson, left Central Prison in Raleigh on Wednesday. Under an agreement between the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office and the defense team, the judge set aside Sherrill’s death sentence for the murder and rape of Dotson. Instead, Sherrill pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, second-degree rape and second-degree arson and received a 20-year sentence.
Museum closes until further notice over event controversy
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a North Carolina historic museum criticized for a planned reenactment of a white slave owner being pursued by Union soldiers will close its doors until further notice. The Mecklenburg Park and Recreation Department announced on its website Thursday that the Historic Latta Plantation is closed and all previously scheduled events are canceled while the department assesses the future use of the county-owned property. On Tuesday, Mecklenburg County announced it would let its contract expire next month with the museum over the controversial event that many deemed as racially insensitive. In the meantime, officials say the Latta Nature Preserve will continue to operate.
Crews recover body of man from lake after possible drowning
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say they’ve recovered a body in Upstate South Carolina after a possible drowning. Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said crews found the body of 36-year-old Rodricus Copeland late Thursday night. Clevenger tells WYFF-TV that Copeland had recently moved to North Carolina. Lt. Kevin Bobo of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office says its dive team responded to Clifton Beach in Spartanburg to help with the search efforts. Few other details were immediately released. Earlier this month, a North Carolina boy drowned at the same location.
Sponsors defend NC energy bill goals while Cooper pans it
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Negotiators of a wide-ranging North Carolina energy bill to retire Duke Energy coal-fired electricity plants, expand solar power production and keep nuclear power defended the measure’s goals as it got its first hearing. A House committee began scrutinizing the Republican measure on Thursday just after Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper came out against it, saying it’s not aggressive enough. He told lawmakers in a statement to “go back to the drawing board.” Bill sponsor Rep. Dean Arp told colleagues the measure embraces an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that also includes natural gas. Others say it relies too much on fossil fuels. The committee took no votes.
SHERIFF’S OFFICE-LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT
$6M settlement after ‘KKK’ deputies sued for excessive force
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office has agreed to a $6 million settlement in a lawsuit in which six families accused the department of a pattern of using excessive force. The lawsuit also said three deputies whose surnames begin with the letter K had called themselves the “KKK.” WRAL reports Raleigh-based attorney Robert Zaytoun announced the settlement with the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office. The lawsuit was filed by the family of John David Livingston, who was shot and killed by a Harnett County deputy after refusing to allow a warrantless search of his home in 2015. Sheriff Wayne Coats says the settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing.
US Mint to issue quarters honoring notable American women
A string of notable American women will appear on the U.S. quarter under a four-year program that begins in 2022. The U.S. Mint says its American Women Quarters Program will celebrate women’s accomplishments and contributions to U.S. history. Honorees chosen for the first year are: Maya Angelou, poet and author; Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space; Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation’s first female principal chief; Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American Hollywood film star; and Adelina Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement. Mankiller’s husband, Charlie Soap, thanked the mint for recognizing his late wife. He tells Indian Country Today the coin will inspire other Native Americans and “women everywhere.”
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