MISSING HELICOPTER-NORTH CAROLINA
Coast Guard: Search for missing helicopter suspended
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search along the North Carolina coast for a helicopter with two men aboard that disappeared near Albemarle Sound during a flight from Virginia. The search was suspended Wednesday after Coast Guard personnel and partner agencies searched a combined area of 3,303 miles over 38 hours. A concerned friend notified the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command center that they lost communication with the helicopter Monday evening. The Coast Guard says the two unidentified men left Mecklenburg Brunswick Regional Airport and were heading for the Dare County Regional Airport. Sector North Carolina Chief of Response Cmdr. Corrie Sergent says suspending a search is one of the hardest decisions they make.
JAIL GUARD ASSAULTED
North Carolina man sent to prison for stabbing jail guard
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for assaulting a jail guard with a 6-inch metal shank in 2019. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina says 32-year-old Troy Lamont Powell was sentenced in federal court in Raleigh on Wednesday. A news release says Powell was in custody at the Franklin County Detention Center on pending drug and gun charges when the incident occurred on Dec. 30, 2019. Powell pleaded guilty to the charges in April.
N. Carolina man sentenced for soliciting minors for photos
ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — Federal authorities say a North Carolina man who used social media to solicit minors in Virginia to send him sexually explicit photographs and videos in exchange for gifts has been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison. A news release from the U.S. Department of Justice says court documents show 41-year-old Jason Kelly Inman of Mount Airy, North Carolina, used Snapchat to solicit minor victims living in Grayson County, Virginia. The documents say Inman, who was sentenced on Wednesday, targeted at least four teenage boys who lived in Galax, Virginia.
OPIOID SETTLEMENT-NORTH CAROLINA
AG Stein: NC’s share of opioid settlement could be $750M
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The state of North Carolina and scores of local governments could receive $750 million combined from a $26 billion proposed national settlement with several opioid producers. Attorney General Josh Stein’s office gave out the figure on Wednesday. He was one of several attorneys general who negotiated the settlement. A memorandum of agreement between North Carolina and local governments directs 15% of the state’s settlement share be earmarked for the General Assembly to spend. The rest would go to all 100 counties and some municipalities. More than 16,500 North Carolina residents died due to accidental opioid overdoses from 2000 to 2019.
Cooper moves to end North Carolina’s statewide mask mandate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina health officials and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced they will eliminate the statewide mask mandate and ease masking requirements in schools. The new recommendations released on Wednesday urge K-8 schools to require masks for students and staff while they are indoors but allows fully vaccinated high school students and staff to be unmasked. The mask mandate expires at 5 p.m. on July 30. That’s the same time the updated school reopening guidance takes effect. The easing of masking restrictions comes as the state is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations fueled by the delta variant.
NC medical marijuana bill approved by another Senate panel
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation to legalize marijuana for medical use in North Carolina has advanced through another state Senate panel. Members of the Senate Finance Committee voted for the legislation on Wednesday. The bill would allow patients of who have of several “debilitating medical conditions” like cancer, epilepsy or HIV to purchase and use marijuana products. Ten marijuana producers licensed by a new state commission could open four stores each. The measure still must go through two more committees before reaching the Senate floor. North Carolina is one of 14 states that don’t permit cannabis products for medical use.
Bill says NC youth would need parent OK for COVID-19 vaccine
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A bill in North Carolina would require children to get parental permission before they could receive COVID-19 vaccines approved by federal regulators for emergency use. The parent or guardian requirement is contained in a bill approved by a Senate committee on Wednesday that also would expand the types of medications that immunizing pharmacists can administer. Currently only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available to children from 12 to 17. North Carolina law currently allows these children to make this vaccination decision. The bill also directs the state health director to issue standing orders for pharmacists to administer several additional medications.
Former N. Carolina Rep. Goodwin remembered as a trailblazer
RALEIGH, N.C (AP) — Colleagues of the late North Carolina Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin are remembering her as a trailblazer for women in public service who accomplished much during a life cut short by cancer. The House and Senate approved a resolution on Wednesday remembering Goodwin, who died last September at age 50. Goodwin served in the state House from 2005 through 2010. She also made state history by becoming the first lawmaker to give birth while holding office in 2008. Goodwin later served on the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Her career included representing domestic violence victims and working at the North Carolina Council for Women.
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