North Carolina News Network – July 29

North Carolina News Network – July 29


North Carolina seeks origin of chemical spill on creek

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — State officials are for the second time trying to determine the source of potentially harmful compounds found in foam floating on a North Carolina creek. The Fayetteville Observer reports that in both instances, the man-made chemicals found in the Gray’s Creek area do not appear connected to the Chemours plant, which is in the same general area and makes a similar compound. The state Department of Environmental Quality says in a memo dated June 22 that tests were conducted in March on foam from an unnamed tributary of Rockfish Creek. The tests showed that the foam contained perfluorooctane sulfonate, also known as PFOS, and three other compounds.


North Carolina man accused of sexual assault of child

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office has accused a man of committing sex crimes against two children dating back to 2015. The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that 54-year-old Johnny Ray Perry is charged with statutory rape of a child age 15 or younger and two counts of first-degree statutory sex offense. According to the news release, the sheriff’s office received a report in August 2020 of a possible sexual assault involving a minor that allegedly occurred years ago. In January, there was another report of a sexual assault involving a different child. Perry is being held on a $300,000 bond.


Gun maker offers $33M to settle suit by Sandy Hook families

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has offered some of the victims’ families nearly $33 million to settle their lawsuit over how the company marketed the firearm to the public. Lawyers for now-bankrupt Remington filed the proposals late Tuesday in a Connecticut court, offering the nine families suing the company nearly $3.7 million apiece. The families’ lawyers say they are considering the proposals. A lawyer for Remington declined to comment. Remington made the Bushmaster rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six educations at the Newtown, Connecticut, school in 2012. The families say the company shouldn’t have marketed such a dangerous weapon to the public.


Feds sue North Carolina county over 911 operator’s firing

WILSON, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice is suing a North Carolina county, alleging that a 911 operator was fired after she complained about being sexually harassed on the job. According to the lawsuit, Jennifer Riddle began working for Wilson County Emergency Communications in 2017 and was sexually harassed by the agency’s assistant director. The lawsuit says that when she complained of the harassment, an investigation substantiated her complaints and county officials fired the assistant director. But the lawsuit says Riddle began experiencing hostility from her supervisor and co-workers, ending in a transfer and, ultimately, her firing.


North Carolina requiring state health workers to get vaccine

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s state health department is compelling workers, volunteers and others at 14 state-run health care facilities to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September. If they don’t get the vaccine and do not qualify for an approved medical or religious exemption, they could be fired. Several North Carolina hospital systems are requiring staff to get vaccinated if they want to remain employed. Republican House Speaker Tim Moore criticized the new mandate state health officials established Tuesday. He believes the decision over whether to get a COVID-19 shot should be left to an individual in consultation with a doctor.


Gun, ammo found in man’s backpack at N. Carolina courthouse

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a man accompanying his wife to a courthouse for a traffic ticket tried to enter the building with a pistol and ammunition. The Charlotte Observer reports the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office says 35-year-old Anthony S. Donte of Huntersville entered the county courthouse in downtown Charlotte on Tuesday with a bookbag. The sheriff’s office says when two deputies put the bag through an x-ray scanner, they saw a gun, seized it and placed Donte under arrest. Deputies found a pistol and 27 rounds of ammunition in the bag. Donte is charged with possession of a deadly weapon on a state property or courthouse.


State lawmakers work to strip old ‘whites only’ covenants

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The nation’s reckoning on race has given new momentum to efforts to help U.S. homeowners somehow disassociate their properties with historic, racially restrictive property covenants. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 10 states this year passed or are currently considering a wide range of bills concerning restrictive covenants that are based upon race or religion. Three states passed such legislation in 2020. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948 ruled that racially restrictive housing covenants were unenforceable under the U.S. Constitution, many still remain today, often to the surprise of homeowners.


North Carolina woman charged after 4-year-old shoots self

HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — Police have charged a North Carolina woman with child abuse after her unattended 4-year-old boy picked up a gun while she drank and smoked marijuana and shot himself in the head. News outlets report High Point police say 29-year-old Jasmine E. Fagan of High Point is charged with felony child abuse. According to police, Fagan and several other adults were at a home Sunday night when the 4-year-old found a firearm under a couch cushion in the living room and shot himself in the head. He died at a local hospital. Fagan is jailed on a $50,000 secured bond.

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