North Carolina News – October 6

North Carolina News – October 6


North Carolina jail officer fired for having sex with inmate

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina jail officer is facing criminal charges after she was fired for having sex with an inmate. News outlets report Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden says jailer Karen Payton also provided the same inmate with tobacco, which is another violation. Payton, who was fired on Tuesday, is charged with engaging in a sexual act with a male inmate and providing a tobacco product to an inmate in custody. The Charlotte Observer reports that Payton is at least the fifth member of McFadden’s staff, and the second female detention officer, to be fired in the last five months for misconduct. 


North Carolina post office renamed for late congressman

FARMVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A post office in a North Carolina city has been named for a native son and a longtime congressman with endorsements from Republicans and Democrats. The Daily Reflector of Greenville reports the post office in Farmville has been named for Rep. Walter B. Jones, who served in Congress from 1994 until he died at age of 76 in February 2019. Ceremonies marking the renaming were held on Tuesday. Sixteen representatives joined as cosponsors including all of North Carolina’s congressional delegation, three Democrats from California, Vermont and Connecticut and one Republican from Texas. The bill became law last December. 


N. Carolina woman sent to prison for social security fraud

NEW BERN, N,C. (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a North Carolina woman to more than five years in prison for using her position in the Social Security Administration to direct benefits into nine separate bank accounts that she had access to. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Bern says 45-year-old Stephanie Chavis of Saint Pauls was also ordered to pay almost $761,000 in restitution. Prosecutors say Chavis used her government credentials as an operations supervisor at the Fayetteville office of the Social Security Administration to access the accounts of more than 60 people and used the information to generate the fraudulent payment requests.


Racial inequity committee at heart of NC sorority suspension

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A national sorority has suspended activities at a North Carolina university after most of its members left the group when it failed to hold discussions on racial inequities after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. The Asheville Citizen Times reports that in mid-August, 25 of 28 members of the Zeta Tau chapter of Alpha Xi Delta at UNCA dropped out of the sorority when it didn’t take action after Floyd’s death. Former Alpha Xi member Kayla Bledsoe says leadership, including Alpha Xi’s then-president, were opposed to forming a committee on the issue when the idea was presented.


Negotiated energy bill advancing through NC Senate

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A bipartisan energy bill backed by Gov. Roy Cooper that targets scaling back greenhouse gas emissions is advancing in the North Carolina legislature. The bill also gives Duke Energy the option to seek rate increases. The measure cleared two Senate committees on Tuesday and is likely to be on the Senate floor Wednesday. The legislation should be on the Democratic governor’s desk soon, given its backing from members of both parties, Duke Energy and several key business groups. The bill directs the state Utilities Commission to come up with a plan to reduce carbon dioxide levels from energy producers drastically by 2030 and have net-zero emissions by 2050.


After public hearings, NC remapping work begins this week

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The General Assembly is ready to begin drawing new boundaries for the North Carolina legislature and the state’s U.S. House delegation for the next decade. The House and Senate remapping committee leaders said Tuesday that members could begin drawing boundaries Wednesday in committee rooms open to the public, with map work streamed on the internet. It’ll likely be at least two weeks before plans are debated and voted upon. North Carolina is redrawing House and Senate boundaries and those for Congress based on 2020 census figures released earlier this year. North Carolina’s population has grown enough for the state to earn a 14th congressional seat.


Another suspect pleads guilty to role in ATM skimming scheme

BOSTON (AP) — A Romanian man has pleaded guilty to his role in a multi-state ATM skimming scheme that netted hundreds of thousands of dollars. Federal prosecutors in Boston say 26-year-old Dragos Nelu Hornea pleaded guilty Tuesday to racketeering and conspiracy to use counterfeit access devices charges. Authorities say Hornea was a member of a gang that attached skimming devices to ATMs to steal debit card numbers and PINs from unsuspecting bank customers, create counterfeit cards, and make unauthorized withdrawals from the victims’ bank accounts. They victimized residents of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina.


Court: McCrory backers can be sued for defaming 2016 voters

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court says some supporters of former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s efforts to contest the 2016 gubernatorial election results can be sued for allegedly defaming voters. The decision announced on Tuesday paves the way for a trial court to hear arguments against a Virginia-based law firm and the Pat McCrory Committee Legal Defense Fund. The Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed the complaint against the two groups and a GOP official in Greensboro whose signature was on one of the election protests that was filed with inaccurate information accusing some North Carolinians of voting twice.

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