North Carolina News – December 20

North Carolina News – December 20


Police: Officer fatally shoots man stabbing 13-year-old girl

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina police department says one of its officers shot and killed a man who was stabbing his ex-wife’s 13-year-old daughter inside a home. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says the teenager was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries on Saturday. Police say the girl’s mother fled after the man forced his way into the Charlotte home. Police Chief Johnny Jennings told reporters that officers found the man holding the girl at knifepoint and tried to de-escalate the situation before he stabbed her. The man died at the scene. None of the officers were injured.


Official: Worker’s body found after fire at QVC facility

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say they have found the body of a man who was working at a distribution center in North Carolina for the QVC home-shopping television network when a massive fire erupted at the facility. Edgecombe County Manager Eric Evans said authorities found the man’s body on Sunday morning at the facility near Rocky Mount. The Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that 21-year-old Kevon Ricks has been identified as the worker who died. QVC confirmed the death in a statement Sunday night and said it was offering resources to its Rocky Mount employees. More than 300 employees were working at the 1.2 million-square-foot facility when the fire broke out early Saturday.


From masks to book banning, conservatives take on educators

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A recent Wyoming school board meeting was yet again packed with opponents of mask mandates when things took an abrupt turn and a parent started reading out sexually explicit passages from a book available in school libraries. Conservatives across the U.S. have taken a renewed interest in removing books they deem objectionable from schools, part of broader push against teachings about social justice, race and history they say clash with conservative values. The fresh focus on public education as a political issue began with parents crowding school board meetings to oppose to mask mandates and other COVID-19 measures. Library organizations say the book opposition sends a bad message to young people.


Ex-CEO charged with embezzling $15M to fund lavish lifestyle

STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A former CEO has been charged with embezzling more than $15 million from her employer and using stolen money to pay for a lavish lifestyle, including travel, jewelry and family weddings. A court filing on Friday also accuses Donna Osowitt Steele, of Taylorsville, North Carolina, of using stolen money to fund personal businesses run by her family. Steele is charged with one count of wire fraud. Online court records don’t list an attorney for her who could comment. The company that employed Steele as its CEO isn’t named in Friday’s court filing. But prosecutors said it’s a subsidiary of a foreign corporation that makes products for the woodworking industry.


NC court: Charter schools can’t use immunity to thwart suits

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s highest court has ruled that nonprofit charter schools can’t avoid civil fraud claims alleging mismanagement of taxpayer money by arguing they’re immune from such lawsuits like a state agency. The state Supreme Court on Friday reversed a 2019 Court of Appeals decision that had dismissed claims against Kinston Charter Academy, which closed abruptly in 2013. Then-Attorney General Roy Cooper sought financial damages for the state and monetary penalties against the academy and its leaders. Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that receive state funds. The Supreme Court says a charter school isn’t protected under the doctrine of sovereign immunity.


Fire damages huge QVC distribution center in North Carolina

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) — A fire has ripped through a distribution center in North Carolina for the QVC home-shopping television network, causing extensive damage to the facility. The News & Observer reports that more than 300 employees were working at the facility near Rocky Mount when the fire was reported shortly after 2 a.m. No injuries were immediately reported. The cause of the fire remained under investigation. Evans said a “main section” of the 1.2 million-square-foot facility appears to be destroyed.


Court: New trial for man accused of threatening prosecutor

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Supreme Court agrees it was appropriate to overturn the conviction of a man who strongly criticized a local prosecutor, but it wants a new trial as well. The case involves a man who posted several comments on social media that he later deleted focusing on the district attorney in Macon County. A jury convicted David Warren Taylor of threatening to kill District Attorney Ashley Welch. The state Court of Appeals not only vacated that conviction but ordered Taylor’s acquittal. The majority of justices on Friday reversed the acquittal and said it should be up to jurors with proper instructions to reach a verdict.


EPA releases $1B to clean up toxic waste sites in 24 states

Federal environmental officials have announced a $1 billion infusion to the Superfund program. The money comes from the infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden recently signed into law. It’ll help officials tackle a backlog of highly polluted Superfund sites in 24 states. Nearly 50 toxic waste sites will be cleaned up, and ongoing work at dozens of others will get a funding boost. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan made the announcement Friday at a Superfund site in Philadelphia. He says most of the sites are in minority communities that have suffered disproportionately from contamination.

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