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North Carolina News – January 21

North Carolina News – January 21

AP-US-WINTER-WEATHER

Rare blast of snow, ice takes aim at Southeast US coast

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Salt spreader trucks crisscrossed coastal roads as courthouses and schools closed Friday to prepare for a snow and ice storm expected to snarl parts of the Carolinas and Virginia unaccustomed to winter precipitation. Authorities along a stretch of the North and South Carolina coast warned that ice accumulation could cause major power outages, while areas northeast of there stretching into Virginia could see several inches of snow. School districts in the pathway canceled class or went to remote learning, while two large coastal military bases modified operations. Fifty-seven courthouses from the central part of North Carolina to the coast closed for modified operations due to the forecast.

FATAL WRONG-WAY CRASH

Highway patrol: NC woman reported missing before fatal crash

WHITSETT, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say a woman killed in a crash while driving the wrong way on Interstate 40 was reported missing earlier in the day. The News & Record reports that North Carolina State Highway Patrol said troopers were called to westbound I-40 in Guilford County on Thursday evening for a crash. Officials say a Hyundai Santa Fe headed east in westbound lanes struck a Ford Explorer head-on, leading to a chain-reaction crash involving five more vehicles. Officials say the Hyundai’s driver, Pearlie Mae Williams, died on the scene and the Ford driver and his son were taken to a hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries. Greensboro Police Department say Williams was reported missing earlier.

ATTORNEY-BANK FRAUD CHARGE

N. Carolina attorney pleads guilty to bank fraud conspiracy

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal prosecutor says a North Carolina attorney has pleaded guilty for her role in a conspiracy in which she and others created credit profiles using illegally obtained social security numbers, and using the accounts to buy herself a luxury car and get plastic surgery. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh said in a news release that Tiffany Dawn Russell, 43, of Durham, pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiracy to commit mail, wire and financial institution fraud and filing a false tax return. Her sentencing is scheduled for April 18.

HOSPITAL WORKERS ASSAULTED

Police: Man tried to kill 2 North Carolina hospital workers

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a man choked a hospital worker unconscious and tried to snap another employee’s neck during a rampage inside a North Carolina emergency room earlier this week. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says 24-year-old Rothwell Jacob Simmons has been charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of assault by strangulation. Simmons was arrested at New Hanover Regional Medical Center after Tuesday’s attack. Officials have not said what prompted the incident or released details about the victims’ injuries. According to WECT-TV, Simmons appeared in court on Wednesday and said, “I don’t know what the hell got into me.”

MALL SHOOTING

Police: 3rd man charged in Black Friday mall shooting

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Police have charged a third man in a Black Friday shooting at a North Carolina mall. Police have said the Streets at Southpoint in Durham was packed when two men approached a jewelry vendor and one tried to rob him. The vendor and would-be robber fired at each other, wounding three people. Three others were injured as shoppers fled. The Herald-Sun reports that Durham police announced Wednesday that Lamonttae Taylor has been charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. Police identified Taylor as the second suspect in an attempted robbery that preceded the shooting. Attorney Alex Charns says Taylor will plead not guilty.

MANUFACTURING PLANT CLOSING

North Carolina manufacturer to close, puts 475 out of work

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina manufacturing plant which makes small engines for windshield wipers, electric windows and other car parts says it is shutting down, putting nearly 500 people out of a job. News outlets report DENSO Manufacturing told local economic development officials on Tuesday that layoffs at the Greenville plant will take place later this year and that the company will close its doors by January 2023, news outlets reported. The move will affect 475 workers, who were informed on Tuesday of the impending shutdown. The company said in a statement that the closure was part of an effort to optimize its North American manufacturing operations.

CAR CRASH-MOTHER KILLED

North Carolina mother dies after being thrown from car

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says a woman was killed Wednesday night in a rollover wreck after she was thrown from a car in which her two children were passengers. The News & Record of Greensboro reports that the patrol says 30-year-old Christina Marie Durham of Greensboro was killed when her car ran off a local street, hit a ditch and overturned. The patrol says Durham was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the car and died at the scene. The children, who were wearing seatbelts, were treated and released at a local hospital.

MARINES KILLED-VEHICLE CRASH

2 Marines dead, 17 hurt in truck rollover near Camp Lejeune

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say two U.S. Marines were killed and 17 others injured when the 7-ton truck they were riding in overturned near their North Carolina base. The State Highway Patrol said the truck was making a right turn onto a highway Wednesday afternoon when it lost control and overturned. A highway patrol spokesman, Lt. Devin Rich, said indications were that the truck was traveling too fast for the turn. The patrol says 17 Marines aboard the truck were ejected. It said a second vehicle trailing the truck hit one of those passengers. The accident occurred a few miles away from Camp Lejeune. 

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