NY flight to Florida diverted over ‘disruptive passenger’
MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a disruptive passenger prompted a flight from New York to Florida to divert to a North Carolina airport. Raleigh-Durham International Airport officials say Frontier Airlines flight 1335, which was headed from LaGuardia Airport to Orlando International Airport, was diverted around 8:15 p.m. because of a “disruptive passenger.” The airport statement says airport law enforcement, fire-rescue and Wake County EMS responded, but there were no details about how the situation was resolved. The flight departed for Orlando around 9:40 p.m. FBI spokesperson Shelley Lynch says the investigation is ongoing and no federal charges have been filed.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-STATE EMPLOYEES
NC employees can be paid as substitute teachers until April
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration has extended by another two months a deal in which North Carolina state employees can be paid as substitute teachers while using special leave already provided for volunteer work. Cooper says the temporary policy change set to end next week will now continue until mid-April. The effort is designed to address school staffing shortages related to COVID-19. The usual policy says employees can’t use volunteer leave in schools if they get paid for that in-school work. That prohibition is removed for now, and the updated policy also gives them more volunteer leave time to work in schools.
NC Senate seeks bipartisan negotiation on new district maps
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Senate leaders say Republicans and Democrats in their chamber will work together on creating replacement redistricting maps. Republican Senate leader Phil Berger and Democratic leader Dan Blue released a statement on Wednesday. The state Supreme Court last week struck down plans arranged by the GOP, calling them illegal partisan gerrymanders. Blue and Berger says that any “negotiated end product” would be released “as early as practicable.” The Supreme Court told lawmakers to turn in replacement maps by Feb. 18. Both the House and Senate must pass any new legislative and congressional boundaries. The House plans to vote on maps next week.
N. Carolina teacher suspended after gun found in classroom
TROY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina high school teacher has been suspended without pay after a search of his classroom turned up a loaded gun, knives and ammunition. Montgomery County Schools says 47-year-old Jason Hensley was suspended by the system pending further disciplinary action. In a news release, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said it was called on Feb. 5 by school superintendent Dale Ellis to investigate reports of a teacher having a gun in their classroom at Montgomery Central High School. A search of Hensley’s desk turned up a loaded .380-caliber handgun. The sheriff’s office says that because Hensley is a part-time police officer, there was nothing illegal about having the gun on school property.
Sheriff: 3 wounded following shooting on North Carolina road
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says three people, including a child, were wounded in a shooting in North Carolina and went to the hospital in a bullet-riddled car. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that the shooting occurred on Wednesday on a road adjacent to Interstate 40/85. The victims were driven to a hospital in Hillsborough shortly before 8 a.m. According to the sheriff’s office, preliminary indications are that the shooting was not the result of road rage, and investigators do not believe it was random.
Tractor-trailer driver killed in North Carolina crash
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Police say the driver of a tractor-trailer was killed in a crash on the outskirts of a North Carolina city. News outlets report the crash occurred at around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday on northbound U.S. Highway 52, north of downtown Winston-Salem. According to Winston-Salem police, traffic was slowed on a portion of the highway because of a lane closure for road construction. Investigators said the driver of the tractor-trailer failed to slow down and hit the rear end of another tractor-trailer. The driver, identified by police as 49-year-old William Gorham, was pronounced dead at the scene.
HOUSE FIRE-CHILD KILLED
Warrant issued for man sought in fire that killed child
KINSTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a warrant has been issued for a man wanted in connection with a house fire in November that killed an 8-year-old boy. The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office says on its Facebook page Tuesday that deputies are looking for William Jemeriah Howell, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter. According to the sheriff’s office, detectives determined that Howell was the only adult in the home just outside of Kinston on Nov. 21 and was intoxicated. The investigation determined that Howell had turned on the kitchen stove to cook food, but left it unattended, leading to the fire.
Betty Davis, hard funk pioneer, dead at 77
NEW YORK (AP) — Betty Davis, a bold and pioneering funk singer, model and songwriter of the 1960s and ’70s who was credited with inspiring then-husband Miles Davis’ landmark fusion of jazz and more contemporary sounds, has died. She was 77. Sometimes referred to as “Madonna before Madonna,” Davis was the rare woman to make funk albums in the 1970s, and her three albums from that time were showcases for her fearless personality and sexuality and insistence on control of her material and her image. She released no new music for decades, but she was not forgotten. “Betty Davis” and other ’70s albums were reissued and her music was heard on “Orange Is the New Black” and other TV series.
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