North Carolina News – February 11

North Carolina News – February 11


Quite a dill: Mt. Olive Pickle expanding in home NC county

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Mt. Olive Pickle Co. says it will expand near its eastern North Carolina headquarters with more production lines, along with warehouse and distribution operations. The company and Gov. Roy Cooper made the announcement of the $35 million investment and 167 jobs in Wayne County on Thursday. The company is based in Mount Olive and was started in 1926. It’s a leading seller nationally of pickles, peppers and relishes. CEO Bobby Frye says the expansion will relieve pressures on the company’s facilities in Mount Olive and help prepare for future growth. Average salaries for the new jobs will be above $41,000.


Former North Carolina deputy convicted of falsifying records

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina jury found has found a former sheriff’s deputy guilty of falsifying training and qualification requirements for a former sheriff and his former chief deputy. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Chad Coffey was facing a total of 24 felony charges. He was found guilty on 12 counts of obstructing justice Thursday and acquitted on 12 counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. Hart Miles, one of Coffey’s attorneys, argued that prosecutors were overreaching, saying Coffey, who was in charge of the Granville County sheriff’s office training program, was following orders. A judge sentenced Coffey to five to 15 months in prison. 


Sheriff: 3rd escapee from Tennessee found in North Carolina

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Officials say an inmate who escaped from a Tennessee jail with two others has been arrested in North Carolina. A statement from the Sullivan County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Office says 50-year-old Johnny Shane Brown was taken into custody without incident Thursday evening at a residence in Wilmington. Authorities said on Monday that two others who escaped from the Sullivan County jail with Brown last week died in Wilmington following a police pursuit. Brown was located after the U.S. Marshals Service received information on his location. The statement said Brown will be held at the New Hanover County Detention Center pending extradition.


Trump turns to endorsements to keep bending GOP to his will

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump remains the most popular figure with the GOP base as he considers another bid for the White House. Trump is flexing the power of his endorsement in several high-profile midterm contests. In Georgia, Trump persuaded a candidate running for governor against his favored candidate to drop his bid and run for Congress instead. In North Carolina, Trump has pressed another Senate candidate to switch contests, and he’s shopping for a Senate hopeful to back in New Hampshire. The moves underscore Trump’s efforts to reshape the Republican Party in his own image and achieve his goals, regardless of the consequences.


Death penalty dropped in murder trial over virus concerns

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina district attorney has dropped a capital murder charge against a man in the 2017 death of his parents, citing an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 to those associated with the trial. The Charlotte Observer reports that Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorney Jodi Anderson told a judge that because death penalty trials routinely run on for months, they carry an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure for jurors, judges, witnesses and other court personnel. Any outbreaks of the disease during the trial could indefinitely delay a verdict. The decision affects Curtis Atkinson Jr., who is accused of the shooting and stabbing deaths of his parents.


New NC advice seeks to keep more virus-exposed kids in class

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina health officials have released new guidance for K-12 schools that are designed to keep more students and staff in class even if they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. The new guidance was released Thursday and takes effect Feb. 21. It states children and school workers shouldn’t be required to stay home following a exposure unless they have symptoms or test positive. The outgoing guidance often directed these people to stay home for five days. The new guidance keeps recommending that all school staff and students wear masks indoors. It’s still up to local school boards to decide whether to make that a mandate.


Largest US public power company launches new nuclear program

The largest public power company in the United States is launching a program to develop and fund new small modular nuclear reactors as part of its strategy to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The board for the Tennessee Valley Authority on Thursday authorized the program, with up to $200 million to be spent for the first phase. A recent Associated Press survey of the energy policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia found that a strong majority say nuclear will help take the place of fossil fuels.


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. 

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