Conservation group buys unlogged North Carolina forest land
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A nonprofit land conservation group has purchased more than 57 acres in western North Carolina to ensure that forest land that has never been harvested will remain intact. The Asheville Citizen Times reports Conserving Carolina has announced the purchase of an area known as Chestnut Hills. The group, which made the purchase on March 2, plans to put the land into a conservation easement and manage it as a nature preserve. The move would sustain the biodiversity and scenery for hikers using Wildcat Rock. The gorge is about 20 miles southeast of Asheville.
FURNITURE STORE -SHOOTING
North Carolina furniture maker faces wrongful death lawsuit
HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina furniture manufacturer has been sued by the family of a woman who was shot and killed while on the job. The Hickory Daily Record reports attorney Lyndon Helton says Justin Marlow, the husband of shooting victim Michele Marlow, filed a lawsuit for wrongful death against TCS Designs. The company’s president, plant manager and a third person who was a company manager at the time of the shooting are also named in the suit. Hickory police said in January 2021 that Michele Marlow was shot in the head and killed as workers at the furniture store ran after hearing the first of two gunshots.
Germany’s Bayer sells pest control business for $2.6 billion
BERLIN (AP) — German chemical and health care company Bayer says it is selling a U.S.-based pest control business to private equity firm Cinven for $2.6 billion. Bayer said Thursday the Environmental Science Professional business, which is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, had about 800 employees last year. It specializes in “environmental solutions” for pest, disease and weed control in non-agricultural areas. Bayer board member Rodrigo Santos said in a statement that the sale of the business, which the company said it planned to divest in February 2021, “allows us to focus on our core agricultural business.” The sale is expected to close in this year’s second half, and the proceeds will be used to reduce Bayer’s net financial debt.
Former Trump chief Meadows’ voter registration in question
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Mark Meadows, who as chief of staff to President Donald Trump promoted his lies of mass voter fraud, is facing increasing scrutiny about his own voter registration status. Public records show he is registered to vote in two states, including North Carolina, where he listed a mobile home he did not own — and may never have visited — as his legal residence weeks before casting a ballot in the 2020 election. A spokesperson for Meadows did not respond to a message seeking comment on Wednesday. The North Carolina Board of Elections declined to comment on the specifics of Meadows’ situation but said it “investigates credible allegations of violations of election laws.”
ELECTION 2022-NORTH CAROLINA-SENATE
In campaign ad, McCrory calls out Budd on Putin, sanctions
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — U.S. Senate candidate Pat McCrory wants to make Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a pivotal issue in the Republican primary in a television ad criticizing rival Ted Budd. McCrory’s campaign began running a commercial on Wednesday accusing the congressman of being soft on President Vladimir Putin and Russian sanctions. The ad marks the first in the race for the former governor. The commercial calls out Budd for calling Putin a “very intelligent actor” in a TV interview. Budd also called Putin “evil” and an “international thug.” A Budd campaign adviser defended the congressman’s comments. Fourteen Republicans are seeking the party’s nomination in the May 17 primary.
NC governor’s veto of school mask mandate opt-out is upheld
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina legislature has failed to override another of Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes. The Senate fell short Wednesday on overriding a veto to a bill that would have allowed K-12 students to opt out of COVID-19 mask-wearing mandates. The Republican measure was approved last month on the same day Cooper encouraged boards of education to end broad mask requirements. Bill supporters have said it was needed to affirm that parents can make health-related decisions for their children. Nearly all of the state’s school districts have already approved mask-optional policies. The vote comes as lawmakers plan to end this week a session that began in January 2021.
Cawthorn cited by patrol for driving with revoked license
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina has been cited for the third time in five months for a traffic violation. The N.C. State Highway Patrol said Wednesday that a trooper stopped a car in Cleveland County the night of March 3 after the vehicle was seen driving left of the center line. A patrol statement said Cawthorn was found to be driving with a revoked license and has been charged with two violations. He had been cited previously for speeding in October and January. Hawthorn’s office says it expects the traffic matters to be resolved quickly and he remains focused on representing his constituents.
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER-ASSAULT
NC sheriff’s office: Woman asssaulted school officer
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says it has charged a woman with assaulting a school resource officer. News outlets report the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said a parent arrived at Philo-Hill Magnet Academy on Tuesday morning and got into a fight with the officer. The woman drove away from school and a sheriff’s deputy tried to stop her. She didn’t stop and a chase ensued. The sheriff’s office says the woman eventually stopped on a street and was taken into custody without further incident. She faces multiple misdemeanor charges.