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North Carolina News – March 18, 2022

North Carolina News – March 18, 2022

AP-US-MEADOWS-VOTER-REGISTRATION

North Carolina investigating Meadows’ voter registration

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s attorney general office says state investigators are probing the voter registration of Mark Meadows, a former chief of staff to President Donald Trump. That step comes amid questions about him listing a home he never owned on voter records. The N.C. Department of Justice, acting on a request from a district attorney, asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into Meadows. Department spokeswoman Nazneen Ahmed said Macon County District Attorney Ashley Welch referred the matter to the department’s special prosecutions section and it agreed to her request.

30-YEAR-OLD CASE-ARREST

Joint investigation nets arrest in 30-year-old murder case

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a Mississippi man has been arrested for the 1992 murder of a North Carolina woman after an investigation by state and local law enforcement agencies. The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation says in a news release that it was joined by the Surry County Sheriff’s Office in breaking the case. On the morning of July 7, 1992, the body of Nona Stamey Cobb was found alongside the northbound lanes of Interstate 77 in Surry County. Last year, DNA evidence pointed to 71-year-old Warren Luther Alexander as a possible suspect in Cobb’s murder. Alexander was arrested Tuesday in Mississippi and is awaiting extradition to North Carolina.

FEMALE FIREFIGHTERS-LAWSUITS

Federal judge says ex-firefighter’s lawsuit can continue

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge says a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former firefighter who was one of the highest ranking females in a North Carolina fire department can proceed based on a claim of “disparate treatment.” The Asheville Citizen Times reports attorneys for the city of Asheville and Fire Chief Scott Burnette had asked U.S. District Court Judge Martin Reidinger for a pre-trial summary judgment throwing out all claims by ex-firefighter Joy Ponder. Reidinger dismissed claims against Burnette, but ruled that the city, as the chief’s employer, could be held liable for his actions, which may have amounted to disparate treatment of Ponder based on her gender.

GRANDMOTHER ASSAULTED

Sheriff: Man fires shot at grandmother, assaults her

BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a man is facing multiple charges after he got into an argument with his grandmother and fired a shot a her with a rifle. The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release on Wednesday that deputies responded to a call from a residence in Burlington on Monday about an assault. When the deputies arrived, they saw the suspect assaulting his grandmother in the front yard. The news release says deputies stopped the assault, and that investigators learned that the suspect fired a high-powered rifle in the direction of his grandmother. No one was hit. The sheriff’s office filed multiple charges against 19-year-old Noah Church.

INSURANCE FRAUD-AGENTS CHARGED

2 North Carolina insurance agents accused of fraud

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say two North Carolina insurance agents have been accused of submitting false insurance claims to collect more than $30,000. The N.C. Department of Insurance said in a news release that Christian LaFabian Ratliff, of Rockingham was charged with insurance fraud obtaining property by false pretense, both felonies. Ratliff also was charged with two misdemeanor counts of making false statements in an application for insurance. The department also said Jamel Dante Buie of Hamlet is facing similar charges. Both insurance agents are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

AVIAN FLU-NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina wildlife officials confirm avian flu cases

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Wildlife experts in North Carolina have confirmed that birds in four separate counties have died from the avian flu. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said in a news release on Wednesday that a snow goose in Hyde County, a redhead duck in Carteret County, a red-shouldered hawk in Wake County, and a bald eagle in Dare County, have all died from the flu. According to the news release, both the snow goose and redhead duck were observed with neurological signs consistent with avian flu prior to being euthanized. The hawk and eagle were found dead, Avian flu has been reported in 357 birds in 20 states this year.

PLANT EMPLOYEES DEAD

Labor officials cite NC plant where 2 workers died

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina labor officials have cited an animal byproduct rendering plant for alleged safety violations after a September accident that killed two employees. The Fayetteville Observer reports the N.C. Department of Labor cited Valley Proteins last week for five violations with total penalties of $13,750. Bradley Zipp and Kevin Paul Hoeft were found dead at the Fayetteville facility Sept. 12 of asphyxiation from hydrogen sulfide inside a pet food pit basement. The citations state the men freed a jammed auger, but were exposed to fatal levels of hydrogen sulfide. The medical examiner’s report states other employees told investigators the ventilation fan wasn’t running. The company can request an informal conference, file a notice of contest or pay the penalty.

PEDESTRIAN KILLED-OFFICER

NC court: Officer not grossly negligent in pedestrian death

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court has halted a lawsuit filed against a Fayetteville policeman who fatally struck a pedestrian while responding to a call. Two of three judges on a state Court of Appeals panel ruled on Tuesday that there’s no evidence Officer Ashton Lambert was grossly negligent in the events leading to the death of Gregory Graham in July 2018. The officer was responding to a report of domestic violence when he hit Graham with his cruiser as Graham walked across the seven-lane road late at night. A dissenting appeals judge wrote that the lawsuit should be allowed to continue.

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