North Carolina News – April 13, 2022

North Carolina News – April 13, 2022


Pouring it on: Climate change made 2020 hurricanes rainier

Human-caused climate change made the record-smashing 2020 Atlantic hurricane season even wetter. A new study on the record busy hurricane year found it was 5% rainier than it would have been had their been no global warming from the burning of fossil fuels. There were a record 30 named storms in 2020 and 11 of them — also a record — made landfall in the United States. The first study to look for a climate change fingerprint on an entire hurricane season found that the storms that reached hurricane status were 8% wetter. Scientists compared the reality to a computer simulated world without climate change.


North Carolina city settles female firefighter’s lawsuit

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Officials in a North Carolina city have settled a federal discrimination lawsuit with a former female firefighter who said she had endured a hostile work environment in which the fire chief and others inflicted emotional distress. The attorney representing former Asheville firefighter Joy Ponder confirmed Tuesday that his client will get $155,000 in compensatory damages. She also voluntarily dismissed her claim in U.S. District Court. Ponder didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A federal judge had ruled in March that the discrimination lawsuit filed by Ponder could proceed based on a claim of “disparate treatment.” A trial had been scheduled for May 9.


Soldiers who saw paratrooper alive last face courts-martial

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — Seven North Carolina-based soldiers who were camping with a Fort Bragg paratrooper whose partial remains were found along the coast in 2020 are facing courts-martial on conspiracy and other charges. Eight soldiers assigned were camping on Cape Lookout National Seashore when Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez was reported missing in 2020. The Fayetteville Observer reports that court records state that seven soldiers who were the last to see Roman-Martinez alive are all charged with conspiracy and failure to obey a direct order or regulation related to travel during a travel ban. Officials have said the charges are unrelated to the death of Roman-Martinez. All seven have all been arraigned and their trials are scheduled from May to September.


North Carolina woman, 94, struck by 2 hit-and-run drivers

BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A 94-year-old North Carolina woman was struck by two vehicles whose drivers left the scene, and police said they were looking for whoever is responsible. News outlets report the Burlington Police Department said in a news release that officers responded to a local intersection at around 2:35 p.m. on Sunday. Police say the woman, whose name was not released, suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized in stable condition. Authorities say they are looking for a newer model gray Honda Civic and a older model black Mitsubishi Lancer with a red spoiler.


Pennsylvania child swept over North Carolina waterfall

SYLVA, N.C. (AP) — A sheriff’s office says a 3-year-old Pennsylvania girl was killed after she was swept over Whitewater Falls in North Carolina. News outlets report the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that Nevaeh Jade Newswanger of Denver, Pennsylvania, had been visiting the waterfall with family, who are staying in Oconee County, South Carolina, while working in the area. Jackson County Emergency Management received a 911 call around 5:50 p.m. on Sunday from someone reporting a little girl had been swept over the edge of the falls. Her body was recovered early Monday morning.


WH environmental justice advisors press for Justice40 action

Key members of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council say they plan to use $14 million from the Bezos Earth Fund to make sure the Biden administration follows through on its Justice40 initiative, a commitment that 40% of benefits from all climate and environment investment go to disadvantaged communities. Beverly Wright told attendees at an environmental justice conference in New Orleans Tuesday that Justice40 is a novel idea but more needs to be done to make it a reality.


Sheriff’s office: Shots fired at officers in unmarked car

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Officials say at least two people fired on law enforcement officers in an unmarked vehicle in Durham over the weekend. The Durham County sheriff’s office says two on-duty officers were observing the area near Keystone Place and Dearborn Drive on Saturday night as part of an ongoing investigation when at least two unknown males fired multiple rounds. The officers’ vehicle and nearby occupied homes were struck, but officials say no one was injured. The shooters have not been identified.


North Carolina man killed when police chase ends in crash

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a North Carolina man was killed when a police chase ended in a crash just north of the border in Virginia. The Winston-Salem Journal reports the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office said Bobby Wayne Gammons, 81, died after a woman’s car crossed the median on U.S. Highway 58 and collided head-on with his vehicle. Rangers at Staunton River State Park in Halifax County, Virginia, found Christine Barnette in an unrented cabin on Friday, and as they approached, she ran and got into her car. The chase ended when Barnette went through an intersection that had been closed by Patrick County deputies, crossed the median of U.S. 58 and crashed head-on into Gammons’ vehicle.