OBIT-DOWLESS-NORTH CAROLINA-DISPUTED ELECTION
Dowless, key figure in NC absentee ballot fraud probe, dies
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The key player in a North Carolina absentee ballot fraud probe that led to a do-over congressional election has died. The family of Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. and a friend confirmed he died Sunday at his daughter’s Bladen County home. The friend told The Associated Press that Dowless had been diagnosed with an advanced form of lung cancer. He was supposed to go on trial this summer for more than a dozen state criminal counts related to absentee ballot activities. Witnesses told state officials that Dowless directed his assistants to collect blank or incomplete ballots, forge signatures on them and even fill in votes for local candidates.
North Carolina mom, boyfriend charged in children’s deaths
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina mother and her boyfriend have been charged with involuntary manslaughter after her two young children died Saturday. Rocky Mount Police say the 1-year-old girl and her 3-month-old baby brother were found unresponsive Saturday morning and declared dead at a nearby hospital. Police have not released additional details about the circumstances of their death. Later Saturday, police arrested the mother and her boyfriend, both 21. They were each charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony child abuse. Police said their investigation continues and that further charges are possible once the medical examiner’s office completes its report.
North Carolina conducts alcohol enforcement, 250 charged
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Agents with North Carolina’s Alcohol Law Enforcement Unit charged more than 250 people in a series of coordinated actions over the weekend. Officials said the charges included alcohol, drug, firearm, driving and gambling offenses. In addition, police seized six firearms, including an AR-15 rifle illegally possessed by a convicted felon. Officials said 77 fake IDs and an illegal distillery were also seized. Twenty cities across the state were targeted in the enforcement action, which took place Friday night.
Black bear proves perfect pedestrian in downtown Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A smarter-than-average bear took a tourist jaunt through downtown Asheville _ even taking care to use crosswalks at intersections _ before police guided it back to nature. Asheville Police say the call they received Thursday about a bear milling through downtown is the third such call they’ve received in the last three weeks. Video posted by police on their Facebook page Friday shows the bear waiting at a crosswalk and looking both ways before crossing the intersection. In another clip he climbs a tree in a small park space. Officers guided the bear back into a wooded area.
Officials: Mark Meadows was registered to vote in 3 states
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows was reportedly registered to vote simultaneously in three states, including South Carolina. State officials said Friday that the former congressman and his wife registered to vote in South Carolina earlier this year. North Carolina officials removed Meadows from their lists this month after learning he’d voted in Virginia last year. The South Carolina registration was first reported by The Washington Post, which said Meadows’ Virginia registration is still active. South Carolina election officials said voter applicants are supposed to say on applications if they’re registered elsewhere but that it’s up to states to remove someone from their lists once that voter registers in a new state.
Boys Scouts bankruptcy judge approves sale of BSA warehouse
DOVER, Del. (AP) — The judge handling the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy has approved the BSA’s request to sell its warehouse and distribution center in North Carolina for roughly $13.5 million and lease back the property from the buyer. The BSA wants to use some of the proceeds from the sale approved Friday as part of its contribution to a proposed $2.6 billion fund to compensate tens of thousands of men who claim they were sexually abused as children while involved in Scouting. After a monthlong trial, the judge continues to weigh whether to approve the Boy Scouts’ reorganization plan. She noted Friday that the case presents thorny issues she has never previously faced as a bankruptcy judge.
Six pups born to pair of wild red wolves in North Carolina
ALBERMARLE, N.C. (AP) — A litter of endangered red wolves has been born to a wild pair of parents in eastern North Carolina for the first time in four years. WRAL reported Friday that the six pups were born in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program staff said the litter includes four females and two males. The wild births are a big deal for a species nearing extinction. Red wolves are the rarest canine predator on earth. Only 20 are known to remain in the wild. They live in five sparsely populated areas of eastern North Carolina.
2 men admit to pepper-spraying officers at U.S. Capitol riot
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two New York men have pleaded guilty to discharging chemical spray at police officers inside the U.S. Capitol during the January 2021 insurrection. Cody Mattice and James Mault entered their pleas before a federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Each faces between three and four years in prison after pleading guilty to felony charges. Sentencing is scheduled for July 15. Mattice and Mault are both from the Rochester area and were indicted in October. Mault was arrested in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he had been stationed with the U.S. Army. Mattice was arrested at his home in Hilton, New York.