Relatives say former US Marine killed fighting in Ukraine
WASHINGTON (AP) — Relatives say a former U.S. Marine has been killed alongside Ukrainian forces in the war with Russia in what’s the first known death of an American citizen fighting in Ukraine. Rebecca Cabrera tells CNN her 22-year-old son, Willy Joseph Cancel, was killed Monday while working for a military contracting company that sent him to Ukraine. His widow, Brittany Cancel, tells Fox News he leaves behind a young son and that she sees her husband as a hero. The U.S. government has not confirmed the reports. On Friday, the State Department said it was aware of the reports and is “closely monitoring the situation” but could not comment further “due to privacy considerations.”
PRINCEVILLE-WHAT LIES AHEAD
Buffeted by weather, a historic Black town strives to endure
PRINCEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Historic Princeville, on the banks of the Tar River in eastern North Carolina, is one hurricane away from disaster. The town, which stakes its claim as the oldest in the U.S. founded by Black Americans nearly 140 years ago, has flooded many times. Two hurricanes 17 years apart created catastrophic flooding in the town, which was built on swampy, low-lying land. The town also has endured racism, bigotry and attempts by white neighbors to erase it from existence. Now, with an ever-changing climate, the future is uncertain. Hurricanes are likely to be more intense, and melting glaciers are causing sea levels to rise, making more flooding inevitable.
UKRAINE-NORTH CAROLINA SUPPORT
North Carolina National Guard to lend support to Ukraine
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Roy Cooper says the North Carolina National Guard will provide military equipment to Ukraine in its war with Russia. In a news release, Cooper says at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense, the N.C. Army National Guard is providing M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers as part of a larger U.S. support package to Ukraine. The governor also has shared a list of state government support resources for military service members and their families as military personnel based in North Carolina are deployed because of the war.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY-WILDFIRE
Wildfire closes North Carolina portion of Blue Ridge Parkway
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina is closed because of a wildfire in the Pisgah National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service said firefighters are working to contain the Barnett Branch Fire in the Pisgah Ranger District. The forest service said the fire is approximately 172 acres and burning in rough terrain. Officials say the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed from U.S. Highway 276 to The Pisgah Inn and will be reopened as soon as possible, officials said. Yellow Gap Road is closed and expected to remain closed through the weekend pending fire conditions.
RODENT INFESTATION-FAMILY DOLLAR
Arkansas sues Family Dollar over rodents found in facility
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas is suing Family Dollar over the discovery of 1,000 rodents in a distribution facility in the state that prompted the discount retail chain to recall items purchased from hundreds of stores in the South. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed the lawsuit Thursday against the North Carolina-based chain and parent company Dollar Tree. The lawsuit accuses Family Dollar of deceiving customers, negligence and conspiracy. Federal inspectors in February announced the rodents were found during an inspection following a consumer complaint. Family Dollar temporarily closed 404 stores spanning Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee to remove affected products from the facility.
SHOTS FIRED-US MARSHAL
North Carolina man accused of shooting at US marshal
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Court records say a North Carolina man has been charged after shots were fired at a U.S. marshal and a police officer. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Tyree Ray Long, 25, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, according to an arrest warrant. Specifically, the warrant says he is accused of firing 10 shots from a handgun at a U.S. marshal. During a foot chase, the warrant says he also fired a shot at a Winston-Salem police officer. Officials say neither the marshal nor the police officer was hurt.
Girls hockey programs show promise in nontraditional markets
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The NHL playoffs will take place next week in Dallas, Tampa, Nashville, Raleigh and Washington, D.C., where girls hockey has expanded immensely over the past decade. But participation in those nontraditional markets still lags far behind hockey hotbeds like Massachusetts, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The 3,177 female players aged 18 and younger registered by USA Hockey in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia combined is still fewer than in Wisconsin alone. The number of girls playing in those southern and mid-Atlantic locations is up more than 71% from 2011 to 2021. NHL teams, USA Hockey and others are working on getting more exposure, education and ice time to improve those numbers.
North Carolina city files lawsuit over collapsed arches
HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina city is suing three companies over the collapse of decorative, 40-ton wooden arches along a pedestrian walkway in February. The Hickory Daily Record reports the lawsuit was filed by the city of Hickory in Catawba County Superior Court on Wednesday. It names Neill Grading & Construction Co., Mooresville-based subcontractor Dane Construction and Oregon-based arch manufacturer Western Wood Structures. The city contends that the arch collapse “could not and would not have occurred in the absence of negligence by one or more of the defendants.” The arches fell on Feb. 18. No one was hurt.