FORT BENNING COMMANDER
Fort Benning top commander to retire later this year
FORT BENNING, Ga. (AP) — The top commander at Fort Benning plans to retire, and his replacement has already been named. Army officials say Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe plans to step down in July as commanding general at the base in Georgia. His successor will be Maj. Gen. Curtiss Buzzard — the current deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Donahoe has served nearly 34 years in the Army and has been top commander at Fort Benning since July 2020. A change-of-command ceremony takes place July 14 at Fort Benning.
Police: NC officers on leave after armed woman is shot
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Some central North Carolina police officers are on administrative leave while authorities investigate the shooting of an armed woman this weekend. Durham police say the shooting occurred Saturday after its officers arrived to respond to an indecent exposure report. The department says they found a woman with a weapon, and that an officer shot her. The woman was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. The State Bureau of Investigation and Durham police’s Professional Standards Division are investigating. Police didn’t immediately identify the woman who was shot and the officer that the agency says shot her.
Trump’s bid to shape GOP faces test with voters in May races
NEW YORK (AP) — Voters across a dozen states are set to decide primary elections this month that will determine the people and priorities leading the GOP into the fall midterms and beyond. Donald Trump is not on the ballot, but the Republican former president is actively backing dozens of candidates for Congress, governor and secretary of state across several swing states hosting primaries in May. They don’t come bigger than Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio. In nearly every case, Trump has endorsed only those who embrace his false claims of election fraud.
Candidates test skipping debates without upsetting voters
ATLANTA (AP) — Former football great Herschel Walker has gone to great lengths to dodge tough questions during his run for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. The GOP candidate does not widely publicize his campaign stops and limits his appearances mostly to conservative news outlets and friendly audiences. Earlier this month, he skipped the first debate for the May 24 Republican primary. Political experts say it may be a wise choice for the gaffe-prone GOP front-runner. But Walker’s Republican rivals have seized on his absence to raise doubts about his fitness to take on Democrat Raphael Warnock in November should he win the Republican primary.
Charlotte police: 2 dead after gunfire at business park
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina’s largest city say two people were shot and killed when gunfire erupted in a crowd at a business park. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers and homicide detectives responded to a call early Friday evening and found two people suffering gunshot wounds. One victim was inside a car. They were pronounced dead at the scene. The shooting occurred in west Charlotte in a parking lot next to a building that contains a barbershop, day spa and other businesses. The victims’ names haven’t been released, and police are asking the public to share information they have about what happened.
Meadows says 1/6 panel has sought to publicly ‘vilify’ him
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has accused the congressional committee investigating last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol of leaking all of the text messages he provided to the panel as part of an effort to vilify him publicly. The argument was made in a filing Friday in Washington’s federal court, where Meadows sued in December to invalidate subpoenas issued to him for his testimony and to Verizon for his cell phone records. The committee declined to comment on Meadows’ accusations.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY-FIRE
NC forest fire halfway contained; parkway stretch reopens
PISGAH FOREST, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service says a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina has reopened to traffic as firefighters have made progress controlling a fire in the Pisgah National Forest. The agency said on Saturday that the Barnett Branch fire covers 370 acres, but it’s now 50% contained. The parkway had been closed earlier in the week from U.S. Highway 276 to the Pisgah Inn. Portions of the Yellow Gap Road and some trails remain closed. Thirty U.S. Forest Service firefighters were assigned to work the wildfire Saturday. The fire’s cause remains under investigation.
DOG FIGHTING RING
North Carolina authorities break up dog-fighting ring
GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say more than 30 dogs have been seized in a North Carolina city after law enforcement officers broke up a dog-fighting ring. The Gaston Gazette reports Gaston County Police Animal Care and Enforcement responded to a Gastonia address on Thursday to investigate a report of dogs fighting in the backyard. The department says when animal care and enforcement specialists arrived they found a dead dog in the yard. They also found other dogs caged and living in poor conditions, and investigators were concerned about some dogs suffering from obvious injuries. There’s no word about potential charges.