North Carolina News – May 31, 2022

North Carolina News – May 31, 2022

Authorities: Trooper fatally shoots man during traffic stop

SILER CITY, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s State Highway Patrol says a trooper fatally shot a driver who “presented a pistol” during a traffic stop. Officials say the trooper stopped a Ford pickup truck in Siler City late Monday afternoon for a seat belt violation. During the stop, officials say 21-year-old Mark Anthony Diaz of Staley presented a pistol and Trooper Rodney N. Cook fired his service weapon, striking Diaz. Diaz was taken from the scene and later pronounced dead. Authorities say Cook was not injured and has been placed on routine administrative duty during an internal investigation. The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating.


NC parents’ bill with LGBTQ limits going to Senate floor

RALEIGH. N.C. (AP) — A “Parents’ Bill of Rights” bill that also would address how some LGBT issues are handled in North Carolina public schools is heading to the Senate floor. A Senate committee voted Tuesday on a measure that would broaden the rights parents already have in laws for their schoolchildren and lay out how they can complain and appeal when schools don’t comply. Critics say the measure would intimidate and harm LGBTQ youth by forcing schools to reveal to parents more about changes to their child’s health services. It also would prevent instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3 curriculum. Senate floor debate is expected Wednesday.


Man, 4-month-old baby killed in North Carolina shooting

MONROE, N.C. (AP) — Police say a man and a 4-month-old baby boy are dead following a shooting in North Carolina. Officers responded to a home in Monroe just after 10 p.m. Sunday. WSOC-TV reports that police found 25-year-old Darion McClendon and 4-month-old Da’mari McClendon dead at the scene. Family confirmed they are father and son. Investigators are still working to learn what led to the shooting. No arrests have been made. Officers said a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old were also inside the home when the shooting started. Monroe Police Chief Bryan Gilliard urged anyone with information to come forward. Police are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.


Man who won $10(m) lottery prize sentenced to life in prison

BOLIVIA, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man who won a $10 million lottery prize in 2017 has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the 2020 fatal shooting of his girlfriend. The News & Observer reports that 54-year-old Michael Todd Hill was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced Friday in the killing of 23-year-old Keonna Graham. Graham was reported missing on July 20, 2020. She was later found dead in a hotel with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Prosecutors said Hill confessed to killing Graham.


Police: Person killed, officer wounded in NC shooting

KING, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say police shot and killed a person who wounded an officer during a traffic stop in North Carolina. The police chief in King, North Carolina, says the wounded officer was grazed in the head by a bullet and is expected to fully recover after the shooting early Sunday. Police didn’t immediately identify the person who was fatally shot. The wounded officer was one of two King police officers who stopped a vehicle around 12:40 a.m. Boyette says the officers exchanged gunfire with one person after several people exited the car and ran.


NC man pleads guilty to storming Capitol to disrupt Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to charges that he stormed the U.S. Capitol last year to disrupt Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote. Court filings show Matthew Mark Wood pleaded guilty on Friday to all six counts in his March 2021 indictment, including a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta is scheduled to sentence Wood on Sept. 23. A court filing accompanying his guilty plea says Wood spent more than an hour inside the Capitol during the riot. More than 800 people have been charged with riot-related federal crimes.


Some Democrats voting in GOP primaries to block Trump picks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger probably would not have won last week’s Republican primary without Democrats. An Associated Press analysis of early voting data has determined that more than 37,000 people who voted in Georgia’s Democratic primary two years ago cast ballots in last week’s Republican primary. Raffensperger avoided a runoff election by just over 27,000 votes despite opposition from former President Donald Trump. Voters across the political spectrum are working to stop extremists backed by Trump from winning control of state and federal governments. Dozens of states make it legal and easy for voters to participate in either party’s primary.


Mississippi State survey aims to increase passionfruit farms

RAYMOND, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi State University Extension Service researcher is hoping to help expand the niche for passion-fruit growers. Fruit and nut specialist Eric Stafne says demand is growing for the sweet, low-calorie tropical fruit. He said most U.S. production is in Florida, Hawaii, California, and Puerto Rico, but some is grown in Louisiana, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and North Carolina. Stafne says there’s also potential in south Mississippi and regions affected by climate change. He has posted an online survey for current growers and farmers interested in growing passion-fruit. The university is among organizers of a two-day conference in mid-June in Homestead, Florida. The conference registration deadline is Saturday but the survey will be open through June.