NC board certifies results of May 17 elections
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina election officials say audits of last month’s statewide primary and municipal elections showed machine counts were extremely accurate. The State Board of Elections certified the May 17 results on Thursday after tabulations of all eligible ballots were finalized. The certification followed audits by county boards and the state board. State law requires bipartisan teams in all 100 counties conduct hand counts among two randomly selected ballot groups. The board says hand and machine counts were identical in 90% of the groups. The average count difference elsewhere by county was very slight. Nearly 20% of the state’s registered voters participated in the elections.
BABY DEATH-FATHER SENTENCED
North Carolina man gets 20 years in infant son’s death
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has been sentenced to at least 20 years in prison after he was convicted of causing injuries that led to his 7-month-old son’s death in 2019. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Christion Vaughn Jones Sr. was facing a first-degree murder charge, but pleaded guilty in Forsyth Superior Court on Thursday to second-degree murder and intentional child abuse, inflicting serious bodily injury. Despite life-saving efforts by his grandmother and emergency personnel, the boy died at a local hospital. An arrest warrant showed the child suffered multiple internal injuries.
OUTER BANKS-NEW BRIDGE OPENING
Bridge opening on North Carolina coast delayed over markings
RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) — State officials say the opening of a bridge on the North Carolina coast that would allow locals and tourists to avoid a constantly washed-out route has been delayed because of a problem with pavement markings. The N.C. Department of Transportation says pavement markings installed earlier this week on the Rodanthe ‘Jug Handle’ Bridge in Dare County do not meet specifications for quality or reflectivity. Flatiron, the prime contractor, said it would seek a new subcontractor to replace the substandard markings and re-stripe the bridge and the intersections. Pavement markings are the last step in completion of the 2.4-mile bridge.
New NC arson crimes, tougher penalties head to Cooper’s desk
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation next heading to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk creates new crimes for arson and stiffer punishments for such fire-related violations already in state law. The measure received final General Assembly approval on Thursday when the House voted overwhelmingly for the changes that the Senate completed on the bill earlier in the week. The bill creates new felony crimes for setting fire to a prison and to commercial structures. The measure also requires applicants for paid or volunteer fire department jobs to submit to criminal background checks, and be prohibited from getting hired if they’ve been convicted of certain fire-related crimes.
NC Democrats, gun-control advocates again seek GOP action
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic legislators and gun-control advocates want Republicans to allow debate and pass measures they say would keep weapons out of the hands of young people and those with mental illness. Speakers at a Legislative Building news conference on Thursday criticized GOP leaders for failing to act on their proposals years ago, well before recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York; and Uvalde, Texas. Some proposals would require background checks for all gun sales, prohibit people under 21 from owning assault-style weapons and create legal process for so-called “red-flag” orders. Republicans are expected again to bottle up bills. Gun-rights advocates are influential at the General Assembly.
DEPUTIES-FATAL SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina deputies shoot, kill man carrying rifle
CAMERON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says deputies in shot and killed a man armed with a rifle early Thursday after his family called to say he was experiencing a mental health episode. News outlets report the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office said family members called to report that a man was armed with a rifle and was walking along N.C. Highway 27 in the Johnsonville community. The deputies encountered Curtis Roy Young of Cameron. In a news release, the sheriff’s office says deputies were unable to deescalate the situation, and that led to the shooting. Young died at a local hospital and the deputies are on administrative leave.
DEAD DOGS-TWO CHARGED
2 arrested by deputies after 10 dead dogs found in truck
CARTHAGE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a man and a woman from Texas have been charged with animal cruelty after deputies in North Carolina found 10 dead dogs in the back of their rented box truck. News outlets report Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said Scott Thomas McCaffrey and Tambra Lynn Clift of Weslaco, Texas, each were charged with 10 felony counts of cruelty to animals. The two are being held at the Moore County jail under a $30,000 bond. The sheriff’s office said deputies were notified on Tuesday that there were multiple dead dogs in the back of the truck in the Seven Lakes area of West End.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY-DETOUR
Part of Blue Ridge Parkway to be shut down to replace bridge
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The National Park Service says a 10-mile stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the North Carolina mountains will be shut down for almost two years to allow workers to complete a bridge replacement project. The park service says work has begun on the $29 million project to replace the Laurel Fork Bridge in Ashe County, according to a park service news release. A full park closure to all users in the immediate vicinity of the bridge is expected to be in place this week. The park service says the project is scheduled for completion in November 2024.