Local and State Headlines for Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Born Alive Abortion Bill Moves To Governor's Desk

(Raleigh, NC) -- The born alive abortion bill is heading to Governor Roy Cooper's desk. The state house approved the bill yesterday that will allow the state to punish doctors or nurses who kill babies that survive an abortion procedure. Democrats say it's a ploy to scare doctors who perform abortions. The state Senate already passed the bill on Monday.

Stabbing Suspect Arrested After Two-Month Search

(Asheville, NC) -- The two-month search for the suspect in a Buncombe County stabbing is over. The sheriff's office said yesterday that Christopher Owenby is in Henderson County jail and awaits charges in Buncombe. Owenby is accused of stabbing a family member on Church Road in Fairview on February 18th. The victim survived the attack.

Former Buncombe County Manager To Pay Settlement

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Buncombe County is agreeing to a large settlement with a former top administrator. Ex-county manager Mandy Stone was ordered to pay over 170-thousand-dollars by the commission yesterday for kickbacks she received from a contractor. Another former county manager, Wanda Greene, paid out around 750-thousand-dollars in the case. Stone pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges last December, but hasn't been sentenced.

NC House Passes Bill To Allow Alcohol At College Sporting Events

(Raleigh, NC) -- The North Carolina Senate is set to consider a bill that will allow the state's public universities to sell alcohol at sporting events. The House passed the proposal yesterday. Private institutions like Duke and Wake Forest already sell alcohol at their stadiums and arenas. The legislation applies to beer and wine only.

Two People Injured In Hit-And-Run

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville police are investigating a hit-and-run that injured two people late Monday night. The two victims were reportedly riding on a moped near the Blue Ridge Parkway when they were hit. WLOS-TV says officers have since found the car, but haven't released information on the driver. One of the victims was last listed in critical condition.

Pontoon Boat Removed From Edge Of Dam

(Polk County, NC) -- Polk County emergency officials say a pontoon boat was safely removed from the edge of a dam yesterday. The boat was discovered hanging halfway off Lake Adger Dam on Monday after storms reportedly blew it from its home dock. It was safely hauled off yesterday morning with no injuries.

CMPD Holds Listening Session Tonight

(Charlotte, NC) -- CMPD police chief Kerr Putney is heading up another community conversation tonight in the aftermath of a deadly police shooting. The first was held last night at East Stonewall AME Zion Church, where the chief heard questions and comments from the public ranging from race relations to the role of officers. Body cam footage was released on Monday showing an officer shooting Danquirs Franklin in the parking lot of a Burger King last month. The next session begins tonight at 6:30 at Little Rock AME Zion Church.

Cabarrus County Schools Close For Rally

(Cabarrus County, NC) -- Another area school district is closing on the day of a teacher rally in Raleigh. Cabarrus County Schools announced yesterday that it is joining a number of other districts across the state that will close for students on May 1st. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has already announced it will only operate as an optional teacher workday. Union County said last Friday it will remain open.

Bishop Leads Fundraising Among Republicans In Congressional Race

(Charlotte, NC) -- State Senator Dan Bishop is reporting more money raised in his campaign than any other Republican candidate in the ninth district congressional race. A 250-thousand-dollar loan to his own campaign increased his efforts to just over 380-thousand-dollars at the end of March. Leigh Brown of Cabarrus County tweeted that she has raised almost 200-thousand-dollars as of yesterday. A total of ten Republicans are running in the May 14th primary.

Statesville Man Arrested Again Trying To Contact Juvenile

(Statesville, NC) -- A Statesville man accused of sex crimes with a 14-year-old last December is in trouble again. Rowan County investigators told NBC Charlotte yesterday that Jake Kelly was arrested for allegedly trying to meet up with the same girl again. He was accused of sending the teen explicit messages on social media, only to find out it was an undercover investigator. Police charged him in December for kidnapping the teen, who was found safe in Charlotte.

Lincolnton Man Missing Since Monday Morning

(Lincolnton, NC) -- Lincoln County investigators are looking for a missing man. Riley Ray Higgins was last seen leaving for work on Monday morning, but never showed up. He may be driving in a 1999 purple Mitsubishi Eclipse. Deputies say Higgins left his cellphone at his home on North Street.

Single-Game Tickets For Panthers' Games On Sale Tonight

(Charlotte, NC) -- Carolina Panthers' fans can purchase single-game tickets for next season beginning tonight through Ticketmaster. Sales begin at 9 p.m., which is one hour after the NFL reveals the 2019 regular season schedule for all 32 teams. This will be the 25th season for the Panthers. Carolina finished last season with a record of seven-and-nine.

Murder Charges For Man Deputies Say Brought Baby To Drug Deal

(Wake Co., NC) -- Deputies in Wake County say a man brought a baby to a drug deal that ended with a murder. Court documents say on Monday, 25-year-old James Hooker brought his one-year-old child and newborn baby to buy drugs near Apex. Witnesses say he shot 36-year-old Michael Farrington during the deal, and he later died in the hospital. Hooker is charged with child abuse, first degree murder and is behind bars in Wake County.

Birthing Center Closes For Good After String Of Infant Deaths

(Cary, NC) -- A Cary birthing center is closed for good after a string of infant deaths. State health officials started investigating Baby and Co. last year, after three babies died in the span of seven months. The investigation says there were a number of significant health concerns. Two other North Carolina Baby and Co. locations are also closing. The company says they're going to continue improving maternity care at other locations in other states.

Ovechkin Drops Svechnikov In Playoff Fight

(Raleigh, NC) -- One Carolina Hurricane is out for a concussion caused by a hockey fight. The fight broke out Monday in PNC Arena between the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin and the Hurricane's Andrei Svechnikov. Ovechkin dropped his gloves in the first period and knocked out 19-year-old Svechnikov with a few quick blows to the head. Carolina went on to win 5-0. The Capitals lead the series 2-1 and they play again tomorrow afternoon. There's no word as to whether Svechnikov will be cleared to play.

More On Durham's Gas Explosion

(Durham, NC) -- It appears that firefighters in Durham responded to a possible gas leak nearly an hour before the explosion that killed one, and injured 25 others. The city released new information about the April Tenth explosion yesterday. The statement said someone called 9-1-1 to report a strong smell of gas at the intersection of North Duke and Morgan streets, but firefighters checked it out and didn't find any gas. About 25-minutes later, a contractor called 9-1-1 saying he'd hit a gas line. The building exploded on North Duke Street 30-minutes after that. Durham officials say there's no explanation for the gap between the gas related 9-1-1 calls.

Man Arrested In 2013 Murder Of His Girlfriend

(Asheboro, NC) -- Asheboro police are announcing an arrest in the 2013 death of a mother of two. Forty-one-year-old Roger Martin was taken into custody this week in Lexington. He's accused of killing his then-girlfriend, 31-year-old Nova "Nikki" Robinson, at a home on Cherokee Street. Police say she had been stabbed to death.

Independent Investigation Will Not Move Forward In Death Of Marcus Smith

(Greensboro, NC) -- The city of Greensboro will not move forward with an independent investigation into the hog-tying death of Marcus Smith. The city council yesterday voted to table a motion to conduct the investigation. Council-members say they have to wait for a lawsuit by Smith's family to wrap-up before they can launch their own investigation. Smith went into cardiac arrest last September while in police custody.

Downtown Winston-Salem Business For Sale

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- The downtown Winston-Salem building where Nova Lounge used to be is up for sale. The Meridian Reality group tells NBC 12 it's working to sell the property at 515 North Cherry Street. Six people were shot and hurt at Nova Lounge earlier this month. Mayor Allen Joines says there's been a string of violence at that location over the years and the sale will bring positive change to downtown.

Teen Recovering From Drive-By Shooting In Thomasville

(Thomasville, NC) -- A teen is recovering after a drive-by shooting in Thomasville. It happened early Tuesday morning in front of a home on Blair Street. Police say the 17-year-old victim was hit in the leg. They say two-dozen shell casings were found in the road. No arrests have been made.

Suspect In Custody After High Point Robbery

(High Point, NC) -- A suspect is under arrest after an armed robbery at a High Point business. Thirty-two-year-old Joseph Brown is accused of robbing two women outside Ace Cash Express on South Main Street yesterday morning. He was arrested after a chase involving High Point police and Guilford County sheriff's deputies. Brown is facing several charges, including robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony flee to elude and second-degree kidnapping.

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