District Attorney Newman Removed From Office
(Henderson County, NC) -- Greg Newman is out as district attorney for Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties. A Superior Court judge issued a ruling yesterday to immediately remove Newman from office based on his findings from a three-day hearing earlier this month. Newman had been accused of misconduct in a number of cases, including a sexual assault case at the center of the most recent hearing. The judge's order cited what amounted to the D-A's willful misconduct, or acts done intentionally in bad faith.
Asheville Passes Discrimination Ban
(Asheville, NC) -- A discrimination ban is going into effect soon in Asheville. The city council passed an ordinance unanimously yesterday which prohibits local employers and public accommodations from discriminating against someone over sexual orientation, race, gender identity and more. Businesses face an initial 100-dollar civil penalty for not following the ordinance beginning July 1st. The order aligns with a similar measure passed by Buncombe County commissioners last week.
Child Accused Of Killing Father In Yancey County
(Yancey County, NC) -- A 12-year-old boy is accused of killing his father in Yancey County. The sheriff's office says the 37-year-old man was shot to death inside their home near Burnsville Monday night. The child was taken to a juvenile justice center on a charge of first-degree murder. Investigators told WLOS-TV there was another child at the home during the shooting.
Asheville Shooting Suspect On Run
(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville police are on the lookout for a shooting suspect. The department warned residents in the Montford community to stay indoors yesterday after a shooting at Hillcrest Apartments. One victim was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries. Deputies and a K-9 combed the neighborhood, but no one turned up.
WCU Clinic Extending Hours
(Cullowhee, NC) -- Western Carolina is extending hours at its COVID vaccine clinic. The Cullowhee school's clinic director says the location will be open on evenings and weekends, when both the Pfizer vaccine and recently-resumed Johnson & Johnson single-doses will be given out. Western Carolina is preparing to hold in-person classes this fall. Provost Richard Starnes says providing easy access to vaccines will support efforts to resume all activities.
Henderson County Schools Offering In-Person Graduation
(Henderson County, NC) -- Another western North Carolina school district is offering in-person graduation ceremonies this spring. Henderson County Public Schools announced this week that commencement will be held in stadiums at three high schools on May 28th. The event for Hendersonville High School will be held in the gymnasium due to construction. Additional spacing is expected to be enforced.
FBI Opens Civil Rights Investigation Into Brown Shooting
(Elizabeth City, NC) -- FBI agents in the Charlotte Field Office are opening an investigation into the deadly shooting of Andrew Brown, Junior. The probe will focus on whether or not Brown's civil rights were violated when he was shot multiple times by deputies in Pasquotank County last week. Protests continued in Elizabeth City for a seventh straight night on Tuesday. The crowd is demanding the release of body cam footage, which was viewed by Brown's family earlier this week.
Volunteer Fire Chief Posts Racially Sensitive Comments
(Lancaster County, SC) -- A Lancaster County volunteer fire chief is catching heat for a racially insensitive social media post. It was last Thursday when Butch Ghent stated on Facebook that police need to stop responding to Black neighborhoods. He added they'll kill each other, and the fake news won't have a story. The McDonald Green Fire Department chief issued an apology this week for what he said was intended to be an attack on the news media, not the Black community.
CMPD Seeks To Train Officers On Customer Service
(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is looking to improve customer service among its police officers. Police Chief Johny Jennings is bringing in a consultant to work with the force. WSOC-TV says the Fraternal Order of Police doesn't agree with the way the process has been handled, since the organization wasn't told about it before it was made public. The Order has made prior suggestions to improve officer morale, but none have been addressed.
Baby Recovering After Shelby Shooting
(Shelby, NC) -- A baby girl is recovering from injuries in a Shelby shooting. The eight-month-old was hit by a bullet when shots were fired outside the family home last week. Her grandmother told NBC Charlotte the child is expected to be released from the hospital today after initially having to rely on a breathing tube. Investigators say they don't believe the baby was the target.
Second Suspect In Gaston County Homicide At-Large
(Gaston County, NC) -- A suspect in a Gaston County murder is on the run. A 36-year-old man died after he was shot at a home near Long Shoals two weeks ago. Police have already arrested the first suspect on a murder charge. They're still looking for 26-year-old Donald Wheeling, who is considered armed and dangerous.
Golf Tournament Returns To Quail Hollow
(Charlotte, NC) -- Organizers are prepping for a professional golf tournament at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte. The Wells Fargo Championship will be held next week for the first time since 2019, after last year's tournament was canceled due to the pandemic. Capacity is limited to 30-percent. Among those golfers coming to play are past champions Jason Day and Ricky Fowler, as well as Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson.
Girl Dies After She And Her Mother Attacked By Dogs
(Garner, NC) -- A seven-year-old girl has died of her injuries after being attacked by two dogs in Garner Tuesday. The animal attacks happened around 6 p.m. in the backyard of a home in the 200-block of Roan Drive. Investigators say the girl's mother had agreed to care for their neighbor's pit bulls while they were out of town. The child's mother remains in stable condition at a nearby hospital. The dogs are now in the possession of Wake County Animal Control.
FBI Launches Civil Rights Investigation Into Andrew Brown Police Shooting
(Elizabeth City, NC) -- The FBI has joined the investigation into the officer involved shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. last week by Pasquotank County Sheriff's deputies. This comes after Brown's family released the results of an independent autopsy report that showed that he was shot a total of five times, including one kill shot to the back of the head. The official police report claims Brown was shot while driving away from deputies who were attempting to serve a search warrant. But attorneys for the Black man's family say bodycam video shows he had both hands on the steering wheel at the time of the fatal shooting.
Petition To Release Bodycam Video Goes Before Judge In Elizabeth City Today
(Pasquotank County, NC) -- A hearing is set for 10 o'clock this morning in Elizabeth City on a petition to release the full bodycam video of the Andrew Brown shooting to the public. So-far, only 20-seconds of a redacted video has been viewed by attorneys and family members. This comes as Democrats in the North Carolina General Assembly filed a new bill Tuesday that would require police bodycam videos be released within 48-hours upon request without prior court approval.
New Bill Exempts State Residents From Paying Interest On Tax Returns Filed By New Deadline
(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper has signed into law a bill passed by the Senate Tuesday, which exempts state residents from having to pay interest on tax returns filed by the new May 17th deadline. The move follows an IRS decision to push back the traditional April 15th deadline in order to allow people impacted by the pandemic more time to file their taxes. Last year, the tax filing deadline was extended by three months.
Bill Requiring Criminal Background Checks On Future Teachers Clears House Committee
(Raleigh, NC) -- A state House panel has passed a bill that would require local school districts to perform criminal background checks on those seeking employment in public education. House Bill 240, which was approved by the Education Committee, would also require current teachers who renew their licenses to be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal background check. Right now, education system job applicants are screened by district staff and outside vendors. The bill now goes to the House Rules Committee.
Former Greensboro Church Employee Sentenced For Child Porn
(Greensboro, NC) -- A former worker at a Greensboro church day school will spend 50 years in prison for producing and distributing child porn. Twenty-five-year-old Alyson Saunders was sentenced this week after pleading guilty in November to one count of production of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography. According to court documents, while she was employed at Fellowship Presbyterian Church's Fellowship Day School, Saunders used children in her care to create sexually explicit images and videos, and then sent them to a co-conspirator to be published online. The incidents happened in January and February of 2019.
COVID-19 Rate In North Carolina Stands At 7.5%
(Winston-Salem, NC) -- More people are testing positive for COVID-19 in North Carolina. The Department of Health and Human Services says seven-and-a-half-percent of the tests returned Sunday were positive. That's two-and-a-half-percent more than the state's goal of a five-percent positivity rate. Nearly one-in-three people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in North Carolina.
Former Chief Justice Cheri Beasley Running For Senator
(Raleigh, NC) -- Former North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley is announcing a run for U.S. Senator. She joins state senators Jeff Jackson and Erica Smith who have already announced their campaigns. The seat belongs to Senator Richard Burr, who's retiring. The contest is expected to be the most expensive Senate race North Carolina has ever seen.
Man Charged In Lexington Shooting
(Lexington, NC) -- A 38-year-old man is under arrest on suspicion of shooting someone in Lexington. Edward Knox is accused of firing a shot into a woman's car on Fairview Drive. Warrants were obtained for his arrest Monday afternoon, and he was taken into custody. Knox is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle.