North Carolina

The Latest: Body in North Carolina river isn't storm-related

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Latest on flooding in eastern North Carolina (all times local): 6 p.m. Police in North Carolina say a body found in a rain-swollen river earlier this week wasn't a storm-related death. Maintenance crews found the body on Tuesday in the Neuse River near downtown Smithfield while they were cleaning storm debris after heavy rains.

North Carolina bank robbery suspect also faces murder charge

WASHINGTON, N.C. (AP) -- Authorities in eastern North Carolina say a man wanted in two bank robberies is now facing a second-degree murder charge after a truck he was driving to elude sheriff's deputies struck and killed an elderly motorist. Local media outlets report 42-year-old Michael Ojay Branch was being chased by Martin County sheriff's deputies after a robbery last Friday at the State Employees Credit Union in Washington.

N Carolina class-size decrease fix now state law

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Easing class-size mandates in North Carolina's early grades next fall by phasing them in instead over two years is now the law. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed Thursday the compromise legislation from Republicans an hour after it received final General Assembly approval by the House.

The Latest: Flags lowered for North Carolina prison guard

WINDSOR, N.C. (AP) -- The Latest on the death of a North Carolina prison guard (all times local): 4:20 p.m. Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered all North Carolina flags lowered to half-staff in tribute to a prison guard who died after she was attacked by an inmate. Cooper issued the order on Thursday. Flags were to be lowered immediately and returned to full staff at sunset on Friday.

2 injured in helicopter crash in North Carolina neighborhood

NEWTON, N.C. (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration says a helicopter has crashed in a North Carolina neighborhood. Emergency personnel said the two people onboard the aircraft were hurt. FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said on Thursday that the Robinson R44 helicopter crashed into a home in Newton, approximately 40 miles northwest of Charlotte. The Hickory Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/2qbzaaE) the helicopter clipped a portion of the roof as well as the foundation of the home.

Police footage access expanded, but city councilors excluded

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Some North Carolina lawmakers agreed on Thursday to add city managers to the list of people who would be allowed to view footage from police body cameras or dashcams, but excluded city councilors, saying they didn't need to be in the know and perhaps couldn't be trusted to keep the information to themselves.

North Carolina editorial roundup

Recent editorials from North Carolina newspapers: ___ April 26 The News & Observer of Raleigh on state lawmakers attempt to reduce the number of appellate court judges: North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Douglas McCullough, a Republican, admirably resigned his position Monday in advance of mandatory retirement, which gave Gov. Roy Cooper the opportunity to appoint his successor, John Arrowood, a Democrat.

NC lawmakers OK limiting nuisance lawsuits against hog farms

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina lawmakers decided Thursday that hog and poultry operations should get added protection from lawsuits by neighbors complaining that swarms of flies and the intense stink of animal waste create a nuisance. The Republican-dominated state House gave final approval to legislation restricting how much neighbors of high-density hog and poultry barns could collect if they prove a nuisance. The measure becomes law if it is signed by Gov. Roy Cooper.

North Carolina SBI investigates shooting involving deputies

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation says an intoxicated man who had pointed a gun at his wife and son was shot by a sheriff's deputy when he pointed the gun toward him. Local media outlets report the SBI said on Thursday that two Pitt County sheriff's deputies responding to a call on Wednesday about a man making a threat with a gun encountered the man inside a home.

Lawmakers would let NC towns create separate charter school

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina legislators want to allow two suburban Charlotte towns to create their own charter schools for residents separate from one of the country's largest public school districts. The House on Thursday voted to authorize the towns of Matthews and Mint Hill to open charter schools that give students living in those towns priority enrollment. Current law allows any student admission to charters, but lotteries are held when demand exceeds space.

Scientists investigate large number of humpback whale deaths

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Government scientists launched an investigation Thursday into an unusually large number of humpback whale deaths from North Carolina to Maine, the first such "unusual mortality event" declaration in a decade. Forty-one whales have died in the region in 2016 and so far in 2017, far exceeding the average of about 14 per year, said Deborah Fauquier, a veterinary medical officer with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Fisheries.

University of South Carolina gets author Ron Rash's archive

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The University of South Carolina has obtained the archives of North Carolina author Ron Rash. The school announced the acquisition Thursday. The collection consists of material on the South Carolina native's career as a poet, short story writer and novelist. It includes a number of drafts prepared before the published versions. It will be housed at the university's Ernest F. Hollings Special Collection Library.

DA declines to charge woman who cast vote in dead mom's name

NEWTON, N.C. (AP) -- A state prosecutor in North Carolina has declined to bring voter-fraud charges against a woman who cast a vote for Donald Trump in her recently deceased mother's name. The Charlotte Observer reports (http://bit.ly/2qbuioJ ) that District Attorney David Learner said in a statement Wednesday that it wasn't in the public's interest to charge the unidentified 67-year-old Catawba County woman with the felony offense.

Man pleads guilty to breaking 78-year-old veteran's jaw

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) -- A man has been sentenced after pleading guilty to breaking the jaw of a 78-year-old Vietnam War veteran. The Charlotte Observer reports (http://bit.ly/2oP7qHx) that 33-year-old Clarence Martin Hayes III was given a suspended "split" sentence of 16 to 29 months, with 30 months of probation Tuesday. He'll spend one month in the Catawba County Jail.

Asheville council: Action needed on police racial profiling

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- An analysis of state data by civil rights and open government activists has revealed that black drivers were 100 percent more likely to be stopped and searched than white drivers, despite police finding contraband at a higher rate among whites. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports (http://avlne.ws/2q4DAQw ) that the newest analysis reveals that mandatory reports from Asheville police on traffic stops appear to be missing.

North Carolina prison guard dies after inmate attack

WINDSOR, N.C. (AP) -- A prison guard in North Carolina has died after she was attacked by an inmate. North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Pamela Walker said in a news release the attack happened late Wednesday afternoon at the Bertie Correctional Institution in Windsor. Walker said prison medial staff and first responders were unsuccessful in the attempt to save 29-year-old Sgt. Megan Lee Callahan of Edenton.

The Latest: Florida woman found in car in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Latest on flooding in eastern North Carolina (all times local): 1:45 p.m. Authorities in North Carolina have released the name of the Florida woman who was killed when her car was swept off a road in flooding that followed heavy rains earlier this week. Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael Baker says 65-year-old Sandra Berry of Kissimmee, Florida, died Wednesday night when her car was swept off N.C.