Local and State Headlines for Thursday, January 3rd, 2018

Hendersonville Officer Accused Of DUI, Leaving Accident (Hendersonville, NC)

A Hendersonville police officer is being accused of being drunk when he left the scene of an accident last weekend.  State troopers found Officer Andy Massey's personal car in a ditch off State Highway 191.  The off-duty officer was later found at home with a blood alcohol level allegedly more than two times the legal limit.  The Hendersonville Police Department has placed Massey on paid administrative leave.  

Ballot Fraud Investigation Postponed (Raleigh, NC)

The hearing into fraud allegations into North Carolina's unresolved ninth congressional district race is being postponed.  The investigation will continue in the meantime as the next legislative session soon begins with no ninth district representative.  Republican Mark Harris plans to file a petition to have the results certified amid the investigation.  The state's Board of Elections dissolved last Friday and a new one isn't scheduled to take over until the end of the month.

Buncombe Accepts Settlement With Wanda Greene (Buncombe County, NC)

Buncombe County is accepting a settlement from former county manager Wanda Greene. Commissioners voted yesterday to take repayments for trips, retention incentives and insurance policies all totaling close to 750-thousand-dollars.  Greene had been accused of misusing county funds.  She also faces federal charges. 

Judge Accepts Plea Deal Of Former Buncombe County Manager (Asheville, NC)

A federal judge is accepting a plea deal from former Buncombe County manager Mandy Stone.  She was accused with two other former administrators of accepting kickbacks from a contractor.  Prosecutors are expected to drop any other charges.  An assistant U.S. Attorney said yesterday Stone had been completely compliant. 

Republican Party Chair Won't Seek Second Term (Buncombe County, NC)

The leader of the GOP in Buncombe County isn't coming back for a second term.  Republican Party chairman Carl Mumpower told party leaders that it's time for new leadership.  The Citizen-Times says he plans to spend more time in his psychology practice.  Mumpower is a former Asheville city councilman.

More Heavy Rain On The Way (Asheville, NC)

A couple more days of wet weather is predicted in Western North Carolina before the rain moves out for a while.  Rain is expected to redevelop once again late tonight with heavy rainfall possible on Friday.  Between one to two inches of rain is expected in the next couple of days.  The risk for flooding increases tomorrow.

North Carolina Governor Won't Name Interim Elections Board (Raleigh, NC)

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper says he is not going to name an interim state elections board because Republicans are refusing to nominate people for it.  Cooper had wanted to name a board to conclude an investigation into the ninth Congressional district election which has not been certified.  The previous board was dissolved last week by court order.  A new board cannot be seated until January 31st.  Because there is no board to oversee the scheduled January 11th hearing it is being cancelled.  The previous board was investigating complaints of election fraud by a Republican operative.  Republican Mark Harris won the election by 905 votes, but the board refused to certify it because of sworn statements that absentee ballots were collected by a third party but were not submitted to be counted.

Republican Mark Harris To Ask Court To Certify His Election Victory (Charlotte, NC)

Republican Mark Harris is planning to ask a court today to certify his election victory in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District.  Harris defeated Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes, but the state's board of elections twice refused to certify the win because of what it called widespread voter fraud.  The election is in limbo because a court forced the board of elections to dissolve.  Also, Republicans in the state legislature refused to participate in the appointment of an interim board to investigate the alleged voter fraud.  Republicans in that state made voter fraud a key issue when they imposed some of the toughest voter ID laws in the nation.  Under state law, the governor cannot appoint a new election board until January 31st.  Democrats in the U.S. House have said they will not allow Harris to take the seat because of the accusations of voter fraud.

Child Dies In Charlotte Fire (Charlotte, NC)

Charlotte fire officials say a blaze killed a child at a home near Garinger High School early Wednesday morning.  It took about half-an-hour to control the flames on Academy Street.  Another six people, most of whom were children, were also injured in the fire.  Investigators believe the blaze started from an unattended candle.

Ballot Fraud Investigation Postponed (Raleigh, NC)

The hearing into fraud allegations into North Carolina's unresolved ninth congressional district race is being postponed.  The investigation will continue in the meantime as the next legislative session soon begins with no ninth district representative.  Republican Mark Harris plans to file a petition to have the results certified amid the investigation.  The state's Board of Elections dissolved last Friday and a new one isn't scheduled to take over until the end of the month.

Driver Charged In Deadly Hit-And-Run (Charlotte, NC)

One driver is being charged with felony hit-and-run in a pedestrian death this week.  A 19-year-old was hit by three cars on North Tryon Street early Tuesday morning before being dragged into a gas station parking lot.  Two of the drivers stayed at the scene.  Christian Chandler allegedly drove away before turning himself in to the CMPD later.

NBA Warns Of Scams Ahead Of Charlotte-Hosted All-Star Game (Charlotte, NC)

The NBA is warning about scams as the league's All-Star Game approaches.  One official told WSOC-TV that con artists will most likely be selling fake merchandise and tickets for the all-star weekend.  The best players in the NBA will convene at the Spectrum Centre in mid-February.  It's expected to bring in 100-million-dollars to the Queen City.

New Police Report Details The Deadly Lion Attack (Caswell Co., NC)

A new police report about the deadly lion attack in Caswell County has been released.  On Sunday, 22-year-old Alexandra Black was attacked and killed by a lion named Matthai at the Conservators Center.  The police report says they hit the lion with three tranquilizer darts, but had to shoot the lion after it started to go back to Black's body.  It took eight shotgun rounds to kill the lion.  

Jogger Sexually Assaulted In Apex (Apex, NC)

Police in Apex are trying to find a man they say sexually assaulted a jogger.  Police say a 21-year-old woman was passing Olive Chapel Elementary Tuesday when she was attacked.  Her assailant pushed her to the ground and grabbed her between the legs.  He ran off when she started screaming.  The suspect was caught on a security camera and his picture is available online.  Anyone who recognizes him is asked to call police.

A Woman Was Ran Over And Killed In Raleigh (Raleigh, NC)

A young woman is dead after being hit by a car in Raleigh.  Police say the 21-year-old woman was hit by the car last night on Trawick Road.  She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.  The driver stayed on the scene and police haven't said whether they will face charges.  The victim's identity is being withheld for now.

Durham Police Address Deadly Start To The New Year (Durham, NC)

Durham's Chief of Police is addressing the deadly New Year's Day shootings.  Three people were killed on Tuesday, but Chief Davis says the shootings were isolated and not random.  He said one of the shootings was domestic and the other shooting that left two men dead on House Avenue was targeted.  The circumstances around the House Avenue shooting are still being investigated.

Child Shot In The Face Is Still In Critical Condition (Randleman, NC)

A five-year-old child in Randleman is still in critical condition after he shot himself in the face.  Police say five-year-old Jayden Brower shot himself with a gun stashed in the car when his mom pulled into a Wendy's on Sunday.  His father wants to remind parents to be cautious with their weapons.  It still isn't known if anyone will face charges for the incident.

Man Threatened Two Walmart Employees With A Gun While Stealing A TV (Knightdale, NC)

Knightdale police are searching for an armed robber.  They say yesterday morning, a man tried to walk out of a Walmart with a big screen TV.  Two employees who confronted him said he pointed a gun at them.  The suspect left in a teal Honda CRV and is described as a middle aged man with a gray goatee who wears glasses.  No one was hurt and anyone with information is asked to call police.

Man Shot & Killed By Davidson Co. Deputy ID'd (Davidson Co., NC)

The man killed in an officer-involved shooting in Davidson County is identified as 26-year-old Dylan Smith.  The scene unfolded Tuesday morning near Badin Lake Road and N.C. 49.  Deputies confronted Smith in the roadway, and an altercation broke out.  Officials say he tried to choke a deputy and take the deputy's gun before he was shot and killed.  The deputy was not badly hurt.  The SBI is investigating. 


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