Local and State Headlines for Tuesday, March 20, 2018

posted by Mark Starling -

Former Ashe County Deputy Acquitted In Murder Case (Yadkin County, NC)

A former Ashe County deputy is not guilty of second-degree murder charges related to a disturbance call in July 2015.  Deputy Joshua Hopkins is more widely known for his role on the National Geographic show "Southern Justice."  He was charged in the death of Dallas Arthur Shatley and found not guilty in Yadkin County court.  Hopkins is now serving as a deputy in Carter County, Tennessee.  

Inmate Stabs Correctional Officer (Burke County, NC)

A convicted murderer is accused of stabbing a correctional officer at the Foothills Correctional Institution in Morganton.  The officer was last reported in stable condition after allegedly being stabbed five times by 19-year-old Jose Rios.  Director of Prisons Kenneth Lassiter says Rios has a history of assaultive behavior.  He was previously convicted of second-degree murder.  

Investigators Look For Information In Bus Fire (Asheville, NC)

Arson is suspected in bus fires at Vance Elementary School in Asheville.  The Asheville Fire Department is continuing to seek information into who started the fires around 3 a.m. Sunday.   The neighbor who called 911 says he was awakened by a loud car and looked out to see flames already spreading.  One bus was heavily damaged.  Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers.  

Fire Destroys Haywood Home (Haywood County, NC)

A Haywood County family says an accident in the kitchen led to a fire that completely gutted their home Sunday night.  One resident turned away from cooking on the stove and came back to flames shooting up to the cabinets.  He and a friend escaped safely.  The American Red Cross came in to help the family and put them up in a Maggie Valley hotel.  

Henderson County To Hire Armed Guards For School (Henderson County, NC)

Henderson County officials plan to hire armed security guards to place at each of its 23 schools in response to recent concerns of school safety.  The school system will be hiring those with law enforcement or military backgrounds, rather than seeking armed volunteers as some other counties have planned to do.  Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald says the guards will go through the same hiring process as used for deputies.  

Uber And Lyft Drivers Face Per-Trip Fee At Airport (Asheville, NC)

Changes are in store for Uber and Lyft drivers at the Asheville Regional Airport.  The airport is now requiring drivers to pay a "per-trip access fee" of three-dollars-and-50-cents per ride.  That brings the driving services more in line with regular taxi and limo companies that have already been required to pay pick-up and annual permit fees.  The airport says the companies paid a seven-thousand-dollar annual fee, but had not been charged a per-ride fee until now.  

Former University Employee Facing Rape Charges (Charlotte, NC)

A former university employee turned himself in yesterday for charges of rape dating back to the late nineties.  The victim says Michael Peterson sexually assaulted her while he worked at Johnson C. Smith University.  She told WBTV that she waited until last year to report the crimes because she was a scared teenager at the time.  Peterson faces four counts of statutory rape.  He resigned from his teaching assistant position at Lake Norman Charter before turning himself in.

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