Local and State Headlines for Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Early Voting Up Statewide (Buncombe County, NC)

Voters continue to turn out in big numbers to cast early ballots in North Carolina.  The Buncombe County Elections services director told WLOS-TV yesterday that more than 21-thousand people have voted locally since the early period began last Wednesday.  She says that's close to double the amount expected for midterm elections.  The non-partisan group Democracy NC is reporting that 431-thousand people have voted early so far statewide, which surpasses the 2016 presidential election through the first five days of early voting.  

Haywood Elections Official Resigns (Haywood County, NC)

A Haywood County official who attacked Democrats on social media is no longer on the elections board.  State documents reveal that Cornelia Cree encouraged people to vote Republican on Facebook, and claimed Democrats were pushing to legalize pedophilia.  North Carolina law prohibits an election board official from supporting or opposing candidates in public statements.  She resigned her post.  The state GOP denounced her statements.   

Thousands In Gems Stolen From NC Mine (Alexander County, NC)

A North Carolina gem mine is reporting a huge theft of cash and gemstones.  Owners of the Emerald Hollow Gem Mine in Hiddenite said thieves vandalized the store's safe and cash registers, broke glass and cleaned out the Lapidary last Saturday night.  The losses for the business have mounted to 60-thousand-dollars so far.  

Explosive Materials Found In Maggie Valley Drug Bust (Maggie Valley, NC)

Maggie Valley's police chief says explosive material was found during a drug bust last week.  Officers found a putty-like substance in the pickup truck of a suspect during a search in the parking lot of the vacated Ghost Town Amusement Park.  The SBI sent in a bomb squad from Hickory to safely detonate the material.  Chief Russell Gilliland said charges couldn't be filed since there was no ignition source.        

Mega Millions Jackpot Drawing Tonight (Undated)

Mega Millions ticket holders are anticipating tonight's drawing for the record one-point-six-billion-dollar jackpot.  State lottery officials say the lump sum payout in North Carolina after federal and state taxes would be close to 640-million-dollars.  The winning numbers will be announced at eleven tonight. Tomorrow's Powerball drawing will be for an estimated 620-million-dollar jackpot.     

Governor Appoints Brevard Lawyer As District Judge (Henderson County, NC)

A Brevard attorney is taking over as a district court judge serving Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties.  Governor Roy Cooper appointed Mack McKeller to serve in the place of Chief District Court Judge Athena Fox Brooks.  She left the post earlier this year after being chosen as a Special Superior Court judge.  McKeller is a Navy veteran and founded a law firm in Brevard. 

Human Remains Found In Union County (Union County, NC)

 The discovery of human remains is being investigated by the Union County Sheriff's Office.  A farmer discovered the decomposed body in a field near Latham Road in Monroe yesterday.  A medical examiner is determining the cause of death.  NBC Charlotte says investigators are working to see if it's related to the case of a man reported missing near that area.      

Carruth Walks Free (Clinton, NC)

Former Carolina Panther Rae Carruth is out of prison.  He walked away a free man Monday morning around eight after signing papers for his release from Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton.  The former first-round draft pick served close to two decades for conspiring to kill his pregnant girlfriend in 1999.  He'll need special permission to leave what he deems his designated state for nine months after the release.

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