Local and State Headlines for Monday, November 12th, 2018

Convicted Murderer Taken Off Death Row (Asheville, NC)

An Asheville man is having his death sentence commuted to life without parole.  District Attorney Todd Williams agreed to take James Morgan off death row in a Friday hearing because the jury never heard about the inmate's brain damage during the murder trial.  Morgan stabbed a woman nearly 50 times on Thanksgiving 21 years ago.  He had served 14 years in prison for second-degree murder in a separate case.   

Jail Diversion May Be Coming To Buncombe (Buncombe County, NC)

Buncombe County may be considering a jail diversion program once sheriff-elect Quentin Miller takes the helm.  He has championed the need for inmate diversion and told the Citizen-Times that people don't always get the help they need when incarcerated.  A diversion program would offer low-level offenders a chance to be treated for things like drug addiction. 

World War One Exhibits Open In Hendersonville (Hendersonville, NC)

The Henderson County Heritage Museum is honoring the 100th anniversary of World War One's end.  Exhibits in the historic courthouse now showcase stories about Armistice Day, including a number of uniforms and artifacts from what is known as the Great War.  The exhibit is open Wednesday through Sunday.  Yesterday marked the anniversary of the end of the war. 

Veterans Honored In North Carolina (Undated)

November 11th is always remembered across North Carolina and the country as Veterans Day.  Yesterday also marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.  Governor Roy Cooper said our veterans stepped up to protect our fundamental freedoms.  He added that North Carolina has the third largest active military population in the country.  Veterans were honored at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville and with a parade in Black Mountain.      

Weather Closes Parts Of Blue Ridge Parkway (Asheville, NC)

Parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway are closed due to the weather.  The parkway's terminus in Cherokee up to milepost 402 is closed this morning.  A 20 mile section north of Asheville from Bull Gap to Mount Mitchell State Park is also shut down.     

Skiing Returns To Cataloochee (Cataloochee, NC)

It's ski season in western North Carolina.  The Cataloochee Ski Area opened up its slopes for the first time this fall on Sunday.  Slopes will be open again later in the week after some anticipated rainy weather moves through today and tomorrow.  Sugar Mountain outside of Banner Elk has also reported that a limited number of slopes are open.  

Missing Girl Found, Suspect In Custody (Gaston County, NC)

 A three-year-old girl who was kidnapped from a Gastonia apartment is now safe with her mother.  CMPD officers and U.S. Marshals caught the alleged abductor after he led police on a chase up I-77 and crashed on Remount Road in Mecklenburg County yesterday.  The suspect is the girl's biological father.  He now faces close to 20 charges in Charlotte and Gastonia.  Several people were injured in the crash, but none suffered life-threatening injuries.      

Gunman Opens Fire On Albemarle Officer (Albemarle, NC)

Deputies are on the lookout for a gunman who opened fire on an Albemarle police officer with an AK-47.  Bullets hit the officer's patrol car before he was able to maneuver off Highway 24-27.  The gunman and another suspect ditched a stolen black Lexus after making it to Moore County.  Multiple agencies scoured the area, but haven't been able to find them.  The officer wasn't injured.    

Hepatitis A Vaccination Still Recommended For Some Restaurant Customers (Charlotte, NC)

Mecklenburg health officials are urging those who may have been exposed to hepatitis A at one local restaurant to get vaccinated by tomorrow.  Customers who dined at SouthPark's Village Tavern on October 30th are reportedly the only ones who need to be concerned.  Free vaccinations are available today from nine to noon and tomorrow from eight to five at the county health department.  NBC Charlotte said 200 people had received the vaccine as of Saturday.

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