Local and State Headlines for Thursday, November 29th, 2018

Missing WNC Teen Found In Oklahoma (Rutherford County, NC)

A Rutherford County teen reported missing this week is safe.  A witness allegedly saw 13-year-old Aubrey Acree hop into a white Subaru station wagon on Monday morning.  Oklahoma state troopers and the FBI found Acree last night in the town of Checotah after tracking the car down more than 900 miles away from her North Carolina home.  A New Mexico man now faces child abduction charges.  

Cooper Asking For Billions More In Hurricane Relief (Raleigh, NC)

Governor Roy Cooper is seeking billions more in funds to help North Carolina recover from Hurricane Florence.  He requested an additional six-plus-billion-dollars from Congress yesterday.  The full requests now total nearly nine-billion-dollars, which Cooper says will pay for roughly half of the damage caused by the storm more than two months ago.  Congress has also been asked to consider giving families some tax relief.  

Asheville Taking Downtown Hotel Dispute To Supreme Court (Asheville, NC)

The city of Asheville is continuing to fight a proposed hotel development downtown.  A development group received a go-ahead from the state court of appeals earlier this month for a permit to continue with the construction of an Embassy Suites on Haywood Street.  Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer said yesterday that the city is taking it to the North Carolina Supreme Court.  The council voted the project down at the beginning of the year.  

Ice Keeps Much Of Blue Ridge Parkway Closed (Asheville, NC)

The Blue Ridge Parkway remains a dangerous road to travel today.  Another round of subfreezing temps kept much of the historic parkway either closed or under advisory yesterday.  Craggy Gardens and Mount Mitchell State Park were shut down due to the ice and cold.  Travelers can check out the real-time road closure map for the Blue Ridge Parkway at the National Park Service website.    

North Carolina Named Best State For Business (New York, NY)

North Carolina is this year's Forbes best state for business.  Forbes ranked all the states based on factors like Gross State Product, population, percentage of job growth and cost of doing business.  North Carolina came in first with extremely low labor costs and a growing population.  Forbes said North Carolina's workforce is fueled by a highly educated workforce because of all the colleges and universities in the state.

Girl Wants New Kidney For Her Brother This Christmas (Franklin, NC)

A girl who left a note for Santa in Franklin isn't looking for anything for herself this Christmas.  An associate manager at the Lowe's off Highway 64 told WLOS-TV that she found a heartwarming message in their Santa mail box.  A girl named Kaitlyn said all she wants for Christmas is for her big brother to get a kidney transplant.  The store is trying to spread the message on social media to help the anonymous family out.  

Body Found Believed To Be Hania Aguilar (Robeson County, NC)

Human remains found this week in Robeson County are believed to be those of 13-year-old Hania Aguilar.  A senior FBI agent said yesterday that this is the outcome everyone's been fearing.  Preliminary results from the medical examiner reveal that the body is hers.  Aguilar was abducted weeks ago in Lumberton by a man who hasn't yet been found.

Switch To Paper Ballots To Cost Millions (Charlotte, NC)

Mecklenburg County's elections director believes a switch to paper ballots could cost up to 15-million-dollars.  The state has given the go-ahead to switch from current voting machines to paper ballot equipment.  Elections director Michael Dickerson told NBC Charlotte that the electronic machines will be used for the last time in next year's municipal election.    

Man Sentenced For Deadly Stabbing In Salisbury (Salisbury, NC)

A man is heading to prison for the stabbing death of his friend in Salisbury.  Prosecutors said Christopher Washburn stabbed Joseph Walker to death while they were playing video games at the Alexander Place Apartments in April 2016.  Washburn was accused of setting the apartment on fire to cover up the death. A judge sentenced him to more than 20 years for the murder and more than five for arson.

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