Local and State Headlines for Thursday, December 13th, 2018

NC Man Among Marines Killed Near Japan (Washington, DC)

A North Carolina man is among the five Marines declared dead after a mid-air collision off the coast of Japan.  Lieutenant Colonial Kevin Herrmann of New Bern and four other Marines vanished last week when two planes collided during a refueling exercise.  Another Marine was killed and one was rescued in fair condition.

White House Rules Out Meadows As Possible Chief Of Staff (Washington, DC)

Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows is officially out of the running for White House chief of staff.  The White House said yesterday that President Trump told Meadows he is no longer under consideration for the post.  Trump informed Meadows that he wants the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus to continue doing "the great work he's already doing."  The President said this week that he's in no rush to pick a replacement for John Kelly who plans to step down as chief of staff by the end of the month.

Some WNC Residents Feel Tennessee Earthquake (Buncombe County, NC)

Some mountain residents say they felt the impacts from an earthquake Wednesday morning.  The U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude 4.4 quake rattled from its epicenter in Decatur, Tennessee around 4:15 a.m.  The city is less than 200 miles from Asheville.  Geologists said there were three aftershocks following the initial earthquake. 

Schools Closed Again With Icy Roads Still Possible (Asheville, NC)

Last weekend's winter storm is still causing problems for school districts.  A number will remain closed today, while Buncombe and several others are operating on delays.  The National Weather Service says patchy black ice is still expected to cause problems on roads early this morning.  Warmer temps and rain this weekend should wash everything away.    

Hotel Plan Denied By Asheville Council (Asheville, NC)

The Asheville City Council is continuing to oppose new hotel projects.  A rezoning request to build a hotel and two-story restaurant near Biltmore Village was shot down this week.  The council said there simply too many hotels already.  A proposal for a seven-story hotel near Mission Health was taken off the table this fall after several members said they were against it.   

Judge Denies Former Assistant Manager's Vacation Request (Asheville, NC)

Buncombe County's former assistant manager won't be making a trip to Puerto Rico for Christmas.  Jon Creighton is facing fraud charges and needed special permission from the court to go on the previously-scheduled trip.  A magistrate judge denied his request yesterday.  Creighton is one of three former administrators accused in a kickback scheme with a contractor.  

Snow Damages Schools (Henderson County, NC)

Snow is being blamed for damages at two Henderson County schools. The weight of the snow took down sections of car rider line shelters at Upward Elementary and Flat Rock Middle schools.  Two businesses in Black Mountain were forced to close temporarily after a roof partially collapsed in downtown There were no injuries reported in any of the cases.  

Potential New Congressional Election Will Include Primary (Raleigh, NC)

A potential new election in the ninth congressional district could be a complete re-do.  Legislation passed by state leaders yesterday would require new candidate registration and a primary if officials call for a new election.  The North Carolina Board of Elections has yet to certify the election results as an investigation continues into alleged absentee ballot fraud.  Republican Mark Harris received 905 more votes than Democrat Dan McCready in the midterm.  Both are from Charlotte.

A High School Football Coach Is Accused Of Selling Drugs At School (Goldsboro, NC)

A Goldsboro football coach is accused of selling drugs on school property.  Police say they arrested 28-year-old William McIntyre yesterday for selling weed at Goldsboro High School.  Police raided his house and found more than four-pounds of marijuana, drug packaging materials and a gun.  McIntyre was put on unpaid leave and is behind bars on 50-thousand-dollars bond.

Wake County Substitute Teacher Faces Misdemeanor Assault Charges (Wake Co., NC)

A substitute Wake County teacher is accused of hitting a student.  Police say on Halloween, 50-year-old Nazha Shara slapped a ten-year-old on the back of the head or neck at Holly Grove Elementary.  On Tuesday, she was charged with misdemeanor assault on a child under the age of 12.  Shara's free on bond, but isn't allowed to go anywhere near Wake County schools or be around kids unsupervised.

Obstruction Charges For A Trooper Already Facing Assault Charges (Raleigh, NC)

A state trooper accused of assaulting a man in Raleigh is facing new charges.  Trooper Michael Blake was one of the cops who appear to be beating 29-year-old Kyron Hinton in a viral video that surfaced earlier this year.  Blake had been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, he's now also facing obstruction of justice charges.  A grand jury recently indicted him for allegedly lying and misleading investigators in his use of force case.  They say Blake also conspired with two other employees with the highway patrol to lie about the case.

Four People Facing Charges After Raleigh Mansion Raid (Raleigh, NC)

Two more people are facing charges after a Raleigh mansion was raided.  WRAL reports that about a week ago the FBI raided a multi-million dollar mansion on New Market Way.  Leonid Teyf was charged with bribing a public official, murder for hire and money laundering.  His wife Tatyana was also charged with money laundering.  Investigators say they profited off a 150-million-dollar kickback scheme involving the Russian military.  New documents show their former housekeeper Olesya Timofeeva and her husband Alexey are also facing charges in connection to the case.

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