Local and State Headlines for Friday, January 11th, 2019

DMV Investigating South Asheville License Plate Office (Asheville, NC)

A license plate office is temporarily closed in south Asheville amid a DMV investigation.  The agency says it is looking into alleged activity that will result in an inventory audit.  The Asheville Citizen-Times says a DMV officer arrested a woman for alleged computer fraud this week, but it isn't known if the charges are related.  There are three other license plate offices open in Asheville while the South Forest Shopping Center location is shut down.  

Council Pushes Large Asheville Development Forward (Asheville, NC)

The Asheville City Council is giving the go-ahead to one of the area's largest housing developments in years.  Zoning changes were approved this week that will allow the construction of over 400 units of homes and condos between I-26 and Brevard Road along the French Broad River.  Opponents of the development say there needs to be more affordable housing.  The council cited the need for more housing in general.  

Former Inmate Sues Former Sheriff (Buncombe County, NC)

Buncombe County's former sheriff is being sued by a former inmate.  Timothy Robinson claims he was hospitalized in 2014 after the jail refused to give him his blood pressure medicine.  WLOS-TV says both former sheriff Van Duncan and current sheriff Quintin Miller are named in the case.  Robinson is looking to be paid at least 10-thousand-dollars. 

Wintry Mix Heading To WNC (Asheville, NC)

A weather system bringing a wintry mix is expected to impact Western North Carolina tomorrow.  The National Weather Service says areas around Asheville may experience some snow early on in the day before it turns into a mix of rain and freezing rain.  Not much accumulation is expected.  Any lingering precipitation on Sunday will be rain.  

Flu Deaths Up To 16 In North Carolina (Raleigh, NC)

The number of flu-related deaths this season in North Carolina is up to 16.  The state Division of Public Health says three more people died last week.  Most of the reported deaths are in people aged 65 years and older.  There were more than twice as many deaths reported in the state last year during the first couple of months of the flu season, which runs from October to the end of March.    

Amnesty Day Coming Up In Buncombe (Buncombe County, NC)

Those who have an old warrant or arrest order for misdemeanor citations soon have a chance to resolve them in Buncombe County.  Amnesty Day is coming up January 25th.  Those affected can come by the Buncombe County Judicial Complex to have their case possibly dismissed or have a new court date issued.  District Attorney Todd Williams says you won't be arrested.  

Three Suspects Sentenced In Robbery-Turned-Murder (Charlotte, NC)

Three suspects are going to serve time for an attempted robbery that turned into murder last year in northeast Charlotte.  The victim was gunned down while waiting for a ride to work outside her apartment on Barrington Drive.  The accused shooter is being sentenced to 20 years.  A 17-year-old who entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit robbery is heading to prison for less than three years, while a 15-year old is serving more than a year at a juvenile detention center.

Ex-Officer Sued By Girl He Impregnated (Gaston County, NC)

A former police officer in Gaston County is being sued by the teenager he impregnated.  Ex-Lowell officer Paul Blair has been serving a 12-year sentence since he pleaded guilty to statutory rape in 2017.  He was accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in his patrol car while on duty.  The girl and her mother have filed a federal lawsuit seeking compensation for the child's care and emotional damage. 

Concord Leaders Turn Down Large Development (Concord, NC)

A proposed 400-unit development in Concord is off the table.  The city council voted last night against the combined apartment-townhome proposal for Poplar Tent and Harris roads.  The planning commission had already rejected the idea almost two months ago.  Most of the nearly 200 people in the crowd at November's planning meeting spoke out against the development.  

Man Convicted In Charlotte Murder Charged In Another (Charlotte, NC)

A man convicted of a 2005 murder in Charlotte is being charged in another killing.  Investigators say Antonio Pruitt stabbed an inmate to death in November while serving time at the Columbus Correctional Institution in Whiteville.  A grand jury indicted him this week.  Pruitt has been serving an 18-year sentence for a shooting death on North Tryon Street.   

Company Fails To Pick Up Trash Since Before Christmas (Charlotte, NC)

Trash is piling up for some Charlotte neighborhoods.  A resident in Hunt's Landing told WBTV that trucks for Carolina Disposal haven't come by for a pick-up since before Christmas.  The Better Business Bureau says the company's rating sank from a B to an F after Christmas, with over five dozen complaints.  The company claims it is ramping back up to resume service.

Four Arrested After Police Officer Shot (Raleigh, NC)

Four people are facing charges after an investigation into the shooting of a Raleigh police officer.  Officer Charles Ainsworth was shot multiple times on Wednesday night while investigating a possible stolen vehicle.  He's had at least one surgery and is still in the hospital.  Police say 24-year-old Cedric Kearney fired the gun, and he was charged with attempted murder.  Another man and two women were also arrested during the investigation.  Kearney is being held on two-point-five-million-dollars bond.

Firefighter Charged With Distributing Obscenity To Minors (Chapel Hill, NC)

A Chapel Hill firefighter is accused of sending obscene materials to a minor.  This week, police arrested 53-year-old Ernesto Palacios and charged him with sending pornographic materials to at least one minor no older than 15.  He was put on administrative leave without pay.  Both a criminal and internal investigation are underway.

Apex Non-Profit Accused Of Selling Untrained Service Dogs (Apex, NC)

An Apex non-profit is accused of selling untrained and in some cases dangerous service dogs.  The non-profit Ry-Con is closing after dozens of complaints about the dogs they've been selling.  Parents of special-needs kids say they spent more than ten-thousand-dollars for specially trained dogs that didn't listen to them and sometimes attacked other dogs or even children.  The attorney general has been contacted repeatedly about this.  The owner of Ry-Con could face civil and/or criminal charges.

Wintry Mix In Raleigh This Weekend (Raleigh, NC)

It looks like Raleigh may be in for more snow than rain this weekend.  Forecasters say that now it looks like Raleigh will see a wintry mix from the incoming winter storm on Saturday and Sunday.  Areas south and east of Raleigh will see mostly rain.  However, Raleigh and Durham are expected to see a mix of rain and snow.  Areas as northeast as Roxboro could see up to a quarter of an inch of snow accumulation.

Deadly Fayetteville Shooting Investigated (Fayetteville, NC)

Police in Fayetteville are investigating a deadly shooting.  They say last night a man was shot on Mesa Drive.  He was taken to the hospital, where he later died.  Police say the shooting wasn't random, but no arrests have been made.  Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.

Man Arrested In Sextortion Case Facing New Charges (Greensboro, NC)

The man arrested by UNCG police following a three-month-long sextortion investigation is facing new charges in High Point.  Officers say Kevin Kerney pretended to be a modeling agent to solicit photos from young women, and then threatened to make the images public.  High Point police filed six new counts of extortion and cyber-stalking yesterday after conducting a case review of similar incidents.  Kerney is currently behind bars at Guilford County Jail.

Ferguson Man Killed After Chase In Wilkes Co. (Wilkes Co., NC)

A Ferguson man is dead after leading state troopers on a chase in Wilkes County and crashing his bike.  Officials say Cody Cooper was riding his Honda motorcycle along U.S. 421 Wednesday night when a trooper tried to stop him for speeding.  They say Cooper crashed his bike and died of his injuries.  An investigation is ongoing. 

Rally, Counter-Rally Planned Outside Confederate Monument (Winston-Salem, NC)

Winston-Salem police say they're expecting this weekend's rally outside of the county courthouse to be big, but they say they're prepared.  Groups for and against the Confederate monument announced the event earlier this week.  One of the groups is the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which commissioned the monument back in 1905.  The other one is "Get Hate Out of Winston-Salem."  Both groups plan to meet at the statue on 4th and Liberty streets on Sunday afternoon, as long as the weather cooperates. 

Greensboro Man Allegedly Leads Troopers On Chase, Crashes Into Patrol Car (Greensboro, NC)

A Greensboro man is accused of leading state troopers on a chase along U.S. 29 and then crashing his truck.  The scene unfolded yesterday afternoon when a trooper tried to stop the Nissan Frontier for fake tags.  The driver dropped off a passenger at a hotel before taking off onto the 29.  When troopers tried to stop the vehicle with a rolling road block, the driver swerved and hit a highway patrol car.  Stephen Simpson was taken into custody and treated for minor injuries.  The troopers were not hurt. 

New Brewery Coming To Greensboro (Greensboro, NC)

A new brewery is coming to downtown Greensboro.  Southland Brewing Company is opening up in the south end of downtown where Gibbs Hundred Brewing Company used to be.  It's expected to open this spring or summer

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