Local and State Headlines for Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Lawyer:  Man Accused Of Mall Assault Has PTSD (Asheville, NC)

The lawyer for a Black Mountain man accused of assault at the Asheville Mall says his client has PTSD.  David Bell has been charged for punching an 11-year-old girl and assaulting two teens last weekend.  Video of the fight has gone viral on social media.  The Citizen-Times is reporting that the attorney didn't say whether PTSD led to the alleged assaults.    

Creighton To Pay Buncombe County In Civil Case (Buncombe County, NC)

Buncombe County is accepting a settlement from former assistant county manager Jon Creighton.  He was accused of taking kickbacks from a contractor in exchange for business.  County commissioners approved to a settlement of 189-thousand-dollars from Creighton in a civil suit filed against him.  He entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to defraud the federal government last fall and has yet to be sentenced.

Cooper Announces School Bond Proposal (Charlotte, NC)

Governor Roy Cooper plans to push for a two-billion-dollar construction bond this legislative session.  The Democrat made the announcement while visiting Parkside Elementary School in Charlotte yesterday.  The money would reportedly be used for new construction rather than renovations and repairs.  Lawmakers shot down the same idea last year.

Asheville Regional Airport Reports Record Number Of Passengers (Asheville, NC)

More passengers are flying out of Asheville Regional Airport than ever before.  Last year marked the first time in the airport's history that passenger numbers topped one-million.  The airport's executive director says the growth reflects the region's vitality.  New routes to Dulles International, Philadelphia International and LaGuardia airports are rolling out this year.  

Opening Statements Begin Today In Murder Trial (Arden, NC)

Opening statements are expected to be given today in the trial of a 2015 murder.  Robin Richardson has been accused of killing a former WLOS-TV salesman at a home in the Royal Pines Community of Arden.  The jury was seated late Tuesday afternoon.  

Arctic Blast To Hit At End Of Weekend (Asheville, NC)

The season's coldest temperatures are heading to Western North Carolina.  The National Weather Service is predicting an Arctic blast will send the region into the teens overnight Sunday.  Winds of up to 30 miles-an-hour are expected as well.  Temperatures will drop into the single digits in higher elevations. 

Remains Found In Mooresville (Mooresville, NC)

Iredell County investigators are looking into the discovery of possible human remains.  Bones were found yesterday near a Food Lion between Lake Norman and I-77 in Mooresville.  The medical examiner is working to identify the remains and cause of death.  No word was given on who made the discovery.

Cooper Announces School Bond Proposal During Charlotte Visit (Charlotte, NC)

Governor Roy Cooper plans to push for a two-billion-dollar construction bond this legislative session.  The Democrat made the announcement while visiting Parkside Elementary School in Charlotte yesterday.  The money would reportedly be used for new construction rather than renovations and repairs.  Lawmakers shot down the same idea last year.

Three Companies Investing In Affordable Housing (Charlotte, NC)

Affordable housing initiatives in the Queen City are getting a huge boost from three companies.  Ally Financial, Bank of America and Barings said yesterday that they are partnering together to invest over 70-million-dollars to help low to moderate income families find decent housing.  Barings CEO says he hopes the partnership inspires others to help make affordable housing sustainable in Charlotte.  Most of the money is expected to go towards below-market loans.  

County Commission Holds Public Hearing On Budget Ideas (Mecklenburg County, NC)

Mecklenburg County commissioners are taking a different approach this year to prepare for the budget.  The board held a hearing last night to listen to the community's concerns before they head to a budget retreat in Greensboro next week.  Over three dozen people gave some input at Tuesday's hearing. 

High Schoolers Accused In Burglary (Mint Hill, NC)

Four high schoolers are being accused of breaking into a man's home in Mint Hill during school hours yesterday.  They were chased out by the homeowner on Trulight Church Road near Rocky River High.  Mint Hill Police caught one of the suspects, while another two were nabbed by school resource officers as they tried making their way on to the high school campus.  Felony breaking and entering charges have been filed.

Changes Coming For Panthers' Training Facility (Charlotte, NC)

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper says some changes are coming to the practice facility this offseason.  The Charlotte Observer is reporting that a practice bubble will go up over the turf grass practice field behind the stadium.  Tepper said excessive rain hurt the Panthers in preparations this season, and the bubble will help deal with the weather.  He added that the team needs to keep all options open in regards to quarterback Cam Newton missing time for injuries.

Victory Party Over The Removal Of Silent Sam's Base (Chapel-Hill, NC)

Students at UNC Chapel-Hill are celebrating the removal of Silent Sam's pedestal.  The Confederate statue stood at the school for more than 100-years until student protesters ripped it down last summer.  On Monday night, UNC Chancellor Carol Folt called in a work crew to remove what remained of the Silent Sam monument.  After the pedestal was gone, students who once protested the statue came out for a victory party.

The Administration Moved Up UNC Chancellor's Resignation Date (Chapel-Hill, NC)

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt is going to be stepping down soon.  This week, she announced that she would be leaving after the end of the academic year.  However, the Board of Governors met yesterday and changed her exit date.  Folt's resignation will now become effective at the end of the month.  She says she's disappointed by this, but will always remember her time at UNC Chapel-Hill fondly.  An interim chancellor hasn't been announced yet.

FBI, Lumberton Police Want Information About Hania Aguilar's Suspected Killer (Lumberton, NC)

The FBI and Lumberton police are asking for information concerning the abduction and murder of Hania Aguilar.  Michael McLellan is charged with Aguilar's kidnapping and murder.  Now, investigators are trying to track his movements during the ten days the 13-year-old girl was missing.  They're asking for anyone with information about McLellan between the dates of November fourth and November 13th to call them.  He remains in the Raleigh Central Prison without bond.

Police ID 3 Connected To Trooper Harrell's Shooting (Wilson, NC)

Police are identifying the three people facing charges connected to the shooting of a North Carolina State Trooper.  They say 36-year-old John Jones shot five-year patrol veteran Trooper Daniel Harrell on Monday while he was investigating a stolen car in Wilson.  William Boswell and Bryan Mullins were both believed to have been with Jones in the stolen car.  They were both charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle.  Trooper Harrell is in the hospital and expected to survive.  

Suspected Fayetteville Rapist Linked To Yet Another Sex Crime (Fayetteville, NC)

Another sexual assault in Fayetteville has been linked to a suspected serial rapist.  Police announced yesterday that a woman raped in 1998 around North and Moore Streets was attacked by 57-year-old Willie Mack.  Mack was linked by DNA left at the crime scene.  He has also been tied to a local rape in 2011 and another in 2016.  Mack's in the Cumberland County jail under a 900-thousand-dollar bond.

Garner Police Investigate A Woman's Death In A Car (Garner, NC)

Police in Garner are investigating after a woman was found dead in a car Tuesday.  Police say the woman's body was found in a car parked outside the Denny's on Fayetteville Road.  The woman hasn't been identified, but police say she was middle-aged.  Her cause of death is still unknown.

Mobile Classroom Catches Fire In Greensboro (Greensboro, NC)

No one is hurt after a mobile classroom caught fire in Greensboro.  It happened yesterday afternoon at Bessemer Elementary School in a classroom that was being used for physical education.  Fire crews say the teacher and students were able to escape safely and relocate to the main building.  There is no word on what caused the fire.  An investigation is ongoing. 

Silent Sam Remnants Removed From UNC-Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)

There are no longer any traces of a the controversial Silent Sam statue at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Chancellor Carol Folt ordered the remnants be taken down Monday after announcing her resignation.  The pedestal was removed that night and will be placed in storage.  Folt is stepping down in May.

Two Men Facing Several Charges After Home Break-In In Lexington (Lexington, NC)

Two men are facing several charges after shooting their way into a man's Lexington home and killing his two dogs.  The break-in was reported early Tuesday morning at a home on Agner Lane.  The homeowner says two men, later identified as Isaiah Beck and Jaylen Sawyer, fired shots into the home, took some guns and left.  Two dogs were killed in the process.  The men were arrested later that morning after a short pursuit and crash.  A third suspect is at large. 

Two Bus Wrecks  Reported In Greensboro (Winston-Salem, NC)

No one is hurt after two separate accidents involving school buses in Winston-Salem.  The first one happened early yesterday morning when a bus from the Kennedy Learning Center crashed with a Winston-Salem Transit Authority bus.  There were nine children on board the school bus at the time.  The second wreck involved a bus from Flatrock Elementary School and was carrying 20 children.  No one was hurt, and the damage in both cases was minor. 

Greensboro's Hamburger Square To Undergo Renovations (Greensboro, NC)

Greensboro's Hamburger Square is getting some much-needed improvements.  The group Greensboro Beautiful is teaming up with the Christman Company and the City of Greensboro to beautify the square.  Improvements include new trees, flowers and seating.  Folks will start noticing some changes in the spring.

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