Local and State Headlines for Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Human Remains Discovered In Polk County (Polk County, NC)

The discovery of human remains is being investigated in Polk County.  Sheriff Tim Wright says a human skull and other bones were found on Howard Gap Road in Saluda this week.  Investigators are checking on missing person reports with other agencies in the region to see if there could be a connection.  They believe the remains are those of a female.

Couple Accused Of Stealing From Customers In Home Building Scam (Marion, NC)

A Marion couple is accused of stealing two-million-dollars in home construction money from mountain residents.  Victims across six western North Carolina counties are claiming that they paid the owners of World Outdoor Log Homes in Marion to build their homes, but no work was ever completed.  Investigators said residents started complaining a couple of months ago.  Del and Serena Bristol were arrested last week outside of Charlotte on embezzlement and exploiting the elderly charges.

Attorney General Okay With Mission Health Purchase (Asheville, NC)

The purchase of Mission Health by HCA Healthcare appears to be a go from North Carolina's Attorney General.  Josh Stein said yesterday that he has no problems with the proposed acquisition after reviewing details of the negotiations.  A consulting firm hired by Stein advised him in November that the nearly one-point-five-billion-dollar sale price was fair.  The closing date is expected to be at the end of this month.  

Attorney Argues Self-Defense In Murder Trial (Asheville, NC)

The attorney of a woman accused of a 2015 Arden murder is arguing she killed her boyfriend in self-defense.  Robin Richardson is on trial this week for allegedly shooting a former WLOS-TV sales manager to death inside their home.  Richardson's attorney says her client suffered psychological and emotional abuse in her relationship with Timothy Fry.  Prosecutors argued that Richardson admitted to killing Fry in a 911 call she made the night of the shooting.  

Asheville Police Investigate Another Armed Robbery (Asheville, NC)

Asheville investigators are looking to see if an armed robbery this week is connected to a handful of others reported recently.  A Shell station at Sweeten Creek and Rock Hill Road was allegedly robbed at gunpoint on Tuesday.  Police told WLOS-TV that the crime was similar to seven other armed robberies that happened between the end of November and beginning of this year.  

Wanda Greene Plea Deal Accepted (Asheville, NC)

A plead deal between prosecutors and former Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene is being accepted by a federal judge.  Wanda Greene agreed yesterday to plead to federal program fraud and two other counts related to a federal investigation into her actions as county manager.  She also owes Buncombe County close to 750-thousand-dollars in a settlement.

Officer Kills Man Suspected Of Two Armed Robberies (Charlotte, NC)

The CMPD says an armed robbery suspect was shot and killed by an officer yesterday.  The man allegedly robbed a church off South Tryon Street and a Family Dollar on West Tyvola Road before the officer found him.  Chief Kerr Putney said the man was shot by the officer around the parking lot of another Family Dollar on West Boulevard.  A witness reportedly saw the man pull out an object while walking towards the officer, but it was unclear what that object was.  

Children Left Home Alone Escape Gastonia Fire (Gastonia, NC)

The Gastonia Fire Department is investigating a blaze that broke out early Wednesday when three children were home alone.  They were able to escape safely to a neighbor's house after the smoke alarm sounded.  Investigators believe the fire started from food left cooking in the kitchen.  The family's aunt told NBC Charlotte that the kids are used to staying at home overnight while their mother works.  

Old Philip Morris Plant To Be Demolished (Concord, NC)

The old Philip Morris plant in Concord is coming down.  The owners of the property off Highway 29 are planning to demolish the three-point-five-million square foot facility in hopes of attracting future business.  It will take about a year to finish.  Concord Mayor Bill Dusch says he believes the site will be a catalyst for economic development in Concord.  

Suspected Bank Robber On Run (Huntersville, NC)

Huntersville Police are looking for an armed robbery suspect.  Investigators said he demanded cash at the First Citizens Bank on Boren Street Wednesday afternoon before running away on foot.  Torrence Creek Elementary School was placed on lockdown for a couple of hours while police searched the area for the suspect.  The man reportedly used a t-shirt to cover his face in the bank.  

Motorcyclist Dies In Wednesday Night Wreck (Charlotte, NC)

Police are investigating a deadly motorcycle crash in north Charlotte.  Officers said the driver was ejected on Ridge Road near Mallard Creek Road last night.  Speed was deemed to be a factor.  No other vehicles were involved.  

Former Panthers' Running Back Purchases Local Media Company(Charlotte, NC)

A former Charlotte Panthers' running back and his wife are taking over a local media company.  Charlotte Lately has been purchased by Jonathan Stewart and his wife Natalie.  The platform includes a print publication and Instagram account of more than 33-thousand followers, which serves as a vehicle to promote community events.  Stewart played with the Panthers for ten years before signing with the New York Giants this season.  

The Trooper Shot In The Face Is Already Out Of The Hospital (Wilson Co., NC)

Trooper Daniel Harrell is already out of the hospital.  He was shot in the face in Wilson County during a traffic stop on Monday.  Police say 36-year-old John Jones fired the gun, but two other men in the stolen car were charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle.  Jones is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and is behind bars in more than one-million-dollars bond.  Though Trooper Harrell was released from the hospital yesterday, The North Carolina Troopers Association asks for folks to keep praying for his recovery.

Two People Are Seriously Hurt After A High Speed Crash (Wake Co., NC)

Two people are injured after a high-speed crash near Cary.  Deputies in Wake County say they tried to stop a car going over 100-miles-per-hour yesterday on U.S. 1.  The deputy said the driver was weaving in and out of traffic and crashed into another car seconds after the pursuit began.  Two people were sent to Wake Med with serious injuries.  Their conditions aren't known and there's no word as to possible charges.

A Third Arrest Is Linked To Raleigh Child Trafficking (Raleigh, NC)

Now three men are facing charges connected to child trafficking in Raleigh.  Earlier this month, two men were arrested after a 14-year-old girl was held against her will in a Motel Six and forced her to work as a prostitute.  On Tuesday, 33-year-old Tavian Crawford was charged with statutory rape of a child.  The two other men were charged with human trafficking of a child.

Mysterious Body Found In Cameron (Cameron, NC)

Deputies in Harnett County are investigating after a body was found.  The body was discovered yesterday by landscapers working in a wooded area in Cameron.  Deputies didn't give any information about who the body was or how they died.  They did say they're confident this was isolated and no one else is in danger. 

Asheboro Man Accused Of Driving Stolen Vehicle Into School (Randolph Co., NC)

An Asheboro man is accused of crashing a stolen pickup truck into a school fence during a police chase.  Larry Hoover is facing felony larceny and a slew of other charges.  Randolph County sheriff's officials say deputies were pursuing Hoover yesterday when he crashed through a chain link fence at Southmont Elementary School.  They say he fled onto the property but was quickly arrested.  The school was put on lock down as a precaution.  

Man Accused Of Robbing Lexington Gas Station With Screwdriver (Lexington, NC)

Lexington police are looking for a man who robbed a local gas station with a screwdriver.  It happened Tuesday night at The Pit Stop on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.  The clerk says a man wielding a screwdriver took off with the entire cash register.  The suspect is described as a shorter man who was wearing a red hoodie, a red bandana and dark pants.  

Randolph Co. Man Accused Of Killing Puppy (Randolph Co., NC)

A Randolph Co. man is facing animal cruelty charges after, deputies say, he killed a puppy.  Donald Baker of Asheboro is accused of beating the puppy to death with a shovel earlier this month.  He was arrested and charged following an instigation.  Baker is set to appear in court today. 

Smoking Banned In Elon Takes Effect (Elon, NC)

It is now illegal to smoke in downtown Elon.  Cigarettes, vapes, Juuls and other tobacco products are banned on downtown streets.  Town officials say they hope the new law leads to a healthier community.  Someone who's caught smoking on a downtown street could be fined 50 dollars. 

Death Investigation Underway At Greensboro Motel (Greensboro, NC)

Greensboro police are investigating a death at a local motel.  Officers were called to the Sands Motel on Sands Drive yesterday afternoon about a body found inside of a room.  The department has not yet identified the victim or the circumstances surrounding their death.

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