Local and State Headlines for Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Suspect Arrested For Burning Up Former School

(Buncombe County, NC) -- A Swannanoa man is accused of setting a fire that destroyed a former Buncombe County school on Tuesday. Justin Caristo was arrested yesterday on charges of arson, robbery and kidnapping. There were no other details on exactly what happened when the fire broke out at the historic French Broad Elementary School. Several people who were inside using the space as an artists' studio escaped safely.

Cooper Urges Congress To Fight Climate Change

(Washington, DC) -- Governor Roy Cooper is urging Congress to fight climate change. The Democrat joined Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker in Washington, DC yesterday to speak before the National Resources Committee. Cooper said it soon may be too late to make a difference. The damage done by Hurricanes Florence and Matthew were highlighted by the governor in the hearing.

Contractor In Buncombe Bribing Case Agrees To Plea Deal

(Asheville, NC) -- A contractor accused of bribing Buncombe County administrators for work is agreeing to a plea deal. Joe Wiseman is facing federal charges for allegedly paying for lavish vacations and sporting events for the now-former employees. The Citizen-Times is reporting that he will plea to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. A judge will consider the deal this morning in Asheville.

Medical Director Warns Of Measles Outbreaks

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Buncombe County's medical director wants to make sure mountain residents have their measles vaccination. Jennifer Mullendore told WLOS-TV that it could only be a matter of time before a case pops up in Asheville due to a high number of unvaccinated students. The CDC is reporting that nearly 80 measles cases were confirmed nationwide in the first month of 2019. Mullendore said the vaccines are safe.

Western Carolina University Reports Record Spring Enrollment

(Cullowhee, NC) -- More students are enrolled at Western Carolina University this spring than ever before. The school's total enrollment is over eleven-thousand, which is 800 more than last spring's previous high. WCU's interim chancellor credited recruiting and high-quality student experiences with the increase. Numbers in the fall are typically above spring enrollment counts in part due to December graduations.

Asheville Taking Public's Thoughts On E-Scooters

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville city leaders want to know what you think about electric scooters. A public meeting is coming up on February 18th at the Buncombe County Building on College Street. The scooters were banned in Asheville last fall to give the city more time to figure out regulations for the growing transportation trend. A survey will soon be up on the city's website.

Suspect In Custody After Deadly Shooting Outside Hospital

(Charlotte, NC) -- The suspect in a deadly shooting outside a Concord hospital is in custody. Concord Police say a man was gunned down in the parking lot of the emergency room at CMC-Northeast on Wednesday afternoon. The victim and suspect allegedly had a fight in the parking lot before the shooting. The police department said there was no community threat.

Governor Rescinds Charlotte Councilwoman's Board Appointment

(Charlotte, NC) -- Charlotte city councilwoman LaWana Mayfield is being pulled from her recent appointment to the state Human Relations Commission. Governor Roy Cooper decided yesterday to rescind her appointment after every Senate Republican called for the removal. The Senators called Mayfield's message hateful when she referred to police officers as homegrown terrorists in a tweet last year. A governor spokesman said they don't want any appointment to divert in promoting equity.

Child Hit By Car In Rock Hill

(Rock Hill, SC) -- Rock Hill Police say a four-year-old was hit by a car yesterday. Witnesses said the girl had been playing in her front yard before the car struck her on Lige Street. The child was flown by helicopter to CMC-Main in Charlotte. Another child was reportedly injured as well. Rock Hill investigators are piecing together details on how it happened.

Murder Suspect Charged In Charlotte Cold Case

(Charlotte, NC) -- A nearly 30-year-old murder case in Charlotte may finally be solved. The CMPD says scientific advancements helped lead detectives to file murder charges against Louis Samuels. He is accused of shooting a woman to death in northeast Charlotte in February 1991. Samuels was indicted for first-degree murder last month.

Visitor Restrictions At One Hospital Due To Flu

(Iredell County, NC) -- The flu is leading to visitor restrictions for one area hospital. Children under 17 are not allowed to visit Iredell Memorial Hospital beginning this Friday. Hospital officials told WBTV that over 50 flu cases have popped up in the last week. Visitors have been encouraged to wear masks and use hand sanitizer.

Radio Stations Drop R. Kelly From Airwaves

(Charlotte, NC) -- Musician R. Kelly is being silenced on radio airwaves in the Queen City. NBC Charlotte says WBAV and WSOF-FM are now refusing to play the R&B artist's songs after recent sexual abuse allegations rose against him. One operating manager said some people threatened to stop listening if R. Kelly's songs were played.

Durham Cub Scout Kneels For The Anthem

(Durham, NC) -- A Durham cub scout is making a stand. Ten-year-old Liam Holmes and the rest of Cub Scout Pack 451 attended this week's Durham City Council, but young Liam shocked many when he dropped to a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance. The video online is getting some major attention. Liam says he was making a stand against racial discrimination. The mayor says he appreciates his expression of conscience.

Mom: Raleigh Cops Held My Autistic Son At Gunpoint

(Raleigh, NC) -- A Raleigh mother says police officers forced her six-year-old autistic son and his grandparents out of a house at gunpoint. This week at the Raleigh City Council meeting, LaDonna Clark said her family was treated worse than animals when RPD SWAT raided a home on Friar Tuck Road looking for a robbery suspect. Clark says the person they were looking for doesn't live there anymore, but her six-year-old son with autism was forced to sit out in the rain, in 35-degree weather, for over an hour. The Raleigh police chief said the incident is being reviewed and the investigation will be thorough.

State Lawmakers Consider Making Ice Cream NC's Official Frozen Treat

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina lawmakers might be coming together for ice cream. Recently, a bill was introduced to the General Assembly to make ice cream the official frozen treat of North Carolina. The bill says ice cream adds nearly 39-billion-dollars to the US economy and generates 188-thousand jobs. The argument is that ice cream is important to the state's dairy industry and since there is no official frozen treat for the state, why not ice cream.

Mysterious Booms Continue

(Wake Co., NC) -- Folks living along the Wake and Franklin counties' line are about fed up with mysterious booming sounds. Neighbors say they sound like bombs going off, they shake houses and they wake people up. This has been going on for more than a month. The booms are usually heard late at night and early in the morning. There has been no explanation offered for the sounds that hasn't been refuted.

Wake County Boy Helps Set Up Child Predator From New York

(Wake Co., NC) -- A Wake County boy is being credited with helping arrest a sex offender from Upstate New York. A 14-year-old boy contacted the sheriff's department saying 47-year-old Gary Ryan had been contacting him online for months. Ryan is a registered sex offender, and he left two-thousand-dollars worth of sports memorabilia for the boy after traveling to Raleigh. The FBI assumed the boy's identity online and arrested Ryan after he sent sexually explicit pictures to who he thought was the boy. He could go to prison for 25-years if convicted.

Man Accused Of Exposing Himself In Raleigh Juice Bar

(Raleigh, NC) -- A man is accused of exposing himself to a woman in a Raleigh Raw Juice Bar. Court documents say 62-year-old Anthony Street, of Fuquay-Varina, flashed a woman on Tuesday. This happened in the West Hargett Street juice bar. Street is behind bars on 15-thousand-dollars bond and is due back in court next month.

Forsyth Co. Jail To Stop Accepting ICE Detainees

(Forsyth Co., NC) -- ICE detainees will no longer be accepted at the Forsyth County jail after its contract with the federal government expires. Sheriff Kimbrough says his office "never will be an extension" of immigration services. He says accepting detainees could expose the department to other liabilities. The contract ends on April 30th.

Gov. Cooper Testifies At Climate Change Hearing

(Washington, DC) -- Governor Roy Cooper is testifying about climate change and its impact on American communities. He spoke at a hearing held by a House Natural Resources Committee. He said North Carolinians have weathered two "500-year floods" within two years. He said scientists have found that climate change makes weather more erratic.

Teenagers Arrested For Breaking And Entering, Larceny In Davidson Co .

(Davidson Co., NC) -- Four teenagers are arrested on suspicion of breaking and entering and larceny in Davidson County. Sheriff's deputies responded to a home on Fry Bridge Road on Tuesday and witnessed two teens trying to get inside. A 16 and 17-year-old boy were taken into custody at the scene. Two teenagers inside of an SUV that fled the scene were also arrested. A third one, 16-year-old Exzavia Reese the Second, is still at-large.

Man Arrested In Connection With Road-Rage Incident In Kernersville

(Kernersville, NC) -- A Winston-Salem man is facing charges after a fit of road-rage in Kernersville. It happened yesterday afternoon on West Bodenhamer and Nelson streets. Police say Barron Thomas slashed a vehicle's tire, causing it to blow out. The incident was first reported as a shooting, but police determined the noise was just the blown tire. Thomas is charged with injury to personal property.

Two People Shot In Lexington

(Lexington, NC) -- An investigation is underway after two people were shot in Lexington. One victim was found yesterday afternoon on Jamaica Drive, and the second person, a juvenile, was found at the nearby Davidson County Transportation garage. Both victims were taken to a local hospital and are expected to recover. Police say the shootings are connected, but the motive is still not clear.

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