Local and State Headlines for Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Pot-Growing Operation Found In Green Mountain

(Yancey County, NC) -- A Yancey County man is being accused of running a pot-growing operation in an underground bunker. Investigators uncovered over 250 marijuana plants on property in Green Mountain last week. That's about 300-thousand-dollars-worth. The property owner was arrested for felony trafficking and possession of marijuana.

Republicans Show Interest In Lt. Governor's Race

(Raleigh, NC) -- Some Republicans are now showing interest in the 2020 Lieutenant Governor's race. The News & Observer reported yesterday that former Congresswoman Renee Ellmers plans to decide this month whether or not she will run. Former State Representative Scott Stone says he may also decide this month if he'll enter the race. Asheville state senator Terry Van Duyn [[ Dine ]] is one of a handful of Democrats who have already said they'll be running.

State Rep Looking To Change Liquor Laws

(Henderson County, NC) -- A Western North Carolina lawmaker is looking to change the state's liquor laws. State Representative Chuck McGrady told WLOS-TV that he plans to propose closing government-controlled liquor stores so that private businesses can get their own licenses. He says he believes local governments could benefit just as much without the state-run ABC stores. The chair of Asheville's ABC board says prices of liquor could increase if sales became privatized.

Murder Case Of Missing Morganton Man Back In Court In August

(Mountain City, TN) -- The murder case of a still-missing Morganton man is being pushed back to later this year. Investigators believe Carlton Edmonson was kidnapped from Burke County over a year ago before he was taken to Tennessee and left for dead. Five suspects from Western North Carolina and one from Tennessee have been charged with murder even though Edmondson's body hasn't been found. The clerk of court in Johnston County, Tennessee says a judge decided last weekend to delay the next status update on the case until August.

Henderson School Leaders To Prioritize 150-Million-Dollar Project List

(Henderson County, NC) -- School leaders in Henderson County are trying to prioritize from a recommended list of nearly 150-million-dollars in facility needs. A recent consultant report reveals that those projects need to be completed in the next decade, with over 40-million-dollars worth of items recommended in the upcoming fiscal year budget. It includes major construction projects for East and West Henderson high schools. The HVAC systems for Flat Rock and Rugby middle schools would also need replacing.

New Beer Fest Coming To Asheville

(Asheville, NC) -- Beer lovers can help fund projects promoting clean energy at a new beer festival. The first Brew Horizons Beer Festival will feature around 20 Western North Carolina breweries at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville on February 23rd. Funds are set to help the Blue Horizons Project.

More Safety Screenings Coming To High Schools

(Charlotte, NC) -- More safety screenings are coming up soon for CMS high schools. Ten high schools were selected at random yesterday for future screenings as part of the district's new initiative to keep dangerous items out of the classroom. The first round of random screenings was completed in eight schools over the last few weeks. Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox says he has been pleased with the students and screeners so far.

Suspect Who Stole Maserati Arrested After Armed Robbery

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD says a man who stole a luxury car right from the dealer was caught in northeast Charlotte yesterday. The suspect had been on the run since Friday when he allegedly stole a Maserati at gunpoint from the Gulf Export car dealership on North Tryon Street. Officers found the car and the suspect after he reportedly robbed a nearby pawn shop on Monday. He was arrested trying to get away in the Shannon Park neighborhood.

CMPD To Target Human Trafficking On All-Star Weekend

(Charlotte, NC) -- Human trafficking is a concern for police as thousands of visitors come to Charlotte for NBA's All-Star Weekend. The CMPD is looking out for signs of people trying to take advantage of big events and big crowds. Cyber crime teams will be conducting online investigations in addition to the footwork officers are putting in. All-Star events begin Friday in uptown.

Immigrant Rally Planned Next Week

(Charlotte, NC) -- Activists are planning a rally to support immigrants in Marshall Park next Monday. The event comes after recent ICE raids in Mecklenburg County. The rally is called Day Without Immigrants, in an effort to show the importance of immigrants to the business community.

Fire Destroys Statesville Church

(Statesville, NC) -- A Statesville church is in ruins today. A huge fire destroyed Old Western Avenue Baptist Church just north of town early Monday morning. Statesville fire investigators say it may be too hard to figure out how it started because the damage was so bad. The church was just over a century old.

City Council Votes Down Longer Terms

(Charlotte, NC) -- The Charlotte City Council is saying no to longer terms. Members voted against a proposal last night that could have extended their terms from two to four years if approved in a referendum. Most of the board seemed to support the proposal just last week in a strategy session. Several council members said last night that there didn't seem to be much public support or interest in changing term length.

Durham Mega Church Pastor Speaks About Sex Abuse Scandal

(Durham, NC) -- The pastor of a Durham mega church says the Southern Baptist Convention failed sexual abuse victims. A major investigative report by the Houston Chronicle says more than 700 victims were abused over the course of decades by church leaders in the SBC. Pastor J.D. Greer, newly elected President of the SBC and also pastor of The Summit mega church is addressing the scandal. Greer was sympathetic to the victims and said pastors need to understand that sex abuse is not only immoral, it's illegal.

Fairfax Accuser Says Former NBA Player Also Raped Her At Duke

(Durham, NC) -- The woman who says Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax raped her at Duke says she was also raped by a former NBA player. The New York Times reports that the accuser told a friend she was raped by Corey Maggette 20 years ago. Maggette, now a Fox Sports basketball analyst, is denying these claims and Fox Sports is investigating them. The woman's lawyer says she tried to report the rape to a dean, but the dean discouraged her from moving forward with the claim.

Wake County Double Homicide Trial Underway

(Wake Co., NC) -- A double homicide trial is underway in Wake County. Thirty-year-old Seaga Gillard is on trial for allegedly killing a pregnant woman and her boyfriend in 2016 at an America's Best Value Inn in Raleigh. Prosecutors say they were able to identify the suspect because at least one of the murders was caught on security footage. If Gillard is found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

Hazmat Situation In Raleigh

(Raleigh, NC) -- First responders in Raleigh are dealing with a hazmat situation. WNCN reports that last night a corrosive material was found on the second floor of a building on the 27-hundred block of Capitol Boulevard. Police and fire officials were working with a building manager on the situation last night. They didn't say what the corrosive material was. More details are expected later.

Church Nursery Worker Accused Of Assaulting Toddler

(Fuquay-Varina, NC) -- A Fuquay-Varina church nursery worker is accused of assaulting a toddler. Police say during Sunday services at the Fuquay-Varina Presbyterian Church, 67-year-old Rosie O'Beirne picked up a two-year-old boy by the arm and slammed him into a playhouse. Luckily, the toddler was fine. O'Beirne was arrested and charged with assaulting a child under the age of 12. She was fired from the church and jailed on five-thousand-dollars bond.

Man In Jail After Mostly Nude Teen Found Under His Car

(Rolesville, NC) -- A Wake Forest man is facing sex abuse charges. Court documents say 53-year-old Ronan Hanlon was arrested in September after a 15-year-old was found underneath his car wearing only a jacket. Investigators say he met the teen online and they engaged in sexual conduct. Hanlon is behind bars on 500-thousand-dollars bond.

Man Killed In House Fire In Thomasville

(Thomasville, NC) -- A man is dead after a house fire in Thomasville. It happened yesterday morning on East Lakeview Drive. Family members tell FOX 8 that 68-year-old Luther Brown was killed in the blaze. They say he was disabled and had trouble getting around. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

School Bus Involved In DUI-Related Crash

(Davidson Co., NC) -- Three students and a bus driver are okay after a crash with a possible drunk driver in Davidson County. The accident happened around 3 p.m. yesterday on Old U.S. 52, near Critcher Drive, and involved a bus carrying Midway Elementary School students. Authorities say the driver of the car hit the bus head-on and will face charges. They also believe alcohol was a factor in the wreck.

Loaded Gun Found Inside Man's Car After Threatening Son

(High Point, NC) -- A High Point man is facing several charges after, police say, he cut his son's wrist and then threatened to kill him. Police obtained warrants for 52-year-old Larry Dow's arrest Sunday night after he said he would shoot and kill his son. He was found parked in the driveway of his home on Terrell Drive with a loaded gun in the passenger seat. Dow was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, communicating threats, carrying a concealed gun and possessing marijuana.

Ten People Arrested Following "Operation Valentine"

(Alamance Co., NC) -- Ten people are under arrest following a prostitution and human-trafficking bust in Alamance County on Friday. Deputies called their undercover sting "Operation Valentine." They responded to ads posted by the suspects. Eight women and two men were arrested. They ranged in age from 32 to 52.

Eight Children Homeless After Winston-Salem House Fire

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A family of ten is homeless after a house fire in Winston-Salem. It happened yesterday afternoon near Drewry Lane and Fondly Road. No one was hurt, but two adults and eight children were displaced. They're being helped by the Red Cross. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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