Local and State Headlines for Thursday, February 28th, 2019

Meningitis Outbreak In Macon County

(Macon County, NC) -- Health officials are reporting a meningitis outbreak in Macon County. The public health office says two people have died over the past three weeks. The bacteria causing meningitis can be spread through contact with saliva. It's a fast-moving sickness with symptoms like a fever, severe headache and a stiff neck.

NC Election Political Operative Indicted for Obstruction of Justice

(Raleigh, NC) -- The political operative at the center of North Carolina's election fraud controversy is being indicted on felony charges. Leslie McRae Dowless was arrested and charged yesterday for obstruction of justice, conspiracy and possession of absentee ballots. He worked on behalf of Republican candidate Mark Harris in the ninth district congressional race last fall. North Carolina election officials voted unanimously last week to order a new election after testimony revealed Dowless and his associates collected absentee ballots on behalf of Harris.

Teachers Suspended For Alleged Misconduct

(Rutherford County, NC) -- Two Rutherford County teachers are suspended during an investigation into alleged misconduct. Eric Currington and Chris Brown are instructors in R-S Central High's JROTC program. The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office has opened up an investigation after district administrators were first made aware of the misconduct accusations almost a week ago.

Asheville To Offer Home Down Payment Assistance

(Asheville, NC) -- The Asheville City Council is making a move to help poor residents and community heroes buy a home. Nearly one-and-a-half-million-dollars is being earmarked for downpayment assistance to help certain Asheville city teachers, employees and those who make 60-percent of the area median income. The home must be inside city limits. Nothing has to be paid back unless the homeowner sells in less than 30 years.

Bicycle Registration Bill File In House

(Raleigh, NC) -- A North Carolina lawmaker is pushing for bicycle registration in the state. WLOS-TV says Wilkes County Representative Jeffrey Elmore has filed a bill that would require cyclists 16-and-over who ride on public roads to pay a ten-dollar annual fee. Violators would be slapped with a fine up to 25-bucks.

Asheville Chefs Named James Beard Semifinalists

(Asheville, NC) -- Three Asheville chefs are semifinalists for awards naming the best of the best. Katie Button and Meherwan Irani [[ MARE-wahn Ear-AH-nee ]] are two of 20 people in the region chosen for the James Beard Award's Best Chef Southeast. Ashley Capps is on a shortlist for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Irani runs Asheville's Chai Pani [[ PAH-knee ]] and Buxton Hall, where Capps serves as baker. Button is the chief cook at Button's Bagels and Curate [[ COOR-uh-TAY ]].

Two Dead, One Injured In Charlotte Shooting

(Charlotte, NC) -- Two people are dead in a triple shooting near Uptown. Officers found two people shot inside a car on Grandin Road last night. The CMPD believes another victim ran from the car before stopping two blocks away on Morehead Street. A couple of guns and marijuana were reportedly recovered from the scene. Two victims died at the hospital, while the condition of the third isn't known.

Man Facing Murder Allegedly Threatens Judge

(Charlotte, NC) -- The man on trial for a Charlotte riots murder is being accused of threatening a judge. Prosecutors said yesterday that Rayquan Borum allegedly called a judge from jail, although details of the threat are unclear. A senior resident judge of Superior Court is now looking into whether the judge will need to recuse himself from the trial. Borum is accused of killing Justin Carr in Uptown in 2016.

Stanly County Man Charged With Murder Of Missing Woman

(Stanly County, NC) -- A Stanly County man is being charged for the murder of a missing woman and her unborn child. Sasha Naylor was last seen in Albemarle last August. Investigators said the car they thought she might be traveling in was found completely burned shortly after she was last seen. Joseph Rhodes was charged with murder yesterday.

Two On Run After Business Owner Stabbed

(Lincoln County, NC) -- Lincoln County deputies are looking for two suspects accused in the stabbing of a business owner. Investigators said Billy Joe Franklin is wanted for stabbing and punching the owner of the Corner Market in Lincolnton Wednesday morning. He and a woman then allegedly stole the owner's van. The owner was rushed to Atrium-Charlotte for injuries.

Hornets Lose, Still Hanging On To Playoff Spot

(Charlotte, NC) -- The Hornets are clinging to the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte's loss to Houston at the Spectrum Center last night was their third in a row. They're now only half-a-game above Orlando and Miami for the eighth playoff spot. There's just over a month left in the regular season.

Councilwoman Claims The Mayor's Husband Assaulted Her

(Raleigh, NC) -- A Raleigh Councilwoman says she was assaulted by the mayor's husband. Councilwoman Kay Crowder says earlier this month, Mayor Nancy McFarlane's husband Ron confronted her after she unveiled a park plan at the Raleigh Convention Center. She says he was mad because she didn't mention the mayor who was unable to attend the event. Crowder says Mr. McFarlane verbally and physically assaulted her, but has since apologized. The incident wasn't reported to police.

A Suspect Wanted In Connection To A Double Homicide Tried To Cross Into Mexico

(Brewster Co., TX) -- A man wanted in connection to a Durham double-homicide is behind bars in Texas. Eighteen-year-old Jonathan Cabrera is one of two men charged for a New Year's Day shooting that killed two men on House Avenue. He was arrested trying to cross the border into Mexico Tuesday night. Cabrera is waiting to be extradited back to Durham.

Police Charge A Durham Man For 4 Bank Robberies

(Durham, NC) -- A Durham man is accused of four local bank robberies. On Friday, Police arrested 53-year-old Gregory McAllister after the robbery of a PNC Bank on Highway 54. Yesterday, police charged him with three other February bank robberies. McAllister is accused of robbing the BB-and-T on Highway 54 and the BB-and-T on Miami Boulevard twice. No one was hurt and police say McAllister simply used a note to demand the money.

Human Remains Are Found By CSX Employees Near The Tracks

(Robeson Co., NC) -- Investigators in Robeson County are trying to identify human remains found near railroad tracks. The skeletal remains were discovered yesterday by CSX workers near Powersville Road and Barker Ten Mile Road. The remains will be sent to the medical examiner to determine a cause of death. This comes just months after the remains of Varcy Locklear were found along train tracks in Robeson County. Authorities think he had been a stowaway who died falling off the train.

Duke University Doesn't Sign A Light Rail Agreement

(Durham, NC) -- Duke University isn't signing a cooperative agreement for a light-rail project in Durham. Duke and GoTriangle had been set to work together on a multi-billion-dollar mass transit project to bring a light rail service to Durham and Orange Counties. GoTriangle says Duke sent them a letter saying they wouldn't be able to meet a deadline to sign the agreement to work together on the project. GoTriangle apparently has to resolve several issues before this can move forward, and officials call this a setback, but not the end.

Man Hit By Train In Kernersville

(Kernersville, NC) -- A man is fighting for his life after getting hit by a train in Kernersville. The accident happened yesterday morning at Railroad and Cherry streets. Police say the man was walking along the tracks and did not hear the train coming because he was wearing headphones. The unidentified victim was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Explosives Found In Man's Car In King

(King, NC) -- An investigation is underway in King after multiple explosives were found in a man's car and home. Stokes County sheriff's officials took 24-year-old Chris Lane into custody early yesterday morning on Cromer Road. They say several explosive devices were found in the back seat of his car, which led them to obtain a search warrant for the suspect's home. They say several additional explosives and materials to make them were found there. Lane is charged with possession of weapons of mass destruction, but deputies say more charges are likely.

Rockingham Co. Sheriff's Officials Issue Scam Alert

(Rockingham Co., NC) -- Rockingham County sheriff's officials are warning residents about an impostor who's trying to scam people out of money. The sheriff's office has received several reports about a man who calls himself Captain Grey Smith. He tells the victims they've missed jury duty and requests gift cards to avoid being arrested. Sheriff's officials say this is a scam and urge residents to stay vigilant.

Second Man Arrested In Connection With Eden Homicide

(Eden, NC) -- A second person is under arrest in connection with a 2017 homicide in Eden. Brent Hairston is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Michael Boulding. Rockingham County sheriff's officials say Hairston was already serving time in federal prison for unrelated charges. Shakaree Lowe was arrested last week on the same charges. Officials have not said what the motive was.

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