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

Candler Man Sentenced For Asheville Bar Murder

(Asheville, NC) -- A Candler man is heading to prison for a deadly bar shooting in 2016. Colton Halford was sentenced to serve at least 23 years after he pleaded guilty yesterday to second-degree murder. Investigators say Halford shot a Fairview man who was with his ex-fiance at Just One More Bar in West Asheville. Halford shot himself and survived.

State Employees File Transgender Discrimination Lawsuit

(Raleigh, NC) -- A group of state employees is suing the state for discriminating against transgender people. The News & Observer is reporting that a lawsuit filed yesterday claims North Carolina's State Health Plan won't cover the costs for gender dysphoria. A transgender man said that he was unequally treated when coverage for a breast-reduction treatment was turned down. The state once offered coverage for that type of procedure, but it was reversed last year.

Staff Accuses Organized Group Of Vandalizing Artwork

(Asheville, NC) -- The staff of an Asheville artist is claiming his artwork is being vandalized by a coordinated hate group. They told the Asheville Citizen-Times that vandals have caused almost 50-thousand-dollars in damage to the works of Jonas Gerard, with some of the acts being committed at the Asheville Regional Airport. Gerard said sexual battery charges against him were dropped in late 2017. Three people are currently facing vandalism charges, while one was convicted last fall.

Body Found Outside Grocery Store

(Woodfin, NC) -- Investigators say a body was found in an Ingles parking lot north of Asheville yesterday. WLOS-TV says foul play isn't suspected in the death. The man was discovered just after noon at the Weaverville Road store.

Madison County Back To Implementing Public Comment Policy

(Madison County, NC) -- Commissioners are buckling down on Madison County's public comment policy. The rules were a bit relaxed last month when around 30 speakers spoke for a couple of hours over a proposal to build an asphalt plant. The board chairman says the county's current comment policy will be back in full force at tonight's meeting. Only one person will be allowed to speak for or against each issue brought up.

Gas Prices Continue Rise In NC

(Asheville, NC) -- Gas prices in North Carolina continue to move upwards, mirroring a nationwide trend. Triple-A says yesterday's state average of two-38-per-gallon was up eight cents from last week and 23-cents more than a month ago. Prices in Asheville are hovering above the state average at two-41-a-gallon. Gas prices are expected to climb upward in the next few weeks, but forecasters don't expect it to rise as high as last year's peak of nearly three-dollars.

Feds Subpoena Election Fraud Documents

(Raleigh, NC) -- Federal investigators are looking for records in the ninth district election fraud probe. The Department of Justice issued a subpoena last week ordering the North Carolina Board of Elections to turn over the documents by mid-April. Five people have been arrested in the illegal ballot operation. A new election will now be held in the race for the congressional seat.

Suspect Arrested For Molesting Girl In Rowan County

(Rowan County, NC) -- A suspect is being accused of molesting a seven-year-old girl for several months in Rowan County. The mother told investigators that she walked in on Homer Compton, Junior during the alleged acts last Saturday. He was arrested after deputies were forced to negotiate with him when he refused to come out of the home. Compton is in jail with a bond set at over one-million-dollars for multiple counts of rape, statutory sex offenses and indecent liberties.

Investigators Suspect Arson In Clubhouse Fire

(Charlotte, NC) -- Charlotte fire investigators believe a blaze that damaged an apartment complex yesterday morning was set on purpose. The fire tore through the clubhouse at the Avalon Apartments just off Albemarle Road, causing around 300-thousand-dollars in damage. It was contained to the clubhouse and pool area. No families were displaced as a result of the suspected arson.

City Settles With Family Of Student Killed By Police Car

(Charlotte, NC) -- The city of Charlotte is reporting that it settled with the family of a college student who was hit and killed by a police car. The officer allegedly reached speeds of 100-miles-an-hour when his cruiser hit Central Piedmont Community College student James Michael Short as he was crossing Morehead Street in July 2017. The Charlotte Observer says the city paid the family close to one-million-dollars in December. The officer is facing involuntary manslaughter charges.

CMPD Investigating Two Bank Robberies

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is investigating two bank robberies that happened within a few hours of each other Monday. A security guard reportedly fired shots at an armed man inside the State Employee's Credit Union on University City Boulevard. Investigators say the suspect sped off in a green Honda Civic. Another suspect later robbed a Wells Fargo in Ballantyne.

ACC Tournament Begins In Charlotte

(Charlotte, NC) -- The Queen City is set to host its third big basketball event in the past month. The first round of the men's ACC basketball tournament begins today at the Spectrum Center. Miami and Wake Forest tip off at noon, with two games to follow. Charlotte has already hosted NBA's All-Star Weekend and the CIAA Tournament in recent weeks.

A Goldsboro Mom Is Accused Of Concealing Her Daughter's Death

(Goldsboro, NC) -- A Goldsboro woman is accused of concealing her daughter's death. Yesterday, 59-year-old Lisa Boyle was arrested after the body of 31-year-old Natasha Boyle-South was found. Her body was found in her bedroom by deputies during a welfare check on Sunday. The cause of death is still a mystery. The investigation is still ongoing.

A Deceased Motorcyclist Is Being Identified As A Fort Bragg Paratrooper

(Fayetteville, NC) -- A Fort Bragg paratrooper is being mourned. Police say 22-year-old Patrick McDill was riding his motorcycle Sunday when it was hit by a car on Yadkin Road in Fayetteville. He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. The crash is still under investigation and no charges have been announced.

A Duke Grad Student Is Critical After Being Shot Outside A Costco

(Durham, NC) -- Durham police are investigating after a Duke grad student was shot. Police say 25-year-old Ryan Ware was shot in the stomach in the parking lot of the North Pointe Drive Costco Sunday. He was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition. Police think Ware was targeted, but they aren't sure why. The suspect is still at large and police say a grayish sedan was seen fleeing the scene.

Deputies Search For A Missing Nash County Woman

(Nash Co., NC) -- Deputies in Nash County are trying to find a missing woman. They say 38-year-old Diana Keel was last seen by her husband in Nashville on Friday. Her car is still parked at her house and her employer says she hasn't been to work in a few days. Diane Keel is described as a five-foot-two-inch tall white woman with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's department or Crime Stoppers.

A Raleigh Tech CEO With Cancer Tries To Raise Awareness

(Raleigh, NC) -- A Raleigh tech CEO is fighting colon cancer. Thirty-eight-year-old Brooks Bell of the digital marketing company Brooks Bell Analytics was diagnosed with stage-three colon cancer in January. She says this isn't usually a disease women her age get, but she's now working to raise awareness. Bell has launched the Brooks Bell's Bullet Dodgers campaign aimed at getting 50 people under the age of 50 to get a colonoscopy, which she says could save your life.

A Former Football Coach Is Accused Of Wrongdoing, His Team Had To Forfeit All 2017-2018 Wins

(Fayetteville, NC) -- A Fayetteville football coach is out of a job for allegations of wrongdoing. Emerson Martin, formerly of Village Christian Academy High School, is accused of recruiting at least one player with the promise that his tuition would be paid. Martin says he never made any promises other than they would do everything in his power to keep them in the school. The football program is now being investigated by the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association. The school had to forfeit all wins for 2017 and 2018, including the 2018 State Championship.

UNC-Greensboro Falls In Conference Tournament Championship Game

(Asheville, NC) -- UNC-Greensboro's men's basketball team will have to wait for an invitation to the NCAA Tournament after falling in the Southern Conference championship game in Asheville on Monday. UNC-G lost to Wofford, 70-to-58. No SoCon team has ever received an at-large berth. Greensboro finishes with a record of 28 wins and six losses.

Basketball Team Competing For Title After Player Suffers Serious Injury

(Hickory, NC) -- A High Point high school boys' basketball player is recovering after a serious injury in a playoff game. Christian Martin, a senior at Southwest Guilford High School, landed on his head and neck while attempting a dunk during the playoff game against Cox Mill in Hickory on Saturday. Martin is said to be recovering at a hospital. Meanwhile, the Southwest Guilford team won and is now playing for the state championship this weekend in Chapel Hill.

Puppies Rescued From House Fire

(McLeansville, NC) -- Nine puppies were rescued from a burning home in McLeansville on Sunday. The litter was trapped inside when firefighters from McLeansville and Greensboro reportedly cut a hole out of the garage door to conduct the rescue. The man living at the home was apparently out of town at the time. Some of the pups were given canine breathing masks. A space heater was listed at the cause of the blaze.

Duke Energy Coal Ash Spill Settlement Approved

(Reidsville, NC) -- A Rockingham County judge is signing off on a settlement agreement following the 2014 coal ash spill. Duke Energy was faulted for spilling tens of thousands of pounds of coal ash into the Dan River from its facility in Eden, one of the largest such spills in U.S. history. Details of the settlement with 33 property owners along the Dan River are not being released. Duke said in a press release that years of research show the ecosystem was not impacted by the incident, and that the company is pleased to put the issue in the past.

School Provides Details On What It Needs To Stay Open

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A Triad school is providing details on how much money it needs to raise to stay open next year. As part of an agreement with Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem First Church, four-hundred-thousand dollars is the total Winston-Salem Christian School says it needs, although it says it's already one-quarter of the way there. The money, plus an enrollment boost of 50 students, are needed by the beginning of next month, or the school says it will have to close at the end of May.

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