Local and State Headlines for Friday, April 12th, 2009

Couple Dead In Watauga County Homicide

(Watauga County, NC) -- The SBI is investigating a double homicide in Watauga County. Deputies responded to a home in the Deep Gap community on Wednesday night for a suspicious call. They found a husband and wife dead a few feet from each other inside. A 17-year-old suspect was taken into custody in Johnson City, Tennessee yesterday.

Toddler, Teen Shot In Hickory

(Hickory, NC) -- A toddler and a teen in Hickory are recovering from injuries suffered in a shooting. Hickory police said the victims were shot on First Street last night and rushed to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect allegedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Governor Pushes School Bond In WNC

(Brevard, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper is continuing to push for support of his school bond proposal. He visited Brevard High School yesterday to highlight positives from the proposal and re-emphasize the importance of giving teachers a proposed nine percent pay raise over two years. He said we must raise the level of respect among our educators. The governor was able to tour some classrooms before heading out for the day.

Suspects Arrested With Large Amount Of Meth

(Macon County, NC) -- Three suspects in Macon County are being accused of trafficking methamphetamine. Deputies seized around two-and-a-half pounds of meth from a home on Cat Creek Road in Franklin on Wednesday. The drugs are worth 130-thousand dollars. The trio was arrested and taken to the Macon County jail on bonds of at least two-and-a-half-million-dollars for each.

Fire Destroys Weaverville Home

(Weaverville, NC) -- Fire officials are investigating a blaze that destroyed a Buncombe County home yesterday. Firefighters from several surrounding agencies rushed out to the scene Thursday morning on Lovin Road in Weaverville. All three residents made it out safely. WLOS-TV is reporting that investigators believe it started from an improperly discarded cigarette.

Lawmakers Consider Raising Fees For Electric, Hybrid Car Owners

(Raleigh, NC) -- State lawmakers are considering increases in registration fees for owners of hybrid and electric vehicles. The proposal was approved by a Senate committee in Raleigh this week. The annual registration fee for electric vehicles would more than double by 2022 if the bill passes. The bill's purpose is to help offset gas taxes that these vehicle owners don't pay.

Judge Rules For Release Of Body Cam Footage

(Charlotte, NC) -- A judge is ruling that police body cam footage from the scene of a fatal shooting at a Charlotte Burger King will be released. The video will be available Monday after the CMPD allows the family to view it. Danquirs Franklin was shot outside the Beatties Ford Road restaurant last month when officers said he refused to drop a gun. Mecklenburg's DA argued that the video shouldn't be released until after the investigation is complete, but the judge ruled otherwise yesterday.

Panthers' Delegation Meets With SC Legislators

(Columbia, SC) -- The Panthers are looking for support from South Carolina lawmakers in a potential headquarters move. Head coach Ron Rivera and other team representatives met with state legislators yesterday in Columbia. The reported plan is to move the Carolina Panthers' team operations into York County, while still using Bank of America Stadium as the playing field. An incentive bill for the Panthers has stalled in the South Carolina state Senate.

Employee Dies After Accident At Gastonia Business

(Gastonia, NC) -- An employee of a Gastonia business is dead after an on-site accident early Thursday. The state Department of Labor says the employee got an arm stuck in a conveyor while cleaning the recycling belt at Sika Automotive on Bessemer City Highway. The employee's arm was reportedly amputated in the accident. The labor department said the worker died at the hospital. The Occupational Safety and Health Division is now investigating.

Daycare Cleared Of Assault Allegation

(Charlotte, NC) -- A Charlotte daycare is no longer under investigation for an alleged assault. State officials were advised last week that a mother reported her child was assaulted at Cyrus Childhood Academy on West Boulevard. No violations were found during an inspection on Thursday. The mother told WSOC-TV that it was a misunderstanding.

Man Shot In Belmont Community

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is investigating a shooting in the Belmont community. Officers say a man was shot and ran to the parking lot on East 16th Street, where he was picked up and rushed to the hospital. His injuries are said to be serious. The CMPD doesn't have any information on what happened or on any suspects.

CMS Cancels Class For Rally Day On May 1st

(Charlotte, NC) -- CMS officials are canceling class on May 1st, when teachers will be heading to a rally in Raleigh. Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said yesterday that it will instead be an optional teacher workday, with no make-up day required. Close to two-thousand teachers and staff from the district already plan to attend the rally. Wilcox says their collective voice will change communities across our state on May 1st.

Damage Assessment, Cleanup Ongoing In Durham

(Durham, NC) -- A damage assessment into a deadly gas explosion in downtown Durham is ongoing. Deputy Fire Chief Chris Iannuzzi says the explosion on Wednesday damaged at least 15 buildings after contractors hit a gas line. Durham police say the owner of nearby coffee shop, 61-year-old Kong Lee, died in the blast. Iannuzzi said a total of 25 people were transported to area hospitals, including nine firefighters. All the firefighters were released from the hospital, but a number of people are still being treated.

Fundraising For Explosion Victims

(Durham, NC) -- Folks who want to help those affected by the Durham explosion are invited to. Dozens of people were hurt in Wednesday's blast, and a number of fundraisers have been started to help those in need. A couple GoFundMe campaigns have already passed their goals. One GoFundMe is raising money for Kaffeinate, the coffee shop that was destroyed, and whose owner was killed. That fundraiser is seeking five-thousand-dollars to help the family of the victim rebuild the shop.

Traffic In Durham After Explosion

(Durham, NC) -- Downtown Durham is still in bad shape from the explosion, and traffic could be affected this morning. Right now, there are a number of road closures on North Duke Street, Morgan Street and Main Street. More closures are expected this morning. Commuters are asked to use the Durham Freeway or Alston Avenue, and to stay clear of the area.

Convicted Triple Murderer Shows Human Side After Hearing His Children's Letters

(Raleigh, NC) -- Closing arguments are set to begin today in the sentencing phase of a Wake County triple homicide case. This week, Jonathan Sander was convicted of killing three of his neighbors in Raleigh back in 2016. Yesterday, after weeks of outbursts and courtroom contempt, he openly cried in court as the mother of his three children read letters they had written to him. The jury still has to decide whether to put Sander behind bars for life, or end his life.

Hurricanes Lose Game One Of The Playoffs

(Washington, DC) -- The Hurricanes are in the playoffs, but they're hoping to do better in game two. Yesterday, the Canes lost 4-2 to the Washington Capitals. It was the North Carolina team's first NHL appearance in a decade. There will be at least three more Canes playoff games, and hopefully at least one more than that. They play the Caps again tomorrow afternoon. They play at home on Monday, and if they do well, Tuesday and Wednesday too.

Attempted Bank Robber Released From Wake Med Due In Court Today

(Benson, NC) -- A man who was shot trying to rob a bank in Benson is behind bars on one-million-dollars bond. Police say earlier this month, 46-year-old Ronnie Wessinger Junior tried to rob a PNC bank, and was hospitalized after a civilian shot him in the hip and the ankle. Wessinger was released from Wake Med on Tuesday, and was quickly recaptured in South Carolina. He's back behind bars in Johnston County and is due in court this morning.

Hanes To Shut Down Mount Airy Plant

(Mount Airy, NC) -- Hanes Brands is shutting down its sock manufacturing plant in Mount Airy. The company made the announcement yesterday. It will start reducing production next month and is expected to completely shut down the plant by October. About 220 employees are affected. Hanes says the workers will be offered jobs elsewhere within the company.

Diver Killed In Five-Car Wreck Near Yadkinville

(Yadkinville, NC) -- A driver is dead after a fiery, multi-car wreck near Yadkinville. It happened around 2:20 yesterday afternoon along northbound I-77 in a construction work zone. State troopers say traffic was stopped when a tractor-trailer slammed into the back of a Chevy car, which then collided into a truck towing a trailer. The truck hit another tractor-trailer and lost its load, which hit a van. The Chevy caught fire and the driver was killed. Charges are pending.

UPDATE: Damage Assessment Underway Following Durham Explosion

(Durham, NC) -- Officials are assessing the damaged caused by a deadly gas explosion in downtown Durham. Deputy Fire Chief Chris Iannuzzi says at least 15 buildings were damaged in Wednesday's explosion. It happened after contractors hit a gas line. Durham police say the owner of a nearby coffee shop, 61-year-old Kong Lee, was killed. Seventeen others, including nine firefighters, were hurt.

Winston-Salem Student Accused Of Threatening Classmate With Gun

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A Winston-Salem student is accused of threatening a classmate with a gun. Police say they plan on filing charges against the student who attends Philo-Hill Magnet Academy. School officials put the campus on lockdown yesterday morning after the firearm was displayed in a threatening manner. Officers were called, and a gun was found in the kid's book-bag. No one was hurt.

Two Men Arrested In Deadly Shooting In Greensboro

(Greensboro, NC) -- Two men are under arrest in connection with a deadly shooting in Greensboro. It happened April 3rd on High Street. Police say 37-year-old Christopher Wooten was found shot on the road. He was taken to a local hospital where he later died. Dylan Garrison is charged with first-degree murder, and Jayquan Ford is charged with accessory after the fact.

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