Two Survive Plane Crash, Green asks for leniency, Lightning Injures Two

Suspect Charged With Murder After Man Set On Fire Dies

(Asheville, NC) -- A suspect accused of setting a man on fire in Asheville is now charged with murder. Robert Austin was arrested this week on a count of attempted murder for allegedly burning a homeless man along Tunnel Road early Sunday morning. Investigators told WLOS-TV that Austin died of his injuries early Thursday. Charges were upgraded to first-degree murder against Austin, who is in jail with no bond.

Two Men Survive Plane Crash

(Yancey County, NC) -- Two men involved in a western North Carolina plane crash are safe. WLOS-TV reports the aircraft went down Thursday afternoon less than a mile away from a ranger station near Mount Mitchell State Park. The pilot allegedly advised air traffic controllers they ran into weather-related problems. The FAA says the plane was heading from Greenville to Ohio. One of the passengers was checked out at the hospital.

Former County Manager Asking For Sentencing Leniency

(Asheville, NC) -- A former Buncombe County manager is asking for a sentence of no more than four years for a kickback scheme. Wanda Greene is expected to learn her fate in federal court next Wednesday. She pleaded guilty in a case where she was accused of taking bribes and kickbacks from a contractor who was seeking work with the county. Greene's lawyer filed paperwork for the leniency request on Thursday.

Lightning Injures Two People In WNC

(Marion, NC) -- Lightning is to blame for a couple of injuries in western North Carolina yesterday. A man was reportedly struck by lightning while at the Bar-B-Que Hut in Marion on Thursday afternoon. He was taken to the hospital with injuries not thought to be life-threatening. WLOS-TV is reporting a second man was hit by lightning at the Haywood County Fairgrounds last night. He's expected to be okay.

Asheville Schools To Delay Superintendent Hiring

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville City Schools may be waiting a little longer than anticipated to choose a new superintendent. The original start date for the position was January, but officials now say it may be closer to July. The district is in the midst of gaining community feedback on the position with a series of forums. There are three public forums next week, with the first at Hall Fletcher Elementary Monday evening.

Deer Deaths On Rise In Madison County

(Madison County, NC) -- A rising number of deer deaths is being investigated in Madison County. Wildlife officials say at least 40 have been found dead, and test results are pointing to a hemorrhagic disease caused by a gnat. The last outbreak in western North Carolina was six years ago. People and pets aren't affected by hemorrhagic disease.

Trump Planning To Rally For Republican Dan Bishop

(Charlotte, NC) -- President Trump may soon be on his way to North Carolina to stump for Republican candidate Dan Bishop in the ninth district congressional race. He tweeted on Thursday that he's looking forward to holding a big rally for Bishop, while criticizing his opponent for wanting open borders and socialism. Early voting is going on now in the race, which also includes Democrat Dan McCready, Libertarian Jeff Scott and Green Party candidate Allen Smith.

Newton Injures Foot In Preseason Game

(Foxborough, MA) -- It's unknown how a foot injury suffered in last night's preseason game will affect Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton. He limped off the field during Carolina's third drive of the game against New England in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Newton was four-for-six for 30 yards before leaving. The Patriots won ten-to-three.

Over 60 Guns Stolen From Statesville Pawn Shop

(Statesville, NC) -- Statesville police are investigating the thefts of more than 60 guns from a pawn shop. Investigators say they were stolen sometime early Thursday morning from Bullseye Pawn on West Front Street at Oakland Avenue. Statesville's police chief believes more than one suspect was involved. A reward of up to ten-thousand-dollars is offered in the case.

Carjackers Caught Using GPS Tracking

(Shelby, NC) -- One woman has a GPS system to thank after CMPD officers caught two suspected carjackers. She told Fox46 that the suspects stole her car at gunpoint on Tuesday from the Cleveland Mall in Shelby. Police used the car's GPS tracking signal to hunt the car down in Charlotte, where both men were arrested. It marked at least the tenth time one of the suspects had been arrested for similar crimes.

CMS Chief Communications Officer Resigns

(Charlotte, NC) -- The chief communications officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is stepping down. Tracy Russ announced on Facebook that it's time to take a breath in life after spending nearly 25 years in a career helping organizations in strategic communications. CMS hired him to head up communications for the district in October 2017. Today is his last day on the job.

Green Paint Causes Mess On I-85

(Gaston County, NC) -- A wreck involving a paint spill is to blame for long delays on I-85 North in Gaston County yesterday. The state highway patrol says 55-gallon drums of green paint splattered onto the road after a three-car wreck at Exit 23. Traffic was backed up for at least five hours. Troopers told the Gaston Gazette that the paint is water-based and should wash off easily. The paint was to be used for tennis courts.

NC A.G. Stein Helps Broker Deal To Curb Robocalls

(Washington, DC) -- North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is announcing a deal with 12 of the nation's biggest phone companies to block robocalls. Stein and the AGs from New Hampshire and Indiana led the effort to persuade phone companies to take steps to block robocalls and encourage more enforcement. The agreement was announced Thursday in Washington. Phone companies will implement free call-blocking technology, let customers have access to easy-to-use call-blocking and labeling tools and monitor networks for robocall traffic.

NCDOT, Environmental Groups Settlement Clears Way For NC 540 Loop Completion

(Raleigh, NC) -- Work on the Triangle Expressway has a green light after the Department of Transportation and several environmental groups settled a lawsuit blocking the two-and-a-quarter-billion dollar project. The settlement announced Thursday clears the way for completion of the 28-mile six-lane highway across southern Wake County, from Holly Springs to Knightdale. Under the settlement, NCDOT agreed to more than two-dozen steps to protect wildlife habitat and open space, and reduce water and air pollution. Construction could begin later this year with the route open to traffic in 2023.

Durham Teens Facing Felony Charges After 100 MPH Chase

(Durham, NC) -- Two Durham teenagers are facing a number of felony charges after they allegedly led a deputy on a chase at speeds over 100 miles an hour. The Durham County Sheriff's Office says the deputy hit his lights and siren when he saw a Honda Accord going 20 miles an hour over the speed limit shortly before midnight Wednesday. He says the car sped up and took off, eventually crashing in the 38-hundred-block of Shaftsbury Street. The car turned out to be stolen and officers found phones, two handguns, ammunition, and cash in the car the 14- and 15-year olds were driving.

AAA Projecting Steep Drop In Gas Prices

(Undated) -- Triple-A Carolinas is predicting a steep drop in gas prices after the Labor Day Holiday. Regular could drop by 25 cents to around two-dollars a gallon in some places. Other factors for the price-drop include lower crude oil prices and a switch to winter-blend gasoline.

Silicon Valley Startup Opens Raleigh Office, Plans To Hire 120

(Raleigh, NC) -- A Silicon Valley cloud storage company now has an office in Raleigh and plans to hire 120 people. The office Egnyte opened Thursday in the PNC Plaza building will be the lead sales office for the company's operations east of the Rocky Mountains. The News & Observer reports Egnyte is hiring for all positions, including engineering, product, and success teams, eventually adding 120 jobs. Egnyte competes with companies like Dropbox and helps businesses share and store files and data.

Three Teens Shot In Winston-Salem

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- An investigation is underway in Winston-Salem after three teens were shot. It happened last night on South Main Street. The scene remained active late into the night. There's no word on the teens' conditions or what led to the shooting.

Thousands Without Power In Triad

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Thousands of people are without power in parts of the Triad after damaging storms. Forsyth County was one of the hardest hit areas yesterday. Some 25-hundred Duke Energy customers were still in the dark overnight. In addition to knocking down power poles, the storm also uprooted dozens of trees. No serious injuries were reported.

Wake Forest Volleyball Coach Resigns

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Wake Forest University's head volleyball coach is resigning. Coach Bill Ferguson has been on leave since mid-March when he was charged in connection with a college admissions scandal. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said 50 people, including over 30 parents, "paid enormous sums" of money to guarantee their children got admitted into elite schools. The university announced Ferguson's resignation yesterday.

North Carolina Residents Warned About Military Training

(Charlotte, NC) -- Army officials are warning folks throughout North Carolina not to worry if they see suspicious-looking military activity in the upcoming weeks. The Charlotte Observer says training exercises, including gunfire with blanks, will take place from August 30th through September 12th. The exercises will be staged across 21 counties, including Guilford, Alamance, Davidson and Randolph.

AAA Projecting Steep Drop In Gas Prices

(Undated) -- Triple-A Carolinas is predicting a steep drop in gas prices after the Labor Day Holiday. Regular unleaded gas could drop by 25 cents to around two-dollars a gallon in some places. Other factors for the price-drop include: less expensive crude oil prices and a switch to winter-blend gasoline.

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