ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Tillis holding cash advantage in North Carolina Senate race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The leading fundraisers to date in North Carolina's U.S. Senate race have announced largely similar contribution numbers for the previous three months. Republican incumbent Thom Tillis' campaign says he took in $1.9 million for the fourth quarter. Democrat Cal Cunningham said earlier he raised $1.6 million. Tillis still appears to have had a significant cash advantage entering 2020. Friday is the deadline to file fourth-quarter reports. Five Democrats and four Republicans are running for their parties' nominations in the March 3 primary. Tillis and Cunningham have already been running television ads.
FLU DEATHS-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina flu death toll reaches 54 after latest report
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Nine people died in North Carolina last week from complications of the flu, raising the death toll for the 2019-20 season to 54. In addition to last week's deaths, the Winston-Salem Journal reports four deaths occurred in previous weeks. Of the 54 deaths during the season, 31 were 65 years old or older, 12 were ages 50 to 64, 10 were ages 25 to 49 and one was ages 5 to 17. Citing privacy reasons, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services doesn't reveal hometowns, counties, ages or gender of flu victims.
BAR SHOOTING-SOUTH CAROLINA
2nd man charged in SC bar shooting that killed 3 people
HARTSVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a second man has been charged in a shooting at a South Carolina bar that killed three people. Hartsville Police say 24-year-old Davijon McCall was arrested at a Durham, North Carolina, apartment and charged with murder. Police say McCall fired a gun in the shooting around 2 a.m. Sunday at Mac’s Lounge in Hartsville, Two people died shorty after the shooting and a college student from Maryland died from his injuries days later. Three others were injured. Investigators are still trying to sift through evidence and more arrests are possible. Authorities still have not released details on how many people fired or what led to the shooting.
Raleigh-Durham airport staffer charged with 'secret peeping'
MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Raleigh-Durham International Airport officials say an employee has been charged with secret peeping after authorities were tipped off about "potential illegal activity" at the airport. News outlets report that 30-year-old Brennan Stevenson was arrested Wednesday by Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority law enforcement. Officials told WRAL-TV that he has since been removed from his position as a contract compliance officer and is not allowed on airport property. Police say Stevenson is charged with the felonies of possessing and disseminating an image obtained through secret peeping. It's unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment on his behalf.
EMERGENCY TEAM-PUERTO RICO
North Carolina emergency response team goes to Puerto Rico
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A 12-member team from North Carolina is spending two weeks in Puerto Rico helping islanders deal with earthquake damage. The state Division of Emergency Management says structural engineers, an architect and search and rescue team are assessing damage from the earthquakes and aftershocks that began in late December. They're focusing first on residences to make sure they're structurally sound enough for families to return home. Puerto Rico's emergency management office requested the help through a mutual-assistance compact. North Carolina also provided extensive help to Puerto Rico in late 2017, after Hurricane Maria.
N Carolina surplus, budget impasse mean lots of cash unspent
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina state government coffers are more flush than in recent memory as 2020 began. Analysts from both the legislative and executive branches agree state revenues are about $290 million ahead of expectations through the first half of this fiscal year. Growing individual income tax collections are the main reason. North Carolina has had revenue surpluses five years in a row. But the state's financial accounts also are higher now because a full two-year state budget has never been finalized, leading to money going unspent. As of Dec. 31, more than $2 billion had not been earmarked for anything in the state's accounts.
CHILD PORNOGRAPHY SENTENCING
N. Carolina man sentenced for posing as teen, receiving porn
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department has announced that a North Carolina man convicted of making and receiving child pornography has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina says 49-year-old Ezekial Sandoval pleaded guilty to child exploitation and manufacturing in November. He was initially indicted on 12 related counts in May. The statement says investigators found that Sandoval had been posing online as a teenage girl named. Prosecutors say he convinced an 11-year-old Michigan girl to send explicit images of herself. The online user’s phone number was registered to Sandoval.
North Carolina college quarterback paralyzed after shooting