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Sunrise in the Sandhills Good morning -- it's Thursday March 22, 2018 -- and today is National Goof-Off Day, a " dedicated to goofing off when something productive should be getting done." That's an activity (or, actually, an inactivity) we can thoroughly support. On the other hand, what makes that different from any other day? ;-) Now, here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ: 55-year-old Ralph Currie Jr. of Aberdeen was arrested Wednesday afternoon after a road rage incident. AberdeenTimes-dot-com reports that the altercation escalated to the point where one person fired a handgun into the air from a moving vehicle on 15-501 near the intersection of Pinebluff Lake Road. A caller to 911 was able to provide tag numbers and description of the vehicle, and that led to Currie's arrest. A year-long project by Southern Pines Police, called “Operation Leader,” has resulted in several arrests. During the tactical operation last month, cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, and firearms were seized, in addition to more than 100-thousand dollars in cash. Nearly a dozen people have been arrested thus far, and more are expected as the investigation continues. Richard Walters of Pinetops has been charged in the death of an Edgecombe County Sheriff's deputy earlier this month... Police say Deputy David Manning saw someone driving erratically and turned around to follow the car, when his patrol car collided with a Chevy Silverado, killing him. // The driver he was chasing took off on foot. Walters is charged with DWI. WRAL-dot-com says he'd been drinking at a bar in Tarboro all afternoon... bar owner Melanie Johnson and employee Cindy Mendenhall face charges for allegedly trying to cover for Walters... and his girlfriend Kristin Harrell was also arrested and charged with drug possession. (AP) - In Raleigh, the first meeting of a House school safety committee began Wednesday. Committee speakers say there isn't enough personnel and structure to provide mental health services for at-risk students. Committee members also are interested in expanding an electronic anonymous tip line and getting more funds to rural areas to hire officers for schools. (AP) - A committee that will recommend whether Confederate monuments on state Capitol grounds should be moved is hearing from residents, most of whom say they want the monuments to stay .About 60 people spoke Wednesday at a committee meeting of the North Carolina Historical Commission. (AP) - A worker at an animal hospital in Clayton is accused by authorities of using the credit cards of pet owners to spend thousands of dollars online. A news release from Clayton police says 30-year-old Jennifer Nicole Meadows is charged with 15 counts of obtaining property by false pretense and identity theft. Raleigh Police yesterday arrested a woman and removed her child, after a video circulated on Facebook of the child smoking. WRAL-dot-com says police thanked the people who saw the video and alerted them. The name of the mother has not been released. Today: Sunny, with a high near 53. Tonight: Clear, with a low around 31. Friday: Sunny, with a high near 56.
Sunrise in the Sandhills Good morning -- it's Wednesday March 21, 2018, and chilly weather greets the first full day of Spring. But we did, apparently, dodge a bullet -- there had been some talk of snow today, but, well, it won't. Snow, that is. Now, here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ: An accident on South May Street in Southern Pines late last night resulted in a utility pole being sheared off when it was hit by a pickup truck... The truck was badly damaged but the driver was not hurt. When Hoke County deputies stopped a stolen vehicle earlier this month they found documents that contained personal information for eleven people, which, they say, were used to open fraudulent accounts. 25-year-old Sherwood Ferguson was arrested, and a second suspect, 33-year-old Robert Johnson is still at large. AberdeenTimes-dot-com says Ferguson is held on 75-thousand dollars bond. 23-year-old Donnell Coleman of Carthage is held without bond on charges of Breaking and Entering to Terrorize or Injure, Assault on a Female, and drug violations. AberdeenTimes-dot-com says the charges stem from a domestic violence incident. His initial cour appearance is April 10. A non-commissioned officer at Fort Bragg now faces domestic abuse charges after a fight with his girlfriend earlier this month. WRAL-dot-com reports that Sergeant Major Linwood Barrett is accused of violating a domestic violence protection order. Barrett is a member of the 82nd Airborne Division's G-6 staff, part of the division's command team. Three people have been arrested for stealing big-ticket appliances from dozens of homes across 12 North Carolina counties, according to WRAL-dot-com. 49-year-old Kimberly Adams of Knightdale, 26-year-old Wesley Narron of Spring Hope, and 44-year-old Thomas Wiggs of Dudley were each charged after breaking into at least 70 homes that were up for sale. Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said the three searched real estate websites for vacant houses, then stole stainless steel appliances such as stoves and refrigerators. Gas is about 26 cents more per gallon in North Carolina than it was at this time last year, according to AAA Carolinas. The average price in the state is 2.43 per gallon, five cents higher than it was a week ago. Here in the Sandhills, the price of a gallon of regular ranges between 2.39 and 2.46, according to GasBuddy-dot-com. (AP) - State legislators are meeting to get information about student safety in the aftermath of the Florida school shooting before recommending what changes their colleagues should support. The House Select Committee on School Safety plans to hear several presentations during its first meeting Wednesday. Today: Cloudy, with rain likely... High near 50. Tonight: Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 35. Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 58.
Sunrise in the Sandhills Good morning -- it's Tuesday March 20, 2018 -- but more important than that is the fact that at 12:15 PM, is the vernal equinox. In other words, today is the first day of spring! If the weather clears up, we may go someplace to frolic later on. Does anyone have any good tutorials on frolicking? ;-) Anyway, here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ: Two structure fires in Aberdeen yesterday were the result of a person burning a small pile of trash. AberdeenTimes-dot-com reports the fire destroyed a mobile home and damaged a second one. When firefighters arrived, they found one home fully engulfed with flames and the outside of a second home on fire, along with an area of burning grass and woods surrounding them. 20 people were arrested at a Fayetteville motel last week, in connection with an undercover operation at a local hotel, designed to identify potential victims of Human Trafficking, and those engaging in prostitution. They face a total of 29 related charges. According to a report from WRAL-dot-com, Duke Energy customers facing a rate hike, regardless of how much energy they use shouldn't be worried, because it's just the price of a McDonald's value meal each month... that's what a Duke attorney said yesterday. That statement hit some as insensitive, as the company cleared 3-billion dollars in profits last year, and its CEO, Lynn Good, saw her own compensation nearly double, to 21.4 million dollars a year. (AP) – Democrats in Raleigh are pushing gun sales and possession as "common-sense" ideas Republicans elsewhere already support. Some House and Senate members held a news conference Monday to unveil ideas they'd like to see their colleagues approve later this spring. They're also seeking more funding for school psychologists and counselors. (AP) – State officials may ramp up tests to measure how much of an industrial compound has gotten into food near a chemical plant that's been producing it and similar riskier products for decades. North Carolina waste management director Michael Scott said Monday environmental officials are discussing whether it's time to test backyard vegetable gardens near The Chemours Co. chemical plant in Bladen County. A couple of state agencies are joining forces to combat the growing threat of cyberattacks. The new cyber unit will focus on promoting awareness, and sharing information, as well as providing actionable cyber-intelligence to private and public sector partners and citizens. Officials say that recent ransomware attacks like the one in Mecklenburg County in December 2017 and a later one in Davidson County this February highlight the need for a more coordinated response to such threats. For Fiscal Year 2018, when compared with the prior year through February 28, North Carolina experienced an increase in General Fund receipts which includes tax and non-tax receipts. Tax revenues increased by 622.6 million dollars, or 4.5 percent, and non-tax revenues decreased by one-and-a-half million, compared with the previous year. Today: Mostly cloudy, with showers and thunderstorms likely... High near 68. Tonight: Rain. Low around 38. Wednesday: Cloudy, with rain likely... High near 45.
Sunrise in the Sandhills Good morning -- it's Monday March 19, 2018 -- and Spring is just a day away! Now, here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ: Dry, breezy weather contributed to several fires Saturday.... AberdeenTimes-dot-com reports 1 – 2 acres were burned along Sandpit Road outside Pinebluff, before being brought under control... And another fire burned three yards and the HVAC unit of a home off Pinebluff Lake Road. In Hoke County on Friday, 65 acres went up in flames in a woods fire. An accident in Carthage Sunday afternoon left three drivers trapped in their vehicles on 15-501... AberdeenTimes-dot-com reports two power poles came down as a result of the accident, and power lines were draped over the vehicles. Duke Energy sent crews out to cut power so the drivers could get out of their vehicles... no serious injuries were reported, although one of the drivers was taken to the hospital. Five people were arrested on drug charges late last week, the result of a search warrant executed by the Moore County Sheriff's Office. 44-year-old Lanny Johnson, 41-year-old Kellie Johnson, 27-year-old Nicholas Thompson, and 36-year-old Charles Donnelly, all of Aberdeen, as well as 25-year-old Larry Purcell, Jr. of Raeford were all taken into custody on a slew of charges, with bonds ranging from 25-hundred to 80-thousand dollars. They all have April 10 court dates. The widening of Highway 5 begins today, so drivers should expect occasional lane restrictions and delays... NCDOT is widening the two-lane road to include a center turn lane for about a mile between Sandpit Road and Dawkins Street, and a left turn lane will be added on Highway 5 between Dawkins Street and Turning Leaf Way. 40-year-old Kevin Smith of Pinebluff is charged with ten counts relating to the possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor, as the result of Operation Southern Impact II, an effort made across eight southeastern states to combat internet crimes against children, according to SandhillsSentinel-dot-com. (AP) - UNC demographers say that more than four out of 10 North Carolina residents were born elsewhere. The Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill says the percentage of the state's population born elsewhere has risen by a percentage point to 43 percent. They based it on Census data from the American Community Survey. (AP) - Police say someone stole thousands of dollars in electronics from the University of North Carolina men's basketball team locker room and office while they were away for the ACC tournament. UNC-Chapel Hill campus police said on Twitter that the break-in happened at the Dean Smith Center on March 9, and they released images of a man they believe may have been involved. Today: Mostly cloudy, with rain likely this afternoon... High near 54. Tonight: Rain likely and possibly a thunderstorm... Low around 50. Tuesday: Early morning rain... High near 61.

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