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Sunrise in the Sandhills Good morning -- it's Monday January 23, 2017. Looks like a cloudy, rainy day is in store for the Sandhills, but tomorrow the sun returns. Now, here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ: Road debris from a previous crash caused two other drivers to damage their cars early Sunday morning along the U-S 1 Bypass near Crains Creek Road. WNCN-TV reports that when emergency crews arrived after a call to 9-1-1, they had trouble finding the original crash, but eventually found a car that had gone off the road and collided with a couple of trees. The driver of that car, a 2012 Nissan, was not seriously hurt. A Fayetteville man died in a wreck after a high-speed chase with a Highway Patrol trooper Saturday afternoon. The Fayetteville Observer says a trooper clocked Alexander Jay Carr driving 130 mph on a motorcycle on U.S. 401 just outside of Linden. While fleeing from the trooper, Carr turned onto N.C. 217, lost control of his motorcycle and ended up in a ditch. Carr was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The North Carolina General Assembly returns this week to begin its two-year session in earnest, with Republican leaders already at odds with Governor Roy Cooper. The Republican lawmakers and Cooper hope for consensus at times, but the GOP still has the upper hand because they hold veto-proof majorities. Cooper will need help from disaffected Republicans to stop legislation he opposes. Officials say marches and rallies organized by women against President Donald Trump and attacks on women's rights brought tens of thousands of protesters to Raleigh and Charlotte. Organizers of the demonstrations in North Carolina's two largest cities said Saturday's turnout was much bigger than expected. Police had to close more roads than they anticipated in both cities. Several thousand people showed up at separate rallies in Greensboro, Wilmington and Asheville. The leaders of North Carolina's public universities have a plan for making higher education more welcoming to rural and minority students, more affordable and more involved in their communities. University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings is taking that plan and its performance yardsticks to budget-writing legislators who start their annual session on Wednesday. A federal jury in Durham is awarding more than $20 million to 51,000 people on the Do Not Call registry who were contacted by Dish Network. The Herald-Sun of Durham reports a jury decided Friday to give $400 to each of the people on the registry called at the end of a five-day trial in the class-action lawsuit. Dish Network sent the newspaper an email saying is disagrees with the verdict and is considering an appeal. The US Department of Transportation has chosen the NC Turnpike Authority to test driverless cars. The authority was chosen from among 60 applicants. Transportation officials say the authority and the nine other sites offer different facilities which can gauge safety, manage roadways and conditions and handle various types of vehicles. Lawyers for Bowe Bergdahl are arguing their client can't get a fair trial because of criticism by President Donald Trump. In a motion filed shortly after Trump was sworn in on Friday, defense lawyers asked a military judge to dismiss the charges against Bergdahl and argued that Trump violated his due process rights and military rules against unlawful command influence.
Sunrise in the Sandhills Good morning -- it's Friday January 20, 2017. Inauguration Day... and no matter what your political perspective, the next few years should be... interesting at least. Today we can expect cloudy skies with a chance of showers and a high near 63. Now, here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ... Governor Roy Cooper says he's still hopeful North Carolina will expand Medicaid coverage even with Donald Trump entering the White House and litigation trying to stop gubernatorial actions on expansion. Cooper told reporters yesterday that his goal is to find options to make more citizens healthier and inject federal expansion funds into the state. A federal judge last week temporarily blocked efforts by Cooper's administration to seek expansion. Fayetteville police are investigating the death of an 86-year-old decorated U.S. Army veteran as a homicide. The Fayetteville Observer reports that Gerald Gillespie was found dead in his apartment Wednesday after family members said they had not been in contact with him. Police are asking anyone with information to come forward. North Carolina school districts say they may have to cut arts and physical education in elementary schools in the next school year, if the General Assembly doesn’t change plans for reducing class size… last year, lawmakers voted to limit class size for students in kindergarten through third grade, and the News and Observer of Raleigh reports that school officials say paying for smaller classes will require them to cut in other programs. Lawmakers ordered that in the fall, class sizes for kindergarten through third grade should be reduced from 24 students each to between 19 and 21 students each, depending on the grade level. The House passed a bill during last month's special session to ease the changes in class size, but the Senate did not consider the measure. The state came out with the latest flu statistics - for 'week 2' of this year. WRAL-TV says the report shows a slight decrease in the number of reported flu-like illnesses since the week ending January 7. There were 3 new deaths, bringing the total to 13 flu-related deaths this season. Health care providers say they’re seeing an increase in visits for the flu, as the season reaches its peak. Governor Cooper has plucked another Democrat from the General Assembly to serve in his Cabinet. Cooper announced Thursday that Representative Susi Hamilton of Wilmington is his choice to become secretary for the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. She's the second lawmaker to join the top leadership tier of the administration. The Pentagon is disagreeing with North Carolina Republicans who claim a $400 million clean energy project slated to power data centers for Inc. poses a threat to national security. State legislative leaders have asked the incoming Trump administration to either kill the nearly completed wind farm or require major changes to it. They say it will interfere with the operation of a nearby military radar installation. Raleigh police said drivers scrambled to grab money that flew out the back of an armored vehicle traveling down Interstate 40 Thursday morning. WNCN-TV reports that at around 8 o’clock, the backdoor of a Loomis armed truck flew open as an employee attempted to secure it. A brick of cash fell out of the truck, scattering $20 bills across the interstate near the interchange with U.S. 1, and several drivers stopped and picked up the cash. At least one driver, though, called 911 to report the incident. All of the stopped vehicles, and most of the cash, were gone by the time Raleigh officers arrived on scene.
Sunrise in the Sandhills Good morning -- it's Thursday January 19, 2017. Today will be nice and sunny with a high near 61, but that's the last time we'll see the sun for a few days... a rainy weekend is in store for us. Now, here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ: A 55-year-old man was shot and killed last night at a mobile home along Murdocksville Road near Carthage… The Moore County Sheriff’s office says the shooting was the result of a verbal altercation that became violent, and Aberdeen Times-dot-com reports that the suspect in the case called 9-1-1, and was cooperating with police. 62-year-old Gregory Thomas Short of West End was arrested at the scene, and has been charged with murder, as well as possession of a firearm by a felon. The name of the victim has not been released. 8th District Congressman Richard Hudson was in Pinehurst yesterday, where he met with officials from FirstHealth of the Carolinas and Cape Fear Valley Health System… Hudson told the Fayetteville Observer that any repeal of Obamacare probably won’t take effect for several years. Hudson, who’s a Republican, says lawmakers are planning to do away with individual and employer mandates, but that other parts of the law would remain in place for two to three years. A three-person panel hired by the Moore County Department of Social Services will begin an investigation today, into the death of Rylan Ott, the three-year-old boy who drowned in a pond near Carthage while he was under DSS supervision. The Fayetteville Observer says the panel is likely to have a report ready in late February. Last year, after the boy had been returned to the custody of his mother, Samantha Nacole Bryant, he wandered away from home, and drowned in a pond half a mile away. North Carolina is getting money from the federal government to help people who saw their homes destroyed by Hurricane Matthew's flooding fill out paperwork and overcome complications to obtain housing assistance. Gov. Roy Cooper announced yesterday the North Carolina emergency management office has been awarded a 4-and-a-half-million dollar grant. The money will pay for case managers to help people get homes repaired or alternative housing… …North Carolina residents, homeowners and business owners have until Monday to apply for federal disaster aid. That's the deadline to apply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the U.S. Small Business Administration for grants or low-interest loans to recover from losses suffered during Hurricane Matthew in October. Visitors to Fort Bragg from South Carolina will be able to continue using their driver's licenses to enter the post. The state was included on a list of states not in compliance with a federal law designed to help officials fight fake identification. South Carolina has been granted an extension to comply with the law. As North Carolina's political split widens, state business is increasingly being refereed by a judge. There's been a swarm of lawsuits filed as Democrats and their allies have turned to the courts to challenge laws approved by the Republican-controlled legislature. The litigation has continued even with a new Democratic governor taking office this month. Governor Roy Cooper has challenged laws the General Assembly passed in December that reduced or checked his powers. Republican legislative leaders filed their own lawsuit last week to block Cooper's effort to expand Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul.
Sunrise in the Sandhills Good morning -- it's Wednesday, January 18, 2017 -- and today we can expect gradually clearing skies and a high around 66. Two days to go before the inauguration of Donald Trump, and I can't help but feel that Friday will see some unexpected events... Now, here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ: A traffic stop in Cameron on Monday resulted in the arrest of three people for manufacturing methamphetamine. 37-year-old Justin Leigh Biffle of Sanford, 36-year-old Eddie Michael Bird and 33-year-old Ashley Dawn Richardson, both from Cameron, were taken into custody after sheriff’s deputies were given consent to search their vehicle. They found a back-pack containing what’s referred to as a “shake-and-bake” meth lab. The three face numerous drug charges, and will have an initial court appearance on January 24 … …Another Sanford man – 32-year-old Calvin Deangelo Fox – was arrested Friday at an apartment in Whispering Pines. Deputies seized cocaine, marijuana, two loaded guns, money, and drug paraphernalia. Fox faces a list of charges related to drugs and firearms – he’s scheduled to appear in court on January 24. Lester Holt will anchor NBC Nightly News tonight live from Fayetteville. It’s part of a pre-inauguration tour that started in Sacramento, California on Monday, and travelled to Warren, Michigan last night. Holt has been holding discussions with people in these areas to talk about the future of the country after the divisive 2016 election. The Fayetteville Observer says Fayetteville was chosen to reach the Fort Bragg military population for discussion of national defense and issues important to military families. While two of North Carolina's Democratic representatives in Congress say they'll boycott Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump, a third says he's still deciding what to do. Representatives G.K. Butterfield and Alma Adams say they won't attend the inauguration. Representative David Price says he's undecided. Spokesman Lawrence Kluttz said Price is talking with family, colleagues and constituents about the best way to express his concerns. North Carolina tax collections continue to outpace budgeted expectations at the fiscal year's halfway mark, improving the chances for a surplus when the year ends in June. The General Assembly's top staff economist wrote legislative leaders Tuesday telling them that taxes, fees and other revenues are $322 million ahead of projections for the six months ending December 31. There will be new faces leading North Carolina Senate committees for the coming session as veteran Republican members have retired or moved on to other positions. Senators Andrew Brock of Mocksville and Tommy Tucker of Waxhaw have joined Senator Jerry Tillman of Randleman as chairmen of the Finance Committee, which writes tax laws. Winston-Salem Police are investigating a scam targeting the city's elderly homeowners. The Winston-Salem Journal reports thieves are posing as city workers who lure residents from their homes and rob them. In three cases reported on Monday, a person approached the elderly homeowners claiming to be a city worker conducting utility work on their property. Then the homeowner is distracted outside, an accomplice steals jewelry and coins from inside the home. According to police, the fake worker usually speaks Spanish over a walkie-talkie. The getaway vehicle is believed to be a white, 4-door car.

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