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Sunrise in the Sandhills Good morning -- it's Tuesday February 28, 2017 -- the final day of the shortest month of the year. It'll be mostly cloudy today, but warm: high 76. Now, here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ: A woman was airlifted to UNC Medical Center after a single-vehicle wreck on U.S. 1 in Southern Pines at about 8:45 yesterday morning. WNCN-TV reports the driver apparently was startled by running into the rumble strips on the left side of the highway near the guardrail and yanked the wheel, turning the car sideways and running off the road. The driver was trapped in the car until rescuers managed to pop off the driver-side door. (AP) — A new proposal to get rid of HB-2 appears stalled, so groups on both sides of the issue are speaking out to try to end the impasse. GOP House members backing the proposal scheduled a news conference Tuesday to try to drum up support. Gay rights groups and their General Assembly supporters will hold their own event seeking to repeal HB2 without the proposal's add-ons. HB2 is, of course, North Carolina's so-called "bathroom law." (AP) — Eight people will spend decades in prison in connection with the botched kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor that ended with her father's abduction. The eight men and women from Georgia were sentenced on Monday to between 20 and 52 years in federal prison. They were convicted of roles in a vengeance plot ordered by United Blood Nation gang leader Kelvin Melton in 2014. The plan was to kidnap Wake County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen, who had put the habitual felon in prison for life.The criminals goofed and kidnapped Janssen's father instead. (AP) — The Supreme Court appears likely to strike down a North Carolina law that prohibits sex offenders from using Facebook and other social networking sites. At least five justices suggested during argument Monday they would rule for North Carolina resident Lester Packingham Jr. He was convicted of violating a 2008 law aimed at keeping sex offenders off internet sites children might use. Packingham used Facebook to boast about beating a traffic ticket. (AP) — Attorney General Josh Stein says he hopes a new social media initiative addressing the opioid abuse crisis in North Carolina will raise awareness about the problem and give hope to those dealing with addiction. Stein's office plans to host weekly "conversations" on Facebook and Twitter starting Tuesday. Stein and state legislators are looking at how to address the surge in addictions to heroin, OxyContin and other opium-based drugs. (AP) — North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis' top aide is leaving the job to join the Trump administration. The White House announced Monday that Ray Starling would become a special assistant to the president for agriculture, trade and food assistance through Trump's National Economic Council. Starling worked for Tillis for several years while he was state House speaker and when he joined the Senate in 2015. He was Tillis' chief lawyer in both positions and had advised him on agriculture policy.
Sunrise in the Sandhills Good Morning -- it's Monday February 27, 2017 -- the penultimate day of the month! Today will become increasingly cloudy, with a high near 67. Now, here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ: 42-year-old Christopher Rainey Stanton of Lillington was arrested late last week and charged with trafficking in opiates and fraudulently obtaining controlled substances. The Moore County Sheriff's office says that over the last couple of years, Stanton obtained 51 prescriptions from 19 different health care providers, which netted him Suboxone, Hydrocodone, and Oxycodone, which are opioid narcotics, listed as controlled substances. Justin Smith of Red Springs, in Hoke County, was arrested Sunday and charged with the shooting death of 27-year-old David McNair, Jr. WRAL-TV reports that early yesterday morning, Hoke County Sheriff's deputies responded to a shooting on Blue Springs Road, where McNair was pronounced dead at the scene. 29-year-old Smith is charged with first degree murder. (AP) — Governor Roy Cooper is floating a new compromise idea on repealing a law that mandates that, in some public buildings, people use the restroom assigned to their gender at birth. Cooper said Sunday he'd support requiring large majority votes from city or town councils before they could adopt non-discrimination ordinances now banned by the law known as House Bill 2. (AP) – An economic boycott by the NAACP is the latest fallout over North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill and other policies. The civil rights organization urged religious conferences, athletic events and musicians on Friday to take their business elsewhere during a news conference Friday. The group stopped short of telling its members to cease all travel and spending in North Carolina -a component of previous boycotts -- but said it could add other economic measures in the future. (AP) — Police in Garner say a 15-year-old girl was shot when three masked men burst into an apartment and opened fire early Sunday. The girl suffered serious injuries. Several people were inside the apartment when three unknown men entered the apartment with their faces covered. (AP) — A military judge won't throw out charges against Bowe Bergdahl despite scathing comments that President Donald Trump made on the campaign trail. Bergdahl's lawyers had argued that Trump's comments violated their client's due process rights and that the judge should dismiss charges accusing him of endangering comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009. (AP) — North Carolina and New York are the last states that still prosecute all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in criminal court, but changes may be coming. North Carolina is closer than ever to raising the age this year with first-time support from major law enforcement stakeholders. In New York, though, senators are so far gridlocked in technical and political squabbles. (AP) — State lawmakers are considering a proposed bill that could wipe one town off the North Carolina map. Republican Senator Chad Barefoot filed a bill Wednesday repealing the charter of the Town of Centerville in Franklin County. The town had already voted unanimously to dissolve its charter after officials said they don't have enough money to continue to operate.
Sunrise in the Sandhills Good morning -- it's Friday February 24, 2017... and today we can expect an almost summer-like day with a high near 80! Sunday, though the high will only be 58. More weather rollercoaster! Now here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ: The Hoke County H-R director has resigned and a sheriff's office employee has been fired as a result of a state investigation into time sheets, that shut down county offices a few days ago. WRAL-TV reports that Commissioner Allen Thomas posted on Facebook that the sheriff's office had been tipped off three months ago to an alleged scheme in which at least two county employees worked together to falsify time sheets "to gain extra pay for time that wasn't worked." No charges have yet been filed, and the investigation continues. Fayetteville Police are investigating two separate incidents involving a suspect who has threatened to stab store personnel with a hypodermic needle during a theft. A week ago, officers went to Walmart on Skibo Road after a reported shoplifting. There, a man had been stopped by store staffers with stolen items concealed in backpack. The suspect pulled out a hypodermic needle he claimed was contaminated and threatened to stab the employees. Saturday a similar incident, involving a man and a woman, occurred at Home Depot in Fayetteville. Anyone who may have information on this is asked to contact Fayetteville Police. (AP) — More North Carolina House members have signed on to bipartisan bill that sponsors call a compromise to eliminate HB-2, the law which says a person must use the restroom corresponding to the gender on one's birth certificate. It's not a simple repeal. The bill would restore restrictions on local governments that seek to extend anti-discrimination protections. (AP) — North Carolina's top Democrats are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss an effort to revive a law struck down as unconstitutional because, in the opinion of a judge, it targeted minority voters to help Republicans. Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein have asked the court to dismiss the high court review of whether the law that also mandated that voters show a photo ID was constitutional. (AP) — The NAACP is announcing plans for an economic boycott of North Carolina to protest laws enacted by the General Assembly, including HB-2, the so-called “bathroom” law. The civil rights group issued a statement saying national President Cornell Brooks will speak Friday at the news conference in Raleigh. (AP) — A novelist originally sentenced to life in prison in 2003 for the death of his wife at their North Carolina mansion is expected to leave a courthouse officially a free man today. Michael Peterson says he's accepted a plea that allows him to maintain his innocence while agreeing that prosecutors have the evidence to convict him. The body of his wife Kathleen was found at the bottom of a staircase in their Durham mansion in 2001. He was freed from prison in 2011 when a judge ordered a new trial. (AP) — Winston-Salem-area Muslims are reaching out to the community after death threats were allegedly made during a local meeting of conservative activists last week. The Winston-Salem Journal reports the Annoor Islamic Center will open its doors this afternoon, to host a town hall-style meeting to discuss Islam. The FBI says it's investigating a meeting last week in Kernersville where someone was recorded as saying he is ready to "start killing the hell out of (Muslims)."
Sunrise in the Sandhills Good morning -- it's Thursday February 23, 2017, and it is, believe it or not, National Toast Day. Apparently, National Toast Day started about 3 years ago in the UK, but has spread to the US. So celebrate Toast Day, with some... uh... toast. Here's your Sunrise News from WIOZ: Southern Pines Police yesterday arrested 19-year-old Malcolm Lee Smith of Southern Pines and 20-year-old Kapri Justice Baldwin of Eagle Springs at a home on Lowe Avenue. The two face numerous drug charges, including possession with intent to sell. Police also seized two pounds of high grade marijuana, along with packaging equipment and digital scales. Both Smith and Baldwin were taken into custody, and have a court date of March 13. Three people have been arrested in Hoke County after investigators were able to trace a credit card stolen from a vehicle in December. Aberdeen Times-dot-com says Elijah Buxton, Amber Damrell and Roderick Evans of Raeford are accused of breaking into vehicles and stealing a number of items, including the credit cards. The cards were traced and the three were arrested yesterday. More arrests are expected U.S. immigration agents have arrested a Honduran fugitive at a home in Hope Mills who is wanted in connection with two homicides more than 20 years ago. WRAL-TV reports 56-year-old Francisco Escobar-Orellana is being held in the Wake County jail, and ICE has filed a deportation order to send him back to Honduras. Escobar-Orellana is wanted in connection with the 1993 deaths of two men who were hacked to death with a machete in a Honduras liquor store. (AP) — Lawmakers have filed a bipartisan bill aimed at breaking an impasse over North Carolina's "bathroom bill," but it's likely to face tough going in the legislature. Two Republicans and two Democrats filed legislation Wednesday to repeal last year's law known as House Bill 2, but there are add-ons. HB2 has led businesses and sporting events to spurn North Carolina. (AP) — Athletic officials at North Carolina are warning fans to be on the lookout for counterfeit tickets for home games against Louisville and Duke. A statement from the school said there have been several recent reports about the sale of fake tickets that appear to be genuine. Police arrested a man for selling counterfeit tickets to the UNC-Duke game in Durham on February 9. (AP) — A police report says a witness saw a man with a gun before he was fatally shot by one or more Durham officers following a pursuit. The report released Wednesday says witnesses were interviewed after 24-year-old Kenneth Bailey Jr. was shot on February 15. One witness said he saw Bailey throw a gun down, and another witness says he heard officers ask Bailey to drop his weapon. Police had said Bailey aimed the gun at officers. Police were attempting to arrest Bailey on charges he violated the conditions of his release while awaiting trial on robbery and conspiracy charges. A new system is in place to make sure the public can keep an eye out for people accused of attacking law enforcement officers. WRAL-TV reports that it's similar to Amber Alerts or Silver Alerts used to locate missing and endangered kids and adults. The Blue Alert is intended to track down suspects accused of violently attacking a law enforcement officer. The Highway Patrol will release a description of the suspect and how they are traveling. The information will be broadcast on local media and on monitors where Lottery tickets are sold.

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