Headlines from Murphy to Manteo

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
The North Carolina state flag flies above the Old State Capitol building on Monday

Grandfather Mountain records high wind gusts

Avery County

Grandfather Mountain hit 101.9 mph wind gusts on Friday morning, according to the North Carolina Climate Office and Appalachian Atmospheric Interdisciplinary Research. The gust is the highest in two years, which was recorded at 108 mph on April 3, 2016. The highest recorded wind on the mountain is 120.7 mph on Dec. 21, 2012. The winds remained more than 80 mph for Friday. When winds are more than 60 mph, the top half of Grandfather Mountain is closed to guests due to safety concerns.

Watauga Democrat

Expert kayaker drowns in Cheoah River

Graham County

World champion kayaker Maria Noakes, of Bryson City, died in a paddling accident died on the Cheoah River on Saturday. Noakes was kayaking with her son Matteo and two of his friends when the accident happened. According to her family, her boat was found pinned against the river and she was found downstream. The cause of the accident is being investigated. Noakes is survived by her husband and two sons.

The Citizen-Times

Police investigate graffiti on church, 2 businesses

Henderson County

Graffiti containing vulgar language was discovered on Sunday morning at Upward Baptist Church and two nearby businesses. Henderson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the vandalism. The suspect used black spray paint and reference Jesus and Billy Graham. Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office.

Blue Ridge Now

Asheville police order an investigation after police beating video leaked

Buncombe County

Asheville police want to know who turned over video and memo of a white officer beating a black man to The Citizen Times. The police chief Tammy Hooper said the release of the video and memo was illegal and an investigation is needed. Hooper issued an apology to Johnnie Jermaine Rush, who in the video is shown being beaten by an officer after being stopped for jaywalking in August.


Charlotte-Mecklenburg ranks 28th deadliest U.S. city

Mecklenburg County

According to the Major Cities Chiefs Association Violent Crimes Survey, Charlotte-Mecklenburg  tied with Houston and Dekalb County, Georgia for murders in the first half of 2017. The murder rate is 5.6 per 100,000 people. The rate nearly doubled from the same time last year. Forty-seven people were murdered from Jan. 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017. St. Louis was ranked no.1 with 29.1 per 100,000.

CBS News

Hanes Mall closed after fight breaks out

Forsyth County

A fight at Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem led to the arrest of three teenagers on Saturday night. According to police, 80 to 100 teens were involved in a disturbance causing the mall to shut down. Three were arrested in connection to the fight — one is under the age of 18. Authorities said there were reports of gunshots but none were substantiated by police. Hanes Mall remained closed until noon on Sunday.


School bus driver arrested for threatening school

Union County

An Union County bus driver was arrested Sunday for making false reports about mass violence on school property after posting threats on social media. Police said Lashauna Hooker Beachum, 32, of Charlotte aimed at threat at Porter Ridge Middle School in Indian Trail and criticized school employees and immigrants. Deputies said they do not think Beachum had the means to carry out the threat.


Winston-Salem inmate dies after fall

Forsyth County
An inmate died after falling from the second floor of the Forsyth County Detention Center on Sunday night. Robin Steven Thompson, 61, sustained a head injury after falling in the housing area. He was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where he died from his injury. The death is being investigated by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

North State Journal


Johnston County seeks school security upgrades

Johnston County

Johnston County Public Schools Superintendent Ross Renfrow announced a plan to increase security in Johnston County schools in a message to “parents, staff and stakeholders.” The cost of the improvements is about $1 million. There will be three phases of the improvement plans which include: 1) Controlled access for all schools currently without this feature. The vendor will begin assessing the controlled-access projects this week with completion within the next 60-75 days. This will cost about $140,000; 2) Exterior cameras for those schools without them. This project will start immediately with the cost being in the neighborhood of $150,000, he said; 3) Key fobs and card swipes for all exterior entry doors. This will cost an estimated $600,000.

The Daily Record of Dunn


Tarboro receives championship rings

Edgecombe County

The moment arrived, nearly three months after the final game. The Tarboro High School football team received their championship rings on Monday night during a ceremony at Edgecombe Community College attended by players, coach and family members. The event celebrated the Vikings 1-AA championship this past fall, which was secured with a 32-7 victory over Mount Airy on Dec. 9. It was the fifth state title in program history, and former Tarboro player and current running back for the Los Angeles Rams Todd Gurley was on hand for the ceremony.

The Rocky Mount Telegram


Java Estate Roastery breaks ground on new facility

New Hanover County

One of the largest roasting facilities in the Wilmington area has broken ground on a new, larger facility. Java Estate Roastery, currently located on Sloop Point Loop Road in Hampstead, has plans for a 15,000-square-foot facility in Holly Ridge. Owner Walter Bateman said the facility would feature a fully equipped coffee bar for barista training, a cupping lab, conference rooms and a storefront overlooking the warehouse. Since opening in 1995 and locating to its present facility in 2001, the company has grown from a local wholesaler to a regional one, selling small-batch roasts across the Southeast. Java Estate also provides coffee equipment, beverage products and accessories, training and service to customers in the specialty coffee industry.

The Wilmington Star News


ECU Foundation purchases home to be used as chancellor’s residence

Pitt County

The ECU Foundation has purchased a $1.3 million, 8,500-square-foot mansion for use as a new chancellor’s residence. The five-acre property is in the Star Hill Farm neighborhood and will serve as a home for Chancellor Cecil Staton and for university events. The current 90-year-old chancellor’s residence, Dail House, was planned for a renovation. Now, the ECU Board of Trustees will make a recommendation on what to do with that property.

Pitt County Post