Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EST


Another 15 deaths from flu in North Carolina last week

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — State health officials say 15 more people died from the flu in North Carolina last week, helping to raise the toll for the 2019-2020 season to 115. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says another 10 deaths from previous weeks accounted for the climb in deaths. The department says the weekly count does not represent all flu-associated deaths in the state because many could go undiagnosed or unreported. In addition, DHHS has extended the flu reporting period from March 31 to May 16.


3 killed in crash on Interstate 40; box truck driver charged

STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Three Georgia men were killed when a box truck hit a construction truck on Interstate 40, pushing the truck toward them. News sources report the N.C. State Highway Patrol says 22-year-old Noah Logan Hamilton of Bonaire, Georgia, 21-year-old Austin Melton and 20-year-old Dustin Gelinas, both of Jesup, Georgia, were working for a contracted crew repairing a guardrail when they were struck and killed early Thursday morning. The patrol charged 27-year-old Logan Lee Casey of Cary is charged with three counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. An investigating trooper says Casey received minor injuries.


Assisted living facility shut down; several workers charged

SHALLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina have ordered an assisted living center to close, and investigators filed charges against several workers at the facility in connection with the theft of drugs earlier this year. News sources report the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services suspended the license for Shallotte Assisted Living in Brunswick County late Wednesday. Officials said the license was suspended after the state found the facility presented “an imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare of the residents and that emergency action is required to protect the residents.”  Investigators also said facility director Tammie Bullard and her husband, Earl Bullard, were arrested on gun and drug charges.


Democrats focus on Super Tuesday even as S. Carolina looms

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina primary is just two days away, but the race is quickly going national as candidates pivot to the 14 states that vote on Super Tuesday. The move is in part a recognition of Joe Biden's strength in South Carolina, with most of the focus on the margin of his victory and who might come in second place. But it's also an effort to tap into the hundreds of delegates at stake in the Super Tuesday contests. About a third of the delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination will be on the table.


Presidential hopefuls return to N Carolina as primary nears

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A steady run of Democratic presidential candidates to North Carolina is starting as the days dwindle before Tuesday's primary. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the return as he participates Wednesday in an anti-poverty forum at the Goldsboro church of civil rights activist the Rev. William Barber. Sanders also has a Winston-Salem rally on Thursday. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar will be in Raleigh later Thursday for a televised town hall. She and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are speaking Saturday in Charlotte at a state Democratic Party event. Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg also have weekend rallies scheduled in Raleigh.


Campaign to open Trump community centers to woo black voters

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's campaign is stepping up its outreach to black Americans as it tries to claw away support from the traditionally Democratic voting bloc ahead of November's general election. Trump's campaign is announcing Wednesday that it is opening 15 “Black Voices for Trump Community Centers” in the coming weeks in major cities in battleground states. The offices will feature a line of campaign swag adopting the “woke” label, videos of prominent Trump surrogates like Diamond and Silk explaining their support for the president and pamphlets outlining the president's record. The retail spaces will be the campaign's first field offices targeted at a specific demographic group.


Female wrestler wins North Carolina high school championship

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A female wrestler has made history by winning a state high school wrestling championship in North Carolina. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association said on its website that junior Heaven Fitch of Uwharrie Charter Academy became the first female to win an individual state wrestling championship in the state. She won the 106 pound (48 kg) weight class at the 1A division on Saturday. A photo released on the association's official Twitter account shows her beaming, standing next to three boys who finished behind her. She had a 54-4 record for the season and won Most Outstanding Wrestler for the 1A division.


Soldier stationed in NC charged with beating elderly couple

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (AP) — A soldier stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina was charged this week with breaking into the home of a couple in their 70s and severely beating them. Southern Pines police said in an incident report that 25-year-old Jacob Lee, of Midland, Texas, attacked the couple with a blunt object, as well as his feet, fists and teeth. The Fayetteville Observer reports that 73-year-old Donald Naysmith and 75-year-old Caroline Naysmith were seriously injured in Sunday's attack. An Army public affairs officer said Lee is a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. Now he's in jail on $300,000 bond.