McCrory traveling to Outer Banks to see bridge
NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) - Gov. Pat McCrory is heading to North Carolina's Outer Banks to get a closer look why the only bridge linking Hatteras Island to the mainland had to be closed due to safety concerns.
McCrory planned to inspect the Bonner Bridge on Friday morning before holding a news conference to talk about the state of emergency he ordered in Dare County, where the bridge spans Oregon Inlet.
The state Department of Transportation closed the bridge Tuesday after determining the inlet had pushed aside too much sand from around some bridge supports. DOT says dredging to move sand to fortify those supports was to begin Friday afternoon. DOT crews will then determine what other repairs are needed.
The bridge opened in 1963. A proposed replacement bridge has been held up by litigation.
More NC ferry runs scheduled during bridge closure
MANNS HARBOR, N.C. (AP) - The ferry division of the N.C. Department of Transportation is setting up additional runs on its Stumpy Point/Rodanthe and Swan Quarter/Ocracoke routes to increase access to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands while the Bonner Bridge is closed for repairs.
Beginning immediately, the ferry division is adding departures from Stumpy Point at 11 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., and from Rodanthe at midnight and 1:30 a.m.
Fuel supply trucks will have designated runs on Tuesdays and Fridays from Stumpy Point and from Rodanthe to allow more deck space for regular vehicles on other runs.
The ferry division is also amending its regular Pamlico Sound schedule, adding another round trip to its Swan Quarter/Ocracoke route beginning next Tuesday with an additional departure from Ocracoke at 7 p.m. and from Swan Quarter at 10 p.m.
Ceremony to remember NC traffic deaths in 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A ceremony scheduled for the State Capitol grounds is paying respects to the 1,271 people killed in traffic accidents in North Carolina in 2012.
The "Tree of Life" ceremony and candlelight vigil is set for Friday at 5:30 p.m. Among those expected to attend are state Transportation Secretary Tony Tata and David Britt, whose 23-year-old son Ashley was killed by an impaired driver in April 2012.
The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor's Highway Safety Program will light the "Tree of Life." The candlelight vigil is hosted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and will follow the tree lighting to honor the 442 people who died last year as a result of an impaired driver.
The "Tree of Life" will remain on display through Jan. 3.
NC STATE-DRUG CHARGES
Wolfpack's Thornton, Jones facing drug charges
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Two North Carolina State football players face misdemeanor drug charges after police visited their apartment during a sexual battery investigation.
N.C. State University police Maj. David Kelly said running back Shadrach Thornton and safety J.J. Jones were cited Wednesday with misdemeanor simple possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. In a probable cause affidavit for a search warrant, authorities say they were following up on the sexual battery case and named Thornton as the suspect.
Kelly says no charges are filed in the battery case.
In a statement Thursday, the school says coach Dave Doeren has indefinitely suspended Thornton; Jones had earlier decided to transfer.
Thornton, the Wolfpack's leading rusher, is receiving counseling as part of a deal with the court to defer prosecution for assault on a female in June.
New TV ad in NC aims at Tillis in Senate race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A political committee supporting Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan has started running North Carolina television commercials aiming at state House Speaker Thom Tillis, a potential Republican challenger next fall.
The Senate Majority PAC said Thursday it will spend about $750,000 on advertisements over two weeks. The group already came to Hagan's rescue last month with ads when a conservative group criticized her in TV commercials.
The new ad praises Hagan and accuses Tillis of wanting to deny insurance coverage for people who get sick. The PAC says that's because Tillis wants to repeal the heath care overhaul law.
Tillis - one of five candidates for the Republican primary - called it a "badge of honor" to get attacked by Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is linked closely to the PAC.
EMERGENCY WORKER CHARGED
NC man charged after recording device found
CURRITUCK, N.C. (AP) - Authorities in Currituck County say an emergency worker at a local fire station is facing charges after sheriff's deputies found a recording device inside the women's bunk room of a volunteer fire station.
The Currituck County Sheriff's Office said firefighters found the device inside the women's bunk room at the Grandy station on Nov. 20. Spokeswoman Lindsay Voorhees said investigators found images on the device, along with video from a tanning booth.
Voorhees was not available for additional comment on Thursday.
The sheriff's office said 35-year-old Timothy Allen Ladd Jr. is charged with secretly using a photographic device to gratify sexual desire, which is a felony. Ladd was released on a $10,000 secured bond. It's not known if he has an attorney.
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