AVL Man Gets Life for Murder, Frost Trial Moves Ahead, More Snow for Some

Asheville Man Sentenced To Life For Pisgah Inn Murder

(Buncombe County, NC) -- An Asheville man is heading to prison for life without parole for a murder at Pisgah Inn. Derek Pendergraft pleaded guilty last August in the death of his co-worker Sara Ellis, who was found near a path outside the inn in 2018. He also admitted to aggravated sexual abuse. The sentence was handed down yesterday.

Judge Refuses To Postpone Ex-Commissioner's Fraud Trial

(Asheville, NC) -- The fraud trial of a former Buncombe County commissioner will go on as scheduled. A judge denied a postponement request yesterday that was filed by the attorney for Ellen Frost. The attorney claimed he needed more time to sort through thousands of documents connected to the case, but the judge says the counsel should be prepared for the late-March court date. Frost is accused of using county funds for equestrian events in North Carolina and Florida.

Juvenile Arrested For Asheville Murder

(Asheville, NC) -- A juvenile is being charged in a shooting death at an Asheville apartment complex. A 24-year-old man died after witnesses say he was shot during a fight at the Hillcrest Apartments nearly three weeks ago. U.S. Marshals found the suspect in Charlotte and he is now in Buncombe County custody. Asheville police found drug-related items at the crime scene.

More Winter Weather Today In WNC

(Asheville, NC) -- More snow is expected today in western North Carolina counties bordering Tennessee. A winter weather advisory is in effect from this morning until noon tomorrow. The National Weather Service is calling for anywhere from an inch to eight-inches of snow, depending on elevation. Roads are expected to be slippery, especially overnight. Five counties have canceled school today.

Buncombe Emergency Services Director Facing Lawsuit

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Buncombe County's emergency services director is facing a wrongful death lawsuit connected to his previous job. Van Jones served as the emergency manager in Anderson County, South Carolina when a six-year-old died in a 2016 school shooting. A lawsuit filed in September claims Jones was negligent because he refused to deliver tourniquets and other supplies to the schools there prior to the shooting. Jones told WLOS-TV that he never withheld any first aid kits.

Students On Housing Waiting List At WCU

(Cullowhee, NC) -- Several hundred students are looking for housing at Western Carolina University this fall. WLOS-TV is reporting those affected are on a waiting list as the university tackles issues with its online room agreement system. More rooms will be eliminated this summer as two residence halls are being demolished. The chancellor for student affairs says students can use financial assistance for off-campus housing.

UNCC Cancels Some Study Abroad Programs Amid Coronavirus

(Charlotte, NC) -- Coronavirus concerns are leading UNC Charlotte officials to cancel some study abroad programs. The university is nixing those planned for China, South Korea, northern Italy and Japan during spring break. No illnesses have been reported from faculty or staff currently in areas affected by the coronavirus. No cases are confirmed in North Carolina.

Former Belmont Police Captain Arrested

(Gaston County, NC) -- A former Belmont police captain is facing charges connected to computer crimes. Joe Quinn is accused of deleting firearms qualifications in the department's computer system on his last day of work in December. He since moved on to work with the Gaston County Sheriff's office, where he is now on leave without pay. Quinn was arrested Wednesday night on three computer-related misdemeanors.

Three Construction Workers Die On I-40

(Iredell County, NC) -- Three construction workers are dead in an Iredell County wreck. Troopers say a box truck slammed into the back of a construction vehicle on I-40 early Thursday morning. The construction vehicle hit three men from Georgia, who were on the road trying to replace a guardrail. The box truck driver was charged with three misdemeanor counts of death by vehicle.

Bloomberg, Klobuchar Speaking At Democratic Event In Charlotte

(Charlotte, NC) -- Two Democratic presidential candidates are heading to the Queen City ahead of Super Tuesday. Amy Klobuchar and Mike Bloomberg are scheduled to speak at the Blue NC Celebration tomorrow night at Hilton Charlotte University Place. President Trump will host a "Keep America Great" rally on Monday night at Bojangles' Coliseum. Early voting for the primary wraps up tomorrow across the state.

Suspect Robs Bowling Alley At Gunpoint

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is looking for a suspect who robbed a bowling alley at gunpoint. He targeted Ten Park Lanes on Montford Drive early Wednesday morning. Officers say the suspect threatened and physically restrained an employee during the robbery. The employee wasn't injured, but the man remains at-large and potentially faces kidnapping and robbery charges.

Union County Boy To Speak At Funeral For WWII Vet

(Union County, NC) -- An eight-year-old Union County boy is preparing to say goodbye to an unlikely friend he found in a 97-year-old World War Two vet. WBTV says Landon Knestrick's family successfully contacted Donald Stratton in 2016 after the boy watched a TV documentary on the U.S.S. Arizona in Pearl Harbor, where the soldier served during the infamous bombing. Knestrick and Stratton have since met several times for special occasions, including a 76th Anniversary event at Pearl Harbor in 2017. The eight-year-old is speaking in Colorado tomorrow at a memorial for Stratton, who recently passed away.

Two Men, One With A Gun, Get Into Fight At Walmart

(Lumberton, NC) -- Police continue to search for two suspects who were involved in a fight inside a Walmart store in Lumberton Thursday night. Authorities say the violent altercation between two men started inside the store and continued into the parking lot. One of the men was brandishing a handgun. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to a call of a possible active shooter situation. Police say both suspects fled the scene in separate vehicles before patrol units arrived. There were no reports of injuries.

Guerrilla Warfare Exercises To Be Conducted Across North Carolina Next Month

(Ft. Bragg, NC) -- Officials at Ft. Bragg have sent out notices that the Army will be conducting unconventional military training exercises on private property across multiple counties within the next month. Known as Robin Stage Training, Special Forces units will engage in role playing to simulate hostile engagements using guerrilla warfare tactics. Residents are being warned that they may hear explosions, blank gunfire and see flares. The Army ensures that no live ammunition will be used.

Right Now Flu Greater Threat Than Coronavirus In North Carolina

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina health officials are reporting another 15-people have died of the flu within the past week. That raises the death toll from the disease during the 2019-2020 season to 115. The agency says out of the 15 deaths, 13 were over the age of 65. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has extended the flu season to run through May 16th this year. It normally ends on March 31st.

Grocery Store Chain To Discontinue 24-Hour Operations Across North Carolina

(Raleigh, NC) -- Harris Teeter grocery stores has announced it will shorten its hours of operation at eight of its locations in the Triangle. Beginning March 4th, the grocery chain will no longer be open 24-hours. A company official said the changes are necessary in order to bring the stores into alignment with other grocers in the industry. The new hours of operation will be from 6 a.m. until midnight.

City Of Raleigh Tops In Nation For Job Availability

(Raleigh, NC) -- A new report out ranks Raleigh as one of the best cities in the country to find a job in 2020. The report from the career website Glassdoor. It analyzed factors such as the unemployment rate, cost of living and job growth and found that there were more than 52-thousand job openings in January. Most of those jobs were in education, health care and the tech industry.

Yadkinville Police Working Tip Connected To Missing Toddler

(Yadkinville, NC) -- Yadkinville police are working off a local tip in the search for a missing Tennessee toddler. Investigators say an employee of a KFC on State Street may have seen 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell, her grandmother and the grandmother's boyfriend at the restaurant within the last three weeks. The tip comes just after the search of a pond in Wilkes County on Wednesday turned up empty. Boswell has reportedly been missing from her home in Sullivan County, Tennessee since December but was only reported missing last week

Three Construction Workers Die On I-40

(Iredell County, NC) -- Three construction workers are dead in an I-40 wreck. Troopers say a box truck slammed into the back of a construction vehicle on the interstate in Iredell County early Thursday morning. The construction vehicle hit three men from Georgia, who were on the road trying to replace a guardrail. The box truck driver was charged with three misdemeanor counts of death by vehicle.

Bernie Speaks To Capacity Crowd At WSSU

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Bernie Sanders is off for more campaigning after speaking to a capacity crowd at Winston-Salem State University. The Vermont Senator implored those inside the Gaines Center yesterday to defeat who he called the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country. Sanders is one of several Democratic presidential candidates visiting North Carolina this week, with Amy Klobuchar and Mike Bloomberg set to speak down the road in Charlotte tomorrow night. President Trump visits the Queen City Monday night for a Keep America Great rally.

Groundbreaking Held At Publix Distribution Center Site

(Greensboro, NC) -- Local and state officials are welcoming Publix to the site of a future distribution center east of Greensboro. Over 100 people were on hand yesterday for a groundbreaking ceremony off U.S. 70 at Birch Creek Road. The first phase of the 300-million-dollar project is expected to be completed within a couple of years. Governor Roy Cooper said a lot more people in the Triad will get good-paying jobs.

Elementary School Principals Shifted In WSFCS

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is shifting around some principal positions in an attempt to improve struggling schools. Ibraham, Ashley, Easton, Old Town, Kimberley Park and Petree elementary schools are all under new leadership among principals transferred from six other schools. The Winston-Salem Journal reports the principals will all receive supplements of either 25-or-30-thousand-dollars. The school system said Thursday the principals have a track record of success and are the best match for under-performing schools.

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