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This Hour: Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment

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SBI investigates fatal shooting of man by officer

HAMPSTEAD, N.C. (AP) - The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the fatal shooting of a Pender County man by a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper.

Authorities say it happened Sunday night in Hampstead northeast of Wilmington as officers responded to a report of a vehicle hitting a house and then driving to a home nearby.

Patrol First Sgt. Jeff Gordon says the trooper, a Pender County deputy and a Surf City police officer approached the house and saw three men inside. The officers announced their presence and told the men to comply with their orders.

Gordon said one of the men in the house pointed a gun at the trooper who then fired at the man, killing him.

The victim was identified as 67-year-old Maynard Thomas of Hampstead.


5 accused in NC abduction to have bond hearing

ATLANTA (AP) - Five people accused in the abduction of a North Carolina man last week are due in federal court in Atlanta Tuesday for a bond hearing.

Frank Arthur Janssen was taken from his home in Wake Forest, N.C., on April 5 and was rescued five days later when FBI agents raided an Atlanta apartment.

Charged with kidnapping were: 21-year-old Jenna Paulin Martin; 30-year-old Tiana Maynard; 20-year-old Jevante "Flame" Price; 21-year-old Michael "Hot" Montreal Gooden; and 29-year-old Clifton James Roberts.

Officials say they're all from the metro Atlanta area.

Authorities have said the abduction was an act of retaliation related to Janssen's daughter's prosecution of North Carolina inmate Kelvin Melton, who has also been charged in the kidnapping. Authorities have described Melton as a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang.


Corps: Part of Oregon Inlet too shallow to dredge

HATTERAS ISLAND, N.C. (AP) - The Army Corps of Engineers says part of the Oregon Inlet is too shallow to dredge.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported the channel under the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge connecting Hatteras Island and the northern Outer Banks is only about 2 feet deep.

The corps issued a statement saying a side-casting dredge was unable to operate in that section of the inlet and the area will be left to the elements. A corps spokesman says there are no immediate plans to resume dredging.

The Coast Guard plans to broadcast safety information to alert sailors about the conditions.

The corps spent nearly $8 million last year to clear the inlet to depths of about 15 feet. The inlet has rapidly filled after repeated winter storms.


NC man convicted in Ky wants conviction overturned

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A North Carolina man says his attorney did an insufficient job of representing him and wants a federal judge to overturn his conviction of complicity to commit murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend.

In a writ filed in federal court in Covington, 51-year-old Leonard William Day says his trial attorney should have called a potentially exculpatory witness. Day also claims his attorney failed to pursue evidence of an alternate suspect in the death of Tina Rae Stevens, who disappeared from a hotel near Burlington, Ky., in the southern suburbs of Cincinnati in 1999. Day is serving a 50-year prison sentence.

Stevens' remains were found in April 2000 in a remote section of Boone County.

Day's girlfriend at the time, 54-year-old Deborah Huiett, is serving a life sentence for murder.


Mitchell pulls out of 12th District race

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Former Charlotte City Councilman James Mitchell has dropped out of the race to fill the 12th Congressional District seat vacated when Mel Watt became head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Mitchell said Monday he had been unable to raise money in the crowded field of candidates.

Mitchell was one of six Democrats running for the seat.

Mitchell said his campaign finance report Tuesday would show disappointing results in the past three months. He said he would not be able to be competitive in the race.

Mitchell said he plans to focus on his family and professional career.


McCrory, tax overhaul opponents talk on filing day

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Conservatives are using the April 15 deadline to celebrate tax changes that North Carolina lawmakers argue will keep more money in family wallets and encourage job creation.

Gov. Pat McCrory and key legislators plan to join right-leaning policy groups Tuesday for a tax-filing day news conference in Raleigh. They plan to highlight a new annual report from the American Legislative Exchange Council to promote the tax overhaul law.

The changes approved last year didn't affect 2013 state individual income tax returns most must turn in before Tuesday night. The law reduced income and corporate income tax rates and increased standard deductions starting in 2014.

Critics to the changes plan their own news conference Tuesday morning. They say the changes actually will lead to higher taxes for lower-income taxpayers.


NC LGBT group to hold rally over tax filing policy

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's largest LGBT advocacy group is holding a rally to protest a new state tax policy regarding same-sex couples.

Equality NC has scheduled a rally for Tuesday afternoon at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh to protest the policy from the state Department of Revenue. The policy says same-sex spouse couples cannot file income tax returns as "married filing jointly" or "married filing separately."

That's despite a ruling by the Internal Revenue Service directing that such filing be allowed.

The rally will include speeches by tax experts and LGBT families, as well as other married couples who support their cause.


First women move to Army platoon artillery jobs

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - First Lieutenant Kelly Requa (REE-kwa) is breaking new ground at Fort Bragg.

She's one of a small number of female lieutenants brought into the 3rd Battalion of the 321st Field Artillery Regiment to lead a cannon platoon at the North Carolina base.

For the women, the integration into the once men-only artillery platoons means more pressure and scrutiny. For the men, it means more training for sexual-assault prevention and awareness, and more lectures on respect, team building and moral character.

By January 2016, the U.S. military must open all combat jobs to women or explain why any must remain closed. The Army in November began assigning female officers to lead the cannon platoons and plans to open other jobs, including those of crew members within field artillery units.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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