North Carolina News

Friday, June 14, 2019

Police investigate after Stanly County woman’s car set on fire, ’KKK’ spray-painted on home

Police in Stanly County are investigating an arson and possible hate crime after a woman's car was set on fire and "KKK" was spray-painted on the side of her home. The victim said she and her family are very concerned about their safety after receiving multiple threats from the community. They believe this is in retaliation for a murder they did not commit. "People have this much hate in their heart, they could do something like this," a family member said. "This community is usually a tight-knit community. So for something like this to happen, it makes you sad and makes you upset at the same time." She said she believes the crime is linked to the murder of 19-year-old Taylor Liles. Deputies said Liles' boyfriend LeQuinton Melton badly beat her last weekend, then took her to the hospital, where she later died. Melton's family members said they were heartbroken. But since this weekend, they said they have gotten constant threats, some of them racial.
WSOC-TV ABC 9 Charlotte

Wilson man injured, loses home in fire

A Wilson man was burned when his home caught fire early Thursday morning. William Glenn Oakey, who was renting the trailer at 4505 Rosebud Church Road, directly behind Angels’ Attic at the same address, was burned on both hands, his stomach and both legs. He was transported to Wilson Medical Center by Wilson EMS. “Around 2:30 I started smelling something in the trailer,” Oakey said Thursday morning, back at the site of the fire. “I thought it was people down the road burning in the woods or something. I walked down the hallway, and I saw a light coming out of the back room. There was a fire back there.” Oakey attempted to put the fire out himself. Chief Linwood Jones of the Toisnot Rural Fire Department said the call came in at 3:23 a.m. “It was fully involved and pretty close to being on the ground when we got there,” Jones said. Jones said it took about 20 minutes to get the fire under control.
Wilson Times

Obituary: James "Jim" Lester Parker, Retired City of Greensboro Firefighter

James "Jim" Lester Parker, Jr., 77, a resident of Greensboro, passed away on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at Beacon Place. He was born February 16, 1942, in Greensboro, the son of James Lester Parker, Sr. and Viola Whitt Parker. A lifetime resident of Greensboro, Jim graduated from Greensboro Senior High School (Grimsley). He served as a firefighter for the City of Greensboro for 35 years, retiring in August of 1997 as battalion chief. He was a member of the IAFF. He received his associate's degree in fire science at GTCC and later served on the advisory board with the Fire Science Dept. at GTCC and was a retired member of the NCAFC. Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. on Monday at the Hanes-Lineberry Funeral Home Sedgefield Chapel conducted by Pastor Daryl Lewis. Interment will follow in Guilford Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Monday from 2 p.m. until service time.
Greensboro News and Record

Jacksonville: 10th annual ride honors fallen first responders

The 10th annual Gene and Bam-Bam Memorial Ride will be held on Saturday, starting at New River Harley Davidson and tracing a route around the county’s volunteer fire departments. The ride will honor fallen first responders Verona Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Collin Gene Thomas and Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Steve “Bam-Bam” Boehem who lost their lives 11 years ago in a routine traffic stop on U.S. 17, according to Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jack Cavanagh III. Thomas and Boehem, according to Cavanagh, were assisting a disabled driver in the midst of dense smoke created by a controlled burn being performed by Camp Lejeune near the Verona area. A patrol was set up to warn drivers entering the area, but an 18-wheeler failed to heed the warnings when entering the dense smoke and struck Thomas and Boehem. “The first year we did (the memorial ride) was the year after their deaths,” Cavanagh said. “We as a group ... we have been doing this together (since).”
Daily News, Jacksonville

VIDEO: Crews respond to fire at vacant gas station in Whiteville

Crews responded to a fire at a vacant gas station Thursday morning in Whiteville. The fire took place at the empty building located at 1730 South J.K. Powell Blvd. According to Whiteville Director of Emergency Services Hal Lowder, the fire was extinguished and an investigation into its cause was under way as of 8 a.m. No injuries were reported.
WECT-TV NBC 6 Wilmington

A HART for rescue in Avery County

When the calls went out from Grandfather Mountain that an injured hiker needed to be medically evacuated from the area on May 26 and June 5, those calls went out to the North Carolina Helo-Aquatic Rescue Team in Salisbury. Within the next 90 minutes of the first notification of a potential rescue, the N.C. HART team had mustered, taken off from Salisbury, flown to Charlotte to pick up civilian rescue technicians and made its way to Grandfather Mountain. Soon after, in both cases, the hiker was brought down to MacRae Meadows in the helicopter and taken to a local medical facility. On June 5, the lead pilot was N.C. National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brandon King, stationed in Salisbury. King’s co-pilot was N.C. National Guard CWO3 Andy Whitten.
Mountain Times

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Ceremony in Harmony set to remember fallen first responders, support personnel

A dormant memorial to deceased members of the fire service is being revitalized. The Harmony Volunteer Fire Department Junior Firefighters are behind the Fallen Firefighters Memorial, which is now being changed to First Responders Memorial, said Harmony Deputy Chief Todd Cranfill. Cranfill is one of the advisors for the junior fighters, a group consisting of young people from ages 14-18. A ceremony for the memorial will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. at Hebron Baptist Church, 175 Hebron Road. Cranfill said in excess of 30 names have been submitted from across Iredell County for honor during the ceremony. The ceremony will remember first responders and support personnel who have passed away in the past few years, Cranfill said. The last time this ceremony was held was in late 2015, Cranfill said, and those who’ve passed away in that time period will be remembered.
Statesville Record and Landmark

Warrenton: Reginald Stevenson honored on retirement from N.C. Forest Service

Colleagues at the N.C. Forest Service’s Warren County office, family and friends gathered at the Warrenton Rural fire station in Warrenton last Thursday to honor Reginald Stevenson, who retired earlier this spring after 31 years of service to the community. Stevenson worked for five years with the N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Warren County center before joining the N.C. Forest Service as the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. While he was a student at South Warren Elementary School, representatives of the Warren County Forestry Association gave presentations about fire safety, which often included visits from Smokey Bear. Stevenson credits those experiences with influencing his career choice. “I thought that would be cool,” he told the newspaper. His life came full circle after he joined the Forest Service. Stevenson has donned the Smokey Bear costume many times for fire safety programs.
The Warren Record

Obituary: Jerry E. Atkins, Retired Black Mountain Fire Department Captain

Jerry E. Atkins, 71, of Black Mountain, passed away Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Mr. Atkins was born August 29, 1947 in Buncombe County to the late Ruffner and Inez Ramsey Atkins. Jerry was a graduate of AB Tech and a veteran of the US Air Force. He was a dedicated employee with the Town of Black Mountain in Zoning Administration and retired as a volunteer fireman with the Black Mountain Fire Department earning Fire Captain with 42 years of service. Jerry was a Fire Service instructor and he received a 40-year service award and Fireman of the Year in 1979. After retirement, Jerry was a Safety Officer up until his death.
Black Mountain News

Update: Nash County woman charged with murder, arson after man dies in house fire

A Bailey woman faces murder and arson charges after deputies say she set a mobile home on fire in Nash County on Tuesday, killing a man inside the home. The Nash County Sheriff's Office, Ferrells Fire Department, and Nash County Emergency Services Fire Marshal all responded to a suspicious fire call on Strickland Road in Bailey. The call came in before 9:30 a.m. A search warrant was secured at executed at the address to determine the cause of the fire. As the mobile home was searched, the body of an adult male was found in a bedroom, the Nash County Sheriff's Office said. The man has been identified as Marcelino Ponce-Gonzales, 59. Following an investigation, the sheriff's office met with the assistant district attorney and decided to pursue first-degree murder and first-degree arson charges against 32-year-old Alayna Renee Sherrod.
WNCT-TV CBS/CW+ 9 Greenville

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