Blake Hodge

Murder Trial Begins in Shooting Death of Chapel Hill Infant

Opening statements were delivered in the Orange County Courthouse Friday morning in the murder trial of 24-year-old Ramone Jamarr Alston. Alston, along with 25-year-old Pierre Je Bron Moore, are charged with shooting and killing 1-year-old Maleah Williams in late 2015. Williams was shot while in her mother’s arms outside their apartment complex on an unusually warm Christmas Day in 2015. The infant died three days later. Assistant District Attorney Jeff Nieman said during his opening statement that this was a “tragic case of a cycle of violence that didn’t end until it took the life of the most innocent...

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Chapel Hill Shooting Victim Dies

A man shot in Chapel Hill Thursday night has died as a result of his injuries. Authorities identified the victim on Friday as 52-year-old Mark David Stiles, of Chapel Hill. Police previously said officers responded to a shooting near the J building of Camelot Village Apartments just across from University Place on Estes Drive around 7:30 p.m. Thursday and that a victim was taken to UNC Hospitals with multiple gunshot wounds. Stiles died on Friday morning. Authorities are now investigating the shooting as a homicide. Authorities said Thursday night they “believe this is an isolated incident and do not believe...

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Man Injured in Chapel Hill Shooting

****UPDATE: The victim has died as a result of their injuries.**** A man was taken to UNC Hospitals with multiple gunshot wounds after a shooting in Chapel Hill Thursday night. Police said officers responded to a shooting near the J building of Camelot Village Apartments just across from University Place on Estes Drive around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Authorities said they “believe this is an isolated incident and do not believe there is an ongoing threat to the community.” The investigation is ongoing. No further information was given regarding the condition or identity of the victim or any potential suspects....

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Price Joins House Democrats Criticizing Iran Deal Decision

On the heels of President Donald Trump pulling the United States out of the Iran deal, local congressman David Price said the move represented “the worst day of the Trump presidency.” Price, the Democrat representing North Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District, was one of several Democratic House members voicing their opposition to the move last week in a press conference organized by minority leader Nancy Pelosi. “The historic agreement negotiated with five partners,” Price said, “eliminated the threat of a nuclear Iran without firing a single shot, without taking one life.” Price said the move damages the United States’ credibility...

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North Carolina Teachers Rally for Increased Educational Funding

It’s being estimated that more than 20,000 educators and supporters traveled from across North Carolina to greet lawmakers returning to Raleigh for the first day of the short legislative session on Wednesday. School districts across the state – including all local districts – closed due to the high number of teachers who had requested personal leave for the day. Teachers are asking for increased education funding, as teachers have done in other states recently winning some legislative gains. Jackie Ennis spent 15 years in the classroom in Nash-Rocky Mounty Schools and is now the dean of the School of...

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I-40 East Reopens After Wednesday Afternoon Crash

****UPDATE: DOT officials reported all lanes of I-40 eastbound reopened just before 3 p.m. Wednesday.**** All eastbound lanes of I-40 are closed in western Orange County Wednesday afternoon after a vehicle crash. North Carolina Department of Transportation officials said just after 1 p.m. that all of the lanes are closed around mile marker 160 near Mt Willing Road in Efland. The closure is before the split of I-40 and I-85. The Orange Rural Fire Department tweeted just before 1 p.m. that it had been dispatched to the area in relation to a motor vehicle crash with injuries. There is...

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Orange County Adopts Ordinance Regulating Flag Size

After nearly an hour of public comment on Tuesday night, the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted to regulate the size of flags and flag poles on private property. The text amendment to the county’s Unified Development Ordinance came after a large Confederate flag was hoisted along Highway 70 just outside Hillsborough. The group Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County worked to raise the flag in question and has been rumored to be working on getting other flags raised throughout the county. Public comment was split among the more than 20 residents who spoke to the commissioners Tuesday night. While...

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Chapel Hill Road Rage Results in Shots Fired into Occupied Vehicle

On the James Taylor Bridge in southern Chapel Hill Saturday, an incident nearly turned deadly. “The suspect believes that he may have been cut off,” Chapel Hill Police spokesman Ran Northam told WCHL. “The suspect then showed a weapon and fired multiple shots at the victim’s vehicle. “We believe that this was taking place while the vehicle was moving.” Northam said the victim was able to get a partial read of the license plate of the 2018 Toyota Camry the suspect was driving as they fled toward Carrboro. The plate information, Northam said, led Chapel Hill and Carrboro Police...

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Orange County Schools Provide Additional Meals Ahead of Day of Advocacy

Orange County Schools officials will provide students meals on Tuesday to take home ahead of a school closure on Wednesday. School boards across the state, including all local districts, have been taking action recently to close schools May 16 as the number of teachers requesting personal leave for the day have outnumbered the available substitute pool, meaning the districts have had concerns about safely operating the schools. The large number of requests for leave come in coordination with a large rally planned by the North Carolina Association of Educators to call for an increase in education funding as the General Assembly...

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Air Conditioning Malfunction Forces Orange County Register of Deeds to Close

The Orange County Register of Deeds closed at noon Monday as the air conditioning at the office was malfunctioning during the first heat wave of 2018. County crews were working to fix the system but officials said the third floor of the Gateway Center in Hillsborough would likely not have air conditioning until late Monday afternoon. While average temperatures in May are in the upper 70s, Monday was expected to be the third day in a row breaking 90 degrees. An email from county register of deeds Mark Chilton to county manager Bonnie Hammersley at 10:40 Monday morning said...

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