McCrory names new chief justice
RALEIGH (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory is picking the North Carolina Supreme Court justice with the most seniority for the state’s top judicial post and in so doing boosting the election prospects of one of two fellow Republicans running for chief justice.
McCrory on Monday named Mark Martin to replace Chief Justice Sarah Parker, a Democrat who is retiring at the end of the month after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 72.
The 51-year-old Martin faces Brunswick County Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis in November for election to an eight-year term as chief justice.
Retired Chief Justice Burley Mitchell praised McCrory for sticking to the tradition of selecting the justice with the greatest experience for chief justice when there’s a vacancy. Mitchell says that stops justices from jockeying for the job.
Man charged with shooting police officers
CHARLOTTE (AP) — A Charlotte man faces more than 20 charges after a young girl and two police officers responding to a domestic shooting were wounded.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said a woman called 911 Sunday and said her boyfriend tried to attack her.
Police Chief Rodney Monroe says two officers were slightly wounded. They are four-year veteran Eric Bojaj and three-year veteran Kevin Stafford. Monroe said one was hit in the leg and arm and the other in the face and elbow.
Police said a 10-year-old girl suffered slight injuries after the suspect fired a shotgun blast into her home.
Brandon Brewer, 27, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder; three counts of assault with a gun on a police officer; two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with Intent to kill Inflicting serious injury; two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with Intent to kill; six counts of firing a gun into a home; two counts of damaging property; possession of a gun by a convicted felon, assault by pointing a gun and firing a gun in the city limits.
It was not clear if he has an attorney.
Man arrested in shooting death
MARION (AP) — McDowell County authorities have arrested a man in a weekend shooting death.
Multiple media outlets reported that investigators said Lionel Ferguson was shot to death at a home near Nebo on Saturday afternoon.
Andrew Clifton Johnson was arrested around 7 a.m. Sunday near Marion and was charged with murder. It was not clear if Johnson has an attorney.
The sheriff’s office said the men knew each other. Detectives are still trying to determine what sparked the shooting.
The State Bureau of Investigation is helping the sheriff’s office with the case.
Jobless rate inches higher
RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina’s unemployment rate inched higher for July as the state’s labor force declined by nearly 15,000 over the course of a month, state officials said Monday.
The jobless rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 6.5 percent in July after being flat for two months, according to a report by the Commerce Department. North Carolina’s unemployment rate was higher than the national rate of 6.2 percent.
The number of people with jobs fell from the previous month by a seasonally adjusted 20,000 to about 4.4 million, representing the second straight month the number has fallen. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed — those without a job but available and looking for work — increased by about 5,300 to just over 304,000.
The state’s labor force — a combination of those with jobs and people who are looking for work — dropped by 14,550 over the month to nearly 4.7 million.
North Carolina-based economist Mark Kurt said the report was disappointing compared to recent months in which the jobless rate dipped as low as 6.2 percent in April.