Monthly Archives: July 2019

Analyst offers fascinating critique of recent GOP runoff

‘Lion’s Den’ of Pitt County Money matters … or does it? By Lori Worley | Political Analysis The chips have fallen in the Republican Primary Runoff for the 3rd Congressional District, and voters spoke very loudly and very clearly in handing a 60 percent margin of victory to Dr. Greg Murphy of Pitt County. No surprises here – if you were following Early Voting turnout and the April 30th Primary, and if you believe that data does not lie. Many (including myself) expected this race to finish much tighter than it did, but it looks like voters were not as motivated by sending a woman to Congress as they were…

List of alleged cigarette smugglers resembles bowl of alphabet soup

NEW YORK CITY – An estimated 60 percent of all cigarettes sold in New York City are smuggled from low tax states, according to federal law enforcement officials. At close to $12 per pack, smokers in the Big Apple are always looking for a bargain. Last month, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of North Carolina returned a sealed, eight-count indictment charging 31 individuals and one business entity with a scheme to defraud the federal government, the State of North Carolina, the State of New York and the Commonwealth of Virginia, of millions of dollars in tax revenues from the sale of ci…

Investigation and traffic stop leads to drug bust

NEWPORT, NC – In recent days, detectives with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office and Morehead City Police Department arrested two subjects for multiple drug offenses. After receiving information that 49-year-old Anthony Michael Vickers and 48-year-old Jorgie Anna Brown were selling a significant amount of illegal drugs out of their Rocks Lane, Newport residence, Sheriff’s Office and Morehead City Police Department detectives began to surveil the location. On July 11, while conducting surveillance on Vickers and Brown’s residence, detectives observed them leave the residence…

South River woman charged; shot through door at husband

On 07/20/2019, Carteret County Deputies arrested Ann Cobb Hughes, 71, of 246 Ida Bell Lane in Beaufort for shooting at her 67-year-old husband Haywood Hughes. Deputies say they got into a domestic altercation and the man, who is disabled, locked himself in the couples bedroom after she left. Deputies say his wife returned and demanded entry into the bedroom. When he refused she fired one round through the door with a 357 Mangum revolver. Hughes told deputies she “wanted to kill that bastard”. Hughes was charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill and was held in the Carteret Co…

Down East Man Charged with Robbery, Assault

CARTERET COUNTY — On 07/22/2019, Carteret County Deputies arrested Joseph Paul-Bird Costa, 29, of 263 Nelson Neck Rd, in Sea Level in connection with a robbery that occurred at 387 Hwy 70 Bettie. Deputies say Costa jumped out from behind a bush and held 42-year-old William Taylor at gunpoint. It was then Costa is accused of firing one round from a 9mm handgun in the air. Costa is alleged to have held the victim at gunpoint while robbing him of his wallet containing an undisclosed amount of cash along with a pocket knife. Costa is also accused of striking the victim in the head with the butt of t…

‘Made In America’ at White House features North Carolina firm

WASHINGTON, DC – John and Cameron Council of Lake Waccamaw-based Council Tool Company display some of their products at the White House on Monday. Fifty successful businesses – one from every state in the nation – participated in the ‘Made in America Product Showcase.” Other companies included: Redline Steel, LLC – Alabama / Alaska Rug Company – Alaska / Arizona Chile Roasters – Arizona / Rich-N-Tone Calls, Inc. – Arkansas / HOSTYLE Racing Products, LLC – California / Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle, Co. – Colorado / Luke’s Toy Factory – Connecticut / Backyard Jams & Jellies, Inc. – Delaware / K…

Remains identified as Kristen Ashley Bennett

CARTERET COUNTY — On 07/17/2019, Carteret County detectives attended the autopsy of the body recovered from property of Trey Branche’s family at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. Late Wednesday afternoon Vidant doctors and a team of pathologists were able to positively identify the remains as Kristen Bennett through dental records. The manner of death has been officially ruled a homicide as the result of a gunshot wound to the head. A small caliber bullet was recovered at the autopsy. The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s office has been in continual…

Hippie looks back 50 years to Woodstock Music Festival

By Craig Welling WHITE LAKE, NEW YORK – It was the summer of 1969. In July, Apollo 11 went to the moon and Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin aboard their lunar module set foot on the orb. Millions of people in America and around the world witnessed the event from a distance. But back on planet earth my generation was emerging from adolescence under the cloud of the war in Vietnam. A subculture was forming in the Northeast and on the West Coast. For us, images of a trip to the moon – an epic event for many — quickly faded in our rear view mirrors. As the storm of protests over the war developed, we turned…

Remains recovered in Mill Creek – Police believe it to be the body of Kristen Ashley Bennett

CARTERET COUNTY — On 07/16/2019, Carteret County deputies recovered a body who investigators believe is Kristen Ashley Bennett of Newport. Bennett was reported missing by her parents on 08/16/2018 after being missing for two days. On 09/04/2018 Bennett’s boyfriend Lewis Victor Branche III, also known as Trey Branche, was arrested for her murder. This morning officials received and acted on information that led them to the area of Point Road and Morris Hill Lane in Mill Creek on property owned by Branches family. Investigators dug up the remains of a white female wrapped in a tarp. It…

Legal hemp approaches

By Kari Travis | Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — Lawmakers want North Carolina farmers to grow more hemp. The Farm Bill of 2019, passed the Senate last month by a 31-14 vote. The legislation officially authorizes and regulates statewide hemp farming, among other things. That’s a big deal for agriculture across the U.S., experts say. The federal government in 2018 removed hemp from its Controlled Substances Act — effectively legalizing the non-psychoactive cannabis plant. There was a catch, however. States needed to adopt their own rules for regulating and licensing growers / man…

OWNER OF S&D GUN AND KNIFE SHOW PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGALLY POSSESSING FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION AS A FELON

NEW BERN – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, before United States Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones, Jr., SHERWOOD WATSON CARAWAY, 62, of Merritt, North Carolina pled guilty to illegally possessing firearms and ammunition while being a felon. During the defendant’s guilty plea hearing, the Government summarized the evidence supporting the defendant’s guilty plea. CARAWAY had been convicted in federal court in 2005 of unlawfully dealing in firearms without a license. Despite his status as a felon, CARAWAY continued to possess firearms…

Black panther spotted

GRANTSBORO – Steve Thompson, a new resident of our area, sent me an email last week. You guessed it – Thompson had a quick story to tell: “Last night (June 30) my wife and I saw a very big black panther about to cross Hwy 306. I believe it t was chasing a deer that shot right in front of our truck. Didn’t know we had black panthers down here so that was pretty cool to see, very large but when he saw my truck he jetted back in the woods!” More than a decade ago, this reporter wrote a news story about Maureen Bivona’s encounter with what she believed to be a black panther. At the time, Bivona – who died several…

Dealing with high waters — Look to Netherlands as model

By Gerald E. Saunders Jr. Editor’s note: Shortly after Hurricane Irene in August 2011, Mr. Saunders wrote a commentary for this newspaper warning us to prepare for future disasters. He later hosted a well-attended seminar and revisits that topic here: PAMLICO COUNTY –  Shakespeare once said, “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” I do not believe the word hurricane by any other name would be sweet, in fact, it may be just the opposite. One rumored international synonym for hurricane is diablo.  Anyone who has lived in Pamlico County, and attended a local church is well aware, this…

TWO PLEAD GUILTY PRIOR TO TRIAL IN CARTERET SUPERIOR COURT

Beaufort, North Carolina – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Carteret Superior Court this week, the following defendants entered guilty pleas just prior to their cases being called for trial before a jury and presiding Superior Court Judge John Nobles. The cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Ashley Eatmon. BRANDON HOBBS, 39, of Newport, pled guilty to Possession of Methamphetamine Precursor Chemical during the Carteret County Superior Court Trial Term of Court just prior to jury selection. A Morehead City Police Officer observed Hobbs leavi…
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