S.C. Statehouse Probe Continues; 2 Jet Incidents Reported; 2nd Man Charged In Murder

Jun 23, 2017

A South Carolina judge says the special prosecutor overseeing an investigation into corruption at the Statehouse can stay on the case. 

Representative Rick Quinn's lawyers had asked that Solicitor David Pascoe be removed because of documents with confidential information that were seized in a March raid at Quinn’s political consulting and mailing firms. The judge ruled Friday morning that Pascoe did not appear to review any documents he was not supposed to.

Quinn is suspended after being indicted on charges of misconduct in office.  Prosecutors say he used campaign donations for personal profit. He denies the charges. The Republican lawmaker said he cleared all of the activities of his mail order business with ethics officials and the state attorney general’s office.

2 AIRLINE INCIDENTS REPORTED

Smoke in the cockpit prompted a JetBlue Airways flight headed for Florida to make an emergency landing in in Charleston, South Carolina, around 10:30 this morning.  The FAA says Flight 913 was heading from White Plains, New York, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when the crew reported the smoke. Passengers on the Embraer E190 evacuated by emergency chutes. Nobody was hurt. The FAA is investigating.

And an American Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Charlotte was forced to return to the gate at Las Vegas Thursday after an unspecified, false threat. Authorities rescreened the passengers and searched the plane, but found nothing. Flight 1704 was headed to Charlotte with 184 passengers and six crew. The plane took off around 5:42 pm, several hours late.

BILL WOULD ALLOW ALCOHOL SALES ON SUNDAY MORNINGS

Legislation is advancing at the General Assembly that would let local governments approve ordinances to allow restaurants and retailers like groceries to sell alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays, instead of noon. The midday start reflects the historic deference to Sunday morning church services.

But bill supporters say many people may prefer sipping mimosas at brunch or buying six-packs for a Carolina Panthers' tailgate on Sunday mornings. The measure also expands exceptions for the state's distilleries to sell more of their product without using government-run Alcoholic Beverage Control stores.

The measure should be on the House floor early next week. A version of the measure already passed the Senate.

BILL TABLED THAT WOULD HAVE ALLOWED TESLA DEALERSHIPS

A bill was introduced at the North Carolina legislature this week that would have let electric car maker Tesla open new dealerships in North Carolina. But WRAL-TV in Raleigh reports it was quickly withdrawn, before it could be considered. State law doesn't allow manufacturers like Tesla to sell directly to consumers, if auto dealers object. That's what happened last year when the state Division of Motor Vehicles rejected Tesla's application to sell cars at a showroom in Charlotte. WRAL reports the bill was a compromise worked out between Tesla and auto dealers.  It didn't name the company, but would have applied only to electric cars. Other auto manufacturers objected, and sponsors pulled the bill.

2nd MAN CHARGED IN JUNE 10 MURDER

Police have charged a second man with murder in a June 10th robbery and shooting in west Charlotte. 32-year-old Cornelius Chambers faces charges of murder and armed robbery in the death of 37-year-old Cornelius Drayton.  Drayton died June 15th after being shot at at a gas station off I-85. Police say the shooting came during a drug deal.  Police have also charged another man, Lex Chisholm, in the case. Both Chambers and Chisholm are being held at Mecklenburg County Jail.

HORNETS ADDING 2 ROOKIES

The Charlotte Hornets picked University of Kentucky shooting guard Malik Monk as the 11th overall pick in the NBA draft last night. The Hornets chose point guard Frank Jackson as the 31st overall pick last night…but traded him to New Orleans for Florida State guard Dwayne Bacon.   Monk said at a press conference today he and Bacon will help each other.

“We’re both competitors, we both love to win and we hate losing,” Malik told reporters. “We’re gonna push each the best we can in practice.”

Monk has been called the best shooter in the draft.