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Man pleads guilty to 1990 rape, murder

WINSTON-SALEM (AP) — A Winston-Salem man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the 1990 rape and strangulation of a 74-year-old woman in 1990.

Under a plea deal, 39-year-old Michael Dwayne Miller was convicted Tuesday in Forysth County Superior Court in the death of Theressa L. Nicholson in her apartment in August 1990. Judge John O. Craig sentenced Miller to 30 years in prison.

Nicholson’s death remained a cold case for years. Investigators with the Winston-Salem Police Department said they caught a break in 2009 after DNA evidence re-examined from the case led them to Miller.

At the time, Miller was serving an eight-month sentence at the Dan River Work Farm in connection with a September 2008 conviction on misdemeanor larceny charges unrelated to the homicide, as well as a probation violation.

Repaving begins at S-curves on storm-damaged NC 12

RODANTHE (AP) — The portion of highway along North Carolina’s Outer Banks that Superstorm Sandy damaged remains on schedule to reopen by Christmas Day, with workers beginning to repave the road.

Workers with the state Transportation Department began repaving the section of N.C. 12 at the S-curves just north of Rodanthe on Pea Island on Monday. Sandy hit at the end of October, followed by two nor’easters that also damaged the road and delayed repairs.

Crews began putting down a layer of asphalt Tuesday. They plan to add a second, thinner layer Wednesday. Then they must paint lines and add a gradual slope to the edge of the pavement.

DOT officials say they expect the road to reopen by Christmas Day. After the reopening, crews will continue to fill sandbags and rebuild dunes.

Supreme Court says justice can hear case

RALEIGH (AP) — The North Carolina Supreme Court says Justice Paul Newby can consider a lawsuit challenging the way election districts are drawn.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported the court has rejected a request from the state NAACP, Democrats and others that Newby withdraw from the case.

North Carolina NAACP president William Barber says the groups are disappointed with Monday’s decision, but think they still have a strong case that the election districts were improperly drawn.

The groups say the state legislative and congressional district boundaries are illegal because they limit black voters’ influence on the election process.

The groups had asked that Newby not participate because of political donations they say link people and groups that helped draw the new lines with independent campaign spending for Newby.

Army doctor victim in plane crash

PARKTON (AP) — Authorities say the victim of a weekend plane crash in Robeson County was an Army doctor who was acting chief of surgery at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center.

The Fayetteville Observer reports that 62-year-old retired Col. Virgil Thomas Deal Jr. died in the Sunday crash near Parkton.

Deal had served as command surgeon of Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida and was commander of the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Deal died when his small plane, a Piper PA-28 Cherokee, crashed in the woods. He was alone in the aircraft, which had left from Summerville, S.C.

High school student accused of tweeting threat

JACKSONVILLE (AP) — Authorities in Onslow County have arrested a high school senior for making threats against his school through Twitter.

The Daily News of Jacksonville reports that the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said 17-year-old Bryan Holley is charged with making a false report of mass violence on education property.

An arrest warrant said Holley said on Twitter that he was going to “do a mass shooting at Richlands High School and everyone should wear bulletproof vests.” The sheriff’s office learned of the threat Monday.

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