CRAZED GUNMAN WHO SHOOTS AT DEPUTIES SURVIVES ROBOT AND BEANBAG BULLETS: A man who barricaded himself in a house after firing at his grandfather and Bladen County sheriff’s deputies Tuesday was found unharmed hours later in a pickup at the home. “A bad day turned into a good day,″ Sheriff Jim McVicker said moments after family and friends were notified that 20-year-old MacKenzie Brisson was safe. No injuries were reported, McVicker said, and authorities never returned fire throughout the day. A SWAT team member asked the sheriff about 2:30 p.m. for bean bag rounds for a 12-gauge shotgun. “We don’t want to hurt him, and we don’t want him to hurt us, McVicker said. “We’ll do what we have to do and no more.” “A young man’s life has been preserved,″ the Rev. Sam Grice of Singletary United Methodist Church told a gathering that included a long line of law officers and emergency responders who had been involved in the standoff. “Every life is important, and we’ve witnessed a miracle here tonight.″
HOMEOWNER INSURANCE RATES MAY JUMP UNDER NEW COMMISSIONER: The North Carolina Rate Bureau filed a notice with the N.C. Department of Insurance requesting an average increase of 18.7 percent, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced late Monday. The new rates, if approved by the commissioner, would take effect July 1. The increases vary by territory with coastal communities as usual seeing the highest increases. The highest increases would be in parts of Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover and Pender counties, where the requested increase is 80.5 percent for homes along the coast. Homeowners in Wake and Durham would see a 21.9 percent increase if the Rate Bureau wins out. The changes overall range from a decrease of 7.1 in parts of western North Carolina to an increase of 25 percent in the middle of the state. The rates represent the highest amount all companies can charge their customers.
LANDOWNERS PARALYZED UNDER MAP ACT MAY RECEIVE COMPENSATION FROM DOT: The N.C. Court of Appeals has ordered the state Department of Transportation to pay deposits on properties in the path of a beltway. The Winston-Salem Journal reports the ruling on Tuesday means NCDOT has to begin appraising hundreds of properties in the path of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway and paying deposits, unless the decision is appealed to the N.C. Supreme Court. Landowners began suing the state in 2011 to force NCDOT to buy their lands, arguing that the declaration of a beltway corridor in effect caused a taking of their properties by limiting their rights to subdivide or develop. The state Attorney General's Office said it was reviewing the decision and would work with NCDOT to determine its next steps.
BUTCHER OF SREBRENICA RATKO MLADIC SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON: Former Bosnian Serbian commander Ratko Mladic has been sentenced to life in prison, for genocide and war crimes during the Balkan conflict more than two decades ago. The presiding judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Wednesday found that the 74-year-old general "significantly contributed" to genocide committed at Srebrenica. Previous judgments of the tribunal in the Netherlands already ruled that the massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica was genocide. Judge Alphons Orie ruled that the perpetrators of the crimes committed in Srebrenica intended to destroy the Muslims living there.
BIG TOBACCO TO FINALLY START RUNNING ANTI-SMOKING ADS: Decades after they were banned from the airwaves, Big Tobacco companies return to prime-time television this weekend — but not by choice. Under court order, the tobacco industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the deadly, addictive effects of smoking, more than 11 years after a judge ruled that the companies had misled the public about the dangers of cigarettes. But years of legal pushback by the industry over every detail means the ads will be less hard-hitting than what was proposed. Tobacco control experts say the campaign — built around network TV and newspapers — will not reach people when they are young and most likely to start smoking. “Their legal strategy is always obstruct, delay, create confusion and buy more time,” said Ruth Malone, of the University of California, San Francisco, who has studied the industry for 20 years. “So by the time this was finally settled, newspapers have a much smaller readership, and nowadays, who watches network TV?”