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News General

A new version of the state’s Move Over law goes into effect Monday, Oct. 1, requiring motorists to change lanes or slow down to avoid roadside utility and maintenance crews bearing flashing amber lights.

The General Assembly voted in June 2012 to include utility and road maintenance operations displaying amber lights – including some N.C. Department of Transportation work sites – on the list of situations where drivers legally are required to steer clear to help prevent accidents.

The state established move-over requirements for drivers in 2001. The law previously covered emergency responders, law enforcement vehicles, tow trucks, and Incident Management Assistance Patrols operated by the NCDOT.


The Governor’s Highway Safety Program announced today that state and local law enforcement officers cited more than 14,000 motorists for traffic and criminal violations and more than 200 of those were cited for improper child restraints during the “Child Passenger Safety Week” Campaign, which ran Sept. 17–23.

“State and local law enforcement agencies across the state increased patrols in an effort to make young passengers safe as well as our highways,” said GHSP Director Becky Wallace. “We commend them for their dedication.”


Prosecutor says he will not pursue capital punishment.

An Otto couple facing the charge of first degree murder in the death of their son will not face the death penalty, prosecutors declared earlier this week.

On Monday, Frank Kelly Pruitt, 62, sat in his wheelchair, awaiting the outcome of his Rule 24 hearing. The proceedings, held in Macon County Superior Court, would determine whether or not he would face the death penalty.

Pruitt, who on July 8, allegedly shot and killed his 34-year-old son Robert Pruitt at his Coweeta Lab Road home, faced the possibility of either life in prison without parole or the death penalty, pursuant to his first degree murder charge. Around the time of the incident, Frank Pruitt had called 9-1-1and declared to dispatch that he was going to shoot his son on the grounds that he was armed and drunk.


Toddler undergoing another surgery this Friday.

A year and two months after then 28-month-old Kirsten Simpkins was brutally attacked by her stepgrandmother in Dillsboro, the case has finished up in court. Last Wednesday, Lisa Plank Hart of Dillsboro, who in May pled guilty to felony child abuse for inflicting serious bodily harm, was sentenced to 63 months in jail, with the option of early release based on her behavior. After time served of 13 months, Hart is facing 50 months behind bars, a sentence that Simpkins' mother, Jennifer Hart, said does not come close to making up for what she did to her daughter more than a year ago.

“Lisa only got 63 months, then minus the 13 months she has already served, so about 50 months but she can get out on good behavior,” said Jennifer. “I feel that she should have gotten a lot longer for nearly killing my child. I have not had contact with Lisa and will continue to not have any contact with her. Lisa took my child's normal childhood and she gets a light sentence.”


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