Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 4:20 p.m. EST

CASH FROM BANK VAULT-ARREST

Ex-bank employee accused of taking cash from vault arrested

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Federal authorities are accusing a former Wells Fargo employee of stealing more than $88,000 in cash from the vault of a bank in North Carolina. An indictment unsealed this week alleges 29-year-old Arlando M. Henderson took the cash from customer deposits on at least 18 occasions throughout 2019 and then rigged the books to try to hide his actions. He is accused of using the money to pay for personal expenses, including a $20,000 down payment on a 2019 Mercedes-Benz. Henderson was arrested in San Diego Dec. 4. He faces several charges, including two counts of financial institution fraud and 19 counts of theft.

HORSES ATTACKED

Carolinas horse owners still leery after animals attacked

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Several horse owners in the Carolinas say they aren't entirely convinced five horses were attacked by wild boars and not slashed with a knife. Maryanna Haymon has owned horses for 40 years. She told the Herald-Journal of Spartanburg she has never heard of a wild boar attack on a horse. Agents with South Carolina's State Law Enforcement Division announced Wednesday that five of six horses seriously injured or killed in northern South Carolina are nearby North Carolina this fall were attacked by wild boars. Haymon says she is still keeping a close eye on her horses.

AP-US-CONFEDERATE-MONUMENTS-NORTH-CAROLINA

Repercussions over UNC's "Silent Sam" statue deal continue

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Critics are objecting to a behind-the-scenes deal to protect a Civil War statue that once stood on the University of North Carolina's flagship campus and give $2.5 million to a neo-Confederate group. On Friday, a civil rights group challenged the settlement in court and a foundation withdrew a grant over the deal give the Confederate statue known as “Silent Sam” to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, along with $2.5 million for its care. The statue stood on a main quad of the Chapel Hill campus for more than a century until protesters toppled it last year.

AP-US-COLLEGES-SLAVERY-REPARATIONS

Reparations mark new front for US colleges tied to slavery

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The promise of reparations to atone for historical ties to slavery is new territory in a reckoning at U.S. colleges. Until now, schools have responded with monuments, building name changes and public apologies. Georgetown University and two theological seminaries have announced funding commitments to benefit descendants of the enslaved people who were sold or toiled to benefit the institutions. The actions show ways that colleges are looking to make amends as they confront modern issues of equality and historical entanglements. At least 56 universities have joined a University of Virginia-led consortium to explore their ties to slavery and share research and strategies.

APPALACHIAN ST-HOWARD

Johnson carries Appalachian St. over Howard 81-59

WASHINGTON (AP) — Isaac Johnson had 19 points and 12 rebounds and tied his career-high seven assists to carry Appalachian State to an 81-59 win over Howard. O'Showen Williams had 14 points for Appalachian State (6-4), which has held eight of its last nine opponents to 62 or fewer points.

ELECTION SECURITY-NORTH CAROLINA

N Carolina elections board chastises voting equipment vendor

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina election leaders have publicly chastised the nation's largest voting machine manufacturer for late software and supply changes related to voting systems for use in the 2020 elections. Still, the State Board of Elections on Friday approved the software alterations and equipment tweaks by Election Systems & Software. The changes center around the company's touch-screen ballot-marking devices and tally machines that could be used by up to 20 counties starting next year. Critics of the ballot-marking machines say they can't be trusted for accuracy and urged the board not to approve the alterations or delay action.

AP-US-CHRISTMAS-TREES-TIGHT-SUPPLIES

'Shop early': US Christmas trees supplies tight, prices up

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — With Christmas less than two weeks away, finding the perfect tree might take some searching. The availability of real Christmas trees is tight across the United States, especially for procrastinators looking for a certain type of tree. But industry officials say everyone who wants a tree should be able to find one, they just might have to pay a little more. Merchant Sandy Parsons of Charleston, West Virginia, says she never got her order for 350 trees from a North Carolina farm, citing short supply. But local seller Robert Cole, whose business supplies its own trees, has never been busier.

CANDIDATE FILING

Elected officials aim to move up NC political ladder in 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Several current election officials in North Carolina have decided to try to move up the political ladder in 2020. Four current state legislators are among at least a dozen people who have now officially filed to run for lieutenant governor after two weeks of the three-week candidate filing period.  Current Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is already running for governor. Five Democrats have filed to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis.  And the state's official political parties have offered over 30 candidate names for president. Candidate filing ends Dec. 20. Primary races are March 3.