Suicide suspected

in inmate’s death

LUMBERTON — The State Bureau of Investigation is helping investigate the death of an inmate at a Lumberton prison.

Gerard Edward Altman, 42, who was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in the deaths of his mother and stepfather, died of an apparent suicide on Monday at Lumberton Correctional Institute, according to information from the state Department of Public Safety.

SBI spokesperson Patty McQuillan said Altman “was found unresponsive in the inmate dormitory at about 3:38 a.m.” … “hanging from a fan.”


Starling tabbed

new president

CLINTON — The Sampson Community College Board of Trustees has named Bill Starling the next president of the college.

At a called meeting Tuesday afternoon, the board made the decision following months of searching through candidates and finally narrowing the choice down to three just weeks ago.

Starling’s promotion is contingent upon the approval of the North Carolina Community College Board and will become effective when current president Dr. Paul Hutchins leaves. Hutchins’ contract expires in June 2018.

Per the recommendation of the selection committee, Starling will be given a two-year contract and a 12 percent salary increase to $158,332 annually.


Couple charged

with child abuse

LINDEN — A Linden couple is accused of biting and beating two children, ages 4 and 6, over a two-year period, according to arrest warrants in the Cumberland County Magistrate’s Office.

Natasha Shaniece Forrest, 24, and Tevin Deangelo McDonald, 27, were charged Tuesday with two counts each of intentional child abuse inflicting serious physical injury.

Forrest is also charged with two counts of intentional child abuse causing serious bodily injury.

Bail for Forrest was set at $250,000 while McDonald’s bail was set at $100,000.


Two are sought

after shooting

WHITEVILLE — Two men are being sought in connection with a Monday night murder of a Whiteville man. The assault is related to a Nov. 26 shooting in Whiteville, according to police.

Whiteville Police are searching for Corey Tashombae Hines, 20, and Taquay Montez Newkirk, 26, for the murder of Elliot Ward Dew and the serious injury of Deron Dewitt Blanks.

Dew died at Columbus Regional and Blanks is still being treated.

— From staff and wire reports.