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A 3-year-old Mariah Kay Woods has been missing since she was tucked into bed Sunday night in her Dawson Cabin Road mobile home in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

It was Monday, November 27 when the mother of Mariah, Kristy Woods, called the police to report her daughter missing but we here at News In Onslow, pose a question “Was Mariah already missing before the mother reported

My last memory of her was feeding her and putting her to bed,” Woods said in an interview but the Onslow County, North Carolina community is saying that the mother and her live-in boyfriend, Earl Kimery are suspects.

Air searches and ground searches began early Monday morning after the call came in. Woods is described as a 3-year-old white female, who is 2 feet 9 inches and has brown or blonde hair with blue eyes.

Tuesday, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department, and the FBI continued their search for the missing girl. Major Chris Thomas with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department said they are still searching for Mariah.

Details about the investigations were not immediately released. Tips and leads are still being followed that came in after the statewide, now nationwide Amber Alert about Mariah’s disappearance from her Dawson Cabin Road home in the Southwest area of Jacksonville.

Woods said her daughter wears braces on her legs to help her walk, and she doesn’t believe she would’ve walked away from their house on her own.

No signs of a break in, invasion or any sort that would alert the community to this beautiful girl actually being abducted. People in the Jacksonville community has accused the mother, Krysti Kay Hunter, and her live-in boyfriend Earl Kimery of being drug addicts.

Something happened in that home Sunday night and it happened to Mariah Woods, and now the family is trying to cover it up.

Members gathered around to pray a prayer that will hopefully bring Mariah Woods back home alive.

Members of Onslow County, North Carolina gathered around for prayer early Tuesday afternoon. (Photo Courtesy of Gerald Jackson/News In Onslow)

If you have any information about Mariah, call the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at (910)-989-4070

You can contact me below:

Gerald Jackson (910)-378-957 gjackson@newsinonslow.com

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US may never see another spiritual leader like Billy Graham

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MONTREAT, N.C. (AP) — In the wake of the Rev. Billy Graham’s death, religion scholars say this much is clear: There will never be another American spiritual leader with his reach and influence.

The evangelical movement that Graham helped solidify and embodied for much of the second half of the 20th century has splintered. The media he used so effectively has fragmented, too, since the days when baby boomers had a choice of only three TV stations in their living rooms. And politics has become more polarized, even toxic.

It’s hard to imagine another U.S. religious leader like Graham filling a stadium for days on end and moving so deftly through the corridors of power that he could minister to Democratic and Republican presidents alike.

“I think his legacy will be the inclusiveness of his understanding of the Gospel,” said Grant Wacker, a retired professor at Duke University’s divinity school and author of the 2014 biography “America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation.” ″Bring as many people in as possible.”

Graham, who died Wednesday at 99, reached hundreds of millions of people worldwide through his preaching engagements and his pioneering use of modern mass media, especially television.

Bill Leonard, a professor at Wake Forest University Divinity School in North Carolina, said there will never be an evangelist as influential as Graham, owing partly to the fracturing of audiences and media since the pre-cable, pre-internet era in which Graham commanded his large audiences.

“The media that Graham used so well early in his crusades then became so pluralistic, so diverse, that there was no longer room for one central person who could pull together those evangelical subgroups,” Leonard said.

Even by the 1980s, Leonard said, it was clear there wouldn’t be a single evangelist after Graham who could wield such broad clout, because of the emergence of “a variety of ‘Billy Grahams’” with their own followings and because of the rise in politics of the hard-line religious right, from which Graham kept a certain distance.

“Evangelicalism itself became more polarized,” Leonard said. “Graham came of age at a more ecumenical sort of time.”

Leonard said Graham’s own son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, is representative of how the movement has changed in the past generation. The younger Graham is seen as more ideological than his father; he has criticized Islam and backed President Donald Trump’s call to bar Muslims from entering the U.S.

“Franklin’s evolution is illustration of the way in which the religious culture changed between his father and himself,” Leonard said.

Some of the biggest changes happened in the last decade or so of Graham’s life, after he had all but retired. When he held his last crusade in 2005, gay marriage was allowed in only a couple of places in America, and the rise of Trump and the corrosive political environment of recent years were still in the future.

Even Charlotte, North Carolina, the world headquarters of Graham’s evangelical empire, has moved in a more liberal direction, the result of an influx of non-Southerners. In 2016, the city passed an ordinance allowing transgender people to use restrooms of their choice, triggering a fierce statewide battle.

For all his efforts to promote ecumenicism, there were, of course, limits to Graham’s inclusiveness. As the civil rights movement took shape, he did not join his fellow clergymen in taking part in marches. Later, his ministry took out full-page ads calling for a ban on gay marriage.

Still, Faisal Khan, a Muslim-American and founder of a youth advocacy and peace organization near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, credited Graham for admitting his mistakes and for making conciliatory statements about Islam.

“He was generally very receptive and forthcoming — he openly said Islam is much closer to Christianity than people think,” Khan said.

Jeremiah Chapman, a 40-year-old student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, said Graham’s legacy remains relevant — despite, or perhaps because of, the current divisions inside evangelicalism.

“He was moral guidance to generations regardless of which side. If you’re a Democrat or Republican or liberal or conservative, he was willing to step in and be … God’s voice in culture,” Chapman said.

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Grand jury indicts Missouri governor who admitted affair

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis grand jury on Thursday indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking a compromising photo of a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015. The Republican governor responded that he made a mistake but committed no crime.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner launched an investigation in January after Greitens admitted to an affair with his St. Louis hairdresser that began in March 2015. He was elected governor in November 2016.

Thursday’s indictment was followed with an announcement by House Republican leaders that they were forming a group of lawmakers to investigate the charges “and answer the question as to whether or not the governor can lead our state while a felony case moves forward.”

In a statement following the indictment , the Republican governor was defiant and attacked the prosecutor who brought the charge.

“As I have said before, I made a personal mistake before I was Governor,” he said. “I did not commit a crime. With today’s disappointing and misguided political decision, my confidence in our prosecutorial system is shaken, but not broken. I know this will be righted soon. The people of Missouri deserve better than a reckless liberal prosecutor who uses her office to score political points.”

Greitens’ attorney, in a separate statement, called the indictment “baseless and unfounded.”

“In 40 years of public and private practice, I have never seen anything like this,” attorney Edward L. Dowd Jr. said.

Gardner’s spokeswoman, Susan Ryan, responded: “Despite the Governor’s personal attacks, the Circuit Attorney believes the courtroom is the appropriate place to argue the facts, not the media.”

Greitens’ legal team immediately filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the grounds that any relationship with the woman was consensual.

Some lawmakers renewed suggestions that Greitens should consider resigning, as they had done when the affair first become public last month.

Democratic state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis called for an impeachment process to begin immediately.

“Gov. Greitens has to go,” Nasheed said. “Missourians thought they voted for a person of character and integrity, and instead they got a liar and alleged criminal.”

Any impeachment process must begin in the House with an investigation.

The joint statement from House Speaker Todd Richardson, Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr and Majority Leader Rob Vescovo did not specifically mention impeachment while noting that they were initiating an investigation.

The indictment states that on March 21, 2015, Greitens photographed a woman identified only by her initials “in a state of full or partial nudity” without her knowledge or consent. The indictment said Greitens “transmitted the image contained in the photograph in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer.”

In 2015, the woman told her husband, who was secretly taping the conversation, that Greitens took the compromising photo of her at his home and threatened to use it as blackmail if she spoke about the affair.

The penalty for first-degree invasion of privacy in Missouri is a sentence of up to four years behind bars.

Greitens was taken into custody in St. Louis and released on his own recognizance. He is due in court for his first hearing on March 16, before Circuit Judge Rex Burlison.

Greitens has repeatedly denied blackmailing the woman, but has repeatedly refused to answer questions about whether he took a photo.

The indictment came about a month before the statute of limitations would have run out. The statute of limitations for invasion of privacy in Missouri is three years.

Ryan, asked if additional charges could be filed, said the matter is still under investigation. Several lawmakers were questioned last week by investigators from Gardner’s office.

Greitens, the 43-year-old father of two young boys, came into office as a political outsider, a brash Rhodes Scholar and Navy SEAL officer who was wounded in Iraq, emerging as the winner in a crowded and expensive GOP primary.

A former boxer and martial arts expert, he has embraced the role of maverick. He responded to a Democratic attack ad in the fall of 2016 with one of his own in which he fired more than 100 rounds from a machine gun as an announcer declared he’d bring out “the big guns” to fight Democratic policies championed by then-President Barack Obama.

Greitens surprised many experts by defeating Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster in the November 2016 election. Some saw him as a rising Republican star with potential presidential aspirations.

But governing hasn’t always been easy, even though Republicans now control both houses as well as the governor’s mansion. Greitens and GOP lawmakers have often clashed, with him comparing some to third-graders and labeling them “career politicians.”

He has also faced questions about so-called “dark money” campaign contributions and criticism for stacking the state board of education. His use of a secretive app that deletes messages is under investigation by Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Greitens’ charity, The Mission Continues, faced scrutiny during the campaign when Democrats accused him of insider politics for accessing the donor list to raise about $2 million through its top contributors.

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Florida man screams, yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s put to death

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STARKE, Fla. (AP) — As the execution drugs were being administered, inmate Eric Scott Branch let out a blood-curdling scream. Then he yelled “murderers! murderers! murderers!” as he thrashed on a gurney as he was being put to death for the 1993 rape and slaying of a college student.

The drugs included a powerful sedative Thursday evening and the 47-year-old inmate turned silent after one guttural groan. Minutes earlier, he had just been addressing corrections officers, saying it should fall to Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his attorney general to carry out the death sentence — not to those workers present.

“Let them come down here and do it,” Branch said. “I’ve learned that you’re good people and this is not what you should be doing.”

Branch was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. Thursday after receiving the injection at Florida State Prison in Starke. The governor’s office made the announcement.

Asked later whether Branch’s scream could have been caused by the execution drugs, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Michelle Glady said “there was no indication” that the inmate’s last actions were a result of the injection procedure. She said that conclusion had been confirmed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Branch was convicted of raping and fatally beating University of West Florida student Susan Morris, 21. Her naked body was found buried in a shallow grave — a crime whose brutality was noted by the Florida Supreme Court in denying one of Branch’s appeals.

“She had been beaten, stomped, sexually assaulted and strangled. She bore numerous bruises and lacerations, both eyes were swollen shut,” the justices wrote.

Evidence in the case shows Branch approached Morris after she left a night class on Jan. 11, 1993, so he could steal her red Toyota and return to his home state of Indiana. He was arrested while traveling there.

Branch also was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Indiana and of another sexual assault in the Florida Panhandle that took place just 10 days before Morris was killed, court records show.

The jury in his murder case recommended the death penalty by a 10-2 vote under Florida’s old capital punishment system, which was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016. The high court said juries must reach a unanimous recommendation for death and judges cannot overrule that. Florida legislators subsequently changed the system to comply.

One of Branch’s final and unsuccessful appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court involved whether he deserved a new sentencing hearing because of that jury’s 10-2 vote in his 1994 trial. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that the new system of sentencing did not apply to inmates sentenced to death before 2002.

Elsewhere, Texas’ governor spared a convicted killer’s life shortly before the inmate was to have been executed Thursday for masterminding the fatal shootings of his mother and brother. Gov. Greg Abbott accepted the state parole board’s rare clemency recommendation and commuted the sentence of Thomas “Bart” Whitaker to life without parole. Whitaker’s father also was shot in the 2003 plot at the family’s suburban Houston home but survived. He led an effort to save his son from execution.

And in Alabama, Doyle Lee Hamm was sentenced to die Thursday evening for the 1987 death of a motel clerk during a robbery. Hamm fought his death sentence, arguing there was a risk of a botched execution because of damage to his veins from lymphoma and other illnesses. The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday evening temporarily delayed the lethal injection procedure.

In Florida, relatives of victim Susan Morris said they remain profoundly grieved by her violent death. Though Morris was 21 when she was killed, more time has passed than the number of years she lived, the family statement said. Still, the pain remains.

“Twenty-five years ago, Susan’s life was suddenly and brutally extinguished. We have grieved for her longer that she was with us. Yet because of who she was … she will never be forgotten by those who love her,” said the statement, read out by her sister Wendy Morris Hill shortly after Branch was put to death.

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