Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
Hurricane-walloped North Carolina votes again after Big 1
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – For a Southern state regularly exposed to major hurricanes, call it a fall election Florence-style.
In 2016, North Carolina voters cast their ballots just four weeks after Hurricane Matthew hit with devastating floodwaters. This year, they’re voting about seven weeks after Hurricane Florence.
That leaves North Carolina lawmakers quickly changing rules for voter registration, the state elections board struggling to track down storm-displaced voters, and activists complaining more needs to be done so that those with lives upended by the cyclone’s epic flooding are able to vote.
The State Board of Elections is spending $400,000 for various types of ads to get out the post-hurricane vote. And lawmakers will be back Monday to possibly entertain measures to make the election run as smoothly as the calm of a hurricane’s eye.
N Carolina lawmakers return for second step on Florence aid
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina lawmakers are going back to work to decide on approving hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up from Hurricane Florence and help the storm’s victims.
The General Assembly prepared to reconvene Monday the special session that Gov. Roy Cooper began two weeks ago. At that time, the GOP-controlled legislature located $56 million and eased rules on voter registration and public school calendars for the hardest-hit counties.
Now GOP leaders say they’re ready to set aside nearly $800 million more. Cooper last week unveiled a $1.5 billion recovery plan and asked for $750 million of that this week as a down payment, with a focus on housing, farmers and schools.
This legislative gathering is expected to last only one day. It comes three weeks before General Assembly elections.
Greensboro says 1M gallons wastewater spilled during Michael
(Information from: News & Record, http://www.news-record.com)
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – The city of Greensboro says flooding from Tropical Storm Michael caused more than 1 million gallons of untreated wastewater to overflow from its facilities.
The city announced the spills Saturday evening. It says the largest discharge was 800,000 gallons that flowed over a 16-hour period into a creek.
According to the News & Record , the city says the downstream areas were inspected and cleaned up where necessary.
Flooding during Hurricane Florence last month also caused sewage overflows in Greensboro.
VIOLENT POLICE STOP
2 arrested in connection with violent police stop
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Two men have been arrested in connection with a police stop in North Carolina that involved an officer being dragged by a vehicle and shots being fired.
Citing police reports, The News & Observer reported Sunday 29-year-old Michael Lee Kent of Bailey and 33-year-old Cedrick Tyler Armstrong of Wendell were arrested at a home in Raleigh.
Wendell police said the incident began Friday afternoon when a patrol officer found narcotics in a Jeep occupied by two men. Police say the vehicle drove off as the officer was investigating, dragging him a short distance.
Police say a second officer saw the Jeep fleeing and was pursuing it when someone fired shots at him.
The reports show Kent faces three felony counts and Armstrong faces five. Both were being held in the Wake County jail. Jail records don’t indicate whether either has an attorney.
US pastor freed from Turkey prays with Trump in Oval Office
WASHINGTON (AP) – Freed American pastor Andrew Brunson has celebrated his release from nearly two years of confinement in Turkey by praying with President Donald Trump. He asked God to provide the president “supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him.”
Brunson had an oval office meeting with Trump Saturday when Trump welcomed Brunson to the White House to celebrate his release. His imprisonment sparked a diplomatic row with a key ally and outcry from U.S. evangelical groups.
Brunson returned to the U.S. aboard a military jet shortly before meeting the president. He was detained in October 2016, formally arrested that December and placed under house arrest on July 25 for health reasons.
Trump to visit Florida, Georgia; search ongoing for missing
MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Upon touring the damage in several towns along Florida’s Panhandle, Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long called the destruction left by Hurricane Michael some of the worst he’s ever seen.
On Monday, President Donald Trump plans to visit Florida and Georgia and see the recovery effort for himself. Trump declared a state of emergency for Georgia late Sunday.
In hurricane-flattened Mexico Beach, crews cleared debris Sunday as the mayor held out hope for the 250 or so residents who may have tried to ride out the storm.
The death toll from Michael’s destructive march from Florida to Virginia stood at 17, with just one confirmed death in Mexico Beach. Mayor Al Cathey said it would be a “miracle” if the town’s death toll stays at one after it took a direct hit from the hurricane.
Police: Woman angry over beer threw child to ground
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Police say a North Carolina woman has been arrested after she threw her 1-year-old child to the ground after being denied a beer.
Burlington police said in a news release that the child didn’t have any lasting injuries from the incident, which happened Saturday around 4:30 p.m.
Police say 29-year-old Kyesha Sherell Willis went to a neighbor’s home and demanded a beer. They say when she couldn’t get one, she became angry, threw her son to the ground and assaulted the neighbor.
Willis is facing charges including assault on a child under the age of 12 and simple assault. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney who could comment on her behalf.
Police say the child was put in its grandmother’s custody.
RIVER HERRING COMEBACK
Herring, key to coastal health, slowly returning to rivers
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – River herring once appeared headed to the endangered species list, but the little fish appear to be slowly coming back in the rivers and streams of the East Coast.
River herring are a critical piece of the ecosystem in the eastern states, where they serve as food for birds and larger fish. They spend most of their lives at sea, returning to freshwater in the spring to spawn.
The fish’s populations dramatically fell from generations of damming, habitat loss and overfishing, and the federal government considered adding it to the endangered list before deciding against it in 2013. But scientists with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission say they are starting to see upward trends.
The comeback has spurred calls from environmental groups for conservative management.