AP-NC Newswatch

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October 29, 2018
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October 29, 2018
AP-NC Newswatch





Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT


White woman fired over filmed racist rant at black neighbor
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A white North Carolina woman filmed going on a racist rant at her black neighbor has been fired from her job.
News outlets report the video shows Susan Westwood approaching sisters Leisa and Mary Garris this month and saying “I am white and hot. So what are you doing here?”
Charter Communications spokesman Patrick Paterno said Sunday that Westwood has been fired from her $125,000-per-year job referenced in the video.
An apparently drunk Westwood is heard asking where the sisters live, if they’re visiting their “baby daddy” and if she needs to reveal her concealed weapon. The sisters ask Westwood to leave them alone as they’re waiting for AAA. They eventually call 911.
Westwood has been issued criminal summons of communicating threats and simple assault. She wasn’t reached for comment.



IBM buying North Carolina-based Red Hat in $34B deal
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – IBM says it will acquire North Carolina-based open-source software company Red Hat in a $34 billion stock deal.
The technology and consulting company announced Sunday it would buy all Red Hat shares at $190 apiece – 63 percent above Red Hat’s closing price Friday. The two companies said the deal is subject to Red Hat shareholder and regulatory approval and should be completed in the latter half of 2019.
IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty says the acquisition would make IBM the world’s No. 1 hybrid cloud provider – that’s when companies use a mix of on-site, private and third-party public cloud services.
The two companies said IBM intends to keep Red Hat’s headquarters in Raleigh, where Red Hat has more than 2,000 employees. Red Hat has over 12,000 workers worldwide.



Scooters directed off streets in 1 North Carolina city
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina judge ordered a scooter rental company to stop peddling the rides on Asheville’s streets because it appears they don’t comply with city regulations.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports Buncombe County Superior Court Judge Alan Thornburg signed an order over the weekend directing California-based Bird Rides to remove their rental scooters by Sunday morning, or Asheville officials could do it themselves.
People can rent the scooters using a mobile phone app. Bird and competitor Lime are offering scooters in other North Carolina cities. Asheville regulations prohibit vehicle parking on sidewalks and sales of mechanical devices on streets or sidewalks.
Thornburg issued a temporary restraining order, saying the scooter’s operation pose a risk to public safety. A court hearing on whether to extend the prohibition is set for Nov. 5.



People, businesses in 3 more counties can seek Florence aid
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Now residents and business owners in over one-third of North Carolina’s counties can seek federal aid to cover uninsured or underinsured damage from Hurricane Florence last month.
Emergency officials say Chatham, Durham and Guilford counties have been added to the list of areas that can now seek individual disaster assistance, bringing the total to 34 of the 100 counties statewide. Grants and low-interest loans are possible. People can apply online , by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by visiting a disaster recovery center located in some of the qualifying counties.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s office estimates Florence’s rains, winds and historic flooding caused $13 billion in overall damages.
The federal government says more than $105 million in individual and household grants already have been approved. Over 129,000 disaster assistance registrations have been completed.



Democratic wave faces GOP gerrymandering in US House races
Forecasts of a Democratic wave in the midterm elections will be put to the test by Republican gerrymandering of U.S. House districts.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting 85 Republican-held seats across the U.S. as it attempts to gain the 23 seats needed to win control of the House.
But some of those seats are in states where Republicans controlled the redistricting process after the 2010 census and drew the boundaries so it would be easier for them to win future elections.
That process, known as political gerrymandering, has been used by both Democrats and Republicans over time. But Republicans were in a better position to carry it out because they won control of more state legislatures and governor’s offices during the 2010 elections.



2 shot in barn party in North Carolina county
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) – Two people – including a seriously injured teenager – have been shot at a large party at a barn venue in a North Carolina county.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said no arrests had been made in Sunday’s shootings at Smokehouse Valley Farm, northwest of Hillsborough.
Media outlets report an unidentified 18-year-old woman was found shot in the head when deputies arrived at 1:30 a.m. The sheriff’s office says she was airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill with life-threatening injuries, while a second person shot in the leg and later treated wouldn’t cooperate with investigators.
The department says 300 people attended the party and 150 were still there after the shooting. Sheriff Charles Blackwood says large crowds make it difficult to get accurate accounts of what happened.



Cooper out to rally Democrats seeking more legislative wins
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper is getting into the thick of campaigning for Democratic legislative candidates in hopes enough of them will get elected to give him more policy leverage at the General Assembly.
Cooper planned to speak Sunday for the second day in a row at events to rally party activists knocking on doors urging people to vote. The governor was expected in Apex and Sanford to help both House and Senate challengers to Republican incumbents. Cooper attended similar events Saturday in Charlotte.
Democrats want to win enough legislative elections next month to end the GOP’s veto-proof majorities. That would require four more House seats or six Senate seats. Cooper has raised millions of dollars for the state Democratic Party to help candidates. Republicans are getting out the vote as well.



How a 2-star Army general took charge of a broken city
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) – The man in charge of running Panama City’s recovery from Hurricane Michael is a two-star Army general who started the job just two weeks before the storm.
Mark McQueen is the city manager for the Panhandle city. The 58-year-old was an unusual choice when commissioners picked him out of a candidate pool of 80 people despite having no municipal experience.
But he’s uniquely suited for the recovery, having been the commanding general of the 108th Training Command headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. There, he commanded some 7,000 soldiers. One of their tasks was to repair the infrastructure of Baghdad.
McQueen’s first day off since the storm was Friday – his retirement ceremony from the military in Washington, D.C.



AP-WF-10-29-18 1020GMT