Schools face backlash for not reporting threats to parents
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Tell as much as you can as soon as you can.
That’s the advice of safety experts when discussing what information about school threats to convey to parents and the rest of the community.
In districts around the country, schools have faced criticism for favoring privacy over informing the community.
Officials at a Catholic high school in South Carolina faced a backlash this summer from outraged parents when they found out a student had made videos threatening to shoot people and using a racial slur.
Cardinal Newman High School’s principal sent three letters to parents before finally apologizing for not sharing information sooner.
Some school districts are now sending letters home even if a threat isn’t specific or to warn what consequences children face if they make a threat.
Trump’s North Carolina rally to be a test for his clout, GOP
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s rally in North Carolina will be more than just a measure of his clout in trying to elect a Republican to a key House seat.
His appearance Monday will be his first since a tough end of summer that saw slipping poll numbers, warning signs of an economic slowdown, and nonsensical battles over erroneous hurricane maps.
The special election Tuesday is considered a toss-up. A GOP defeat in a red-leaning state could portend trouble for Trump’s hopes for another term.
And the rally may also pose a different test: it will be held near where “Send her back” chants aimed at a foreign-born American congresswoman of color rattled the Republican Party and seemed to presage an ugly presidential campaign fought on race and division.
TROPICAL WEATHER-OUTER BANKS
Access restricted to hard-hit Ocracoke Island after Dorian
NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) — While some parts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks are reopening to residents and visitors, access to Ocracoke Island remains restricted due to extensive damage from Hurricane Dorian.
Re-entry to Ocracoke was limited Sunday to emergency responders and other authorized personnel, including supply crews.
After devastating the Bahamas, Dorian made landfall Friday morning over the Outer Banks, and it swamped Ocracoke with floodwaters. Residents say the damage is the worst anyone alive has seen.
Donnie Shumate is the spokesman for Hyde County, which includes Ocracoke. He says crews are continuing to survey the “catastrophic” damage Sunday. There’s still no power.
Shumate says a staging area has been set up where residents can access things like food, water and cleaning supplies. The Salvation Army was serving lunch and dinner at a community center.
Authorities seek suspects in fatal attack on NC family
WHITEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities are searching for suspects in the slaying of a North Carolina couple and their 5-year-old son.
Citing a Columbus County sheriff’s statement , news outlets report the three were killed in a targeted attack early Saturday. The sheriff’s office says deputies responded that morning to a report of gunshot victims at a home near Whiteville and found four wounded people. It says the fourth victim was hospitalized and expected to survive.
WWAY-TV reports authorities identified the dead as 5-year-old Alexis Cipiran Trujillo, 25-year-old Nancy Trujillo Espinoza and 29-year-old Leonel Cipiran Noyola. Reports identify the wounded person as Alexis’ grandmother, 51-year-old Rafaela Noyola Jaramillo.
Authorities say the suspects reportedly fled in a victim’s silver 2011 Ford Fusion, which has a state license plate that reads PFH-6923.
22-year-old swimmer drowns in Lake Norman
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities have recovered the body of a 22-year-old man who drowned in Lake Norman.
Allen Vang is an officer with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, which leads investigations into deaths on the state’s waterways.
He tells Charlotte media outlets the man drowned Saturday evening after he jumped from a boat and his life jacket slipped off. The man’s body was recovered around 11:30 Sunday.
Two people drowned in the same area of the lake last year.
ELECTION 2019-NORTH CAROLINA-NEWS GUIDE
NC Congress vacancies soon filled with special elections
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Vacancies in two of North Carolina 13 congressional seats — one caused by a congressman’s death and the other by a ballot fraud probe — should be finally filled after results of Tuesday’s special elections are tallied.
Candidates in the 3rd and 9th Congressional Districts had to overcome Hurricane Dorian and shuttered voting sites to keep politicking in the campaigns’ final days. And scheduled visits on Monday to North Carolina by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence — their second during the campaigns — emphasize the importance of the races.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Representation for citizens in one-quarter of North Carolina’s 100 counties who have lacked it for most or all of 2019.
Republicans have long held both seats, with the south-central 9th District continuously in GOP hands since 1963. And Republican Rep. Walter Jones Jr. represented the coastal 3rd District seat for 24 years before he died in February. Primaries were held in April, May and July.
Tuesday’s outcome will help gauge support for President Donald Trump and signal his re-election vulnerability or resilience. Both Republican nominees have saddled up closely to the president. Democrats are hopeful they can flip a seat and build confidence for 2020.
The 9th District race also brings some finality to the electoral process after months of uncertainty that started with accusations of absentee ballot irregularities. State election officials ordered a re-do of last November’s election after a hearing detailing evidence of fraud focused upon a political operative associated with the 2018 Republican nominee, who did not run this year.
Voters are deciding between Democrat Dan McCready, Republican Dan Bishop and two other candidates in the 9th District, which is anchored by Charlotte and moves east along the South Carolina border through small town and rural communities.
McCready, an Iraq War veteran and renewable energy investment executive, ran again for the seat after finishing second in last November’s election, the results of which got thrown out. He’s been a prolific fundraiser and promoted himself as a centrist under the “country over party” mantra.
Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop may have been best known before the race as an author of the state’s 2016 “bathroom bill” involving transgender people. That law is now off the books. National Republican groups have helped close his fundraising gap with McCready by running their own television ads attacking the Democrat.
Trump won the district by 11 percentage points in 2016, but this race has been considered a toss-up.
The race for Jones’ successor will be between Republican state legislator and physician Greg Murphy and Democrat Allen Thomas, a former mayor of Greenville. Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates also are on the ballot.
Trump won the district’s votes by 24 percentage points, and many in the socially conservative region remain strongly committed to him. Murphy told Trump supporters that if elected he would “have our president’s back.”
Thomas has criticized Murphy’s blind loyalty to Trump. But like McCready, Thomas doesn’t support impeachment proceedings against the president. Unlike the 9th District, outside spending in the 3rd District general election has been essentially zero, a reflection that a Thomas victory would be an upset.
Trump and Pence already visited the state in July for a rally in Greenville, where Trump endorsed both GOP candidates. But it was also there that Trump angered some as he verbally attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who is Muslim and a Somali refugee. In response, some supporters chanted, “Send her back!”
Trump also disappointed others for using profanities that contained the name of God. Thomas wrote a letter to Trump criticizing his “racial statements” and for “using the Lord’s name in vain” at the rally.
Early in-person voting in the two districts got interrupted last week as Hurricane Dorian brought high winds and heavy rains to eastern North Carolina. Early voting sites in all 3rd District counties and half of the 9th District counties were closed from one to three days while the storm passed.
The state elections director used her emergency powers to extend early voting into the weekend for most of the affected counties, but it didn’t make up for all the lost time.
Voters can cast ballot at traditional voting precincts on Tuesday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., but they’ll have to be already registered for their choice to count. Same-day registration is allowed only during early voting.
NC sets up forum to report storm damage to historic property
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Historic Preservation Office has set up an online forum so local governments and residents can report damage to historic properties caused by Hurricane Dorian.
The office wants information about wind and flooding to historic structures, cemeteries and state highway historical markers. With that information in hand, the office can offer aid, technical expertise and consultation with federal and state entities.
The Historic Preservation Office offers technical advice and consultation for the restoration of damaged historic properties in North Carolina at no charge. A building must be at least 45 years old, but it doesn’t have to have any special historic designation.
In addition, the office’s website offers tips for drying out flooded buildings, documenting damage for insurance purposes and other technical advice.
OPIOID CRISIS-PURDUE-THE LATEST
The Latest: Purdue Pharma says settlement negations continue
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma says it’s continuing to negotiate a settlement over the toll of opioids, a day after some state attorneys general sent a letter to their colleagues saying talks with the company had reached an impasse and that they expected the company to file imminently for bankruptcy protection.
In the statement, the company said it believes “a settlement that benefits the American public now is a far better path than years of wasteful litigation and appeals.”
The company is being sued by more than 2,000 state, local and tribal governments. The first federal trial on opioids is scheduled to begin next month, adding pressure on the parties to settle.
Two attorneys general told officials in other states the company had rejected offers from the states.