Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
NC county elections leader changes mind on meetings pledge
ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. (AP) – The Democratic chairwoman of a local North Carolina elections board says the Pledge of Allegiance will be added to its future meetings after all. Earlier this week, on a party-line vote, the board rejected a motion to add the pledge to the agenda of future meetings, leading to criticism and an impromptu reciting of the pledge in the meeting by those in the audience. Chairwoman Louella Thompson said on Thursday she decided to reverse course after speaking with community members, legal experts and the local and state Democratic Party. Even Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper – through a spokeswoman – disagreed with her decision.
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-STEYER
Steyer campaigns in N Carolina for second straight weekend
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer is coming to North Carolina for the second weekend in a row. The environmental activist planned events for Friday and Saturday in Charlotte before heading to South Carolina for campaign stops through Monday. Steyer came to Raleigh and Goldsboro last weekend.áSteyer was one of six Democratic candidates on the presidential debate stage earlier this week in Iowa.áNorth Carolina is among several “Super Tuesday” states holding primaries on March 3. South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary is Feb. 29.
MLK DAY-STATE EMPLOYEES
Ex-Attorney General Lynch speaking at NC King Day service
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Former U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch and Gov. Roy Cooper top the list of notables attending the annual observance by North Carolina state employees of the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Lynch is the scheduled keynote speaker at Friday’s event at a downtown Raleigh church. President Barack Obama nominated the Greensboro native in 2014 to succeed Eric Holder. She was the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New Yorkábefore becoming the first African American woman as attorney general.áThe service features music by the state employees’ choir and the awarding of an annual civil rights honor to a state employee.
Man sentenced after firing gun during domestic dispute
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man was sentenced to three years in prison on a charge related to firing a gun during a domestic dispute. áA news release from Raleigh-based federal prosecutors said 32-year-old Nicholas Elliott of Tyner received the sentence Thursday on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had pleaded guilty to the charge in November. Authorities say that in June 2019 Elliott’s ex-girlfriend called 911 to say that he had fired a gun at her. She later told deputies that she’d had a physical altercation with him and she ran out into the woods after he grabbed a gun.
Work begins on rehabilitatiing bridges over Jordan Lake
PITTSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Contractors are beginning work on a project to prolong the life of bridges that carry U.S. Highway 64 over Jordan Lake. The N.C. Department of Transportation says in a news release that the bridges are 49 years old and nearing the end of their useful lives?. Officials say repairing the decks and structural elements is expected to extend the use of the bridges by 25 years. The project is expected to be completed by September.
FLU DEATHS-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina health officials: 11 flu deaths last week
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina health officials say 11 people died from the flu last week, the deadliest week of the season so far. Last week, the N,C, Department of Health and Human Services reported nine people died from the flu, including the state’s first pediatric death. For the year, the death toll from the flu in North Carolina is at 33 after 15 weeks of the 2019-2020 flu season, compared to 23 at the same time last year.
Police investigating reports of shootings at cars on highway
WILSON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina are warning motorists following reports that someone has been shooting at cars on a highway. The Bailey Police Department warned drivers on Wednesday in two Facebook posts. The shootings have occurred on U.S. Route 264 in Wilson County, which is east of Raleigh. Specifically, there were reports that shots were fired between mile markers 38 and 40 heading eastbound. Police are urging drivers to pay attention to their surroundings and to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity. Bailey police also said that they have alerted surrounding jurisdictions.
SCHOOL BUS DRIVER-ASSAULT
Police search for man who assaulted school bus driver
LAURINBURG, N.C. (AP) – Police are looking for a man who they say assaulted a school bus driver as she stopped to pick up children. Laurinburg police say in a news release that 46-year-old Kenneth Latrell Revels entered the bus on Tuesday and hit the driver on her head and neck, and then began stomping on her head when she fell to the floor. Multiple charges have been filed against Revels, who police say is still at large.