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Box of bear cubs bewilders man at North Carolina home
CAMDEN, N.C. (AP) – It was a bear-y baffling discovery in front of a North Carolina home. A Camden County man says he returned home from the grocery store Tuesday night and heard a squeaky noise coming from a cardboard box left in his walkway. A deputy later arrived and found two baby bears wrapped in a blanket inside the box. The man wasn’t sure why he was left to bear with the box of cubs. Even the Camden County sheriff admitted it was all a little strange. The cubs have been taken to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro to be examined and cared for.
Trump courts black voters, but opposition remains deep
DETROIT (AP) – President Donald Trump used part of his State of the Union speech to court black voters, but opposition to him remains deep. Trump brought black guests to Tuesday’s speech and portrayed himself as the champion of education and job opportunities for African Americans and people of color. But a majority of black voters strongly oppose him, especially in cities like Detroit. Twenty-one-year-old Jovan Brown sees the president’s African American-heavy guest list at the State of the Union as his penchant for using “black people as a prop.” A Pew Research Center analysis showed Trump won just 6% of black voters in 2016.
N Carolina Republicans quickly seek new executive director
North Carolina Republicans now must hire someone else to run the state party’s daily operations because its recently hired executive director is taking a new job. Jonathan Sink began at the state GOP last July, but now he’s leaving next month to become county attorney for Gaston County. The state Republican Party’s Central Committee will choose a successor. The move is another obstacle for the GOP after a year of turmoil in 2019. Then-Chairman Robin Hayes was indicted last March as part of a corruption case. A new election also was run in 9th Congressional District following an absentee ballot probe.
North Carolina man convicted of carjacking, related crimes
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has been convicted of carjacking and several other counts after prosecutors say he committed a series of robberies. The Raleigh-based federal prosecutor’s office said in a news release Wednesday that Demery Bernard McLymore of Roseboro, North Carolina, was convicted by a federal jury of carjacking and several firearm-related charges. The news release didn’t say when he would be sentenced. Prosecutors say that McLymore’s string of robberies involved a dozen victims starting on September 3, 2016, and lasting into the next day. A defense attorney didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Sanders says he raised $25M in January, will bolster ad buys
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – Bernie Sanders says he raised a whopping $25 million in January and will use his Democratic presidential campaign’s flush bank account to increase television and digital advertising in 10 states. The Vermont senator spent $50 million during the final three months of 2019 and finished the year with $18.2 million in cash on hand. Sanders’ campaign manager announced Thursday the candidate will immediately increase staffing in states that vote during the Democratic primary’s Super Tuesday, on March 3. The campaign also plans to spend $5.5 million on television and digital ads in eight new states: Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.
Improvements ahead for I-77 south of downtown Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – More construction is ahead for a stretch of Interstate 77 near downtown Charlotte. The N.C. Department of Transportation has awarded a $10.4 million contract to improve approximately 1.3 miles of I-77 south of uptown Charlotte between the Morehead Street and Brookshire Freeway exits. The contract includes plans for milling and paving, concrete pavement repairs and installing pavement markings and road markers that can survive a snowplow. Work can start as early as March 2 and is scheduled for completion in August 2021. Work has already been done on I-77 north of Charlotte to create toll lanes.
Universities cancel study-abroad programs amid virus fears
Universities all over the world are scrambling to assess the risks to their programs from China’s virus outbreak. Some are canceling study-abroad opportunities and prohibiting travel affecting hundreds of thousands of students. In the U.S., the cancellations add to the tension between two governments whose relations were already sour. The scare also threatens to cause lasting damage to growing academic exchange programs that reached new heights over the last decade and a half. China sends far more students to the U.S. than any other country, more than 369,000 in the last academic year. The U.S. sends over 11,000 students to China annually.
Pastor found guilty of taking money from elderly woman
BAYBORO, N.C. (AP) – A jury has found a North Carolina pastor guilty of embezzling $123,000 from an elderly woman. Pamlico County District Attorney Scott Thomas says in a news release that 63-year-old Thomas Steele of Concord was convicted on four counts of exploitation of an elderly adult as well as an embezzlement charge. The district attorney says Steele took the money from an elderly woman from Grantsboro in the months after her husband’s death. Steele was sentenced to a maximum of eight years in prison and has to pay restitution of more than $123,000.