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ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Ad backing Democrat could be primary mischief by Republicans
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A new political committee with Republican connections has started running television ads that praise a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate weeks before the Democratic primary. Records show the Faith and Power PAC was organized just last week and is sponsoring ads beginning Thursday in at least four North Carolina TV markets promoting state Sen. Erica Smith.áOn their face, the ad buys would appear to be a lifeline to Smith,áwho’s trailing fellow Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham in fundraising. But some Democrats suggest it could be a sign of GOP interference in the race. Incumbent Thom Tillis is the heavy favorite to win the Republican primary.
Rockslide closes North Carolina highway after heavy rain
TOPTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina highway is expected to be closed during daylight hours Friday due to a rockslide that may have been triggered by heavy rain. The North Carolina Department of Transportation says the slide closed U.S. 19/74 in the Nantahala Gorge on Thursday. Crews have been deployed to clear mud and debris. The location of the cleanup was near a road where a landslide a month ago closed the highway. The transportation department has set up a marked detour that is expected to add 20 minutes to a commute. News outlets report the area experienced excessive rain leading to multiple road closures on Thursday.
MAN STRANGLED-DOG LEASH
Charge dropped against teen accused of strangling father
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina prosecutor ádropped the murder charge Thursday against a teenager accused of his father’s mysterious strangulation death. The Durham County District Attorney’s Office filed a court document dismissing the charge against Alexander Bishop in his father’s death in April 2018. Prosecutors cited insufficient evidence in dismissing the charge. The father, 60-year-old William Bishop, was found strangled in his home in a wealthy Durham neighborhood with a dog leash nearby.áDefense attorney Allyn Sharp says that her client is innocent and is grateful to be able to move on with his life.
Bad weather moves into Eastern states; 4 dead in South
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Nearly 150,000 homes and businesses in the southeastern United States have been without power following a powerful storm that left at least four people dead. The National Weather Service said early Friday that a storm system was expected to strengthen as it moves north, bringing snow, ice and rain through the mid-Atlantic region. The front caused flooding in many places in the Southeast on Thursday. Four storm-related deaths were confirmed in Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee, with others under investigation. Virginia’s governor declared a state of emergency as heavy rain and flooding displaced more than 500 people.
Police video: Man shot while running from officer had BB gun
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police have screened video showing what happened the day a man was shot and killed during a confrontation with a Raleigh officer. The police department allowed news media, activists and others to view Senior Officer W.B. Tapscott’s body-worn camera video Wednesday after a judge ruled it couldn’t be made available to the public. According to news outlets’ reports on the video, Keith Dutree Collins ran away from the officer and repeatedly ignored orders to stop and raise his hands before Tapscott fired a total of 11 shots. Police and news outlets confirm a weapon, later determined to be a BB gun, was found next to his body. It’s unclear whether Collins pointed it at officers.
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.
HEALTH SYSTEM-MINIMUM WAGE
Atrium Health raises minimum wage to nearly twice NC minimum
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina health care system says it has raised its minimum wage to nearly twice the state’s minimum. The Charlotte Observer reports Atrium Health announced Thursday it raised its minimum wage to $13.50 per hour in the Charlotte area. That’s 86% higher than the North Carolina minimum wage of $7.25. Atrium spokesman Chris Berger says workers will see the increase in their next paycheck. CEO Eugene Woods says in a statement that the increase will impact more than 10,000 workers. Atrium is one of the biggest employers in the Charlotte area, with 35,000 workers.
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 declined comment.