AP-NC Newswatch

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April 7, 2020
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April 7, 2020
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT



Black doctor jailed over $100 bill sues Charlotte, police
A North Carolina doctor is suing the city of Charlotte and three police officers over her arrest at a concert where she was accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $100 bill. Dr. Cordula Lutz says she was singled out for malicious prosecution and jailed overnight because she’s African American. She says the bill clearly was not counterfeit, and says she repeatedly humiliated before the case was dropped for lack of probable cause. Her lawyer says “the lawsuit is all about accountability and making sure that the presumption of guilt doesn’t become a pattern. The city, its police and Live Nation Entertainment didn’t respond to requests for comment.



Hackers’ new target during pandemic: video conference calls
WASHINGTON (AP) – As businesses, schools, churches and others turn to video conference platforms to stay connected amid the global coronavirus pandemic, many have reported being attacked by uninvited guests. The disruptions, dubbed “Zoom-bombing,” have included racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic messages and have drawn the scrutiny of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Experts say some of the Zoom-bombing incidents can be attributed to internet trolls who operate without malicious intent. However, extremists have already seized on the coronavirus pandemic as a vehicle to spread their hate and conspiracies.” In response to criticism, Zoom has clarified its privacy policy. But some say the company isn’t doing enough to protect users’ safety.



Experts: Distancing rules improve N. Carolina hospital odds
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and health experts are laying groundwork to convince the public that social distancing orders could be needed beyond April to dull COVID-19’s spread and preserve hospital beds and lives. Cooper’s current statewide stay-at-home order and ban on dine-in service at restaurants and bars currently expire in a few weeks. A team of epidemiologists and other health policy experts released a report Monday that says maintaining social distancing rules gives hospitals a better chance to respond to a patient surge. North Carolina is now reporting more than 2,850 positive COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths.



School official tells teachers ignore ‘public school haters’
BOONE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina superintendent is getting praise for his social media post shaking off critics of public schools during the coronavirus pandemic. Watauga County Schools Superintendent Scott Elliot said on Twitter that school officials are too busy caring for students to deal with ‘public school haters’. Elliot says he wrote the post after seeing messages about how the pandemic should be a catalyst for reforming public schools. He says teachers need to hear it is fine to ignore critics and stay focused on students. School districts in the state have served over a million meals to children in low-income families.



North Carolina man wanted for throwing block party
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina have issued warrants for a man who they say threw a block party in violation of Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports police in Hillsborough have issued a warrant for 32-year-old Tocee Mitchell charging him with violating Cooper’s executive order. A news release from Hillsborough police say officers were dispatched to the party twice on Sunday. According to the news release, police found about 30 cars in the area in their first visit and found the cars were still there an hour later. 



N. Carolina court ruling leaves Smithfield agreement intact
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court leaves intact an agreement in which up to $50 million paid by the world’s largest pork producer is being distributed as environmental grants. The arrangement reached in 2000 between Smithfield Foods, several subsidiaries and then-Attorney General Mike Easley can continue after a majority of justices determined last week that the money didn’t have to be earmarked for the public schools. A conservative activist challenged the agreement in court in 2016, saying the money should be treated like fines or penalties. The attorney general selects grant recipients based on recommendations.



Police: Suspect shot after domestic violence call
KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Investigators in North Carolina say an officer shot a suspect while responding to a report of domestic violence. The unidentified person was in critical but stable condition after being shot early Saturday morning by a Kernersville police officer. It is the third shooting involving a law enforcement official in the Winston-Salem area in recent weeks. Police have not released the name of the officer or said whether the suspect had a weapon. Police say the state bureau of investigations is investigating the Saturday shooting. An investigation is standard when an officer is involved.



1-year-old girl shot, wounded outside North Carolina home
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a 1-year-old girl was wounded by a stray bullet that struck her outside of a public housing complex. Durham police said in a statement Sunday that the child was taken to a hospital with wounds that were not life-threatening. Police say the child was outside with a parent Sunday afternoon when she was struck by gunfire meant for someone else. Officials said the shooter drove away. Police did not immediately make any arrests.



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