Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
Banks brace for big loan defaults by US, global customers
NEW YORK (AP) – The major banks in the U.S. are anticipating a flood of loan defaults as households and business customers take a big financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs raised the funds set aside for bad loans by nearly $20 billion combined in the first quarter, earnings reports released over the past two days show. And Wall Street expects that figure may go even higher next quarter, a possibility bank executives acknowledged on earnings conference calls. BofA, Citi and Goldman each said Wednesday that quarterly profit dropped more than 40%.
Cabinet maker to open new facility outside of Charlotte
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s Department of Commerce says that a company that makes high-end kitchen cabinets is investing $86 million into a new facility outside Charlotte and is bringing in 257 jobs. The Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday that the company involved is GoldenHome International Inc. The subsidiary of a Chinese company is opening a North American headquarters on the site in Concord. The firm makes kitchen cabinets and customized furnishings. The facility will be on the site of a former Philip Morris cigarette manufacturing operation. The state said that jobs will pay an average salary of $42,593 per year.
Anti-abortion group files suit over arrests outside clinic
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Anti-abortion advocates in North Carolina claim their constitutional rights were violated after they were arrested outside an abortion clinic for violating a stay-at-home order. The Charlotte Observer reports that the group filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against the city of Greensboro and Guilford County. The group is called Love Life. It’s a Charlotte-based religious group that opposes abortion. Its members said in court filings that they were praying and ministering outside A Woman’s Choice clinic in Greensboro last month. They said several members were arrested and charged with “traveling 1/8, 3/8 for a non-essential function” during the coronavirus pandemic. City and county officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Charlotte Observer.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina deaths pass 100; protesters seek order’s end
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Deaths in North Carolina of those with COVID-19 have exceeded 100, but the increase in the number of positive cases may be slowing. The Department of Health and Human Services reported 108 related deaths statewide as of Tuesday and more than 5,000 positive cases. Department Secretary Mandy Cohen mourned the deaths at a media briefing but says social-distancing directives are helping blunt the intensity of the virus. They include Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order. Around 100 people who want Cooper to ease or lift the stay-at-home order held a midday rally on Tuesday in downtown Raleigh before being dispersed by police.
North Carolina shipwreck has become a hazardous attraction
NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) – A 72-foot-long fishing vessel that ran aground on North Carolina’s Outer Banks has quickly become a tourist attraction. But the National Park Service is warning people to stay away from the shipwreck for their own safety. The Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday that the ship, named Ocean Pursuit, has been grounded at Cape Hatteras National Seashore since March 1. Its crew was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Park Service says the vessel is unstable and sits close enough to the ocean that it could be dragged out to sea. All hazardous materials and fuels have been removed, but it remains unclear when the ship’s owner will retrieve the vessel.
North Carolina police department offers reward in slaying
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police department is offering a $1,500 reward in connection with a fatal shooting. The Asheville Police Department says in a news release it’s looking for 21-year-old Dajour Johahaun McDay and 29-year-old Sherwayne Akeen Bascom, who is charged with first-degree murder, in connection with the shooting death of 29-year-old Adrian Terrell Smith. Police say a second person was shot at Pisgah View Apartments on April 3 and was taken to a local hospital with critical injuries. Police have already arrested Tyran Dewayne Burton and filed multiple charges against him. Burton is jailed on a $250,000 secured bond, and it’s not known if he has an attorney.
Applications open for Appalachian Leadership Institute
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Applications for the Appalachian Leadership Institute are being accepted for the program that begins this fall. The Appalachian Regional Commission developed the training program along with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. The ARC says the institute is a nine-month program focusing on skill-building, seminars, best practice reviews, mentoring and networking. The institute’s second class will run from October to July 2021. It is for community leaders who live or work in Appalachia.
Americans stuck in Africa trying to bring adopted kids home
Several Americans are stuck in African countries as they wait to get U.S. visas for their adopted children during the coronavirus outbreak. In some cases, the Americans have been offered places on evacuation flights to the U.S. But they were told they’d have to leave their adopted children behind. A Denver resident says that’s out of the question. She and her husband have been in Nigeria since August waiting for permission to bring their adopted daughter home. In these cases, African governments have approved the adoptions, but disruptions related to the pandemic have slowed the U.S. side of the process.