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COLLEGE SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
UNC Charlotte to hold online remembrance of fatal shooting
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The anniversary of the shooting deaths of two North Carolina university students will be observed with an online service because of the coronavirus mandate to stay at home. UNC Charlotte says on its webpage that it will mark the shooting last April 30 with “United: A Remembrance Program,” to pay tribute to Reed Parlier and Riley Howell, the two students who were killed when a gunman opened fire in a classroom. The event will also honor all the students who were in the classroom that day. Trystan Andrew Terrell pleaded guilty last September to charges stemming from the shooting.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Cooper sets route to ease restrictions, warns of new normal
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper has set in place the route that North Carolina must take before movement and commerce restrictions due to COVID-19 can ease. Cooper said on Wednesday that the state will need more widespread testing, extensive efforts to track down people in contact with the sick and slowed case and hospital rates. Cooper must decide soon what to do with a stay-at-home order that expires April 29. He also warned that improvements would be incremental and described a “new normal” in which restaurants must be partially-full and fans prohibited from concerts and sporting events.
North Carolina airports to get $283 million in COVID-19 aid
WASHINGTON (AP) – More than 70 North Carolina airports have received nearly $284 million in federal aid to help with their response to the COVID-19 outbreak. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced Tuesday the Federal Aviation Administration will award the money to 72 airports as part of the Trump administration’s newly created Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Airport Grant Program. The program is aimed at providing relief to U.S. families, workers, and businesses. A news release from the FAA said the money will support continuing operations and replace lost revenue resulting from the sharp decline in passenger traffic and other airport business due to the pandemic.
North Carolina police seek last of 3 suspects in shooting
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police department is searching for the last of three suspects wanted in a fatal shooting. The Asheville Police Department said in a news release that 21-year-old Dajour Johahaun McDay has turned himself in and is currently in custody. Police are still looking for 29-year-old Sherwayne Akeem Bascom. Both men are charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 29-year-old Adrian Terrell Smith. Police said officers received a report of a person suffering from a gunshot wound at Pisgah View Apartments on April 3. When officers arrived, they found two victims inside an apartment. Smith died at the scene, and a second person was hospitalized with critical injuries.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-VOTING MACHINES
N. Carolina lawsuit cites virus to stop touch-screen voting
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The threat of hand-to-hand contamination from the new coronavirus while voting entered arguments in a lawsuit seeking to stop the use of touch-screen ballot-marking machines in North Carolina. Lawyers for North Carolina voters and the state NAACP largely cited constitutional concerns Wednesday in their lawsuit demanding the machines from Election Systems & Software be barred from future elections. The plaintiffs also say the touch-screen machines are inherently hazardous to use during the COVID-19 crisis because screens are smudged with fingers and hands. The litigation comes as states figure how to conduct high-stakes elections this fall should the new coronavirus persist.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FEDERAL PRISONS
Justice Dept. watchdog to inspect prisons amid virus spread
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department’s inspector general will conduct remote inspections of Bureau of Prisons facilities after hundreds of federal inmates tested positive for the virus. The review announced Wednesday is intended to ensure the Bureau of Prisons is following best practices to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. More than 450 federal inmates and 280 staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus. Seventeen inmates have died at federal prison across the U.S. since late March. Attorney General William Barr recently sent some of his closest advisers to federal prisons identified as coronavirus hot spots, including FCC Oakdale in Louisiana, where six inmates have died.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CLOSED SESSION
N. Carolina legislative complex closed to public for session
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s legislative complex will be off limits to the general public for three weeks while lawmakers attempt to conduct business as the annual session begins later this month. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger announced on Wednesday that the Legislative Building and nearby Legislative Office Building only will be accessible to legislators, staff and credentialed media starting Monday until May 8. The session begins April 28. Berger and Moore says the decision balances the need for legislators to perform their duties with the health and safety of the public, as well as to limit the spread of COVID-19.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHICKEN PROCESSOR
North Carolina chicken processor sells directly to consumers
WILSON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina-based chicken processor is selling its products directly to consumers across the South to deal with the lack of business caused by the coronavirus outbreak. House of Raeford spokesman Dave Witter said sales began at a single location three weeks ago and expanded to six of its seven plants in the Southeast. Customers can drive to a designated site and wait in their cars as their order is brought to them. Witter said the company is averaging seven to 10 sales locations per day. Sales occur from Tuesday through Saturday in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana.