Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
N.C. data release shows 4 nursing homes with 10-plus deaths
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Four North Carolina nursing homes have each had at least 10 deaths of residents diagnosed with COVID-19. That comes from new detailed data released on Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services. It names more than 70 long-term facilities, rehabilitation centers, adult care homes and other locations where outbreaks have occurred. The department hadn’t earlier identified the specific facilities, with officials saying it could break confidentiality rules on patient information. But some county health agencies had released those details anyway. Overall, North Carolina reported more than 9,100 positive cases statewide as of Monday and over 300 deaths.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CANCELED GRADUATION
Charlotte schools cancel traditional graduations amid virus
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have canceled traditional graduation ceremonies in step with other high schools and universities across the nation amid the coronavirus outbreak. The Charlotte Observer reports the schools have assembled a task force to plan an alternate celebration for the more than 30 graduation ceremonies that were scheduled to take place in the next two months. The task force includes high school seniors, parents and school administrators. A district official says they are working to find a safe way to hold these important celebrations. The official says a decision on the format will be made in early May.
N.C. General Assembly back at work shortly on COVID-19 aid
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina General Assembly is starting its annual session during the COVID-19 health threat to quickly approve emergency response funding and ease rules for conducting business and government activities. The House and Senate planned to gavel in at midday Tuesday for what’s planned to be a few days of debate and voting. Lawmakers are expected to support bills being worked on by members of both parties and Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration. Cooper asked lawmakers to distribute $1.4 billion in federal funds. The Legislative Building is closed to the public as the statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect.
N. Carolina historians asking for help to remember pandemic
North Carolina historians are already pondering how the COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered by future generations and wants the public to help. The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources says it’s collecting objects, digital and physical documents and web content about what’s happening. It’s also asking residents to share with the agency their experiences and to save materials that could wind up in the State Archives and North Carolina Museum of History. The museum and archives are currently closed, so citizens are asked to save physical items for future collection.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MILITARY CHAPLAINS
Military chaplains pivot to serve soldiers in virus outbreak
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – For the chaplains serving the storied Green Berets of Fort Bragg’s 3rd Special Forces Group, ministry is all about in-person connections. Trust is earned by training and deploying alongside soldiers who leave their families time after time for Afghanistan, Syria and other hot spots. But amid the coronavirus pandemic, many soldiers are spending more time at home, forcing chaplains to get creative with their outreach. They’ve turned to virtual messages and Facebook Live sermons to preach about patience and hope during a time when stress is elevated.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-BEACH ACCESS
Carteret County opens maintained beach access points
BEAUFORT, N;C. (AP) – Another North Carolina coastal county has reopened its beaches for residents. The Carteret County Department of Human Services announced on Monday that officials are reopening all of its maintained beach access points. The beach access points are at Salter Path, Radio Island and Harkers Island. The news release from the county said residents should continue to practice social distancing and avoid mass gatherings to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Residents are also being advised to review rip current risk and surf advisories before they visit the beach.
Troopers: Woman charged with DWI in crash that killed 2 kids
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Authorities said a North Carolina woman has been accused of driving while impaired and crashing her car, killing two children. State Highway Patrol said 40-year-old Amanda Lynn Davis lost control of her car Saturday night and crashed, hitting a brick column and a tree. Authorities believe speed and impairment caused the crash. Authorities said the car caught fire. Two children in the backseat, 5-year-old Ayden Ramirez and 6-year-old Ronnie Rameriz Jr., died at the scene. Davis was hospitalized with serious injuries. She was charged with DWI and careless and reckless driving. Additional charges were pending. It’s unclear whether Davis had an attorney.
Census delay could put off new voting districts, primaries
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The U.S. Census Bureau wants more time to wrap up the once-a-decade count because of the coronavirus, and that could delay the divisive process of drawing new legislative districts. Redistricting could help determine what political party is in power, what laws pass or fail and whether communities of color get a voice in their states. The census data guides that process, and a delay could postpone some primary elections. The Census Bureau wants to push back the deadline for turning over information to the states from the end of March 2021 to the end of July 2021. Congress must approve that.