Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT
VIRUS OUTBREAK-GOP CONVENTION
N. Carolina Republican state convention pushed back to July
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Republican Party has delayed its convention by two months because of the continuing COVID-19 outbreak. The party had planned to hold the four-day convention in Greenville starting May 14. Now it’s been pushed back to July 9 at the Greenville Convention Center. Party activists will elect Republican National Committee members and state delegates to the national covention, which is still set for late August in Charlotte. áNorth Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley says the party is committed to hosting the state convention, but that it had to adapt to the “evolving timeline” for reopening the state.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLYOVER SALUTE
Air National Guard flyover to salute NC frontline workers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Air National Guard will conduct flyover salutes to foodbank workers, medical staffs and other frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19. The flyover will be performed by a C-17 plane, according to a release by the Guard. The planned route Thursday will start over Asheville in the western part of the state before heading to Wilmington and circling back to Charlotte. Along the way, the route will include medical facilities in Morganton, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill and Greenville. It will fly over food banks in Asheville, Raleigh and Charlotte, among other cities and facilities.
Two minor earthquakes have struck western North Carolina
VALLEY HILL, N.C. (AP) – The U.S. Geological Survey says that two earthquakes have struck western North Carolina in just over 24 hours. The Charlotte Observer reports that the most recent quake hit about a mile from Valley Hill late Monday evening. Valley Hill is about 25 miles (40 km) south of Asheville. On Sunday night, a 2.3-magnitude tremor was detected about a mile southwest of Valley Hill. áPeople in the region reported experiencing “weak” shaking but no damage. The area has a history of earthquake activity. Severe seismic activity doesn’t happen often. But the state says there have been a few strong earthquakes in that region in the last 100 years.
Faith activism amid pandemic spans causes and denominations
NEW YORK (AP) – In one 24-hour period this week, three prominent people of faith from different denominations pushed for more aid to workers and areas most acutely affected by the coronavirus. All three are leaders in the black church, ábut Christian advocacy on behalf of lower-income populations struggling with the virus is a diverse and nationwide cause. One religious leader appeared with nursing home workers seeking safer conditions. Another broadcast a roundtable with colleagues in three states. Another talked about a campaign he helps lead that’s raised more than $1 million for masks and hand sanitizers.
PRICE GOUGING LAWSUIT
N. Carolina sues towing company for price-gouging amid virus
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina have filed the state’s first price-gouging lawsuit against a towing company accused of employing predatory towing and booting practices during the coronavirus pandemic. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said in a statement Tuesday a temporary restraining order was issued on Charlotte’s A1 Towing Solutions and its owner, David Satterfield, for allegedly violating the state’s price gouging statute. The order bans them from conducting their towing business until a court hearing. The lawsuit filed Monday says the company charged drivers more than $4,000 to release their trucks after improperly towing and booting them.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
N. Carolina governor to ease stay-home order later this week
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper has agreed to ease North Carolina’s stay-at-home order originally issued several weeks ago due to COVID-19. A new order taking effect Friday replaces a more restrictive mandate that Cooper had issued. Cooper said he signed the new order Tuesday because COVID-19 cases are generally stable and testing, tracing and health care supplies are improving enough to warrant increased commerce and movement. Retail businesses previously considered nonessential will be able to open with capacity limits. Bars, barber shops and gyms still must be closed, and restaurants still can’t provide dine-in meals. Church services can be held outdoors with social distancing.
In clamor to reopen, many black people feel overlooked
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Many African Americans watching protests calling for easing restrictions meant to slow the spread of the new coronavirus see them as one more example of how their health and their rights just don’t seem to matter. To many, it seems that the people protesting – who have been predominantly white – are agitating for reopening because they won’t be the ones to suffer the consequences of it. Instead, those will fall disproportionately on the shoulders of black people and other marginalized groups. The pandemic has highlighted gaping inequalities in the United States. Black people are dying in disproportionate numbers from COVID-19 in the U.S.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-UNC WILMINGTON
UNC Wilmington extends cancellation of summer programs
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – The University of North Carolina at Wilmington says it is extending the cancellation of its summer programs, camps and non-athletic conferences due to the coronavirus pandemic. The school had initially announced that its summer programming was canceled through June 24. Another announcement from the school said the programming is now canceled through Aug. 5. UNCW said in a statement that that some camps and programs will be offering participation online and urges those interested to check individual programs’ websites for information. UNCW Athletics will announce a decision about its camps by May 15.