Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Outer Banks counties announce date for reopening to visitors
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Three counties on North Carolina’s tourist-reliant Outer Banks have announced plans to lift coronavirus-related visitor restrictions. Officials in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties released a joint statement on Wednesday announcing restrictions on entry for visitors will be lifted at noon on Saturday, May 16. According to the statement, reopening to visitors on that date will allow local businesses, attractions, and accommodation providers time to follow the new business operating requirements put in place by Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order. Officials are also reminding potential visitors to observe restrictions such as social distancing because the pandemic is not over.
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. North 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.
MISSING WOMAN-BODY FOUND
Sheriff: Missing woman’s body found on boyfriend’s property
MT. AIRY, N.C. (AP) – A sheriff’s office in North Carolina says it has charged a man with murder after investigators found the body of his missing girlfriend buried on his property. The Surry County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that deputies responded Wednesday to the home where 35-year-old Brandon Thomas Shaw lived with 28-year-old Sierra Kathleen Henderson Ashburn. The office said Shaw reported Ashburn missing early Wednesday morning, then provided investigators with information that led them to her body. Sheriff’s officials alleged Ashburn died following an argument with Shaw, but didn’t comment further. Shaw was booked into jail without bond. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment.
Authorities: Armed suspect shot, killed during car chase
GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) – Officials in North Carolina say authorities shot and killed a suspect accused of pointing a gun at officers during a car chase. The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office told news outlets the pursuit began in Orange County around midnight before crossing into Alamance, where deputies and Mebane police joined. Officials say the suspect later exited the car and pointed a gun at law enforcement. The Alamance County Office said a deputy and a Mebane officer each fired at the suspect. The suspect and officers weren’t identified. Officials didn’t say what prompted the chase. The officers were placed on leave pending a state Bureau of Investigation review.
North Carolina rescuer falls to death during recovery effort
CASHIERS, N.C. (AP) – Emergency management officials in North Carolina say a search team member fell to his death while trying to help recover a body at the base of a waterfall. Jackson County officials said 71-year-old Eldon Jamison was assisting in the search for 24-year-old hiker Chandler Manuel on Tuesday when he fell from a rope to the bottom of Whitewater Falls in Cashiers. Officials said Jamison’s body was recovered Tuesday evening and Manuel’s body was found Wednesday afternoon. The Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad said Jamison was a 40-year member of the crew. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has labeled Whitewater falls as “the highest waterfall east of the Rockies.
TOLEDO UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT
Search firm to find interim leader for University of Toledo
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – The University of Toledo has selected a search firm to find a temporary replacement for its outgoing president. The school’s board of trustees announced Wednesday that AGB Search will be paid $30,000 to do the work. School officials hope the interim leader can shadow Sharon Gaber before she leaves in July to become chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The search firm specializes in finding outside candidates, but Toledo University officials said internal candidates will also be considered and vetted by the company. Gaber announced her plans to resign late last month. She became the university’s president in July 2015.
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.
Vivian Burke, long-time city council member, dies at 85
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Vivian Burke, a Winston-Salem city council member for more than 40 years and matriarch of a family with a tradition of public service, has died at age 85. Mayor Allen Joines announced Burke’s death on the city’s Facebook page on Wednesday, calling her “a remarkable woman who leaves a legacy of accomplishment that shaped the city that is Winston-Salem today.” The Winston-Salem Journal reports Burke won her city council seat in 1977 in her first bid for public office and never lost a race. She was married to a state representative. Burke’s son became a Forsyth County judge and her daughter-in-law served on the local school board.