Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
ATRIUM HEALTH LOSS
Atrium Health loses $30M in first quarter of 2020
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina health care system has lost nearly $30 million in the first quarter of this year as it dealt with the coronavirus pandemic. The Charlotte Observer reported Atrium Health’s operating loss announced Tuesday is down $56 million from the system’s $26 million income during the fourth quarter of 2019. The hospital system’s CEO said in April they have resumed non-essential procedures after a pause in March caused significant financial consequences. The system’s board also gave the green light in April to allow the health system to borrow up to $750 million for operations related to the virus outbreak.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
N. Carolina governor defends rules for businesses, churches
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is defending details of his eased stay-at-home order against criticisms by Republican elected officials and the latest weekly protests at his home. Cooper’s altered COVID-19 order allows more businesses to open, but barber shops, movie theater and gyms remain closed. He’s also keeping narrow the exceptions for churches to hold services indoors. Cooper said on Tuesday that “pandemics cannot be partisan” and talked about how he signed a bipartisan COVID-19 funding bill recently. Hundreds of demonstrators critical of his stay-at-home order rallied again in front of the Executive Mansion on Tuesday.
NORTH CAROLINA-DEPUTY FIRED
North Carolina mother leaned on faith to rebuff crowd
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman whose home was targeted by an angry crowd looking for a missing girl said she used her faith and devotion to her son to keep them from storming her home. Monica Shepard said she was in survival mode on the night of May 3 when the all-white crowd came to her home to question her son about the girl. Shepard says she didn’t have any fear or anger, but was more fearful for her son. A man who worked in the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is accused of leading the crowd. He is facing charges and has been fired.
North Carolina Democrats to hold state convention online
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Democratic Party will hold its state convention online next month in keeping with social distancing rules from the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual convention is set for June 6 and will feature appearances by statewide candidates and other special guests. Convention business includes picking those who will serve as Democratic National Convention delegates and on the party’s slate of presidential electors. The state Republican Party had planned to hold its convention in Greenville this weekend, but it’s been pushed back to July. Both state parties have been holding local activities online in recent weeks.
Incentives package OK’d for foundry move to rural N.C.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina-based company could benefit from a state cash incentives proposal if its Charlotte foundry moves to rural Stanly County. Charlotte Pipe and Foundry could receive $15 million in grants from the state by 2030 if it relocates the foundry to Oakboro. A state incentives panel approved the agreement on Tuesday that requires the company to meet investment, job-retention and wage threshholds. The company proposes moving 500 jobs from Charlotte to Stanly County and spending $325 million at the new site. The currrent 55-acre foundry site would be considred prime real estate in uptown Charlotte.
BC-NC-POLICE SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
Police: Standoff in eastern North Carolina leaves man dead
CALYPSO, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in eastern North Carolina say a man is dead following a standoff with police. The Duplin County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the incident on Saturday began with the report of breaking and entering at a residence in the town of Calypso. The sheriff’s office said deputies soon discovered that an unidentified man had been held against his will inside the home. He was able to escape. The sheriff’s office said the deputies encountered 27-year-old Jonathan Carter of Wilmington. They said he barricaded himself inside and began to threaten law enforcement officials. An hours-long standoff ensued before authorities say he was shot and killed by deputies.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FAIR CANCELED
Officials cancel Salem Fair because of COVID-19 outbreak
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) – A Virginia city has canceled its annual fair because of COVID-19. The Roanoke Times reports officials in the city of Salem announced Monday that it would cancel the Salem Fair due to COVID-19 safety concerns. The fair was scheduled for July 1-12 at the Taliaferro Complex. It attracts about 300,000 people to the region each year. Officials said the fair had to be canceled because the city could not guarantee the safety of employees and guests at the large event. City Manager Jay Taliaferro said the city will work with Deggeller Attractions to bring the fair back in 2021.
Federal declaration means help to N.C. counties for storms
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A disaster declaration for 18 North Carolina counties damaged by unusual winter thunderstorms and tornadoes means local governments will get help from Washington to pay for the cleanup. President Donald Trump has granted Gov. Roy Cooper’s request for a federal disaster declaration stemming from the bad weather in February. The storms caused downed trees flooding, power outages and closed or impassable roads. Preliminary estimates set damages in the counties at $16 million. The declaration means state and local governments and certain nonprofits can receive some federal funds to cover repairs and other expeneses.