Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
N. Carolina transportation department furloughs employees
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Department of Transportation has told its employees to take unpaid time off until the end of June to help the department save money as part of cost-cutting measures during the coronavirus pandemic. Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette wrote in an email to employees on Monday that they will have until June 26 to take 20 hours of unpaid time off. News outlets report the furloughs will also affect the department’s executive and senior leadership teams. An official told the News & Observer the furloughs will save the department about $7 million.
Tropical Storm Arthur hits North Carolina coast with rain
Tropical Storm Arthur moved out to sea Monday after dumping heavy rain on North Carolina as forecasters warned that the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season could continue to whip dangerous surf and rip currents for another day or more along the U.S. East Coast. The storm represented another early start for the Atlantic hurricane season. Arthur formed Saturday in waters off Florida, marking the sixth straight year that a named storm has developed before June 1. By late Monday, storm watches and warnings that had been in effect for parts of the North Carolina coast were canceled.
Legislators worried about shortfalls as N.C. session resumes
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina legislature has resumed its annual session after a two-week break prompted by COVID-19. The House and Senate held sparsely-attending floor meetings on Monday before a Senate committee met to scrutinize unemployment benefit delays as massive virus-related layoffs and furloughs have stretched the state’s system. Legislators had left town earlier this month after giving unanimous support to a $1.6 billion package that distributed virus-relief funds coming from Washington. The Legislative Building is back open to the public after being closed for four weeks due to health concerns. Legislators will spend the session trying to address revenue shortfalls from the economic downturn.
ELECTION 2020-REPUBLICAN CONVENTION
GOP chair: ‘We will not be holding a virtual convention’
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tells reporters “we will not be holding a virtual convention.” The statement came Monday during a conference call with reporters and appears to be a line in the sand about the Republican National Convention scheduled for late August in Charlotte, North Carolina. Democrats had to move their convention from July to August amid the coronavirus outbreak. There’s still uncertainty about whether Democrats will gather in person. McDaniel cautioned on the call that it’s too soon to know exactly what a Republican convention will look like. But she appears to expect at least some in-person aspect.
North Carolina man killed when motorcycle hits car
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a motorcyclist was killed when a car drove into his path. News sources report Greenville police said in a news release that 25-year-old Donald Ray Bryant of Winterville was riding with other motorcyclists on Sunday when a car turned onto Greenville Boulevard in front of him. Police said Bryant was thrown from his motorcycle and was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators said he was wearing his helmet at the time of the accident and that speed was a factor in the accident. Police also said the motorcyclists Bryant was riding with left the scene after the accident.
Rubio steps in to lead Senate Intelligence Committee
WASHINGTON (AP) – The new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Florida Republican Marco Rubio, will be overseeing a key vote as his first official act in the position. Rubio’s committee is scheduled to vote behind closed doors Tuesday on whether to approve the nomination of a Texas congressman, John Ratcliffe, as director of national intelligence. The committee’s previous chairman, North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, has stepped aside temporarily during a Justice Department investigation. Burr unloaded as much as $1.7 million in stocks days before the coronavirus pandemic caused markets to plummet.
AP-NC-HUSBAND FATALLY BEATEN
Prosecutors urge NC high court to uphold murder convictions
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Prosecutors in North Carolina are urging the state’s Supreme Court to uphold the murder convictions of a woman and her father who were convicted of beating her husband to death in Davidson County. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office has filed a 96-page brief with the high court. Molly Corbett, and her father, former FBI agent Thomas Martens, were convicted in the death of Irish businessman Jason Corbett. Molly Corbett and her father claim self defense. Prosecutor’s criticize an appeals court ruling that overturned the convictions. The appeals court had said that the trial judge made errors that deprived Molly Corbett and Martens of having a fair trial.
MISSING WOMAN-MURDER CHARGE
Sheriff’s office charges North Carolina man in wife’s death
SNOW HILL, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man whose wife was reported missing last week is now charged in her death. WITN reports the Greene County Sheriff’s Office has charged 52-year-old Daniel Herrera in the murder of his wife, 39-year-old Yelbi Garcia. He was arrested Monday morning at a home in Washington. Garcia was reported missing on Saturday. Deputies say she was last seen at her house in Snow Hill last Wednesday. Herrera is being held without bond in the Greene County jail, and it’s not known if he has an attorney representing him.