Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Governor: Decision on shuttered businesses comes next week
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says he’ll announce early next week a decision on whether businesses still shuttered because of COVID-19 will be allowed to reopen. Cooper’s current executive order expires June 26. It allows restaurants to have dine-in seating again and for barber shops and hair and nail salons to reopen. But bars, movie theaters and gyms remain closed. The governor said Monday his decision will be based on science and data. He’s worried about the recent upticks in cases and hospitalizations. But he’s hopeful a “second wave” of cases can be stopped by the public practicing social distancing.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SUPREME COURT
N.C. highest court makes history with remote video arguments
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s highest court has made history by hearing oral arguments using video conferencing as the court system continues to attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The state judicial system said the cases heard on Monday marked the first time oral arguments were heard using remote technology since the court convened in 1819. State Supreme Court justices listened from their offices to lawyers representing plaintiffs and defendants. The state Court of Appeals made similar history in late April when a three-judge panel of the court heard arguments through video conferencing.
Teacher bonus bill penned by Republicans clears N.C. Senate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina public school teachers would get $350 bonuses and potentially more one-time income in a Republican measure approved by the state Senate. The proposal goes beyond the usual experience-based raises these categories of educators also would receive. The measure approved Monday also encourages Gov. Roy Cooper to use federal COVID-19 relief funds to give out additional $600 bonuses. Cooper’s office said he doesn’t have the power to do that. Democrats tried to offer an amendment to guarantee even larger raises. The bill passed on a mostly party-line vote and heads to the House.
GOP candidates balance pros, cons of running with Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s return to the campaign trail this week means events with a president who draws TV cameras and raucous crowds. That’s usually gold for down-ballot candidates. But these days its value can be debatable. Trump is the GOP’s unrivaled beast, commanding the support of nearly all its voters. But Trump has wounded himself lately with his divisive law-and-order response to protests against police killings of African Americans, the untamed coronavirus pandemic and the worst economy in decades. With Trump’s poll ratings falling, Republicans are debating whether congressional candidates should embrace him or create some distance.
Lawmakers locate again $4M for N.C. African American honors
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina legislators again have located money to help build a long-planned park for the contributions of African Americans in the state and to provide “contextual signage” for existing monuments on the old Capitol grounds. The state Senate voted on Monday to earmark $4 million toward the projects. The identical projects and the money were included in last year’s final budget bill but got derailed in a budget stalemate. Some of the money will be used to follow recommendations of the North Carolina Historical Commission to add signage adjacent to three Confederate monuments to explain the struggles of black residents fighting for civil rights.
Judge throws out parts of N.C. workplace undercover law
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge has thrown out portions of a North Carolina law designed to discourage undercover employees at farms and other workplaces from taking documents or footage. Several animal rights groups sued state officials for a 2015 law that provides civil penalties and damages against people whom bill supporters labeled as purposefully getting jobs to steal company secrets or record purported maltreatment. The plaintiffs argued it stifled their ability to investigate employers for illegal or unethical conduct. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder of Winston-Salem wrote Friday that four subsections of the law violated the First Amendment rights of the groups.
DEPUTIES FIRED ON-NORTH CAROLINA
Sheriff searching for 3 who fired at deputies from woods
ZEBULON, N.C. (AP) – News outlets report authorities in North Carolina are searching for three men who fired gunshots at deputies Sunday night. Wake County Sheriff’s spokesman Eric Curry said deputies were responding to reports of shots fired near Zebulon around 7:30 p.m. before the men started firing at them from inside a wooded area. Curry says the three men were armed with assault weapons and continued firing at deputies after receiving orders to stop. He says deputies were not wounded and the men fled the scene. Authorities are asking the public’s help for information on the suspects.
AP-NC-HOUSE BOAT SINKING-RESCUE
Coast Guard rescues 2 humans, 1 cat from sinking houseboat
ELIZABETH CTIY, N.C. (AP) – The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued two people and one cat from a sinking houseboat in eastern North Carolina. WRAL reports that the rescue was made Saturday on the Scuppernong River near the Albemarle Sound. Officials had received a 911 call that a 50-foot houseboat was taking on water. A helicopter and boat crew were soon launched from Elizabeth City. Two people were hoisted onto the helicopter. The boat crew retrieved the cat. The houseboat’s owner is coordinating with the Coast Guard to salvage the vessel.