Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT
CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS-NORTH CAROLINA
Coastal North Carolina city removes Confederate monuments
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina city along the coast has removed two Confederate statues located in public spaces near downtown. Wilmington officials said on Twitter early Thursday that they removed a statue of former Confederate politician George Davis and a statue at another Confederate memorial that didn’t depict a particular historical figure. News outlets reported that the bases of the monuments remained in place. City officials characterized the moves as temporary moves to protect public safety in accordance with a state law that generally prohibits permanent removals of Confederate monuments. They city is storing the two statues at an undisclosed location.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-NORTH CAROLINA
4 arrested for blocking street in front of police department
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina arrested four people and removed wooden pallets blocking the street at a protest in front of a police department. News outlets report a group has been camping outside the Durham Police Department since June 16 and used wooden pallets to block the street early Thursday morning. Police ended the demonstration and cleared the barricades created by protesters late Thursday morning. Police Chief C.J. Davis would not say whether the campout would be allowed to continue, but she said in a statement that blocking and impeding traffic was unacceptable.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-OFFICERS FIRED-VIDEO
DA tosses cases involving officers in hate-filled video rant
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina prosecutors have dismissed cases involving three officers who were fired after a video recording captured one of them saying a civil war was necessary to wipe Black people off the map and that he was ready. New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David said in a statement on Thursday that his office reviewed the cases involving the Wilmington police officers. The statement didn’t say exactly how many cases were dismissed or what charges were considered. Wilmington police dismissed Cpl. Jessie Moore, and officers Kevin Piner and Brian Gilmore for violating department standards.
North Carolina legislative session getting close to end
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina legislators could soon end a legislative session marked by dealing with the COVID-19 economic downturn and challenging Gov. Roy Cooper’s orders keeping many businesses closed due to the virus. The House and Senate scheduled floor meetings on Thursday, and Senate Republicans say they’re not coming back after that. Since the session began in April, the two chambers have approved distributing $1.6 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds and could agree to move hundreds of millions more before they leave. They’ve also sent Cooper state government funding measures to ensure critical needs are covered during the next fiscal year as tax collections dwindle.
Coast Guard searching for missing tanker ship crewmember
CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. (AP) – The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a crewmember of a tanker ship approximately 400 miles east off Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. The agency on Wednesday said a man was reported overboard from the tanker ship Hellas Gladiator. A Coast Guard aircraft and two good Samaritan vessels are assisting in the search. The Virginian-Pilot reports the Hellas Gladiator is headed to the Netherlands. It sails under the flag of Malta.
Johnson & Wales to close Florida, Colorado campuses
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Johnson & Wales University will close its Florida and Colorado campuses at the end of the next academic year as it pivots away from its image as a hospitality and culinary school to expand its academic offerings. Mim Runey, chancellor of the Rhode Island-based school, said Thursday that the university’s trustees decided that the North Miami and Denver campuses were not financially sustainable. She says the coronavirus pandemic may have accelerated the decision to close the campuses, but was not the deciding factor. Students at the two closing campuses will be eligible to transfer to another Johnson & Wales campus.
Court sides with health officials over opening of speedway
GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina stock car racetrack must remain closed and propose a new social distancing plan after a judge sided with health officials in an effort to curb the coronavirus spread. The judge agreed with health officials who said large gatherings at the Ace Speedway could contribute to an increase spread of COVID-19. The Wednesday ruling continues to put an injunction on Ace, which requires the track to close and stop operations. Ace attorney Chuck Kitchen said the speedway will seek an appeal. An initial injunction came after the speedway held three events with fans in excess of a thousand. A county health director said one person attending a May 30 race contracted COVID-19.
Campaigning finds a new normal as door-knocking resumes
WASHINGTON (AP) – The coronavirus pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, but political campaigns are forging ahead with in-person organizing. The pandemic upended elections this year, forcing campaigns to shift organizing activities almost entirely online and compelling both parties to reconfigure their conventions. President Donald Trump decided to move the Republican National Convention to Florida after a spat with North Carolina’s governor over that state’s pace of reopening. Democrats will hold almost all of their convention virtually. But even as some states see record increases in infection rates, Republicans and Democrats are getting back to the in-person door-knocking that took a pause at the start of the pandemic.