Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
NC lawmakers done with most of year’s work after marathon
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina lawmakers have finished most of their work for the year. House and Senate members began a marathon meeting Thursday that didn’t get done until early Friday morning. They passed laws setting another Medicaid overhaul date, funding a monument to honor African Americans and trying again to reopen businesses shuttered by Gov. Roy Cooper due to COVID-19. Cooper must act upon dozens of bills on his desk before early July. After any veto override votes, the General Assembly won’t return to work until early September, during which Republican leaders have agreed to a limited, two-day agenda.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
N Carolina lieutenant governor to sue over COVID-19 orders
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest informed Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper Thursday he intends to sue over the way Cooper has imposed business restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Forest wrote a letter arguing the governor has violated state law by issuing executive orders curtailing business without seeking concurrence from a group of elected officials known as the Council of State. Forest, who’s running against Cooper in the November gubernatorial election, cites multiple times during the pandemic that Cooper issued executive orders without formal assent from a majority of the council. Cooper’s office accused Forest of playing politics.
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.
More options where to carry handgun OK’d by N.C. legislature
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – More people in North Carolina could carry their concealed weapons while working and while attending church in a measure given final legislative approval. The House and Senate voted Thursday for the compromise bill, sending it to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. The bill allows people with concealed permits to carry their handgun at a religious place of worship that is also the location of a private school. A permit holder could only carry the gun outside the school’s operating hours. Two more categories of workers also would be allowed to wear their concealed weapons in some situations.
SPEEDWAY OWNER-ROPE AD
North Carolina speedway owner offers ‘Bubba Rope’ for sale
DANBURY, N.C. (AP) – The owner of a North Carolina speedway advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale on a social media marketplace page days after NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace announced a noose had been found in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Wallace is the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top series. Mike Fulp, the owner of the half-mile 311 Speedway in Stokes County, advertised the rope in a pitch Wednesday on Facebook Marketplace that read: “Buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great.” The post was removed by midday Thursday.
GOP donor, ex-lawmaker Art Pope elected to join UNC board
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Senate has elected Art Pope to the state university system’s Board of Governors. The decision on Thursday will allow Pope to serve on the UNC System board for one year starting July 1. Pope has long been involved in conservative politics. He’s a major GOP donor and previously served as former Gov. Pat McCrory’s state budget director. Pope will replace former state Sen. Bob Rucho. The 24-member board oversees 17 campuses, including UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University. Some Democrats are unhappy with Pope’s appointment, saying he’ll reinforce the perception that the board is partisan.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-RACIST HACKERS
Hackers disrupt online college meeting with racist language
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Officials at Wake Forest University say hackers used racist language and anti-Semitic images to disrupt an online meeting of the school’s employees. The Winston-Salem Journal reports school president Nathan Hatch said about 500 Wake Forest staff members were on a Zoom call on Wednesday when unidentified hackers disrupted it. Hatch said organizers shut down the meeting and restarted it, but the hackers gained access to that meeting as well and continued their attack. He said it appears that the hackers gained access to the meeting from a link posted publicly online that also contained the meeting’s password.