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CATHOLIC PRIEST-ABUSE ALLEGATIONS
Bishop: North Carolina priest kept on leave on abuse claims
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The Charlotte diocese’s bishop says a priest in North Carolina will continue to be placed on administrative leave after allegations of sexual abuse against him were revealed last year. The Charlotte Observer reports Bishop Peter Jugis made the announcement about St. Matthew Catholic Church pastor Patrick Hoare to parishioners at the church in a letter Wednesday. Jugis says in the letter Hoare was originally put on administrative leave in December after the allegations from Pennsylvania surfaced. The letter quoted by the newspaper says police in Pennsylvania investigated the allegations but could not bring charges against Hoare due to the statute of limitations.
Pandemic prompts layoffs at Belk department store chain
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The coronavirus pandemic has prompted layoffs at the Belk department store chain, including at its North Carolina-based corporate headquarters. The Charlotte Observer reports that the Charlotte-based company declined to disclose the total number of job losses. The company has about 1,300 employees at its corporate office and about 20,000 employees total. Belk said in a statement that it “had to make some of the most difficult decisions of its 130-year history.” The company said it is providing severance packages to those affected. The company had closed 291 stores in 16 Southern states because of COVID-19. Stores began to reopen in May.
Police response to Raleigh protests has cost at least $2.2M
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Law enforcement agencies have spent at least $2.2 million responding to protests that occurred in Raleigh, North Carolina, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. WRAL reported Wednesday that it obtained cost figures from agencies that include the Raleigh Police Department, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and the State Highway Patrol. The figure does not include costs after the first week of June. George Floyd, a Black man, died while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. People came together across the country to protest racism and police brutality. Some people turned to riots and looting in Raleigh. Protesters also pulled down pieces of a Confederate monument near the Statehouse.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
As COVID cases hit new high, N.C. delays K-12 reopen plans
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina delayed announcing statewide plans for reopening K-12 public schools. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said he expects to release updated guidance “in the coming weeks.” Schools were instructed in June to draft three plans for resuming fall classes, which include in-person and remote learning. Cooper on Wednesday said his top priority is to get kids back into classrooms. The decision to postpone a decision on how best to reopen classrooms comes as new coronavirus cases hit a single-day high at 1,843. Public health officials are still working on a plan to protect college students as campuses reopen across the state.
Forest files lawsuit challenging N.C. governor’s orders
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has filed his lawsuit challenging Gov. Roy Cooper’s decisions to shutter businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic without getting the backing of other elected officials. The Republican officially sued the Democratic governor in Wake Superior Court on Wednesday, nearly a week after Forest signaled he’d do so. Cooper and Forest are running for governor in November. Forest wants voided six of Cooper’s executive orders issued since March because Cooper didn’t obtain “concurrence” from the Council of State for his actions. Cooper says his administration has followed the law while making health and safety decisions.
BC-VIRUS OUTBREAK-SCIENCE OF KINDNESS
Not so random acts: Science finds that being kind pays off