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N.Carolina’s ‘Fame’ Confederate monument taken down
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) – A Confederate monument that has stood for over 100 years old was removed from a North Carolina city after officials said the statute had become a public safety hazard. The “Fame” Confederate monument in Salisbury was taken down Monday night and placed in storage, until it could be moved to the Old Lutheran Cemetery. Salisbury City Council unanimously voted to remove the statue, calling it a “flashpoint” that has caused rift and unrest in the community. The council also unanimously voted to allow the United Daughters of the Confederacy to relocate the statue. The Fame statue was built in 1909 and displays an angel holding a Confederate solider.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-PUBLIC RECORDS
Cooper vetoes bill with death investigation records change
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed a broad health measure because of a provision within that addresses the confidentiality of death investigation records. Opposition to the item has served as a rallying cry for demonstrators for racial justice outside the Executive Mansion. The Monday veto by the Democratic governor came even as it appeared his administration was OK to let the full bill become law, then work with the Republican-controlled General Assembly to repeal the section at issue. Cooper said the provision could limit transparency in death investigations. The state constitution required that he act on the measure before midnight or it would become law.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
COVID-19 outbreak hits North Carolina women’s prison
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a Raleigh prison for women is grappling with the coronavirus outbreak and will soon test all inmates. The North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh tested 227 inmates in a housing unit last week, and 45 COVID-19 tests came back positive over the weekend. Those figures were announced Monday by the state’s Department of Public Safety. They came as North Carolina recorded its highest day of current hospitalizations at 982. Last month, North Carolina announced its plan to test all prison inmates and staff members.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-JUNETEENTH VOTE
North Carolina county agrees to make Juneteenth paid holiday
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The governing board of North Carolina’s largest county by population has voted to make Juneteenth a paid county holiday for its workers. The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Monday for the calendar addition during a video conference meeting. The additional holiday will begin for county staff in 2021. Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free on June 19, 1865. The county says it’s the first in the state to declare Juneteenth a holiday for its employees.
Federal judge blocks N.C. city ordinance limiting protests
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge has blocked for now an ordinance issued by a central North Carolina city that requires permits for protests and limits activities of demonstrators. U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles issued on Monday a temporary restraining order halting enforcement of the ordinance by the city of Graham for two weeks, pending a hearing on a request for a longer injunction. Civil rights attorneys representing the NAACP’s Alamance County chapter and eight people last week sued Graham city council members and local law enforcement leaders. Calls to bring down a Confederate monument in Graham have intensified recently since death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Country rocker and fiddler Charlie Daniels dies at age 83
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Country music pioneer and fiddler Charlie Daniels, who had a hit with “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” has died at age 83. A statement from his publicist said the Country Music Hall of Famer died Monday due to a stroke. Daniels, a singer, guitarist and fiddler, started out as a session musician, even playing on Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” sessions. His edgy, early music raised eyebrows in Nashville, with “Long Haired Country Boy” celebrating marijuana smoking and “Uneasy Rider” poking fun at rednecks. But he softened some verses in the 1990s and in 2008 joined the epitome of Nashville’s music establishment, the Grand Ole Opry.
Fossils reveal dinosaur forerunner smaller than a cellphone
Scientists have discovered a pocket sized dinosaur forerunner that was just 4 inches tall. Named Kongonaphon kely, which means tiny bug slayer, the creature looked like a dinosaur but scampered the Earth earlier, predating both dinosaurs and flying pterosaurs. The fossils, dug up in Madagascar, date from 237 million years ago, according to a study Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Scientists say it had strong hind legs and feasted on bugs. They figure the little guy was an adult because of growth rings in its bones.
Bill altering N.C. transportation board becomes law
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A bill that gives North Carolina legislative leaders more involvement in overseeing the Department of Transportation has become law without Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature. Cooper had until Sunday night to act on the measure, but Cooper announced he would neither sign nor veto it. The new law lets legislative leaders pick six of 20 Board of Transportation members. Until now, all 19 voting members have been chosen by the governor. The legislation also makes department cuts to address a cash shortage that worsened when highway revenues plummeted with the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooper says he remains concerned about the governance and public transit funding changes.