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VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA-BOWLING ALLEYS
Judge won’t delay order that lets N.C. bowling alleys reopen
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina judge has refused to delay enforcement of his ruling allowing dozen of bowling alleys to reopen in contradiction to Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 executive order. Judge James Gale denied on Wednesday the request from attorneys for the state representing Cooper in a lawsuit filed by an association of bowling lane operators. Now Department of Justice lawyers are asking the state Supreme Court to intervene. Gale decided the association was likely to win on arguments that Cooper’s order wrongly treated them differently compared to businesses with similar virus-risk levels allowed to reopen. Bars and gyms remain closed.
BOATHOUSE FOR SALE
World War II-era boat house for sale on North Carolina coast
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) – A World War II-era boat house once used by the U.S. Navy is now being offered as a place to stay while your dream house is being built on the North Carolina coast. The Charlotte Observer reports the one-bedroom building is around 850 square feet and is more of a bunk room. The real estate listing says the house, built in 1943, is about an hour from the Outer Banks and was used for crash boats and Navy crews during the war. However, the boathouse is proving to be a tough sell. It’s been listed for more than 1,500 days.
Several veto override attempts at N.C. legislature fail
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The áNorth Carolina General Assembly has again fallen short in overriding several of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes. Wednesday’s unsuccessful votes for the GOP mean directives within the governor’s COVID-19 executive orders that keep many businesses closed remain intact. Four vetoes upheld in House or Senate votes were related to bills Cooper’s orders during the pandemic. A fifth veto upheld addressed a bill about concealed weapons inside certain churches. A Cooper veto hasn’t been overridden since December 2018 – the result of more Democratic seats in both chambers over the past two years. After Wednesday, lawmakers won’t return to work until September.
Audit: N.C. DOT didn’t follow law, overspent on pay raises
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A state audit has decided the North Carolina Department of Transportation misinterpreted a 2018 state law on employee salaries, leading to $39 million in overspending for worker raises. The report from State Auditor Beth Wood’s office on Wednesday reviewed a pilot program designed to recruit and retain agency employees through flexible salaries. The department disagrees with the performance audit’s findings, saying the rules were followed. This marks the second recent critical audit of DOT, which has been bailed out financially twice since last fall. An earlier audit found the agency overall had overspent by $740 million during a previous fiscal year.
AP Exclusive: ‘Strike for Black Lives’ to highlight racism
NEW YORK (AP) – A national coalition of labor unions, along with racial and social justice organizations, will stage a mass walkout this month to protest against systemic racism. Dubbed the “Strike for Black Lives,” tens of thousands of workers will walk off their jobs on July 20, according to details shared exclusively with The Associated Press. Workers across the economy, including fast food, ride-share services, nursing homes and airports, in more than 25 cities will strike to demand action from corporations and the government to dismantle white supremacy and to ensure the health, safety, and economic well-being of every worker, organizers said.
Worker at center of N.C. ballot fraud probe seeks local seat
ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. (AP) – The political operative at the center of a North Carolina absentee ballot fraud investigation has filed for reelection for a local elected position. Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. of Bladen County is running again for a board seat on the Bladen Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisors. Dowless filed on Monday’s final day of candidate registration and will run against two other candidates in the nonpartisan race. Dowless faces both state and federal charges related to his political work. The State Board of Elections ordered a new election for a North Carolina congressional seat after receiving evidence involving Dowless during the 2018 elections.
Nevada regulators OK company buying Caesars Entertainment
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Reno-based Eldorado Resorts Inc. received the go-ahead from Nevada casino regulators to buy Caesars Entertainment Corp. in a $17 billion deal creating a gambling giant with properties in 16 U.S. states and several other countries. The merger won unanimous endorsement Wednesday after pointed questions from Nevada Gaming Control Board regulators and unanimous approval from the state Gaming Commission. The Federal Trade Commission accepted the plan June 26. Approval in coming days from regulators in Indiana and New Jersey would create the world’s largest casino company under the Caesars Entertainment name.
SUSPECT DEATH-CHARGES FILED
Former detention officers, nurse charged in suspect’s death
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Five former detention officers and a nurse at a North Carolina jail are charged with involuntary manslaughter after a man died last December. News outlets report Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill announced the charges at a news conference Wednesday. John Neville, who is Black, died Dec. 4, 2019, four days after Kernersville police arrested him on a misdemeanor charge of assault on a female. O’Neill says Neville was restrained and choked while in custody, causing a brain injury that led to his death. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office took seven months to issue a statement about the 57-year-old man’s death, prompted by questions from the Winston-Salem Journal.