Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
Trump looks to scale back environmental reviews for projects
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is expected to announce a new federal rule to speed up the environmental review process for proposed highways, gas pipelines and other major infrastructure. Critics are describing the move as a dismantling of a 50-year-old environmental protection law. Trump will travel to Atlanta on Wednesday to announce the federal rule as he seeks to make it easier to meet some of the country’s infrastructure needs. The government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, Brett Hartl, says such a change may be the single biggest giveaway to polluters in the past 40 years.
City backs reparations in the form of community investment
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Officials in the North Carolina city of Asheville have apologized for its historic role in slavery and discrimination and voted to provide reparations. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that unanimous vote was taken by the City Council on Tuesday. The resolution on reparations does not require direct payments but will mandate investments in areas where Black residents face disparities. Priorities could include efforts to increase minority home ownership, access to affordable housing and minority business ownership. The resolution also mentions strategies to close the gaps in health care, education and pay. The resolution calls for the creation of a Community Reparations Commission to recommend programs and resources to be used.
BC-NC-MAN CHARGED-THREE KILLED
Police: North Carolina man charged with killing 3 people
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has been accused by police of killing three people. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Tuesday that Evan Hunter Small is accused of killing Patricia Brewton Small, Jimmy Wayne Small Sr., and Jimmy Wayne Small Jr. A news release from the Wake County Sheriff’s Office did not describe Small’s relationship to the three alleged victims. Small has been charged with three counts of murder. He is being held in the Wake County Detention Center. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney. A 911 caller had asked police to check on the three victims on Monday after not hearing from them.
Like the IRS, North Carolina tax deadline now Wednesday
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – That three-month extension for North Carolina residents and corporations to turn in their income tax returns is running out. Wednesday is the deadline to file federal returns with the Internal Revenue Service and state forms with the North Carolina Department of Revenue. The state’s original April 15 date was pushed back automatically when the IRS announced a three-month delay in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s delay applies to individual income, corporate income and franchise tax filers. State filers won’t have to pay late fees or interest on taxes due for failing to file before April 15.
Woman pleads guilty to fatally hitting child with car
CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman pleaded guilty to fatally hitting a one-year-old with her car last year. According to the The Wilmington StarNews, Heather Ligotino entered a conditional discharge guilty plea Tuesday to misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. District Attorney Spokeswoman Samantha Dooies said Ligotino’s charge will be dismissed if she completes “12 months of unsupervised probation and 150 hours of community service.” Ligatino struck one-year-old Cora Kruger and her grandmother Catherine Hagelstein at an intersection in Carolina Beach on March 22, 2019. Cora was killed and Hagelstein sustained non-life threatening injuries.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
N. Carolina students to have mix of online, in-person school
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina will allow K-12 public schools to reopen in the fall with limited in-person capacity. The plan announced by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper allows school districts to decide whether they want to offer online only instruction. A state law appears to prevent remote learning during the first week of school. Rotating students between live instruction and remote learning also wouldn’t be allowed for the first week. K-12 schools teaching more than 1.5 million North Carolina students had received guidance for three different reopening scenarios, including full in-person classes, a mix of in person and online and online only. Plan B will remain in effect as public health officials caution against a more expansive reopening until coronavirus numbers improve.
N.C. governor runs first television ads in reelection bid
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper touts his plan to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and criticizes his opponent’s comments about COVID-19 in the first television commercials being run by his reelection campaign. The commercials are part of a $7 million statewide ad buy through the end of August. Republican challenger Dan Forest began airing his first general election commercial last week. The state Republican Party says Cooper has failed during the pandemic to help small businesses and adequately protect nursing home residents. Cooper has a large fundraising advantage over Forest.
FIRST BLACK COUNCILWOMAN
North Carolina capitol city gets first Black councilwoman
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The city council in North Carolina’s capital city has chosen its first Black councilwoman. News outlets report attorney Stormie Denise Forte was chosen from among 54 candidates to fill the position that represents Raleigh’s District D, which covers the southwest portion of the city. The 49-year-old Forte will serve the remainder of Saige Martin’s term, which ends next year. Martin was elected to the seat in 2019 but resigned last month after The News & Observer of Raleigh published accounts of four men who accused Martin of sexual misconduct, which he denies.