Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
ELECTION 2020-TRUMP CAMPAIGN
After Trump campaign swap, questions – and Kushner – remain
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump campaign shakeup was probably more symbol than substance. President Donald Trump’s campaign changes are unlikely to do much to alter the day-to-day operations, which are run by Jared Kushner. Trump demoted Brad Parscale from campaign manager in favor of longtime GOP operative Bill Stepien. Kushner will continue to be the driving force behind the operation. Parscale’s ouster reflects Trump’s willingness to shake things up as the coronavirus blocks him from holding rallies and as he grapples with polls showing him trailing Democrat Joe Biden. That’s according to some of the seven campaign officials and Republicans who discussed the shakeup on condition of anonymity.
Police looking for mother after baby found alive in trash
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Police in the North Carolina city of Wilmington are investigating after a newborn baby was found alive in a trash can. WECT reports that police found the infant on Thursday afternoon. Police said a woman was walking her dog when she heard the sound of a baby crying. It was coming from inside a nearby trash can in a church parking lot. The baby was inside a black trash bag. The woman rescued the baby and found someone to call 911. Doctors at a local hospital say the baby is healthy. The mother has not been located.
Police: 2 men charged with enough fentanyl to kill 20,000
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in northeastern North Carolina say that two men have been charged with possessing enough fentanyl to kill more than 20,000 people. The Virginian-Pilot reported that the men from Elizabeth City were arrested last week. The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release that Ronald Dashiell Jr. and Brandon Dashiell face charges of possession and trafficking illegal drugs. Fentanyl is a synthetic painkiller that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Two milligrams can kill someone. Dealers often mix fentanyl with heroin and cocaine to augment the drugs’ effects. Local authorities say that overdoses have been on the rise in the region.
North Carolina barbecue spot closed over tax debt reopens
GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) – An iconic North Carolina restaurant has reopened its doors more than a year after it was shut down due to its tax debt. News outlets report Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro welcomed customers once again on Wednesday. Since opening in 1962, the restaurant has developed a reputation as an important stop for politicians, locals and barbecue-seeking tourists. The reopening came after a group of the restaurant’s fans formed by a businessman in Goldsboro purchased Wilber’s last year and worked to restore it. The restaurant is currently operating four days a week and offers only take-out options.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-BLM BILLBOARD
Black Lives Matter billboard placed next to Confederate flag
A group in North Carolina has erected a Black Lives Matter billboard to counter a Confederate flag that stands along a road in the state. An official with a group that supported the project says the sign was unveiled in Pittsboro and funded by residents in the city. A GoFundMe page to raise money for the sign said the billboard was a way to show Confederate flags “do NOT represent” Pittsboro. Sam White had been leasing the billboard on his property to an outdoor advertising company. He says he told the company he didn’t want a Black Lives Matter sign on his property. He says he wants the sign down when the company’s lease expires at the end of August.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-RACIST RANTS-DEATH
Woman recorded making racist rants is hit by truck and dies
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman whose racist rants and attacks on a Black teenager and a woman in a hijab attracted international attention has died after being struck by a fire truck. News outlets reports 41-year-old Rachel Dawn Ruit of Henderson County suffered mortal injuries after she was hit by an Asheville Fire Department pickup truck on July 13. Asheville Police spokeswoman Christina Hallingse confirmed that Ruit died on July 14. Ruit had been arrested on July 4 after she was accused of ripping off a woman’s religious garment. She gained attention when she was captured on video using racial epithets and making threats.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Face mask requirement begins in N.C. courts as cases grow
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A new face-covering requirement in North Carolina’s courts will attempt to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announced this and other additional emergency directives for the court system on Thursday. She says the delay of jury trials will continue through at least the end of September. Judicial and law enforcement leaders in each county need to come up with a jury trial resumption safety plan by Sept. 1. The number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started in North Carolina is now well over 94,000, and more than 1,100 people with the virus are in the hospital.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-POLICE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE
Police department employee on leave after George Floyd post
MOCKSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – An employee at a North Carolina police department has been placed on administrative leave following a post to her social media account which referred to George Floyd. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Mocksville Police Department records specialist Christy Wikes-Jones shared a post depicting Floyd in a drawing holding a gun in his right hand and his left arm wrapped around the neck of a pregnant woman. Wikes-Jones also suggested Floyd raped the woman. The police department said in a statement that it’s conducting an investigation into the the employee’s post.