Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
RACIAL INJUSTICE-CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS
Push to remove Confederate statues stalls in rural America
CLINTON, La. (AP) – Dozens of Confederate statues have fallen across the country – often in more liberal-leaning urban centers – but in many smaller places, the effort to remove markers that many view as racist relics has stalled or has yet to arrive. A tally by The Associated Press shows that more than 60 Confederate statues, monuments or markers have been removed from public land across the country since Floyd’s death on May 25. All but eight have come down in cities or metropolitan areas larger than 50,000 people. Most of the areas lean politically left, with 41 of the monuments removed in counties or equivalent areas that voted Democratic in the 2016 presidential election.
ELECTION 2020-SPORTS VENUES
Panthers, Hornets venues approved as N.C. early-vote sites
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The venues for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and NBA’s Charlotte Hornets will be used as early in-person voting sites this fall in North Carolina. The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections agreed on Tuesday to a list of 33 early-voting sites that include Bank of America Stadium and Spectrum Center. Mecklenburg election officials expect heavy use of early voting options by county residents before Election Day on Nov. 3, whether they be mail-in absentee ballots or in-person voting. Large facilities with multiple entrances are considered desirable to avoid crowds. Early in-person voting occurs Oct. 15 until Oct. 31.
Charlotte FC announced as name for new MLS team
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Charlotte’s new Major League Soccer team is following the sport’s traditional European and South American style of having just the city name and no formal nickname. The team, scheduled to start play in 2022, will be known as Charlotte FC. Other plain old FCs in the league include Cincinnati, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City and Toronto. The name was selected over options that included Charlotte Athletic FC, Charlotte Sliders FC, Charlotte Town FC, Charlotte Monarchs FC, Charlotte Fortune FC and Carolina Crown FC.
LOTTERY WINNER-MURDER CHARGE
Winner of $10M lottery prize in 2017 charged with murder
SHALLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man who won a $10 million lottery prize in 2017 has been arrested on a murder charge in the killing of a woman whose body was found at a hotel. The Shallotte Police Department charged 52-year-old Michael Todd Hill of Leland, with murder after the body of 23-year-old Keonna Graham was found Monday in a hotel room in the Brunswick County town. WECT-TV reports that Hill won $10 million from an Ultimate Millions scratch-off ticket in August 2017. A cousin of Graham described her as as a generous, loving and adventurous young woman who enjoyed hiking and bicycle rides.
ELECTION 2020-BIDEN ENTHUSIASM
Democratic group looks to close Trump-Biden enthusiasm gap
NEW YORK (AP) – President Donald Trump may be losing, but one pro-Democrat super PAC is concerned that doesn’t mean Joe Biden is winning. The group PACRONYM is embracing a new strategy backed by $15 million in online ads to help close the nagging enthusiasm gap between Trump and Biden. One strategist warns that Biden is leading many polls “by default” and may lose his advantage unless Democrats give voters better reasons to get excited about their nominee. The group will target roughly 1.7 million “low-information” left-leaning voters across six battleground states who don’t know much about Biden and probably wouldn’t turn out to vote without a push.
BC-NC-AMAZON FULFILLMENT CENTER-GARNER
Amazon: More than 3,000 people will work at new Garner site
GARNER, N.C. (AP) – Amazon says that it expects to hire more than double the number of workers it had originally expected for a fulfillment center in the North Carolina town of Garner. The Raleigh News & Observer reports that the massive center expects to hire more than 3,000 people. The facility is still under construction. The e-commerce giant originally said it would employ 1,500 people at the site. But the coronavirus pandemic has changed spending habits. And Amazon has pumped up staffing levels to keep up with the boost in online shopping. Amazon said it will pay workers in Garner at least $15 per hour. The rate is more than double North Carolina’s minimum wage.
Body of man, 45, recovered from western North Carolina lake
MARION, N.C. (AP) – Police in western North Carolina have identified the body of a 45-year-old man who went missing on a lake after falling off a boat. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Christopher Michael Morris, of Candler, was recovered Tuesday from Lake James. Lt. Sam Craft, of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, said Morris went missing while boating near the Black Bear Access Area on the lake in McDowell County. He said Morris was found in the same area he went missing. He had fallen off the bow of a pontoon boat. Morris was the construction project manager at Premier Homes of the Carolinas Inc., in Hendersonville. He was married and the father of three grown children.
Officials: Lightning strike in North Carolina injures 6
BANNER ELK, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say six people were hospitalized for injuries they sustained when lightning struck near a roller coaster in North Carolina. Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster said on Facebook the people were injured Tuesday while sitting under a tree on their property. The Avery County Sheriff’s Office told WBTV-TV that lightning struck the tree, cracked the pavement and knocked several people to the ground. The sheriff’s office says the six people were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The roller coaster was not operating at the time of the incident. WSOC-TV reports the county where the ride was located had been under a severe thunderstorm warning Tuesday afternoon.