Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA-COOPER
Lawyers for political rivals argue Cooper’s COVID-19 powers
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Lawyers for North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest have argued before a judge over whether Cooper’s COVID-19 orders shuttering businesses and demanding face coverings were lawfully imposed. Tuesday’s court hearing focused on whether the Council of State needed to consent to Cooper’s executive orders first before they could be carried out. Forest sued the governor last month and says the law required he get the council’s approval. Cooper’s lawyers say he didn’t need to. The judge didn’t say how he would rule on Forest’s request to block the orders. Cooper and Forest are running for governor in November.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-ELECTION 2020
Judge rejects most N.C. election changes sought in lawsuit
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge has refused to order a wide array of changes to North Carolina’s election rules sought by voting advocacy groups worried about how COVID-19 could limit ballot access. But the judge told election officials they can’t reject mail-in absentee ballots unless there’s a way that voters can fix errors. The issue is poignant this year as more registered voters are considering voting by mail to avoid the risk of contracting the coronavirus at traditional in-person voting centers and precincts. U.S. District Judge William Osteen wrote on Tuesday that his ruling should not be misunderstood as downplaying concerns about voting during a pandemic.
Tropic storm Isaias whips up eastern US, killing at least 6
WINDSOR, N.C. (AP) – At least six people are dead after Tropical Storm Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain during an inland march up the U.S. East Coast. Two people were killed after one of those tornadoes flattened a mobile home park in Windsor, North Carolina. Another person died in Pennsylvania when their vehicle was overtaken by water and swept downstream. Two others were killed when the storm sent trees crashing onto their vehicles in New York City and Maryland, and a sixth person died when a tree branch fell on them in Delaware. Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in North Carolina. It was downgraded to a tropical storm on its way to the Northeast. The National Hurricane Center says late Tuesday night that Isaias is moving north into Canada.
SUSPECT DEATH-CHARGES FILED
N Carolina sheriff apologizes for hog-tied inmate’s death
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff has apologized to the family of a Black man who died while in custody last year after being hog-tied. The apology comes one day before a video of the incident that led to his death is to be released. Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough on Tuesday said he was saddened by the video showing jail officers hog-tying John Neville before he died at a local hospital last December. Five former detention officers and a nurse were charged last month with involuntary manslaughter in connection with John Neville’s death. Kimbrough says his department has instituted changes in training as a result of Neville’s death.
Parrish named acting secretary of N.C. technology agency
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A deputy within North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s agency managing information technology for state government is now the department’s acting secretary. Cooper announced this week that Thomas Parrish IV will fill the Cabinet position vacated by Tracy Doaks, who was secretary briefly before taking another job at a nonprofit. Parrish has most recently been serving as deputy chief information officer within the Department of Information Technology, and has had 27 years of local and state government experience. The “acting secretary” title means Parrish won’t be subject for now to any confirmation vote by the state Senate.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-AMUSEMENT PARK
Carowinds amusement park to remain closed for rest of 2020
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – An amusement park on the North Carolina-South Carolina border says it will be closed for the rest of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Charlotte Observer reports North Carolina Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said in June. that Carowinds, which has been closed during the stay-at-home orders, was tentatively scheduled to reopen July 27. Carowinds vice president and general manager Pat Jones said he was disappointed over having to remain closed due to coronavirus, but said the safety of the park’s guests and associates is its top priority. He said continued uncertainty locally about COVID-19 led to the decision to keep Carowinds closed.
BC-NC-POLICE SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
Police: Officer-involved shooting leaves one dead
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say that one person is dead following an officer-involved shooting in Mooresville. Mooresville police spokeswoman Kim Sellers said in an email that the incident occurred Sunday night. She wrote that officers had responded to a residence for a domestic incident that reportedly involved an assault. One fatality occurred after police arrived. Sellers said that the North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident. No further details were released. Mooresville is located north of Charlotte.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-UTILITY BILLS
North Carolina county to help people with utility bills
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Officials in a North Carolina county have set aside money to help families who are late in paying their utility bills due to COVID-19. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Wake County will give up to $500 per household to help residents pay their overdue bill. County officials say the $5 million, which comes from the federal Coronavirus Air Relief and Economic Security Act, should help nearly 10,000 families. Applicants must have “suffered financially from COVID-19,” be Wake County residents and be able to submit their unpaid utility bills.