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Feds: Man pleads guilty to threatening to burn Black church
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to threatening to burn down a Black church in Virginia days after one of the church’s leaders took part in a vigil for George Floyd. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said 63-year-old John Malcolm Bareswill entered the plea Wednesday, nearly two months after he was arrested on charges related to his alleged threat. Authorities say Bareswill also made racist remarks when he called the Baptist church in Virginia Beach to make the threats in June. The release says he could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison in November. It is not immediately clear if Bareswill had a lawyer who could comment.
Calls for justice in Black suspect’s death in North Carolina
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Demonstrators held a vigil in North Carolina to call for justice in the case of a Black man who died days after his arrest. The Winston-Salem Journal reports more than 70 participants used their phones as flashlights and sang songs during the vigil for John Neville in Winston-Salem Wednesday night. The vigil came hours after jail videos were released that showed Neville struggling with guards and yelling he couldn’t breathe as they restrained him in December. Neville’s son also spoke at the vigil. His father died at a hospital of a brain injury on Dec. 4, three days after his arrest on a warrant accusing him of assaulting a woman.
No hoopla: Virus upends Trump and Biden convention plans
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic challenger Joe Biden has joined President Donald Trump in scrapping plans to accept his party’s presidential nomination in a convention extravaganza. Neither campaign has announced an alternative to the Democrats’ original plans for Milwaukee and the Republicans’ shifting plans spanning Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida. It’s yet another striking demonstration of how the COVID-19 pandemic has upended American life and the 2020 presidential campaign. The Trump and Biden campaigns are left looking for alternative ways to capitalize on a moment that still can reach millions of Americans via television and online.
FIRE-OCEAN ISLE BEACH
Official: 1 hospitalized due to fire in North Carolina
OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. (AP) – Officials say one person has been hospitalized due to a fire that started early Thursday morning in North Carolina. Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT-TV the person was transported to a hospital for treatment after they sustained injuries inside the Ocean Isle Beach home where the fire began. A spokesperson with the Horry County Fire Rescue in South Carolina told The Associated Press the blaze has also caused structural damage to five buildings. Horry County firefighters are assisting the Ocean Isle Beach Fire Department battle the blaze. WECT-TV reports that investigators believe the fire was caused by a car that ignited.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-NORTH CAROLINA DEATH
Videos show jail officers restraining North Carolina inmate
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Body camera videos from a North Carolina jail show a man who died days after his arrest struggling with guards to get up from where he lay on the floor, calling out for his mother and yelling “I can’t breathe!” more than 20 times as they restrained him. The videos released Wednesday show the moments in December when John Neville was told by a nurse in the Forsyth County jail in Winston-Salem that he had a seizure. Neville died at a local hospital of a brain injury three days after his arrest for assaulting a female. Five former jail officers and a nurse were charged in July with involuntary manslaughter.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Business, assembly and mask mandates extended longer in N.C.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper says North Carolina’s COVID-19 restrictions keeping high-risk businesses closed and mass gatherings severely limited will remain in place for another five weeks. The governor’s decision announced on Wednesday means the mandates under his current executive order set to expire later this week will be extended beyond Labor Day at least. Bars, gyms, movie theaters and amusement parks must remain closed and a face covering requirement in public places will continue. He says the restrictions need to stay in place in part to counterbalance the start of classes at K-12 schools and university campuses this month.
No hoopla: Virus upends Trump, Biden convention plans
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic challenger Joe Biden joined President Donald Trump on Wednesday in scrapping plans to accept his party’s presidential nomination in a convention extravaganza. Neither campaign has announced an alternative to the Democrats’ original plans for Milwaukee and the Republicans’ shifting plans spanning Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida. It’s yet another striking demonstration of how the COVID-19 pandemic has upended American life and the 2020 presidential campaign. It’s denying Trump and Biden coveted personal experiences with party faithful and leaving their campaigns looking for alternative ways to capitalize on a moment that still can reach millions of Americans via television and online.
BIG DONOR-NORTH CAROLINA
Judge upholds corruption convictions of Lindberg, consultant
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge has upheld the convictions of two men found to be trying to bribe North Carolina’s top insurance regulator with political contributions so that scrutiny of a defendant’s businesses would be eased. A jury in March found Greg E. Lindberg and consultant John Gray guilty of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and bribery. U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn presided over the trial and on Tuesday denied the defendants’ demands for acquittals or a new trial. They haven’t been sentenced. A third person indicted in the case last year was acquitted, while a fourth – ex-state GOP Chairman Robin Hayes – pleaded guilty.