AP-NC Newswatch

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August 7, 2020
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August 7, 2020
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT



Gov. Cooper: Trump’s coronavirus strategy ‘nonexistent’
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper believes President Donald Trump does not have a clear plan to address the coronavirus pandemic. In an interview with The Associated Press, Cooper described his efforts to ensure the Republican National Convention was held safely and explained why he supports former Vice President Joe Biden. Cooper is running for reelection against Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and criticized him for not taking safety precautions and wearing masks at political events. Cooper said he doesn’t plan to resume in-person campaign events between now and the November general election. Forest declined an interview request, and his campaign dismissed concerns about safety at his events.



Hurricane Alpha? Amped up season forecast, names may run out
Hurricane season has already been busy this year, but forecasters say it should get even nastier soon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Thursday increased its forecast for the number of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes this year to far above normal. Colorado State University, which pioneered hurricane season forecasting, is calling for twice the number of named storms and hurricanes this year – 24 of them. That means the season likely will run out of traditional names and start to use Greek letters. There already have been nine named storms. And on average 90% of hurricane activity happens after Aug. 6.



TVA rescinds decision to outsource technology jobs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Valley Authority says it will rescind a decision to lay off its in-house technology workers. The authority had been planning on replacing those workers with contractors who rely heavily on foreign workers under the H1-B visa program for highly skilled workers. Yet President Donald Trump fired the TVA chairman, Skip Thompson, on Monday and threatened to remove other board members if they continued to hire foreign labor. By Thursday, interim TVA Board Chair John Ryder and TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash had met with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to discuss preservation of U.S. jobs.



Man pleads guilty to threatening to shoot Black renters
WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to violating the Fair Housing Act for threatening to shoot a Black family in 2014 for renting a home. A news release says 34-year-old Douglas Matthew Gurkins pleaded guilty on Thursday in federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina. According to court documents, Gurkins drove to the family’s home, yelled racial slurs at them and told them they didn’t belong in the home. According to the documents, Gurkins threatened to shoot the mother and four children and any other Black people who entered the property. The family moved out days later.



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.



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.



Sheriff: Suspect in shooting fell off cliff into quarry
LINCOLNTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a man wanted in the shooting of a woman and a 7-year-old girl was captured after he fell 50 feet off a cliff and into a quarry. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that 27-year-old Paul Eric Lamkin Jr. of Lincolnton fled into a wooded area after a shooting. Deputies searching for Lamkin in a wooded area heard a call for help and found him. The sheriff’s office says warrants charging Lamkin with attempted first-degree murder and discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling will be served when he is released from the hospital.



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.



AP-WF-08-07-20 1020GMT