Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
ELECTION 2020-REPUBLICAN CONVENTION
Trump: Convention speech locale is White House or Gettysburg
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination will be held at either the White House or the Gettysburg battlefield. In a Monday tweet, Trump says a decision on the location of the Aug. 27 speech will be made soon. Both sites are federal property raising legal and ethical issues for their use in a political event. The Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania could also resurface the president’s defense of monuments to heroes of the Confederacy. Trump’s original plans to address the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida, were upended by the coronavirus. Now most of the convention will be conducted virtually.
Apt Bible passage at Catholic Mass coincides with earthquake
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A Catholic church in North Carolina which had a portion of 1 Kings for the Bible for its reading during an early Sunday morning Mass found the verse unusually timely. The Diocese of Charlotte says Father Richard Sutter of St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church said a lector had just reached the 19th chapter which states: “After the wind there was an earthquake – but the LORD was not in the earthquake.” It was about then that parishioners felt a 5.1 magnitude quake centered near Sparta that rattled North Carolina on Sunday. It was the most powerful earthquake to hit the Southern state in more than a century.
Constraints gone, GOP ramps up effort to monitor voting
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Republican Party heads into its first presidential contest this November free from decades-old legal constraints on the use of volunteers to monitor the polls on Election Day. It’s a boon for a party that has consistently raised the specter of voting fraud. But it’s also a concern for Democrats and voting rights groups. They fear the planned influx of tens of thousands of poll watchers under the imprimatur of the Republican National Committee is a thinly veiled effort to suppress Democratic turnout, particularly in minority communities.
BIG DONOR-NORTH CAROLINA
Prosecutors recommend probation for ex-N.C. Rep. Hayes
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Prosecutors have asked a judge to give a former North Carolina congressman no prison time for lying to the FBI about his role in an effort to try to bribe the state’s top insurance regulator with large political contributions. The U.S. attorneys made the probation recommendation on Monday for Robin Hayes, who pleaded guilty in October to making a false statement to agents conducting the probe while Hayes was state Republican Party chairman. Four people were indicted in the case. Jurors convicted insurance company owner Greg Lindberg and consultant John Gray in March. Hayes, Gray and Lindberg are to be sentenced next week.
5-year-old shot to death in North Carolina; suspect sought
WILSON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a 5-year-old was shot and killed on Sunday and they are searching for the suspect. News outlets report Wilson police identified the victim as Cannon Hinnant. Police said officers responding to a report of a shooting at a mobile home park found the 5-year-old suffering from a gunshot wound. Capt. Steve Stroud said officers and emergency personnel performed first aid before the child was taken to Wilson Medical Center, where he died. Stroud said the suspect in the killing, 25-year-old Darius Nathaniel Sessoms, is charged in a warrant with first-degree murder and is still at large.
First director of N.C. government watchdog agency retiring
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The first and only director of the North Carolina General Assembly’s government watchdog agency is retiring. John Turcotte became head of the Program Evaluation Division in 2007. Legislators on the committee that oversee the division’s work praised Turcotte on Monday as he leaves the post Sept. 1. North Carolina’s legislature was among the last in the country to create an office that scrutinized state programs and determined whether they’re running efficiently. Turcotte prevoiusly ran similar operations in his home state of Mississippi and in Florida. The division’s studies often led to new laws that promoted efficiency and cost savings.
BC-NC-BASKETBALL COACH-FATAL PUNCH
Former assistant basketball coach sued over fatal punch
The mother of a New York tourist who was fatally punched has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a former assistant men’s basketball coach at Wake Forest University as well as the school itself. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday in New York. Donna Kent of Raleigh is seeking compensatory, statutory and punitive damages against Jamill Jones as well as the university. Jones was sentenced in New York in July to three years of probation in the death of Sandor Szabo in August 2018. Authorities said Szabo, who may have been intoxicated, banged on the window of Jones’ SUV. Police said Jones got out, punched Szabo and sped off.
DOG KILLS FOX
Dog kills fox on family’s property in North Carolina
DALLAS, N.C. (AP) – Police say a 1-year-old pit bull and a rabid fox got into a tussle that ended up killing the fox after the animal appeared on the dog’s owners’ property in North Carolina. News outlets report the incident happened Thursday in Dallas, a town about 25 miles west of Charlotte. Gaston County police said in a news release that state health officials confirmed two days later that the fox’s remains tested positive for rabies. Police say the pit bull was up to date on her vaccinations for rabies. She also received a rabies booster shot. The fox is the fourth confirmed rabies case in Gaston County this year.