AP-NC Newswatch

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August 19, 2020
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August 19, 2020
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment 



Insurance magnate, ex-N.C. Congress member learn sentences
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A big political donor, his consultant and a former North Carolina congressman are receiving punishments for their roles in trying to bribe the state’s top insurance regulator. U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn scheduled sentencing on Wednesday for insurance magnate Greg Lindberg, John Gray and former Rep. Robin Hayes. Federal prosecutors want Lindberg and Gray to receive long prison sentences. The defendants’ lawyers are seeking much less. Gray wants to serve any time at home. The U.S. attorneys are asking Hayes receive probation. Hayes pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with authorities.



Colleges grapple with coronavirus as students return
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – The University of Notre Dame and Michigan State universities have become the latest colleges to move classes online because of the coronavirus. Officials at both schools announced the switch on Tuesday. As COVID-19 makes its mark on colleges across the U.S., many are reconsidering plans to hold in-person classes or implementing new testing regimes. Others are threatening crackdowns on students who ignore social distancing rules. Over the past few days, college students at Notre Dame and at schools in North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Vermont, Kansas and Colorado have tested positive.



NC agencies implement ‘fair chance’ employment policies
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina agencies within Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration are changing hiring practices to help give people with criminal histories more job opportunities. Cooper issued an executive order this week that directs state agencies and offices under his control to implement “fair chance” policies by Nov. 1. The order tells the agencies to omit criminal records questions from employment applications. Background checks must wait until later, and applicants will be given the opportunity to explain that history. Criminal pardons and expunctions can’t be considered in hiring, either. Cooper’s office says more than 1.7 million North Carolina residents have criminal records.



Judge releases pregnant woman from jail with virus outbreak
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge in North Carolina has released an inmate who is eight months pregnant from a jail that has seen dozens of coronavirus cases. The Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday that the woman’s lawyer had asked U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler to release her because of an outbreak in the Mecklenburg County Jail. Cowick was among a group of federal inmates who asked the courts to reconsider their detention after four dozen Mecklenburg inmates tested positive for COVID-19. Brittany Cowick left the jail last week and is on house arrest at her mother’s home in Lenoir. She still faces trial on drug charges that federal prosecutors say are connected a methamphetamine ring.



Appeals court: Bond isn’t lost if feds take defendant first
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s intermediate-level appeals court says a bail bond company shouldn’t lose $100,000 when a defendant failed to appear in court because federal immigration agents took him away first. Tuesday’s unanimous opinion at the Court of Appeals favored the Raleigh company that had posted the $100,000 bond in April 2018. By the next day, immigration agents took him away and ultimately deported him to Mexico. A trial judge later ruled the company had to forefit the bond because the defendant was absent on a court date. But the appeals court says the forfeiture never should have been initiated because he was never actually released.



Man convicted in death of Michael Jordan’s dad to be paroled
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – State officials say one of the two men convicted of murdering Michael Jordan’s father in 1993 will be released from prison in three years. The N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission announced in a three-paragraph statement on Tuesday that it has granted parole to Larry Demery, who is to be released in August 2023. During their trial, prosecutors used testimony from Demery to identify Daniel Green as the triggerman in a deadly robbery of James Jordan early on July 23, 1993. James Jordan’s body was found 11 days later in a South Carolina swamp and identified with dental records.



Sandy Hook families: Gun maker trying to wipe out lawsuit
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A lawyer for some of the Sandy Hook school shooting victims’ families is accusing gun maker Remington Arms of using its new bankruptcy case to try to wipe out the families’ lawsuit against the company. The comments came during a hearing Tuesday in federal bankruptcy court in Decatur, Alabama. The families are suing Remington in Connecticut over how it marketed the rifle used in the 2012 massacre that killed 20 children and six adults. Their lawyer says their lawsuit is not included in the bankruptcy filing and the company is trying to rush an auction of its holdings. A lawyer for Remington denies the allegation.



Police: Juvenile has died following car chase with deputy
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say that a juvenile has died following a chase with a sheriff’s deputy. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the crash occurred early Tuesday morning. Police said that Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputies were pursuing a 2003 Chevrolet when the car ran off the road and hit a utility pole. Police said that one passenger in the car was pronounced dead at the scene. The person’s name was not released. Three other people were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The injured included the driver of the car, who is a juvenile, as well as an 18-year-old and a 21-year-old.



AP-WF-08-19-20 1020GMT