Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
RACIAL INJUSTICE-CHARLOTTE POLICE
North Carolina police supervisor disciplined for comment
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A supervisor at a North Carolina police department has been disciplined after saying officers were about to “hammer” demonstrators protesting George Floyd’s death in June. The Charlotte Observer reports the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police sergeant was suspended for two weeks without pay after comments he made during the June 2 protest in which officers deployed tear gas, pepper balls and other chemical agents against largely peaceful demonstrators. Witnesses and participants have detailed injuries from the protests, in which nearly 200 people were blocked from escaping the tear gas as police officers advanced on them from two directions.
AP-NC-FRAUD CHARGES-VIRUS LOANS
Feds: Man lied on paperwork to get $400K in CARES Act loans
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Federal authorities say a North Carolina man lied on some paperwork to get $400,000 in U.S. government loans that are for businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. The Charlotte Observer reports that David Christopher Redfern was charged Tuesday with wire and bank fraud. Federal prosecutors said that Redfern applied for loans available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. It was passed by Congress earlier this year. The loans were for a construction business based in Trinity, which is about an hour northeast of Charlotte, the U.S. government said. The company was formed in January 2020, court filings show.
BC-US-RONNIE LONG-NEW HEARING
North Carolina man freed after 1976 rape conviction vacated
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man who spent 44 years in prison for a rape he says he didn’t commit has been freed. Ronnie Long’s conviction was vacated on Thursday and he was released from the Albemarle Correctional Institution shortly after 5 p.m. Earlier this week, a federal appeals court had granted a new hearing for Long. A judge had criticized North Carolina for defending Long’s conviction despite the possibility that investigators withheld evidence. Long was a 20-year-old Black man living in Concord when he was accused of raping a white woman. Long’s attorneys have said that more than 40 fingerprints collected from the scene were never shared and didn’t match Long’s.
BC-SMALL BUSINESS STRUGGLES-ANN ARBOR
Small businesses in college towns struggle without students
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Small business owners in college towns across the U.S. are hoping for the best when students return – and bracing for the worst. That includes the owners of the bars, restaurants and other retailers on South University Avenue near the University of Michigan, which have been hit hard financially since the COVID-19 pandemic sent tens of thousands of their customers back home in mid-March. Those that have been able to withstand the exodus thus far are praying they can hang on long enough to still be standing when business as usual resumes and are scrambling for new strategies.
SCHOOL SYSTEM-RANSOMWARE ATTACK
North Carolina school system closes after ransonware attack
WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina school system is closed to students after officials discovered a ransomware attack. The Asheville Citizen Times reports Haywood County Schools is closed for the rest of the week following an announcement on Wednesday. The system says there will be optional workdays for staff. School staff discovered the attack on Aug. 24 and classes were canceled for the next three days. According to the school system, a third-party attacker asked for ransom in exchange for stopping the attack. The district took services offline to contain the incident and contacted the N.C. Department of Public Safety.
Police say man in critical condition after stabbing at hotel
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) – Police say a man was stabbed in his hotel room in North Carolina and is in critical condition. The High Point Enterprise reports police officers were dispatched to a hotel Wednesday after the desk clerk reported that a woman said her boyfriend needed emergency medical attention. When officers arrived, they found the man had suffered a stab wound. The unidentified 31-year-old man was taken to a Greensboro hospital, where police said he was listed in critical condition on Thursday. An investigation into the incident is underway, but police aren’t releasing any additional information.
ELECTION 2020-GOVERNOR’S RACE
Roy Cooper, Dan Forest agree to Oct. 14 debate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is looking to fend off a challenge from Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest in one of the few closely watched gubernatorial races in the country this election season. Both campaigns have confirmed they’ll participate in a debate on Oct. 14 organized by the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters. Forest is pushing for Cooper to agree to two more debates. Cooper has no plans to do any in-person campaign, as he consistently leads Forest in public opinion polls by double digits. Forest is active on the campaign trail, often holding large, maskless gatherings.
Cooper’s budget proposal includes Medicaid expansion, bonds
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is recommending to legislators how to spend nearly $1 billion in COVID-19 federal relief dollars, mainly for public health, K-12 schools and local governments. But he asked separately on Wednesday that legislators reconvening in Raleigh next week spend more state tax dollars on disaster relief, at-risk students and teacher bonuses. The Democrat also tacked on other policy and spending prescriptions that will likely be idled by the Republican-controlled General Assembly. They include Medicaid expansion and more than $5 billion in debt for capital projects and infrastructure. Senate Republicans are wary of spending more state tax dollars during an uncertain economy.