AP-NC Newswatch

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August 31, 2020
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August 31, 2020
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment 



Trump to visit Wilmington to declare it WWII Heritage City
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – President Donald Trump will visit Wilmington Wednesday to declare it a World War II “Heritage City.” News outlets report that the visit is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the end of the war. Legislation enacted last year requires the Secretary of the Interior to declare at least one city a year to be a World War II Heritage City. Wilmington would be the first. Wilmington has been home to the Battleship North Carolina since 1962. The ship was active in the Pacific theater during World War II and is now a floating museum.



Gov. Cooper, Republican lawmakers back at NC Supreme Court
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislators are returning to North Carolina’s highest court for their latest push and pull over powers held by state government branches. The state Supreme Court scheduled arguments on Monday from lawyers for Cooper and GOP legislative leaders in Cooper’s lawsuit challenging how federal block grant money is spent. A Court of Appeals panel favored the General Assembly in the case last year. But Cooper says the money isn’t state tax dollars, so it’s his duty to ensure the funds are spent the way Congress dictated. Cooper has sued over several legislative actions.



Prison escapee who walked off job captured in North Carolina
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) – A minimum security inmate who walked away from from a prison job assignment in North Carolina has been captured. Prison officials say Michael Lee Willis-Rockett was taken into custody Sunday at about 9 a.m. after he was identified at a hotel in High Point. Officials say he was given away by his tattoos. Officials say Willis-Rockett, an inmate at Wake Correctional Center, walked away from his job assignment at the Department of Public Safety’s warehouse in Apex, where he loaded trucks. He has been serving a two-year sentence for identity theft and had been scheduled for release in December. He is now charged with escape.



Raleigh Police arrest 14 protesters for breaking curfew
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina’s capital city say they arrested 14 protesters after a march against racial injustice violated a newly imposed curfew. News outlets report that hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Friday night. The protest was largely peaceful, though an American flag was burned, portable toilets were toppled and a memorial to fallen police officers was vandalized with red spray paint. Police say that after the 10 p.m. curfew was breached, they allowed the group to disband. Police say many went home, but some made clear they planned to defy the curfew. Fourteen protesters were charged with violating curfew.; one was also charged with assaulting a police officer.



Postal chief DeJoy has long leveraged connections, dollars
WASHINGTON (AP) – As questions linger about election-year changes to post office operations and service, congressional Democrats are trying to figure out how Republican donor Louis DeJoy came to be hired as postmaster general. DeJoy wasn’t among the 53 candidates for the job who were initially presented to the U.S. Postal Service board of governors. Democrats are also focusing on whether Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin played any role in pushing DeJoy for the job. DeJoy is a businessman who turned his father’s trucking company into a national logistics operator. He’s clashed with labor unions and forged political connections that eased his path into lucrative government contracting.



Randall Kenan dies: Author depicted Black, gay life in prose
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Randall Kenan, an author whose stories explored the experience of being Black and gay in the American South, has died. He was 57. The University of North Carolina, where he taught as an English professor, confirmed his death Saturday. A cause was not immediately available. Kenan grew up in North Carolina and attended UNC as well, receiving his undergraduate degree in 1985. His 1992 collection of short stories set in the fictional town of Tim’s Creek, North Carolina, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, received critical acclaim. He also wrote a young adult biography of author James Baldwin.



Voting groups scramble to reach college students in pandemic
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Colleges are reopening with more online learning, and that’s proving a challenge for political campaigns, parties and voter registration groups trying to register students. They’re trying to figure out how to reach young voters when campuses are empty and students are scattered across the country. Campaigns, advocacy groups and registration organizations say they’re looking for creative, largely digital, solutions. President Donald Trump’s campaign is still holding in-person events to boost support among students. Joe Biden’s supporters are being advised to step up their digital efforts. Democrats are more dependent on college voters’ support and, in a traditional campaign, their volunteerism.



County: 4 people tied to RNC in Charlotte have coronavirus
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Health officials in North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County say four people who were at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte have tested positive for the coronavirus. WBTV reported Thursday that those who tested positive were immediately isolated. The county said in a news release that nearly 800 people were tested who attended the event or who helped support it. Two attendees and two people supporting the convention tested positive. The Charlotte Observer reports that the disclosures come after county health officials raised concerned about a lack of social distancing and mask wearing at a Monday business meeting of the RNC in Charlotte. Strict coronavirus protocols were supposed to be followed.



AP-WF-08-31-20 1020GMT