Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Cooper orders gyms partially open, keeps bars closed
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has issued an executive order that will soon allow residents to go to gyms but keep them prohibited from entering bars. The mass gathering limit will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors starting on Friday. Republicans remain concerned businesses can’t survive further closure extensions. The executive order will allow gyms and bowling alleys to open at 30% capacity. Bars, movie theaters, nightclubs, dance halls, amusement parks and indoor entertainment venues must remain closed. Cooper said the mandate for face coverings will stay in place.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA UNIVERSITIES
Since reopening, 3K N.C. college students got coronavirus
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – At least 3,000 college students across North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus since schools reopened in early August. Roughly four in five cases across the state have come from UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University and East Carolina University. The spike in coronavirus cases prompted the three campuses to halt undergraduate in-person classes and move students out of their dorms as classes go fully online. Dozens of private and public colleges in the state have wildly different standards for reporting coronavirus information and the state public health department cannot force the universities to turn over much of their data.
Payments to parents in NC Republicans’ virus relief package
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina legislature will reconvene briefly starting Wednesday to consider spending leftover federal COVID-19 relief funds to reach the pockets of parents, the unemployed and poll workers. House and Senate Republicans have agreed on a package they want to send to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper this week to spend just over $1 billion in coronavirus relief from Congress. The package would include sending $325 payments to households with children to help parents with child care and education. Cooper will have to decide whether to sign the General Assembly’s final package or veto it. The top House Democrats blasted the plan as “completely inadequate.”
North Carolina judge backs education spending plan
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina judge has agreed to sign an order that calls for $427 million in additional education spending this year to carry out longstanding court rulings on public school funding. Superior Court Judge David Lee formally backed on Tuesday the spending plan developed by the State Board of Education and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration. Judge Lee is in charge of carrying out responses to state Supreme Court rulings related to students and their opportunity “to receive a sound basic education.” The General Assembly would have to approve such funding, and a judge can’t force lawmakers to spend money.
Supervisors in North Carolina prisons are getting Tasers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Supervisors at North Carolina’s maximum security prisons are being armed with Tasers to break up fights. The Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday that the devices have been given to hundreds of supervisors at seven maximum-security prisons and will be issued to those in five more. Tasers are designed to immobilize attackers with high-voltage shocks. Critics worry that stun guns could be fatal for inmates with heart problems. State Department of Public Safety spokesman John Bull said that Tasers “provide safety and security in the close custody prisons.” But North Carolina CURE, a group that advocates for inmates, questioned whether officers would know which inmates had heart conditions that could make them vulnerable to death or injury.
Tropical Storm Omar forms as Nana approaches Central America
MIAMI (AP) – Tropical Storm Omar has formed off the U.S. East Coast as Tropical Storm Nana approaches the coast of Central America. The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicts that Nana will grow to hurricane strength and recommends that people in Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula closely monitor its progress. Strong winds, a dangerous storm surge and very heavy rainfall causing flash flooding are likely. Colorado State University professor Phil Klotzbach says Nana and Omar are the earliest 14th and 15th named storms on record. The Hurricane Center expects Tropical Storm Omar to be short-lived. It formed off the coast of North Carolina and was heading out to sea.
2 children missing after car is swept away in North Carolina
SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina are searching for two children who were in a car that was swept away by floodwaters early Tuesday. Officials say a woman called 911 around 1 a.m. and reported that her car had been swept off the road and into a creek near Smithfield with her and her kids inside. Fire Chief John Blanton says the woman was rescued, but her children, ages á4 and 5 remain missing. He added that four rescue boats overturned during the efforts and crews had to be saved.
‘Antifa hunter’ gets 3 years for online racist threats
A Florida man who waged an online campaign to terrorize and harass people who opposed his white supremacist ideology has been sentenced to more than three years in prison. A federal judge in Virginia sentenced Daniel McMahon on Monday. McMahon pleaded guilty in April to using social media to threaten a Black activist to deter the man from running for office in Charlottesville, Virginia. McMahon also admitted that he threatened to sexually assault the young autistic daughter of a woman who protested against white nationalists.