AP-NC Newswatch

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September 15, 2020
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September 15, 2020
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment 



Thousands in North Carolina incorrectly told they have COVID
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A county in North Carolina incorrectly told nearly 7,000 residents they had tested positive for the coronavirus. The Charlotte Observer reports the messages were sent by text messages to more than 6,700 residents in Mecklenburg County on Friday. More than 500 people also received a county email with the notice. The county said Friday on Twitter the messages went out due to a technical glitch. The county’s manager told county commissioners on Monday they were sent through HealthSpace Data System, a company based in Canada. The county has been using the company’s software to help with contact tracing efforts in the pandemic.



Police seek help in North Carolina man’s disappearance
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina are asking for the public’s help in the mysterious disappearance of a 39-year-old Raleigh man who went missing Saturday. A 911 caller told police that William Anderson Banks was supposed to meet someone to sell his Range Rover Saturday in the parking lot of the former K&W Cafeteria at Cameron Village. The News & Observer reports that Raleigh police found Banks’ silver Range Rover in Danville, Virginia, just over the North Carolina border. Raleigh police said Banks was last seen in the Woodburn Road area Saturday afternoon.



NC House speaker accuses Democrats on police funding issue
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – House Speaker Tim Moore and some Republican sheriffs are accusing Democratic legislative candidates of pushing to reduce police funding if elected this November. But the top Democrat in the chamber says the pledge that dozens of House Democratic candidates agreed to contains no demand to “defund the police.” Moore cited on Monday a pledge promoted by the group Future Now, a nonpartisan issues group. Its political arm has given campaign contributions to Democrats. Future Now’s executive director, Daniel Squadron, says Moore is lying about the group’s policy goal. Moore’s news conference comes weeks before all 170 legislative seats are up for election.



Teen driver charged in death of 13-year-old during chase
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A teenage girl was charged Monday with second-degree murder in the death of a 13-year-old North Carolina boy who was killed when the car he was riding in struck a utility pole as it was being chased by sheriff’s deputies. The girl was the driver of the car chased by Forsyth County deputies on Aug. 18. She is accused of causing the death of Reuben Charles Pledger IV. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the sheriff’s office said deputies noticed the car being driven erratically and tried to stop it, but the driver refused to stop. The sheriff’s office said the car was traveling 80 miles per hour and quickly went out of control and struck the pole.The boy died at the scene.



Virginia police say protesters’ paint damaged town property
LEESBURG, Va. (AP) – A northern Virginia police department is investigating after it says a town sidewalk was defaced. The Leesburg Police Department said in a news release Monday that officers were called Friday night to an area near downtown where a group of people in black masks was gathered. The caller said one had been painting the sidewalk. Officers say they saw messages including “Free Them All” painted on the sidewalk in blue letters. Police say that someone who claimed to be the organizer said they were protesting to urge the release of inmates in a detention center in Farmville, which is in the central part of the state. Police said the paint was later removed by a town crew.



Trump defies virus rules as ‘peaceful protest’ rallies grow
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is running as the “law and order” candidate, but that hasn’t stopped him and his reelection campaign from defying state emergency orders and flouting his administration’s coronavirus guidelines as he holds rallies in battleground states. Democratic governors and local leaders have urged the president to reconsider the events, warning that he’s putting lives at risk. But they have largely not tried to stop the gatherings of several thousand people as Trump and his team push forward, likening them to “peaceful protests” protected by the First Amendment.



NC Senate candidates trade accusations on virus, vaccine
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham have traded accusations over the government’s COVID-19 response and an upcoming vaccine in their first televised debate. Tillis was largely the aggressor in Monday night’s debate, criticizing Cunningham for failing to accept the Senate’s latest COVID-19 relief bill and for questioning the efficacy of a coronavirus vaccine should it arrive soon. Cunningham says he’s worried about the influence of politics and money in Washington when it comes to public health. The outcome of their campaign in the closely divided state could determine which party controls the Senate in 2021.



Police: Officer injured after man crashes into patrol car
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Authorities said a North Carolina police officer was injured after an impaired driver crashed into his patrol car. A Raleigh police officer was responding to two car crashes Friday when a work van crashed into the patrol car. The officer was inside his vehicle and the patrol lights were flashing when the crash happened. The work van hit the police car from behind, traveling at about 50 mph. The driver of the van fled on foot but was later apprehended. Emmanuel Eduardo Najera-Pereira faces several charges including felony hit and run. Najera-Pereira and the officer were both taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. It’s unclear whether Najera-Pereira had an attorney.



AP-WF-09-15-20 1020GMT