AP-NC Newswatch

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September 17, 2020
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September 17, 2020
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment 



After Sally: Rescue, recovery and a wary eye on rivers
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) – Rivers swollen by Hurricane Sally’s rains could mean more problems for parts of south Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Sally has diminished to a tropical depression. But it’s still a rainmaker as it has moved Thursday into Georgia, on a path to the Carolinas. Authorities warned that rain from the storm could swell eight waterways in Florida and Alabama to record levels. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned residents and visitors of possible river flooding in the coming days. The National Weather Service says the small city of Brewton, Alabama, can expect moderate to major flooding.



NC lieutenant governor: Reopen schools without mask mandate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest has called for all North Carolina K-12 public schools to reopen without requiring students or teachers to wear masks. At a Wednesday morning news conference, the lieutenant governor said he would not mandate masks if elected governor, and that he wants the state to move quickly to Plan A so everyone can have 100% in-person learning. The current directive from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper allows school districts to partially reopen under Plan B, but also gives local school boards the option to stay fully remote under Plan C. Federal health officials have encouraged mask wearing as an effective way to contain the spread of COVID-19.



The Latest: Sally weakening but still dumping lots of rain
Sally continues to weaken as it moves over the South after hitting the Gulf Coast as a Category 2 hurricane but is still a dangerous rainmaker as it moves into Georgia on a path to the Carolinas. The tropical depression’s maximum sustained winds early Thursday have decreased to near 30 mph with additional weakening expected. As of 5 a.m. EDT, Sally was centered about 50 miles southeast of Montgomery, Alabama, and is moving northeast near 12 mph. Authorities have warned that rain from the storm could swell eight waterways in Florida and Alabama to record levels.



N.C. State eclipses 1,000 coronavirus cases among students
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – More than 1,000 students at North Carolina State University have tested positive for the coronavirus since classes began last month. N.C. State is now the second college in the state to surpass 1,000 student cases. East Carolina University hit that mark earlier this month, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has seen more than 950 COVID-19 cases among students thus far. All three campuses halted in-person undergraduate classes and urged students to leave their dorms and return home to their families due to a surge in cases shortly after the fall semester began on Aug. 10.



Raytheon doubles job cuts to 15,000, citing airline downturn
WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) – Raytheon Technologies plans to eliminate more than 15,000 jobs this year at its corporate offices, jet engine-maker Pratt & Whitney and aviation and military equipment manufacturer Collins Aerospace. Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes announced the revised job cut numbers Wednesday during a Morgan Stanley analysts conference. The cuts are nearly double what the company disclosed in July amid a downtown in the airline industry during the coronavirus pandemic. Jobs will be eliminated at Raytheon’s headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, Connecticut, and Collins Aerospace in Charlotte, North Carolina.



Illinois man drowns in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The National Park Service says an Illinois man is believed to have drowned in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after falling into a natural wonder known as “Midnight Hole.” The park service identified the man as 25-year-old Yogesh Patel, of Oak Forest, Illinois, who went missing on Sept. 14. Patel fell into the water at “Midnight Hole” around 7:30 p.m. Monday and was observed struggling, officials said. The spot is on the North Carolina side of the national park. News outlets reported that his body was recovered by rescue divers Tuesday. An official cause of death has not been released.



Northeastern NC town sets curfew following recent shootings
HERTFORD, N.C. (AP) – A small northeastern North Carolina town has issued an expansive curfew following three recent shootings that authorities say left one town resident dead and two injured. Hertford Mayor Ernell Brown signed the curfew order, which lasts a week. Brown says the shootings were likely committed by people from out of town. The mayor says unsolved drive-by shootings in Edenton in July and in Portsmouth last weekend contributed to the curfew decision. Young people must stay off the streets from 4 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. The curfew begins for adults at 9 p.m. There are some exceptions.



Some North Carolina voters mistakenly get 2 absentee ballots
MATTHEWS, N.C. (AP) – Election officials in North Carolina say a mixup in sending the first absentee ballots caused some voters to receive two identical ballots for the November general election. Mecklenburg County election officials said this week that some ballots intended for voters in Matthews were mislabeled with the wrong names and were shredded before they could be sent. When officials printed new mailing labels to correct the mistake, some voters ended up getting two duplicate ballots. Election Director Michael Dickerson said fewer than 500 voters were affected. He added that it’s unlikely voters could’ve cast two ballots since each mailing label has an individual code making it impossible to vote twice.



AP-WF-09-17-20 1020GMT