Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
AP-NC-VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA-COLLEGES
N.C. State students can take in-person classes in spring
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – N.C. State University says its students can take in-person classes for the spring semester and live in campus housing. The school said on its website on Wednesday that classes will start Jan. 11 and finish April 29. The university also said it will have spring break March 15-19, and áwill conduct final exams May 3-7. N.C. State reported more than 30 clusters of COVID-19 since classes began in August. According to the school, students contracted COVID-19 in residence halls, fraternity and sorority houses and in off-campus apartments. Chancellor Randy Woodson said he was cautiously optimistic.
‘Rock star’ appeals judge Allison Rushing in high court mix
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Allison Jones Rushing already has landed what most lawyers would consider a career-defining judicial position before turning 40. But her time as a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge could be brief should President Donald Trump pick her as his nominee to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. She began at the 4th Circuit just 18 months ago after a party-line Senate confirmation vote. She faced questions about her relatively short legal experience and link to a conservative legal group. The North Carolina native would be the first millennial on the Supreme Court. She’s clerked for two current justices.
ELECTION 2020-VOTER VOICES-SUPREME COURT
High court fight adds to pile of issues weighing on voters
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) – The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has set off a contentious political fight in Washington. But in conversations with dozens of voters in battleground states since then, many cited health care, the economy and personal complaints about President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, before mentioning the Supreme Court vacancy. During a time of so much upheaval, from the pandemic to the economic recession to the reckoning over racial justice and policing, the interviews suggest the vacancy’s impact could be less of a factor than it would have been in a less extraordinary year.
GOP senators see political, principle gain in court fight
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump marveled at a rally this week about how important Supreme Court nominations are to voters. But Senate Republicans are with the voters on that question. Despite Democratic cries of hypocrisy, they’re hoping the battle over replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg will help them keep their Senate majority as well as Trump’s job in the White House. Beyond this year’s election, the Republicans see the effort as achieving a generational priority – a solid majority on the high court for years to come. They say that’s worth the possible political risk.
Woman charged as accessory in North Carolina’s child’s death
WILSON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have arrested a woman and charged her with being an accessory in the shooting death of a 5-year-old boy last month. The Wilson Times reports police said 21-year-old Aolani Takemi Marie Pettit was arrested on Tuesday. Police haven’t said how Pettit allegedly served as an accessory to the crime. Wilson Police said officers responding to a report of a shooting at a mobile home park on Aug. 9 found 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant suffering from a gunshot wound. Cannon died at a local hospital. A neighbor, 25-year-old Darius Nathaniel Sessoms, has been charged with first-degree murder in the boy’s death.
ASHEVILLE POLICE BUDGET
North Carolina city votes to reduce police budget by 3%
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina city has voted to decrease its police budget by 3% amid calls from protestors to cut the funds in half. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the Asheville City Council approved a $29.3 million police budget Tuesday. The cuts make up a $770,000 reduction to the $30.1 million originally proposed. During recent demonstrations against racial injustice, protesters in Asheville and across the U.S. have rallied aroundácalls to reduce police spending and reallocate funds into serving community needs. Councilman Brian Haynes opposed the amount and said the decrease fell short of Black citizens’ demands. The city manager said the cuts were “initial steps” and larger ones would take time.
Trump, social media, right-wing news stir up antifa scares
LEITCHFIELD, Ky. (AP) – Social media disinformation, right-wing news outlets and even some of the nation’s most powerful leaders have stirred up a new boogeyman for many Americans to fear: antifa. President Donald Trump has said the federal government would designate antifa as a “terrorist organization” and blamed it for violence at protests against racial injustice and police brutality. But FBI Director Christopher Wray told a congressional panel last week that antifa is more of an ideology or a movement than an organization. Mark Bray, author of the book “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” says Trump and his allies are demonizing antifa to divert attention from the Black Lives Matter movement.
FATAL PAPER MILL FIRE
2 killed in fire at North Carolina paper packaging mill
CANTON, N.C. (AP) – Two people were killed when a paper packaging mill caught fire in North Carolina. The manager of the mill in Canton said two contract workers who were repairing a tank at the Evergreen Packaging plant died when the fire broke out at the facility early Monday. Authorities didn’t identify the victims. Officials said the Canton Fire Department responded and extinguished the blaze later that morning. The manager said the mill was cooperating with police, the fire department and regulatory agencies in the investigation. The mill is about 20 miles west of Asheville and employs about 1,000 people.