Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-BALLOTS
Judge delays ruling on N. Carolina absentee ballot procedure
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina absentee ballots with incomplete witness information remain in limbo after a federal judge said he needed more time to issue a ruling on a tangle of lawsuits. U.S. District Judge William Osteen heard oral arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit over how mail-in ballots will be processed. A key issue is how state and local elections boards should implement a state law requiring absentee voters to have an adult witness their ballot and provide full information on the witness. Osteen criticized a method that would allow voters to submit an affidavit instead of submitting a new ballot from scratch. But he said he’d issue a written ruling at a later time.
ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Cunningham inches back into public as Army confirms probe
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham has inched back into the public sphere after The Associated Press reported the Democratic contender had an intimate encounter this summer with a public relations consultant. He spoke to a Raleigh television station on Wednesday, the same day the U.S. Army says it’s investigating Cunningham, who is a lieutenant colonel in the reserves. Cunningham acknowledged late last week that he and the woman had exchanged sexually suggestive text messages and apologized. The AP reported on Tuesday that the relationship appeared to extend beyond texts to an intimate encounter as recent as July.
Tillis: I made a mistake taking off mask inside White House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis says he made a mistake by taking off his face mask indoors last month at a White House event. He and many attendees later tested positive for COVID-19. Tillis was wearing a mask outside the White House at the September nomination announcement of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. But he took it off at an indoor reception. Tillis told WRAL-TV that he let his guard down because he had tested negative for the virus two hours before the event. But he also says he doesn’t believe he contracted the virus at the event. Tillis is recovering at home.
N Carolina city apologizes for deaths at 1979 anti-KKK rally
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A city council in North Carolina has apologized for the shooting deaths of five demonstrators at a 1979 rally against the Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party. The Greensboro City Council voted 7-2 on Tuesday night to approve a resolution which says in part that the city admits the police department neglected to act on knowledge it had that the Nazis and Klan were planning violence. Juries acquitted several people of killing the protesters and wounding others. A subsequent civil case found six members of the Klan and Nazi party and two Greensboro police officers liable for wrongful death in what’s now known as the Greensboro Massacre.
Republicans see ‘grim’ Senate map and edge away from Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) – Vulnerable Republicans are increasingly taking careful but clear steps away from President Donald Trump in the final stretch of the 2020 election. It’s a sign of GOP anxiety that their leader’s crisis-to-crisis campaign could bring down Senate candidates across the country. GOP strategists eyeing dire internal polling say the distancing reflects a marked decline in support for Trump over the last 10 days, from his ferocious debate performance through his dramatic return from the hospital to the White House. The race for the Senate majority centers on four seats Democrats must flip to win.
Elusive eastern black rail threatened by rising sea levels
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the Eastern black rail a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. áAccording to the agency, the bird nicknamed the “feathered mouse” is threatened by sea level rise and the increasing frequency and intensity of storms as well as habitat destruction. Populations have declined by more than 75% over the last 10 to 20 years. The “threatened” designation falls short of what some environmentalists were seeking. The Center for Biological Diversity, which first proposed protections for the bird 10 years ago, had hoped it would be listed as “endangered,” which would bring more protection for the remaining population.
Lowe’s to hand out another round of bonuses worth $100M
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Lowe’s Cos. says it is handing out another round of bonuses to recognize its front-line employees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The home improvement retailer said all full-time hourly workers will get $300, and part-time and seasonal employees will receive $150 on Oct. 16. The bonuses total $100 million. Lowe’s handed out similar bonuses in March, May, July and August. With the latest bonuses, Lowe’s will have provided more than $675 million in financial support to its sales associates this year.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Cooper tested negative for COVID-19 last month, office says
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s office said the governor has never tested positive for the coronavirus. Cooper most recently got tested in the middle of September after a family member had a fever. Cooper’s office says the tests for Cooper and his family were negative and the governor will continue to publicly confirm future test results. The news comes as Cooper sharpens his criticism of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus both before and after he got COVID-19. Cooper’s Republican gubernatorial opponent, Dan Forest, said he tested negative for the virus last week.