Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA BALLOTS
Thousands of N.C. voters wait weeks for absentee ballots
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Weeks from the election, three of North Carolina’s most populous counties are often taking two weeks or more to send absentee ballots out to voters who request them. The Associated Press analyzed data on absentee ballot requests over a period from Sept. 1, when the state launched an online request portal, through Oct. 5. AP’s analysis shows that in Wake County, the state’s largest, it took an average of 15 days from when voters requested ballots to when the county printed and mailed out the absentee ballots by mail during that period. áThe average processing times during that period for Buncombe and Forsyth counties were 14 days and 11 days.
EXTRA CREDIT GRANT
Deadline this week for some N.C. parents to receive $335
RALEIGH, N.C (AP) – Some North Carolina parents are running out of time to ensure they receive additional money later this year for help during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new state law directs $335 payments go automatically to 2019 tax filers who reported having at least one child age 16 or under. Parents or guardians who didn’t make enough money last year to file a return can still get the “Extra Credit Grant,” but they must file an application by Thursday to qualify. The law says the money is designed to assist with virtual schooling and child-care costs during the pandemic.
Black North Carolina firefighters allege racism in grievance
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Black firefighters in a North Carolina city have filed a grievance alleging white captains talked about running over protesters and a firefighter made a noose during a rope and knots class. The Winston-Salem Journal reports the grievance was filed by Black firefighters with the Winston-Salem Fire Department. The grievance calls for Chief William Mayo to be fired for failing to discipline white firefighters who, the group said, have created a hostile work environment through comments in person and on social media. Edward Scott Blair, one of the white fire captains, says the allegations made against him have been taken out of context.
Michelle Obama, LeBron James team to help boost early voting
WASHINGTON (AP) – A voter initiative led by Michelle Obama is partnering with a similar group founded by NBA star LeBron James and other prominent Black athletes and entertainers to generate excitement about voting early for the Nov. 3 election. Mrs. Obama’s group When We All Vote and James’ group More Than A Vote are teaming to provide information, transportation, food, music, personal protective equipment and other support at early voting sites nationwide Oct. 18-31. In-person events are planned for Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; Orlando, Florida; and Philadelphia. A virtual couch party is planned Oct. 23. Mrs. Obama told The Associated Press on Tuesday “making your plan to vote early is critical.”
ELECTION 2020-SENATE FUNDRAISING
Senate Democrats’ fundraising success puts GOP on defensive
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic Senate candidates are mounting a push in Republican states that few would have thought were competitive just a few months ago, putting GOP control of the chamber at risk. In South Carolina, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s challenger, Democrat Jaime Harrison, shattered fundraising records with a $57 million haul. MJ Hegar in Texas reported raising over $13 million in her race against Republican Sen. John Cornyn. And even in deep-red Mississippi, Mike Espy reported raising $4 million in his rematch against Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. The windfall speaks to the energy coursing through a restive Democratic base that hopes to oust President Donald Trump and flip control of the Senate.
Smokies looks to public for ideas to reduce congestion
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is turning to the public for ideas on how to reduce congestion at some of its most popular spots. The park on the Tennessee-North Carolina border saw a record 12.5 million visitors in 2019 and has set monthly visitation records in June, July, and August of this year. According to the park, the result has been congested roadways, overflowing parking lots, trampled vegetation. and long lines. The park is soliciting public input on the problem through virtual workshops, online forms, and direct mail.
State issues warning as bears go into forage overdrive
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is warning that bears in the state are preparing for hibernation and will be foraging áfor food outside of their normal ranges. The commission said in a news release last week that bears will likely be venturing closer to homes and campgrounds as well as trying to cross busy highways to find food. And they will be protective of the food they find. The commission said that people need to take measures to protect themselves and the bears. That includes storing trash in the garage, removing bird feeders and cleaning grills. And of course, never purposefully feed a bear.
North Carolina stables report sick horses; cause unknown
HERTFORD, N.C. (AP) – Four horses have died and a dozen more have turned up sick at a North Carolina stable, and officials are searching for a source of the illness. New Hope Stables in Hertford in Perquimans County reports no one knows what made the horses sick. A Facebook post by the stable says almost all infectious diseases have been ruled out, and that the focus is shifting to poisoning. The horses were all tested for coronavirus and other diseases, and all the tests came back negative. The post also said the stable is working with the N.C. Department of Agriculture to determine the cause.