Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-VOTING
Battleground North Carolina begins in-person early voting
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Early in-person voting is starting in North Carolina, where the historically popular form of casting ballots has been upstaged this fall by people voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. Early-vote locations open in all 100 counties Thursday morning. President Donald Trump planned to hold a rally Thursday afternoon in Greenville, while Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris prepared for appearances in Charlotte and Asheville. The early-vote option ends Oct. 31. More than 60% of the ballots cast in 2016 in North Carolina were cast through early in-person voting. That percentage likely will be less because 500,000 people already have cast ballots by mail.
ELECTION 2020-GOVERNOR-NORTH CAROLINA
Cooper, Forest spar over COVID, economy at governor’s debate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest participated in the lone gubernatorial debate of the 2020 election cycle. Cooper criticized Forest for refusing to wear masks at political rallies. Forest attacked Cooper for a slow reopening of schools and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus trends have worsened in North Carolina as the state has transitioned to a Phase 3 reopening. The two also traded jabs about how to support small businesses that are looking to reopen. Cooper did not directly say whether he believes systemic racism is a problem, while Forest said it isn’t a systemic issue.
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-BALLOTS
Judge: North Carolina must strengthen absentee witness rule
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge has ordered North Carolina elections officials to update absentee voting rules to ensure that voters prove they have had someone witness their ballot. Judge William Osteen issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday ordering state officials to rewrite a directive issued in late September that allowed voters to fix a lack of a witness signature by returning an affidavit. However, he said he wouldn’t block that kind of fix for small errors such as an incomplete witness address. Ballots with incomplete witness info and other deficiencies have been in limbo since at least Oct. 3.
ELECTION 2020-GOVERNOR-NORTH CAROLINA
Cooper, Forest to compete at lone N.C. gubernatorial debate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will participate in the lone gubernatorial debate of the 2020 election cycle. The Wednesday debate will be hosted by the state’s Association of Broadcasters. Cooper has long criticized Forest for refusing to wear masks at political rallies. Forest has attacked Cooper for a slow reopening of schools and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus trends have worsened in North Carolina as the state has transitioned to a Phase 3 reopening. Hospitalizations are at their highest levels since August, with more than 1,100 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19.
Dueling town halls for Trump, Biden after debate plan nixed
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden will compete for TV audiences in dueling town halls instead of meeting face-to-face for their second debate as originally planned. The two will take questions in different cities on different networks Thursday night – Trump on NBC from Miami, Biden on ABC from Philadelphia. Trump backed out of plans for the originally scheduled presidential faceoff after debate organizers shifted the format to a virtual event following Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis. The two candidates are taking care of other electoral necessities first: Trump has a midday rally in battleground North Carolina, and Biden is raising campaign cash at a virtual event.
BIG DONOR-NORTH CAROLINA
Judge rejects N.C. political donor’s prison delay request
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A judge says an insurance company magnate and major North Carolina political donor convicted on corruption-related counts must begin his federal prison term next week. U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn rejected Greg Lindberg’s request that that his active sentence be delayed so he can more effectively appeal his conviction and because of an elevated risk of contracting COVID-19 in prison. Lindberg is supposed to report Tuesday to a prison in Alabama. Lindberg was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after being convicted in March of attempting to bribe North Carolina’s insurance commissioner to secure preferential regulatory treatment for his insurance business.
BC-ELECTION 2020-MONTANA-SENATE-CASH DELUGE
US Senate high stakes spur astronomical spending in Montana
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Political groups fighting for control of the U.S. Senate have poured more than $118 million into the contest between Montana’s Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock and Republican incumbent Steve Daines. It’s a record shattering figure for the sparsely-populated state and dwarfs spending on a per-voter basis in all other Senate battleground states. The cash deluge comes amid growing Republican worries they could lose control of the chamber. Democrats are trying to reverse a years-long GOP surge in Montana that included President Donald Trump winning the state by more than 20 percentage points in 2016.
Indictment: Women incited fight at assisted living facility
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Three North Carolina women have been indicted after authorities say they incited two female residents at an assisted living facility to fight each other and one of the three women filmed it. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Tonacia Yvonne Tyson and Taneshia Deshawn Jordan, each were indicted on one count of misdemeanor assaulting an individual with a disability. Officials say Marilyn Latish McKey was indicted on two counts of assaulting an individual with a disability. Authorities say the incident occurred on June 19, 2019, and an employee at the facility called police two days later. The two women involved in the fight told police they weren’t injured.