Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
ELECTION 2020-PENCE-NORTH CAROLINA
Mike Pence making 2 more campaign stops in North Carolina
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Vice President Mike Pence is making his second and third campaign stops in North Carolina in three days for President Donald Trump’s reelection bid. Pence is scheduled to hold rallies at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro at midday Tuesday and at the Wilmington airport in the evening. He’ll be in Greenville, South Carolina, for an event in between. Pence remains on the campaign trail after his chief of staff and other close contacts tested positive for COVID-19. Pence tested negative and decided to keep traveling after consulting White House medical personnel. That included a campaign stop in Kinston on Sunday.
AP-NC-VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina to get nearly 3.2M BinaxNOW virus tests
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says it’s sending nearly 3.2 million rapid coronavirus tests to North Carolina. The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 point of care antigen tests can diagnose coronavirus infection in as little as fifteen minutes. The department said Monday the tests will be distributed at the discretion of Gov. Roy Cooper to support testing K-12 students, teachers, nursing home patients and staff, higher education, critical infrastructure, first responders, and other priorities. As of Oct. 26, more than 1.3 million BinaxNOW tests have been shipped to North Carolina.
AP-NC-STUDENTS RETURN-WAKE COUNTY
Wake County elementary students return for in-person classes
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Wake County elementary students have returned to school for in-person classes for the first time since March 13. The Raleigh News & Observer reports that the county’s 160,000 students have been taking online classes only since March due to the coronavirus. On Monday school officials estimated that about 8,000 elementary students returned for in-person instruction as part of a plan to gradually bring more children back to school. The county is phasing in the return of students. Many elementary schools only had around 50 students on campus Monday. That number will rise over the next three weeks.
ELECTION 2020-EARLY VOTE
Early vote total exceeds 2016; GOP chips at Dems’ advantage
The number of people casting an early ballot in the presidential election now surpasses those who voted early during all of 2016. That’s more than 58 million people voting with eight days to go before Election Day. Democrats have been dominating early voting, but Republicans are slowly narrowing the gap. That’s because in-person early voting has kicked off in a number of states and President Donald Trump has convinced many of his supporters they should not vote with mail ballots. One out of every 4 of the voters is either new or infrequent, a sign of a potential record-setting turnout.
Servicewomen killed in Alabama plane crash identified
FOLEY, Ala. (AP) – Authorities have identified the two service members who were killed when their plane crashed in a residential Alabama neighborhood. U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Morgan Garrett and U.S. Navy Lt. Rhiannon Ross were on a routine training flight Friday out of Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Florida when their plane crashed in Foley, Alabama. The T-6B Texan II aircraft crashed around 5 p.m. Friday. No one was injured on the ground. Garrett was a student aviator for the Coast Guard. She was identified by the superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Ross was later identified by the Navy.
AP-NC-SCHOOL VIRUS CLUSTERS
Private schools are reporting more coronavirus clusters
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Private schools in North Carolina have reported having more coronavirus clusters than public schools have. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Monday that there were 14 active coronavirus clusters at private K-12 schools across the state. There were 11 active clusters at K-12 public schools. No deaths have been reported from the active clusters. The information came from the Department of Health and Human Services. North Carolina has more than 2,500 public schools and 751 private schools. A majority of public schools started the school year online. Many private schools opted for full-time, in-person classes.
AP-NC-HEAT RELATED ILLNESS
Concerns over heat-related illness rise in rural areas
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – State officials in North Carolina say that high temperatures are increasingly becoming a health threat in rural areas. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Sunday that climate change will likely exacerbate the problem in the coming decades. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has been figuring out where to focus heat prevention efforts after receiving a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heat prevention coordinator Lauren Thie said that a large area of focus is counties adjacent to the Sandhills. They include Bladen, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland counties. Thie said a disproportionate number of people get sick from the heat in the those counties.
Strong year for North Carolina pecans
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – After several years of uncooperative weather, North Carolina pecan farmers say 2020 will bring a bumper crop. The Charlotte Observer reports that key reasons are plentiful rain and sunshine this year as well as the lack of any major storms. The state’s prime pecan seasons starts early next month and runs through the end of the year. North Carolina is a top pecan-producing state and grows about 4 million to 5 million pounds a year, according to agricultural officials.