Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
ELECTION 2020-CHIEF JUSTICE
Newby still up after machine recount in N.C. justice race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Republican Paul Newby’s narrow lead over Democratic incumbent Cheri Beasley changed little overall as a statewide machine recount of North Carolina’s very close race for Supreme Court chief justice was finally completed. The machine recount that finished Wednesday night left Newby with a 401-vote lead over Beasley with nearly 5.4 million votes cast in the race. Beasley’s campaign says it immediately asked the State Board of Elections for a hand recount of a small portion of ballots statewide. Newby led by 406 votes before the machine recount. Beasley is the first Black female chief justice in the state. Newby is senior associate justice.
US appeals court rules judge wrongly halted NC voter ID
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal appeals court has ruled that a lower court judge wrongly blocked the implementation of North Carolina’s latest photo voter identification law with her legal injunction last year. Wednesday’s unanimous opinion by a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined District Judge Loretta Biggs erred by declaring the 2018 requirement was tainted by racial bias largely because a previous voter ID law had been struck down on similar grounds. Both were approved by the Republican-controlled legislature. The opinion doesn’t mean the voter ID requirement can be carried out now because an injunction is still in place in state court.
Police: 18-year-olds charged with assaulting couple at mall
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Police say two 18-year-olds have been charged with attacking a man and woman at a North Carolina mall. Brandon Denard Crosby and Tynaysha Jada Davis were arrested Monday and charged with assault. Winston-Salem police say a couple was beaten in a parking lot at Hanes Mall on Saturday. The two adults went to the mall to pickup the man’s daughter, who said she was being threatened by a group of teenagers. Six others involved in the case were charged as juveniles. It’s unclear whether Crosby or Davis have attorneys. Mall officials say teens under 18 must now be accompanied by an adult who is over 21-years-old during all weekend operating hours.
STATE AUDIT-VIRUS RELIEF
NC audit questions monitoring of virus funds for education
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – State Auditor Beth Wood’s office says North Carolina’s education department has failed to monitor sufficiently whether over $140 million in federal coronavirus relief money was used properly or met its intended purposes. That is the conclusion of a performance audit released Wednesday that goes through August. Wood’s auditors focused on money for nutrition services and summer learning programs and for distribution to local districts. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson disagrees with much of the audit’s findings. He says his agency “vigorously worked” to deliver relief funds while making sure helping those in need was a key focus.
OBIT-SLIM JIM CREATOR
Lon Adams, Slim Jim jerky recipe creator, dies of COVID-19
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Alonzo “Lon” T. Adams II, the man who created the formula for Slim Jim beef jerky sticks, has died from complications of COVID-19. Lynn Barrow of Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Raleigh confirmed Adams died on Nov. 28. He was 95. A funeral service was held Wednesday. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Adams was a World War II veteran who survived the Battle of the Bulge despite being shot in the head. Today’s Slim Jims are the result of Adams’ recipe, described by The New York Times in 1996 as a combination of processed ground beef, chicken meat and other parts, along with a range of spices and chemicals.
AP-NC-OFFICER DIES-CAR CRASH
Deputy who was injured in Thanksgiving car accident has died
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) – A sheriff’s deputy in North Carolina who was seriously injured in a Thanksgiving car crash has died in the hospital. The Rocky Mount Telegram reported Tuesday that Nash County deputy Jared Michael Allison had been hospitalized since Nov. 26. Sheriff Keith Stone said that Allison was “a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the citizens of Nash County.” Allison was working Thanksgiving Day evening as part of an effort to enforce seat belt laws. Stone said that Allison had spotted a motorcyclist driving recklessly and began a pursuit. Stone said that Allison’s vehicle struck a sedan before hitting a culvert. He was ejected from the vehicle.
North Carolina man found dead in Virginia river identified
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) – Authorities have identified the North Carolina man whose body was found floating in Virginia’s Smith River. The Martinsville Bulletin reported Tuesday that the Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke used DNA analysis to identify the remains as Edward Harrison Ariail. Ariail, 67, was from High Point and suffered from dementia. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office said there were no apparent signs of foul play or homicide. No cause of death has been released. The final autopsy report is pending as more testing is completed. The body was discovered in late October in the rain-swollen Smith River.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CLASS FAILURES
46% of N.C. school’s students fail classes in some grades
WILSON, N.C. (AP) – Nearly half of third to 12th grade students at a North Carolina school district failed a class this school year while taking virtual classes. Wilson County Schools says 46% of students in those grades failed a class during the first nine weeks of the school year. That’s more than double the rate from the same period last year. WRAL-TV reports the first quarter of the school year was entirely remote. Elementary and middle school students then transitioned into hybrid learning. Superintendent Dr. Lane Mills said in a statement that the outcome is “not what we want for our students and system.” He says it’s a pattern “happening across the state.”