AP-NC Newswatch

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January 5, 2021
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January 5, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment



Police: Man ransacked, stole items from hospital helicopter
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say that a man has been accused of stealing medical equipment form a helicopter that was parked at a hospital. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Monday that the incident occurred on New Year’s Day at Mission Hospital in Asheville. Asheville police said that they arrested Jason Alan Roland and charged him with breaking and entering and damage to property. They said the interior of the aircraft had been ransacked and that at least two thermometers and other equipment was reported missing. Roland is being held at the Buncombe County Detention Center with a $4,000 secured bond. It’s unclear if he has hired an attorney.



Former state Supreme Court chief justice joins law firm
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The first Black woman to serve as chief justice of North Carolina’s Supreme Court has become a partner in the law firm McGuireWoods. The firm said in a statement on Monday that Cheri Beasley will work in the firm’s Raleigh office in its litigation and appellate groups. Beasley recently stepped down from the court, which she joined in 2012 after serving on state trial and appellate benches. Last summer, she publicly called out racial disparities in the nation’s judicial system. McGuireWoods Managing Partner J. Tracy Walker IV said that Beasley “is a distinguished jurist who has dedicated her career to ensuring our justice system works for everyone.”



Off-duty firefighter dies following crash in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An off-duty firefighter has died due to injuries he sustained when his car overturned during a car crash in North Carolina. News outlets report multiple vehicles were involved in the traffic accident Sunday in Raleigh. Raleigh Fire Lt. Herman Gregory Ellis was the sole occupant in his car during the crash. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. The Raleigh Fire Fighters Professional Association said in a Facebook post that Ellis was a dedicated father and a friend to many. He had worked with the city’s fire department for more than a decade.



Authorities: Juveniles rammed police car with stolen vehicle
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a group of juveniles in a stolen vehicle rammed a police car before leading authorities on a chase. Winston-Salem police say officers attempted to block in a vehicle that was reported stolen Monday morning when the occupants of the car accelerated and rammed a squad car. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the vehicle drove off and officers chased the car across the city. Police say the pursuit ended when the stolen vehicle hit a curb at a high rate of speed and blew out its tires. Four juveniles were captured after a short foot chase. Nobody was injured. The suspects weren’t named.



COVID-19 hospitalizations hit record high in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – COVID-19 hospitalizations and test positivity rates both are reaching record highs in North Carolina. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Sunday there were a record-high 3,576 people hospitalized with COVID-19. That’s according to data reported by 95% of the state’s hospitals. Two weeks ago, there were 2,783 people hospitalized with the virus. That’s a difference of 793 people. On Friday, the last day for which data is available, the state’s health department says 13.6% of COVID-19 tests came back positive. That brought the seven-day average of daily testing results to 14.2%, the highest rate since at least April.



North Carolina reports its highest daily cases of COVID-19
North Carolina has reported its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases so far during the pandemic. The state reported 9,527 confirmed cases New Year’s Day. That went over the state’s previous high by more than 1,000 cases. On Saturday, the state’s health department reported 9,356 cases. Cases for two days were released by the health department on Saturday. The last two days of reporting raised the number of cases in the state by a total of more than 18,800. It brings the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 558,437 cases during the pandemic.



Newby takes oath as 30th NC Supreme Court chief justice
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Paul Newby is now on the job as head of North Carolina’s judicial branch. Newby took the oath for chief justice of the state Supreme Court early Friday at a small ceremony at his home. Newby has been on the court since 2005 and most recently was senior associate justice. Newby was elevated to the top position after defeating Chief Justice Cheri Beasley by just 400 votes in the November election. Newby will participate in a public swearing-in ceremony next week. Two other new associate justices are joining the court following their election victories – Tamara Barringer and Phil Berger Jr.



Humanitarian group to build field hospital in North Carolina
LENOIR, N.C. (AP) – A humanitarian group is building a 30-bed field hospital to help treat COVID-19 patients in western North Carolina. Samaritan’s Purse, which is led by the Rev. Franklin Graham, said construction on the field hospital will begin Friday in Lenoir. The Raleigh News & Observer reports that officials expect the hospital to take 48 hours to construct and will be ready to treat patients next week. The temporary facility will be used to treat patients from five health systems in the region, which has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases.