Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
NC keeps 10pm curfew; Those 75 or older begin vaccinations
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has extended the statewide curfew but added no new restrictions on businesses or individuals. Several counties in the state have begun vaccinating adults 75 years or older. Public health officials are warning that demand is outpacing supply and will continue to be limited in the coming weeks. Hospital workers that have come into frequent contact with COVID-19 were prioritized first. The state hopes education will help boost vaccine participation among workers in long-term care settings, such as nursing homes.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA-COURTS
New NC chief justice seeks vaccine access for court system
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s new chief justice says he’s asked Gov. Roy Cooper to consider getting COVID-19 vaccines more quickly to local court officials to meet a requirement to keep open the courts. Chief Justice Paul Newby made the remark at Wednesday’s online installation ceremony for himself and two new justices. Court activities in all 100 counties have been dramatically scaled back since the pandemic began. Last month, outgoing Chief Justice Cheri Beasley delayed most court proceedings statewide for 30 days, citing a case surge. Associate Justices Phil Berger Jr. and Tamara Barringer also participated in Wednesday’s ceremony.
Tech firms planning offices despite work-from-home trend
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to work from home, but there are signs that office life will continue in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Wednesday that some tech firms are planning new offices in the region despite the recent trend of working from home. For instance, Epic Games announced last week that it would buy Cary Towne Center for $95 million. The firm has promised to redevelop the dying mall into a world-class headquarters for potentially thousands of workers. Pendo and Bandwidth are also going full-speed ahead with their new headquarters. Leaders of those companies have called office-based work a big part of their culture.
MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID
Community college to offer course in mental health first aid
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) – College of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City says it will offer a course in first aid for mental health amid the surge of mental health challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that the community college will conduct the eight-hour course this spring. It will be for students in the school’s human services technology program, which is for entry-level positions in mental health fields. The course will eventually be offered to professionals in such areas as law enforcement and education. Mental health first aid works much like first aid for physical injuries. It helps a person assist someone contemplating suicide, having a panic attack or another emergency.
North Carolina HBCU to launch its first graduate program
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A historically Black college in North Carolina is offering a graduate program for the first time in its 154-year history. Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh announced Wednesday that beginning this year, it will offer an online Master of Public Administration program designed to prepare career professionals to serve in leadership roles such as public managers and policy analysts. A news release from the school says the program operates in six 8-week sessions throughout the academic year and is designed to accept students regardless of their undergraduate degree background. It will provide five courses that are designed to provide an understanding of the nature of public administration.
AP-NC-ILLEGAL FIREARMS POSSESSION
North Carolina man gets 6 years for firearms possession
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a North Carolina man was sentenced to six years for possession of firearms while being a convicted felon. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina says in a news release that a search of 21-year-old Nicholas Travon Edwards’ home turned up four pistols, a rifle, four ammunition magazines, a rifle mount and a scope. Investigators determined one of the firearms was stolen. The Raleigh Police Department also found marijuana and oxycodone. Edwards pleaded guilty to breaking an entering in November 2017 after authorities said he broke into a building and stole equipment from a tree service.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Most N.C. nursing home workers are refusing COVID vaccine
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen says most nursing home workers are refusing coronavirus vaccines. This comes as the state sees one of the slowest rollouts in the nation. Gov. Roy Cooper is deploying National Guard members to help accelerate COVID-19 vaccinations. Cohen says some will serve as vaccinators. Other members will help with logistics of vaccination events. Nearly 110,000 people in North Carolina had received their first dose as of Tuesday morning. This represents less than 1% of the state’s population of 10.5 million people. Hospital workers were the first in line to receive doses. Several counties will soon begin administering doses to the elderly people 75 years or older.
Regulators get plan for undoing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The developers of the now-canceled Atlantic Coast Pipeline are laying out plans for how they want to go about unwinding their work and restoring disturbed land. In a filing with federal regulators made public Tuesday, the pipeline company proposed an approximately 24-month timeline for efforts West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Progress on the pipeline project ranged from none to essentially complete in some areas. The plan outlines where the company plans to clean up felled trees and where they plan to leave them behind, and it proposes abandoning the roughly 30 miles of installed pipe in place.