Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
AP-NC-VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA-UNC
UNC-Chapel Hill sets three-week delay for in-person learning
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – The flagship school of North Carolina’s university system says it is delaying the start of in-person undergraduate classes for the spring semester. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced on Thursday that while classes will begin on Jan. 19, as scheduled, it is delaying the start of in-person undergraduate classes for three weeks, citing record cases of COVID-19, and record hospitalizations in North Carolina and around the country. Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said only a limited number of undergraduate courses were planned for in-person instruction. The chancellor says start dates for graduate and professional programs may vary and all programs have the option of starting remotely.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
N.C. mulls incentives for prison inmates who get vaccinated
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Top North Carolina prison officials are discussing whether to offer incentives to inmates who decide to get vaccinated. Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee said Thursday that increased visitation privileges are among the options being considered. The state’s governor and top public health official have rejected the idea of implementing financial incentives statewide. Vaccine hesitancy has proven high among nursing home residents. Residents and workers are being paid to take a COVID-19 vaccine in some of the state’s long-term care facilities. This comes as the state sees its highest levels of spread yet. Gov. Roy Cooper has extended a modified
Hise joins NC Senate budget chairs, Daniel co-leads finance
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Veteran western North Carolina Republican legislators have filled chairmanship vacancies on the Senate’s two most influential policy committees. Sen. Ralph Hise of Mitchell County will now join Sens. Brent Jackson and Kathy Harrington as co-chairs of the Senate Appropriations Committee. And Sen. Warren Daniel of Burke County is a new Senate Finance Committee chairman. áSenate leader Phil Berger announced committee assignments for the next two years on Thursday. The reshuffling comes as former budget-writer Harry Brown didn’t seek reelection and finance co-chairman Jerry Tillman resigned. No Democratic senators will hold chairmanships as Republicans kept control of the chamber in the November elections.
BC-NC-PROPOSED SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS
State’s proposed social studies standards prompt debate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Efforts in North Carolina to make social studies standards more inclusive are drawing complaints as well as praise. The Raleigh News & Observer reported that reaction on Wednesday to the proposed standards was largely split along partisan lines. The State Board of Education reviewed proposed K-12 standards that include language such as having teachers discuss systemic discrimination and the perspectives of marginalized groups. Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson said the new standards appear to be political in nature. Board member Jill Camnitz said the standards are not about blame and guilt. She said the standards seek to draw “on the richness of the American historical experience” so that children can “better appreciate their legacy.”
BC-NC-DEER KILLING-RESIDENTIAL AREA
Police: Killing of deer in residential area was ‘dangerous’
SOUTHERN SHORES, N.C. (AP) – Police in a town in North Carolina’s Outer Banks are investigating after someone shot and killed a deer with an arrow inside the town’s limits. The Town of Southern Shores police department said in a statement that the deer was found dead on Saturday morning. Police said the town code prohibits the shooting or discharging of arrows within the town’s corporate limits. Police said the killing of the deer with an arrow “is extremely dangerous in a residential community, especially in common areas where people recreate. It is not safe, and it is unacceptable.”
AP-NC-SEXUAL ASSAULT-COACH CHARGED
N Carolina swim coach accused of sexual assault on minor
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) – Police have accused a North Carolina swim club coach of sexually assaulting a minor over what investigators say is a span of years. The High Point Police Department says in a news release that 27-year-old Aaron Philip Key of Raleigh is charged with 12 counts of statutory sex offense with a child by an adult. Key is also charged with six counts of indecent liberties with a child. According to police, a juvenile reported being sexually assaulted over multiple years by their swim club coach. Key was arrested on Tuesday and is jailed on a $250,000 secured bond. It’s not known if he has an attorney.
N. Carolina town seeks to revitalize its downtown area
APEX, N.C. (AP) – Officials in a North Carolina town have created a plan to revitalize the town’s downtown area by repurposing parking lots and beatifying a street in order to attract visitors and investments. The News & Observer reports Apex’s downtown area will be redesigned through the Downtown Master Plan. The plan calls for other things, including 100 new housing units and new parking lots. Town officials want to repurpose existing parking lots for outdoor dining and walking. A city official says about $3.75 million will be spent on portions of the project pending the approval of the town council in June. The changes are set to be completed by 2023.