Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Transition to mass vaccination sites irks NC health systems
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina is giving more of its weekly allocation of the coronavirus vaccine to large vaccination sites such as such as the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This is creating supply shortages in other areas of the state that has forced some health systems to cancel appointments or offer fewer than they’d expected. Officials in the state are working to improve their rocky rollout to administering the vaccines. North Carolina has been among the slower states in the nation to get vaccines into peoples’ arms. A COVID-19 variant linked to Britain was recently found in North Carolina, boosting the importance of getting vaccines administered faster.
DUKE ENERGY-COAL ASH
Duke Energy, NC officials announce coal-ash expense deal
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Duke Energy, North Carolina officials and a conservation group have reached an agreement on how the utility pays to get rid of coal ash stored in the state. The proposed settlement announced Monday would shift $1.1 billion in expenses away from customers over the next decade to the nation’s largest electric utility and its shareholders. The agreement came a month after the state Supreme Court ruled regulators should revisit an order that would have placed nearly all of the expense upon Duke’s electric customers in the state. Duke Energy is closing all of its coal ash pits or ponds in the state.
Sheriff: 2 NC children abandoned in Mississippi; 1 dies
FOREST, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi sheriff says a 2-year-old North Carolina girl has been found dead after she and her 7-year-old brother were abandoned in a pickup truck. Authorities were searching for her father, and have charged the mother with neglect. The boy is in protective custody. Scott County Sheriff Mike Lee tells WAPT-TV that James Harrison Jr. and Amy Harrison of Salisbury, North Carolina, were traveling through Mississippi with the children on Thursday when the couple argued near the town of Lake. Lee says the mother got out of their vehicle. The truck and the children were found later in a wooded area.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FIELD HOSPITAL
North Carolina field hospital helps fight coronavirus surge
LENOIR, N.C. (AP) – A temporary field hospital in North Carolina is easing the burden on medical facilities overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. The tents were erected earlier this month in the parking lot of Caldwell Memorial Hospital in the city of Lenoir. The 30-bed field hospital comprises four medical wards and a pharmacy for patients who have been discharged from the hospital’s intensive care unit and do not need ventilators. Four other hospitals besides Caldwell are sending patients here so they can use their regular beds for more serious cases. The tents and medical care givers have been provided by the international Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse, which is based in North Carolina.
BC-NC-VIRUS OUTBREAK-APPALACHIAN TRAIL
Hikers told to forgo entire Appalachian Trail due to virus
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Hikers are being told to postpone plans to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail this year due to COVID-19. The Asheville Citizen Times reports the Appalachian Trail Conservancy made the suggestion because it feels the pandemic makes long-distance hikes unsafe. Morgan Sommerville, regional director for the conservancy, says that as long as the pandemic continues, while vaccines aren’t widely available and there’s been no all-clear signs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the conservancy is recommending against long-distance hikes on the trail. The Appalachian Trail runs through 14 states from Georgia to Maine and covers 2,193 miles.
North Carolina, Catawba tribe, ink casino revenue agreement
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has signed a revenue-sharing agreement with the Catawba Indian Nation that clears the way for Las Vegas-style gaming at a planned resort in Kings Mountain. Federal approval is still needed for the type of gambling envisioned, but the South Carolina-based tribe says the agreement means construction can start on a site about half an hour west of Charlotte. North Carolina currently has two casinos operated by the Eastern Band of the Cherokees in the southwestern corner of the state. The Cherokees are suing in federal court to try to stop the Catawba casino.
Plane returns to gate after being hit by bird during takeoff
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – A North Carolina-bound flight had to return to the gate in Florida after it was struck by a bird during takeoff. Delta flight 2084 from Tampa to Raleigh returned to the gate Sunday after being struck by the bird at Tampa International Airport. Delta said in a statement that the Airbus A319 had 40 customers and five crew members on board. Because of damage to the plane’s engine, the passengers and crew had to transfer to another plane to continue the flight.