Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Cooper visits clinic pushing to overcome vaccine hesitancy
PITTSBORO, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s governor has visited a health center in Pittsboro serving a community that has seen some reluctance to get the vaccine. Gov. Roy Cooper and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen want to more aggressively promote vaccine equity for racial and ethnic minorities. Cooper says the state had emphasized speed in its vaccination efforts this past week amid worries it could see its supply cut short. Piedmont Health SeniorCare worked to build trust of the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines after it held a town hall to educate its staff members. Cooper believes the center could serve as a model for the state.
Senate GOP wants bill to require NC in-person class option
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Senate Republicans are drawing up legislation that would require all public school districts to offer in-person instruction of some kind to students. A key GOP legislator said on Thursday that a proposal would be unveiled in the coming days, and that any mandate would give parents the option of sticking with virtual-only learning. School districts have the option to offer in-person classes, but many have stuck with only offering virtual learning due to safety concerns. Worries are growing that some students who have been left out of classrooms are increasingly falling behind. Data suggest transmission rates are low within schools.
Ohio town unknowingly hosted alleged Capitol attack plotters
WOODSTOCK, Ohio (AP) – The tiny town of Woodstock, Ohio, was base for two people who allegedly played big roles in the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. Residents are still trying to understand how that happened in their don’t blink-or-you’ll-miss-it, one-stoplight burg. It’s the now-shuttered Jolly Roger Bar & Grill that brought the FBI and other investigators to Woodstock in western Ohio. Federal authorities say Army veteran Jessica Watkins tended the bar and recruited members for a local militia group she has said she founded in 2019 and commanded. She and group member Donovan Crowl are now facing years behind prison bars.
EDUCATION BOARD-SOCIAL STUDIES SQUABBLE
Republicans on education board attack social studies plan
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Republican members of the State Board of Education say that proposed social studies standards are “anti-American” and will teach North Carolina public school students that the nation is oppressive and racist. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the board on Wednesday reviewed new K-12 social studies standards that would have teachers discuss racism, discrimination and the perspectives of marginalized groups. Several GOP board members argued that the new standards are divisive and have a leftist political agenda. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican and the first Black man to hold the position in North Carolina, said the standards would inaccurately teach that the United States is a racist nation.
Sheriff: Ex-deputy arrested, charged after 4-hour standoff
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (AP) – Officials say a former North Carolina deputy accused of assaulting his wife was arrested after a four-hour standoff with authorities. The Wake County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were attempting to serve Brad Woodlief with a warrant and a restraining order Wednesday night when he threatened authorities and refused to leave his home. The sheriff’s office says deputies believed Woodlief was armed and later, a Tactical Response Team used tear gas to end the standoff. Woodlief’s charges include second-degree kidnapping. It’s unclear whether Woodlief has an attorney. Authorities say Woodlief was a Wake County deputy under a previous administration.
AP-NC-NORTH CAROLINA-DEPUTY FIRED-LAWSUIT
Suit: Armed group seeking teen targeted Black woman’s home
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A law firm that advocates for victims of discrimination has filed a lawsuit over an incident last year in which it said a Black woman’s home in North Carolina came under siege by an armed group looking for a missing teenage girl. The Washington-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed the suit Tuesday in a Pender County court on behalf of Monica Shepard and her son. It said the group went to the home last May 3, seeking the biracial girl, who had been reported missing earlier that day but was later found safe. An ex-sheriff’s deputy and more than a dozen others are named as defendants.
BC-NC-EX-JAIL OFFICER-DRUG CHARGES
Former North Carolina detention officer facing drug charges
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A former North Carolina detention officer is accused by authorities of selling marijuana from her home and exposing one of her children to drugs and unsecured firearms. The Winston-Salem Journal cites arrest warrants which say 39-year-old Paris Monique Crowell faces multiple charges, including felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor child abuse. Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough Jr. fired Crowell, on Tuesday. The arrest warrants say she used her house to store and sell marijuana and THC Gummies, and that she out her child, who was under 16, in danger because drugs were in open areas throughout the house and the child had access to multiple unsecured firearms.
VIRUS TODAY: Lawmakers call for race data on vaccine access
Democratic lawmakers are calling on federal health officials to address racial disparity in vaccine access nationwide in a letter sent to the acting Health and Human Services secretary, Norris Cochran IV. Data from some states has shown hard-hit nonwhite Americans who are eligible to get the vaccine are not receiving it in proportion to their share of the population. In the letter that they sent on Thursday, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, all from Massachusetts, say the agency must work with states, municipalities and private labs to collect and publish demographic data of vaccine recipients.