AP-NC Newswatch

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February 5, 2021
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February 5, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch



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McKinsey agrees to pay nearly $600M over opioid crisis
The global business consulting firm McKinsey & Co. has agreed to pay nearly $600 million for its role in the opioid crisis. In a deal announced Thursday with attorneys general for most states, the company agrees to make public documents showing communications with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and three other companies that have been in the opioid business. The settlement is novel because McKinsey did not make or sell the powerful painkillers but rather advised companies that did on how to boost their business. States say the company encouraged Purdue to focus on selling higher doses and to high-volume prescribers.



NC lawmakers pass COVID relief, advance K-12 reopening bill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina state senators have passed a bill requiring school boards allow the state’s 1.5 million K-12 public school students back in the classrooms. The proposal allows parents to choose to continue having their child learn remotely. The measure now heads to the state House of Representatives. It would then go to Gov. Roy Cooper if approved. Cooper has signaled his opposition to the bill. Lawmakers also sent the governor a coronavirus relief bill that would give about $1.6 billion for education. Some of the money will be used to help schools reopen. Parents would have more time to apply for a $335 check to help offset remote learning costs they’ve incurred.



Deputy, motorist shot during traffic stop on Interstate 95
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina sheriff’s deputy was shot on Interstate 95 by a motorist who was also shot and wounded. Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone told a news conference Thursday afternoon that the shooting stemmed from a traffic stop in which a motorist was spotted speeding. Stone says both Deputy William Toney, who was supporting the deputy who made the initial stop, and a suspect were taken to the hospital in Greenville to undergo surgery. Southbound traffic on I-95 was closed at the scene of the accident, but reopened in the afternoon.



UNC removes 9 people from campus housing amid COVID breaches
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill removed nine people from campus housing recently amid complaints they violated coronavirus safety protocols. The COVID-19 breaches occurred between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31. Undergraduate in-person classes were halted a week into last year’s fall semester following a string of COVID outbreaks. This prompted students who were able to do so to move back home. Residence halls opened back up on Jan. 13. The violations almost assuredly occurred as students began returning to campus last month. UNC has received 179 reports of possible violations in the last three calendar months. Sixty cases are still pending.



N Carolina man wanted on child sex crime charges killed
FRANKLINTON, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina law enforcement officials say a man wanted on child sex crime charges was shot and killed after an 18-hour standoff. News outlets report agents with the State Bureau of Investigation and deputies with the Granville County Sheriff’s Office went to a home in Franklinton on Tuesday to serve an arrest warrant. The SBI says when law enforcement reached the scene, the suspect, who was armed, went inside the home. The man came to the door on Wednesday with what the SBI said was a long gun. According to the SBI, one of its agents shot the suspect, who died at the scene.



North Carolina assistant principal faces sex charge
STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities have charged an assistant principal at a North Carolina elementary school with second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. The Statesville Record & Landmark reports the Mooresville Police Department arrested 28-year-old Shaun Michael Bock on Wednesday. He was jailed on a $10,000 bond and it’s not known if he has an attorney representing him. Bock, who was assistant principal at Coddle Creek Elementary School, was suspended by the Iredell-Statesville School System pending a police investigation. A news release from the school system says information from law enforcement indicates the victim is not a student in the system.



Sitting on billions, Catholic dioceses amassed taxpayer aid
An Associated Press investigation has found that scores of Roman Catholic dioceses in the U.S. had more than $10 billion in cash and other readily available funds when they received at least $1.5 billion from the federal government’s small business emergency relief program. The Paycheck Protection Program was intended for employers who were badly battered by coronavirus lock downs. Instead of suffering financially, however, many dioceses are reporting in audited financial statements that these assets ended up growing amid the economic downturn. Overall, Catholic Church recipients were perhaps the paycheck program’s biggest beneficiaries. Church officials say they needed government relief to pay staff because donations from the faithful slowed when churches were ordered to close.



Takeaways: AP investigation of Catholic Church and US aid
When the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.S. economy into freefall, the federal government hastily knit a safety net for small businesses called the Paycheck Protection Program. The idea was to keep Main Street alive and workers paid even as the public health emergency shuttered shops and offices. An investigation by The Associated Press found that the Roman Catholic Church was perhaps the program’s biggest beneficiary. Catholic dioceses collectively had billions in cash and other readily available funds when they received at least $3 billion from the small business emergency relief program. Instead of suffering financially, many dioceses are reporting that their available assets grew amid the broader economic downturn.



AP-WF-02-05-21 1120GMT