Latest North Carolina News:
More federal coronavirus relief funds debated by NC House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina legislators are working on how to distribute more money from the federal government’s most recent coronavirus relief package. House Republicans have unveiled legislation that would direct where more than $1.7 billion of relief funds will go throughout the state. Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation last month that doled out $2.2 billion in similar funds for public education, vaccine distribution and rental assistance. The measure being debated in the House’s budget committee on Tuesday and later on the House floor includes funds for colleges and universities, fisheries, COVID testing and tracing and food relief.
Boy Scouts submit reorganization plan to bankruptcy court
DOVER, Del. (AP) – The Boy Scouts of America has submitted a bankruptcy reorganization plan that envisions continued operations of its local troops and national adventure camps but leaves many unanswered questions about resolving tens of thousands of sexual abuse claims by former Boy Scouts. The plan was filed Monday, even though the BSA remains in intense negotiations with insurers over sexual abuse claims and with the official committee representing abuse victims. The BSA says the plan demonstrates progress as it works to compensate abuse victims and address finances so it can continue operating. An attorney for hundreds of former Scouts calls the plan woefully inadequate.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SCHOOL REOPENING
Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Senate has failed to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of Republican legislation that would have directed K-12 school districts to offer in-person instruction to all students in about two weeks. The Senate’s vote Monday night fell just short of the three-fifths majority needed to advance the question to the House. Cooper says the bill would have threatened public health, especially at middle and high schools. He says nearly all districts will offer some kind of in-person instruction on their own by mid-March. Only one of three Senate Democrats who voted previously for the bill last month voted to override.
NC Senate OK’s allowing concealed handguns at more churches
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legislation that would give churches that meet on private school campuses in North Carolina the option to allow members or visitors to carry concealed handguns has cleared one General Assembly chamber. Supporters of the measure approved on Monday by the Senate say they’re trying to treat churches that operate a school the same as standalone houses of worship. Current law allows a standalone church to let parishioners and others wear concealed weapons if they have a permit or otherwise exempt. But that’s now prohibited at churches that hold services at the same site where the school operates. The bill now heads to the House.
Sheetz to build WVa distribution depot, bring 30 jobs
KEARNEYSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) – Convenience store chain Sheetz Inc. will build a $2 million distribution truck transfer station in West Virginia, creating up to 30 jobs. Gov. Jim Justice says Sheetz will build the facility in Kearneysville. It will support Sheetz distribution centers in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The state investment includes 5.5 acres in an industrial park, construction of a 1,900-square-foot building and designated parking for trucks hauling grocery and retail items. Sheetz operates 614 stores in Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The company employs more than 1,200 in West Virginia.
VIRUS VACCINE-MEAT PROCESSING
Thousands of meatpacking workers to be vaccinated this week
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Meatpacking workers across the country have started receiving coronavirus vaccines and thousands more will have a chance to get their shots this week, offering some peace of mind in an industry that was ravaged by COVID-19 a year ago. Officials with the United Food and Commercial Workers union say interest in the vaccine is high among workers after the industry took a heavy toll from the virus. The major meatpacking companies – JBS, Cargill, Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods – say a number of states plan to begin vaccinating meat plant workers this week, including in Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas.
High-angle rescue performed after hiker falls in state park
DANBURY, N.C. (AP) – Fire crews preformed a “high angle rescue” of a hiker who fell at North Carolina’s Hanging Rock State Park. The Charlotte Observer reports that the incident occurred Sunday. The Stokes County Fire & Rescue Association said the fall occurred at the park’s Lower Cascades. The park is north of Winston-Salem and near the Virginia state line. WNCT reported that the male fell up to 40 feet and then “slid” another 70 feet. The station reported that he was hospitalized in “serious condition.” The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation says that Hanging Rock State Park has “20 miles of hiking trails that climb onto spectacular views.” The Lower Cascades Trail is listed among its “moderate” trails.
WAKE FOREST-STUDENT GROUP SUSPENDED
Wake Forest student group suspended after floor collapse
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Wake Forest University has suspended a student organization after the floor partially collapsed during an off-campus gathering at a private residence. A statement from the university says the group is under an interim suspension while the incident from Saturday is investigated. No serious injuries were reported. The school is also investigating violations of the university’s COVID-19 protocols. The group wasn’t named. A fire official told the Winston-Salem Journal that part of the first floor collapsed into the basement, and the residence wasn’t a safe place for the renters to stay. The school says it will provide resources to those involved, including housing assistance.