Latest North Carolina News:
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina sites halt J&J shots after adverse reactions
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Three vaccine clinics in North Carolina have suspended administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after some people had adverse reactions, including fainting. Four people were taken to hospitals for further examination, and state and federal health officials are reviewing the matter. All four are expected to recover. One of the vaccination sites was at PNC Arena in Raleigh and two others were at clinics run by UNC Health. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is examining reports of adverse reactions in multiple states, but says fainting is not uncommon. Colorado recently saw two people go to the hospital after receiving the single-dose shot.
Man who was wrongly imprisoned for 44 years gets $750,000
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A man who served nearly 44 years in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit has received compensation from the state of North Carolina. Ronnie Long told The Charlotte Observer that it’s not nearly enough. Long received $750,000. It is by law the state’s top compensation for victims of wrongful incarceration. Long was convicted of raping the widow of a Cannon Mills executive in 1976 by an all-white jury in Concord. Potentially exculpatory evidence was either intentionally withheld from his defense team or disappeared. And there was a tampered pool of potential jurors. A federal court overturned Long’s conviction. And he was pardoned by Gov. Roy Cooper. Long walked free six weeks after his mother’s death.
Sen. Thom Tillis says he has had surgery for prostate cancer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina says he has undergone surgery for prostate cancer. A statement from the senator’s office said Thursday that he underwent the surgery earlier this week and that he’s thankful to the doctors and nurses who provided him with outstanding care. Tillis announced last week that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, saying it had been detected relatively early. Tillis is a Charlotte-area native who was initially elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014.
New Orleans streets flood; more storms expected across South
Torrential rains flooded several streets in New Orleans in a storm system that spawned a tornado in north Louisiana, toppling trees and damaging homes. The National Weather Service said a tornado hit at 7:41 p.m. Wednesday in northern Morehouse Parish, about nine miles northeast of Bastrop near the community of Galion. Meteorologists said it later moved from Louisiana into south Arkansas. Sheriff Mike Tubbs said there were no major injuries or loss of life reported.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-PRISONER VACCINES
Advocates: Prisons need better vaccine education for inmates
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Advocates for prison inmates say more needs to be done to educate prisoners about coronavirus vaccines because large numbers of them are declining the shots. Prison officials say they are providing information about the vaccines to prisoners. But advocates say outside experts and trusted community members need to be brought in. Officials at the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, held town halls and posted information around the prison before vaccinations began in January. But more than 200 of the nearly 550 inmates who were offered the shots refused to take them. More than 5,500 state and county prisoners in Massachusetts have refused the vaccines.
AP-NC-EMERALD ISLE BRIDGE-CLOSURES
NCDOT plans overnight closures for Emerald Isle Bridge
EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (AP) – The N.C. Department of Transportation is scheduling multiple overnight lane closures on a coastal bridge beginning this weekend. A news release from the department on Thursday says the Emerald Isle Bridge will be reduced to one lane on Sunday at 9 p.m. Lanes will reopen the next morning at 6 a.m. On the evenings of April 12-15, crews will close one lane at 7 p.m. and reopen it at 6 a.m. the next day. The work includes repairing the bridge seats, which the girders rest on. The repairs were already scheduled for this year but were moved up after a recent inspection.
SOUTH CAROLINA-SHOOTING REPORT
Authorities: NFL player Phillip Adams killed 5, then himself
ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) – Authorities in South Carolina have confirmed that former NFL player Phillip Adams was the gunman who killed five people, including a prominent doctor, his wife and their two grandchildren in South Carolina. They told a news conference Thursday that they had not yet determined a motive. York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said evidence left at the scene of the shooting led them to Adams as a suspect. He said they went to Adams’ parents’ home, evacuated them and then tried to talk Adams out of the house. Eventually, they found him dead of a single gunshot wound to the head in a bedroom, he said.
Ex-N Carolina deputies sue sheriff after reporting comments
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Two former North Carolina deputies have filed a lawsuit in federal court against a sheriff, alleging he fired them in retaliation for reporting his friend’s racist and homophobic comments. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Wake County deputies Steven Williamson and Alvis Speight say they lost their jobs one month after Sheriff Gerald Baker’s election in 2018 because they told supervisors about Lt. Teddy Patrick’s behavior during a training session one year earlier. According to the lawsuit, Patrick said he ‘didn’t believe in being gay’ and did not like ‘gay people.” Baker disputed the accusation in 2019, but didn’t respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit Wednesday.