AP-NC Newswatch

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May 27, 2021
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May 27, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch

 

 

Latest North Carolina News:

 

TENURE DISPUTE-SLAVERY PROJECT
Tenure for slavery project journalist back to UNC trustees
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The offer of a tenured teaching position to journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has been resubmitted to the board of trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The school faced an uproar last week when her tenure application was halted. Hannah-Jones won the Pulitzer Prize for her work on The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, which focused on the U.S. history of slavery. On Wednesday, a member of the board of trustees said a resubmitted offer with tenure has been sent to the board.

 

 

EMPLOYMENT BONUSES
Reemployment bonus idea advanced by NC Senate committee
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina state senators have advanced a proposal giving $1,500 bonuses to unemployment benefit recipients who return to work this summer. A Senate committee voted Wednesday for the measure, which is designed to help employers struggling to fill positions as post-pandemic restrictions end. Bonuses of $1,500 or $800 would be allowed only if federal labor officials allow the state to use money coming from Washington that’s made unemployment benefits more generous during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill supporters say those $300-a-week supplemental benefits are proving to be a disincentive to get people to work. The bill next goes to another Senate committee.

 

 

DOG ATTACK-INFANT KILLED
Sheriff: 10-,month-old girl killed in dog attack
WILLOW SPRING, N.C. (AP) – The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office says a 10-month-old girl died Tuesday after being attacked by two family dogs. Capt. Jeff Caldwell said in a news release that deputies responding to a report of an animal attack in Willow Spring found Scott Winberry trying to help his injured daughter, Malia Scott Winberry. Deputies learned that family pets had violently attacked Malia and they joined her father’s efforts to help until EMS units took over care. Officials say Malia was soon pronounced dead. Investigators quickly determined that the incident was an accident. Johnston County Animal Control has seized the two Rottweilers involved in the attack.

 

 

CHILD SHOT-FALSE REPORT
North Carolina parents accused of shooting 2-year-old son
SHELBY, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have accused the parents of a 2-year-old boy of staging a drive-by shooting to cover up the fact that he was shot inside the home. The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that Lucentio Clark and Tianna Jumper, initially reported to police on Mother’s Day that their son was the victim of a drive-by in the town of Lawndale. Detectives with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office determined that no drive-by shooting occurred and that the boy was accidentally shot while inside the home. Clark and Jumper were arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and staging a crime scene.

 

 

BROADBAND EXPANSION
$750M in virus aid for NC broadband expansion OK’d by House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina House has approved legislation that aims to spend $750 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to install high-speed internet in more rural and remote areas. The legislation voted for unanimously on Wednesday would set aside $350 million to expand a relatively new state broadband installation matching funds program with internet providers and electric cooperatives. The bill also expresses the intent to use $400 million on a new program that gives counties the ability to put out bids for broadband expansion. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper proposed last week spending $1.2 billion on improving internet access, which also includes subsidies for service costs.

 

 

SENATE-TAX CUTS
Tax-cut package with COVID-19 grants pass NC Senate panel
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A massive tax bill written by North Carolina Senate Republicans that also provides grants to help businesses after the pandemic has cleared its first committee. The Senate finance panel voted on Wednesday for the measure. The plan cuts the individual rate to just under 5% next year and eliminates the corporate tax by 2028. The plan also spends $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief dollars to help businesses and nonprofits supplement other COVID-19 relief aid they received. The tax changes include higher standard deductions and per-child deductions. The measure could reach the Senate floor next week.

 

 

QUARTZ CLUSTER-STOLEN
Large quartz cluster stolen from North Carolina gem mine
HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a large quartz crystal cluster was stolen from a gem mine in western North Carolina. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday that the rock was taken from the Elijah Gem Mine in Hendersonville sometime between May 21 and May 22. An accompanying photo shows the crystal in a wooden box that has “94.80 KGS” carved on the lid, which equals more than 200 pounds. WLOS-TV reports that the mine planned to display the cluster at its new peacock habitat. Such quartz pieces can sell for thousands of dollars.

 

 

WOOD PELLET PLANTS
Environmentalists want NC governor to halt pellet plants
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Advocates for environmental justice and eastern North Carolina residents want Gov. Roy Cooper to block permits for future wood pellet plants and pay more attention to their effects on health. Activists organized by the Dogwood Alliance coalition came to Raleigh on Wednesday to deliver a petition. The groups say North Carolina’s wood pellet export facilities cut down tens of thousands of acres of trees annually. The industry say the pellets are an alternative to coal-fired energy production. Cooper’s office says the governor is committed to reducing carbon emissions and ensuring environmental impacts on communities are taken into account in job creation.