Latest North Carolina News:
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
NC reports millionth COVID case as vaccine demand drops
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The pace of vaccinations is slowing in North Carolina, prompting many providers to stop asking the federal government for more COVID-19 vaccines. State health officials have returned hundreds of thousands of vaccines to the federal government and are asking for fewer and fewer new first doses. Nearly 2.3 million COVID-19 shots are on shelves waiting for North Carolina residents as the state works to better target distribution efforts to underserved areas. Nearly half of adults in the state are fully vaccinated. The state announced on Thursday that more than 1 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state since the start of the pandemic.
Budget impasse among NC Republicans breeds impatience
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – House and Senate Republican leaders are growing impatient as bargaining over an early milestone in the budget process has slowed work at the North Carolina General Assembly. GOP negotiators in both chambers said this week they remained hundreds of millions of dollars apart on a dollar amount they’d agree to spend to operate government next year. This is before the House and Senate pass actual budgets and negotiate a final deal. House leaders have complained about what they call the Senate’s slow pace in negotiating. A key Senate budget-writer says the House wants too much in one-time windfalls on long-term government operations.
GROUP ATTACK-HIGH SCHOOL
Sheriff: Students, adult storm classroom, attack teenager
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says eight people stormed a high school classroom and attacked a 14-year-old girl. News outlets report the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office says the plan entailed one of the school’s students to allow the group inside Southern Guilford High School on Tuesday. According to deputies, the student is believed to have led the group to an upstairs classroom, where they began assaulting the 14-year-old female, who suffered facial injuries. The sheriff’s office says the attack may be connected to a fight at a bus stop on Monday. The sheriff’s office says charges are pending.
DEPUTIES-FATAL SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
Lawyers want answers after deputies kill man who torched car
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – A trio of attorneys is asking for transparency from a North Carolina sheriff’s office months after deputies fatally shot a man who set his own car on fire. The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office says Matthew Oxendine backed a vehicle into a driveway and set the interior on fire. Deputies couldn’t get Oxendine out of the car. SWAT team officers said he pointed what appeared to be a firearm at them before they opened fire. State investigators said the weapon turned out to be a toy gun. The attorneys said there were inconsistencies in the official story and no video to confirm it.
Lock malfunction keeps deputies out of North Carolina jail
MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) – Instead of worrying about inmates getting out, it was officers trying to get into a North Carolina jail that was a problem when the locks malfunctioned. The News Herald of Morganton reports Burke County Sheriff Steve Whisenant said jail staff noticed a smell of smoke inside the building late Wednesday afternoon. Whisenant said doors started to fail in nine pods shortly after they noticed the smell, and the manual override keys would not open the lock leading into one of seven cell blocks. The sheriff’s office says inmates had been moved to cells with working locks by late Wednesday night.
Police: Officer shoots person who fired at officers in chase
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say a police officer shot a person who fired at officers during a foot chase early Thursday. Police said in a news release that officers were trying to speak to a person who matched the description of a shooting and armed robbery suspect when the person fled. During the pursuit, police say the person fired at officers and one officer fired, striking the person. Police say the person was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. The person’s firearm was recovered at the scene. áNo officers were injured. Police did not release the names or races of the officers or the person who was shot. The officers involved will be placed on routine paid administrative leave.
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.
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.