AP-NC Newswatch

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June 29, 2021
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June 29, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina News:


NASA looks at Louisiana delta system, eyes global forecasts
MIKE ISLAND, La. (AP) – Erosion, sinking land and sea rise from climate change have killed the Louisiana woods where a 41-year-old Native American chief played as a child. Less than 50 miles away, middle-school students can stand on islands that emerged the year they were born. NASA is using high-tech airborne systems along with boats and mud-slogging work on islands for a $15 million study of these two parts of Louisiana’s river delta system. One is hitched to a river and growing, the other disconnected and dying. Scientists from NASA and a half-dozen universities aim to create computer models that can be used with satellite data to let countries around the world learn which parts of their dwindling deltas can be shored up. 



Juul to pay $40M in N. Carolina teen vaping suit settlement
DURHAM N.C. (AP) – Electronic cigarette giant Juul Labs Inc. will pay $40 million to North Carolina and take more action to prevent underage use and sales. That’s according to a landmark legal settlement announced on Monday after years of accusations that the company had fueled an explosion in teen vaping. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein had accused Juul of unfair and deceptive marketing practices targeting young people to use it’s vaping products, which delivers addictive nicotine. Juul promises not to advertise to anyone under 21 in North Carolina and says it will put restrictions in place for sales both online and at brick-and-mortal retailers.



North Carolina doctor sued over sexual misconduct
HICKORY, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina doctor who pleaded guilty in March to assault on a female has been sued by two former employees who allege sexual misconduct. The Hickory Daily Record reports Dr. Diaa Eldin Hussein, who has practices in Morganton, Marion and Lenoir, pleaded guilty March 26 in McDowell County to assault on a female after he originally had been charged with three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery in January. Hussein now faces civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct against two former employees, including the employee who pursued the criminal charges against him.



Report: University to vote on Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Trustees of North Carolina’s flagship public university are going to meet behind closed doors amid intense criticism of their decision not to offer tenure to investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. The board announced Wednesday’s meeting in a news release that did not specify what is to be discussed. NC Policy Watch reports that trustees plan to vote on whether to grant tenure to Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on the 1619 Project examining the bitter legacy of slavery. The publication cites two unidentified people who it says are directly involved in the process.



Textile, environment advocates speak against NC energy bill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina textile executives and advocates for the environment and the poor are urging state legislators to reject a major energy bill pushed by several House Republicans. The coalition held a news conference Monday to criticize the wide-ranging proposal. It would retire early several coal-fired plants operated by Duke Energy subsidiaries, expand solar production and allow the electric utility to seek multi-year rate increases. Textile companies are worried that the full costs of the proposal upon Duke Energy ratepayers would harm their plants and chances for in-state expansion. Another new analysis of the bill projects rate hikes to be much lower.



North Carolina announces first COVID vaccine lottery winners
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina announced on Monday the winners of its first COVID-19 vaccine lottery drawing. Winston-Salem resident and teacher Shelly Wyramon won the state’s first of four drawings for a $1 million cash prize, while 14-year-old Vania Martinez won a $125,000 college scholarship. The state will pick the remaining three cash and scholarship winners on July 7, July 21 and Aug. 4. Few residents have come in for a COVID-19 shot since the lottery was announced. Gov. Roy Cooper and state health officials hope more people will get their shot after news of winners being selected.



Mayor: Shark bites girl, injuries not life-threatening
OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. (AP) – Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith says a shark bit a 7-year-old girl over the weekend. WECT-TV reports that EMS responded to the scene on Sunday morning and the young girl was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not thought to be life threatening. Smith says there were no other sightings of sharks on Sunday and no additional warnings for swimmers.



NC Zoo to drop requirement for reservations on July 1
ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Zoo is ending the requirement for visitors to make reservations. A statement from the zoo says reservations will no longer be required beginning July 1. The zoo will still require visitors who ae not fully vaccinated to wear face coverings and to practice social distancing. When the zoo reopened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, reservations were required to limit the number of visitors to the zoo, which is outside of Asheboro. In recent months, the zoo has welcomed an elephant, a polar bear and 12 red wolf pups.



AP-WF-06-29-21 1020GMT