AP-NC Newswatch

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July 8, 2021
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July 8, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina News:


Democratic US Senate candidate Cheri Beasley raises $1.3M
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley of North Carolina has raised nearly $1.3 million in little more than two months since entering the race in April. Her campaign announced the total Wednesday. The former state Supreme Court chief justice is gearing up to for an expensive bid to fill the seat that Republican Sen. Richard Burr is vacating in 2022. The possible pickup opportunity for Democrats could sway the balance of the Senate and determine whether Republicans can more easily stifle President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. The campaign of Beasley’s top Democratic primary foe, state Sen. Jeff Jackson, says it brought in more than $700,000 from April 1 to June 30.



Judge jails editor over reporter’s use of recorder in court
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina judge sent a small-town newspaper editor to jail after one of his reporters brought an audio recorder to court. Superior Court Judge Stephan Futrell charged a Richmond County Daily Journal news editor and a staff writer with criminal contempt of court. The judge sentenced editor Gavin Stone to five days in jail and fined reporter Matthew Sasser $500. The newspaper and media rights groups believe the punishment is excessive and threatens free speech. The court has previously warned the news organization about bringing electronic devices into the courtroom. The judge did not respond to a request for comment.



Philanthropies eagerly back journalist Hannah-Jones
NEW YORK (AP) – Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones is using major philanthropic donors to build her future as a tenured professor at Howard University, just as other major donors sought to stymie the Pulitzer Prize-winning Black investigative reporter at the University of North Carolina. Hannah-Jones announced Tuesday that she will establish the Center for Journalism and Democracy at Howard to increase diversity in journalism. The $20 million in contributions point to a growing philanthropic effort to diversify news organizations and strengthen journalistic standards. The donations, including $5 million each from the MacArthur, Knight and Ford foundations and an anonymous donor, will also bring award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates to Howard, a historically black school that’s also his alma mater.



Months after filing for bankruptcy, Belk names new CEO
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina-based department store chain has named a new CEO, months after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Charlotte Observer reports a news release from Belk on Wednesday says Nir Patel has been promoted to CEO from president and chief merchandising officer. Patel replaces Lisa Harper, who had been the CEO since July 2016. Harper is now executive chair of the Belk Board of Directors. The news release did not say what led to the change. In January, Belk announced it was filing for bankruptcy with plans to emerge from it in the following month.



Murder charge dismissed for woman over mental capacity
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina judge has dismissed a first-degree murder charge against a woman after it was determined she will never regain the mental capacity to stand trial. The Winston-Salem Journal reports the decision came after a hearing in Forsyth County Superior Court in which a psychologist testified that 38-year-old Tonesha Tonyae Collins’ mental-health issues prevent her from fully understanding her legal situation and participating in her defense. Judge Michael Stone signed an order that involuntarily commits Collins to Central Regional Hospital, where she has been for the past four years. She was indicted in 2017 in the shooting death of a gas station manager in 2016.



One dead in house fire where fireworks materials were found
KING, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say one person was killed in a home explosion in which investigators say someone was trying to make fireworks. News outlets report the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office says firefighters were called to a house fire in the town of King on Tuesday evening. The firefighters found a small fire at the home and extinguished it quickly, but a search of the home found a man who authorities said had died as a result of injuries caused by the fire. Investigators said the fire was caused by someone who was trying to make fireworks.



Tropical storm kills 1 in Florida, hurts 10 at Georgia base
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – A weakened but resilient Tropical Storm Elsa has left at least one person dead in Florida and injured several at a campground at a Navy base in Georgia. The storm was churning through southeast Georgia on Wednesday night, hours after making landfall in Florida. One person was killed in Jacksonville, Florida, when a tree fell onto a car. And a spokesman for Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia says a possible tornado struck a park for recreational vehicles on the base, hospitalizing about 10 people. The coasts of Georgia and South Carolina were under a tropical storm warning Wednesday evening. A tropical storm watch extended up the East Coast to Massachusetts.