AP-NC Newswatch

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July 19, 2021
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July 19, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch


Latest North Carolina News:


Hiring issues impact NC Zoo, with some exhibits closed
ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) – At the same time the North Carolina Zoo is seeing a huge increase in visitors compared with last year, it’s struggling to find staff to keep all of its exhibits open. Diane Villa is director of communications and marketing for the zoo in Asheboro. She tells The Courier-Tribune the zoo is having trouble finding applicants “like just about every other business out there.” The newspaper reports most attractions are open, but certain features like an obstacle course and feeding activities have remained closed. Many of the jobs at the zoo are part time, temporary and pay about $10 to $12 per hour. 



North Carolina jobless rate falls for ninth straight month
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s unemployment rate has fallen for the ninth consecutive month. The state Commerce Department reports the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.6% in June, compared to 4.8% in May. It’s a streak of declining rates going back to October. áData released by the agency show more people entered North Carolina’s labor force and were hired in June compared to the month before. Figures in May had signaled a decline in the number of people actively seeking work. The unemployment rate sits well below levels at the height of COVID-19 commerce restrictions last year, when the jobless rate soared to 13.5%.



Official: N.C. man cited for killing bear in neighbor’s yard
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A western North Carolina man is facing charges after wildlife authorities said he used a 12-gauge shotgun with buckshot to fatally shoot a bear on his neighbor’s property. The Citizen-Times reports the incident occurred midday last week in a neighborhood in Buncombe County, northeast of Asheville. Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission said a man reported that his neighbor shot the bear from across the street. Given that the bear was not aggressive, was not attacking anyone and was on another person’s property, officers told the newspaper there was no reason for the shooting in the confines of a neighborhood.



Police in North Carolina investigate shooting that injured 4
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Police are investigating after four people were shot in a central North Carolina city. Burlington Police said they responded around 2 a.m. to a call about a shooting. According to a news release, an investigation revealed “an altercation” inside a building preceded the shooting. Officers found four victims with injuries not considered life-threatening. Police said no information about a possible suspect had been provided so far. The victims were not immediately identified.



North Carolina’s largest city running short on liquor
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Restaurants and bars in North Carolina’s largest city are scrambling to find popular brands of alcohol that have been depleted by issues with the supply chain ranging from materials to worker shortages. The Charlotte Observer reports that during a recent meeting of the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, chairman Zander Guy Jr. began by addressing the statewide liquor shortage. Commission spokesman Jeff Strickland says there have been strains on the global supply chain throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and that businesses reopening in the recent months have created additional demand. Bars in North Carolina were allowed to reopen in February.



Man charged with murder after street-racing crash kills boy
BESSEMER CITY, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man with a long criminal record has been charged with murder and other counts after police say he was involved in a street-racing crash that killed a 6-year-old boy last month. The Charlotte Observer reports Donnie Ray Cobb was charged late Thursday with second-degree murder, reckless driving, speed competition, driving while impaired and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. A judge denied the 46-year-old Cleveland County man’s request for a bond reduction Friday. The crash outside of Bessemer City June 26 killed Liam Lagunas of Moore.



Woman accused of posing as military member as part of scam
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Law enforcement in North Carolina have arrested a woman who they they say posed as a member of the military and scammed a person out of more than $7,000. The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office received a report that a resident met a woman on an online dating site who said she needed money to ship her belongings home from overseas. Investigators determined the woman was using a fake name and identified her as a 63-year-old woman from Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Multiple charges were filed against the suspect, and she was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond.



North Carolina detention officer in hospital after assault
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a detention officer at a North Carolina jail is in the hospital after he was attacked by an inmate. News outlets report the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that the attack on the officer at the county jail occurred around 10:30 p.m. on Thursday and was unprovoked. According to the sheriff’s office, the officer is being treated at the hospital and his condition is stable. The identities of the officer and the inmate have not been released, and there were no additional details released on Friday.