Latest North Carolina News:
North Carolina experts worry as schools don’t require masks
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Nearly two in five North Carolina K-12 public school districts are making masks optional for students and staff at the start of the new school year. North Carolina experts who released a frequently cited report showing minimal COVID-19 transmission within K-12 schools are warning of increased learning loss as a result of local school boards’ decisions to defy public health recommendations. COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and test positivity rates are at their worst levels in months. Kids under 12 can’t yet get vaccinated and many eligible young adults are unvaccinated. But 38% of North Carolina’s 116 school boards will allow them to be unmasked. One researcher called this a form of “experimentation.”
Bill tightening NC sheriff candidate rejection gets final OK
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina legislature has agreed that people convicted of a felony can’t run for sheriff even if it’s been removed from their criminal records. The House voted on Wednesday to accept Senate changes to a measure that clarifies how to carry out a 2010 addition to North Carolina’s constitution barring convicted felons from running for sheriff. The bill now heads to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. Criminal offenders have been able to get some felonies removed from their records for a decade. The bill says a candidate must provide a form confirming the person has no felonies, even if one was expunged.
NC sports betting bill gets winning vote from Senate panel
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legislation to license and tax sports betting throughout North Carolina has cleared its first Senate committee. The bipartisan legislation approved on a divided voice vote Wednesday would direct the issuance of up to 12 sports wagering operators’ licenses. License fees and a tax on gross revenues would be collected by the state. The bill’s chief sponsor says many people already are wagering on sports through out-of-state betting sites. Sen. Jim Perry says regulating these activities would promote transparency and generate revenues for things like education. Social conservatives argue the bill would be a massive gambling expansion that leads to more gambling addicts.
CRASH MEMORIAL-TWO KILLED
2 fatally hit by train at memorial for man killed in crash
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police say two men attending a memorial a week after a fatal crash with a Charlotte light rail train were fatally struck by a light rail train themselves. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say officers responded to a report of two pedestrians struck by a blue line train Tuesday morning near South Boulevard and Hebron Street. Officers found Pablo Tiquiram Us and Jose Chilambalam Tiquiram Us unresponsive near the tracks. Medics pronounced both men dead at the scene. Police say the men were walking north on the southbound tracks when they were struck by a train. Police say they suspect alcohol impairment on the part of the men was a contributing factor in the crash.
SHARK BITES LIFEGUARD
Shark attacks lifeguard on Hilton Head Island
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) – Authorities say a lifeguard on South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island has been bitten by a shark. WTOC-TV reports that the lifeguard is recovering and expected to survive after Tuesday’s attack. The operations manager of Shore Beach Services says the lifeguard was checking water conditions in the Palmetto Dunes area when the bite happened. WTOC reports that he suffered deep lacerations to the chest area. The lifeguard was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Savannah, Georgia.
More North Carolinians getting COVID shot amid delta variant
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Data released by North Carolina state health officials shows residents are coming in for a COVID-19 vaccine in higher numbers. The numbers published Tuesday show at least 74,000 people got a first dose last week. This is the highest weekly count since mid-May. The rise in vaccinations comes as the more contagious delta variant is being widely spread across the state. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said those who come in for a first dose will soon qualify for $100. Over the past month, hospitalizations due to the virus have nearly quadrupled. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends people wear masks in indoor public settings in all but seven of North Carolina’s 100 counties regardless of their vaccination status.
Real-life Bennifers find happy endings after years apart
NEW YORK (AP) – If PDA were an Olympic sport, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck would be champs. But there’s something more that’s driving interest in Bennifer: the storybook nature of long-lost love requited. The A-listers rekindled their romance 17 years after they broke up in 2004. For many regular couples, it’s a familiar road, coming together years after coming apart. Clinical psychologist Carla Marie has seen a rise in rekindled love matches in the digital age. Internet searching and social media make it easier to find old flames. But the quest doesn’t always pay off.
NC Rep. Jerry Carter, longtime Baptist minister, dies at 66
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A sitting member of the North Carolina House has died. Republican Rep. Jerry Carter of Rockingham County died early Tuesday at Duke Hospital in Durham at age 66. Carter was senior pastor at Reidsville Baptist, the church he founded more than 30 years ago. Assistant pastor Aaron Shelton says Carter died from complications after surgery to treat a rare gastrointestinal disorder. State leaders praised Carter for his service. He was first elected to the House in 2018, and chaired the Families, Children and Aging Policy Committee. He also served in the Army and as a chaplain with the state highway patrol.