AP-NC Newswatch

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August 17, 2021
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August 17, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch

 

 

Latest North Carolina News:

 

CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS-WILMINGTON
N. Carolina city removes Confederate monuments’ pedestals
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Two stone pedestals that once held Confederate monuments in a North Carolina city have been removed. The StarNews reports that the two pedestals, one that once held a statue of Confederate Attorney General George Davis and another that held a memorial to Confederate war dead, were removed Sunday. Last year, officials in Wilmington cited public safety concerns following weeks of Black Lives Matter protests when the statues were removed and stored away last year. Earlier this month, the Wilmington City Council voted 6-1 to permanently remove the pedestals too. The city has agreed to move the pedestals into storage until a local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy takes possession of them.

 

 

NORTH CAROLINA
Medically at-risk North Carolinians can get third COVID shot
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina health officials say medically vulnerable residents with certain health conditions can get an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Some in the state have already gotten a third Pfizer or Moderna shot after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it last week. Data from the state Department of Health and Human Services shows COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the share of tests coming back positive at their worst levels in more than six months. Lack of demand for vaccines has contributed to tens of thousands of doses being thrown out.

 

 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA-MAYOR DEATH
Official: North Carolina mayor dies after battling COVID-19
OAK CITY, N.C. (AP) – An official in a North Carolina town says the mayor has died from COVID-19. WITN reports Oak City Town Clerk Vonetta Porter says Mayor William Stalls died on Sunday. There were no additional details on his death. Stalls, who worked for 43 years with Oak City Fire & EMS, served as an EMT and treasurer. Mayor Pro Tem Sue Harrell says Stalls had been hospitalized for three weeks. Harrell says Town Commissioner Joey Brown died from the virus in July 2020.

 

 

JAILS-OVERCROWDING
Report questions NC jail program to stop crowded prisons
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A group advocating for people with disabilities in North Carolina is questioning a program to prevent overcrowding in state prisons by paying county jail operators to hold offenders convicted of misdemeanors. Disability Rights North Carolina calculated in a report released Monday that counties received $4.2 million to hold people sentenced for misdemeanors during months between 2018 and 2020 when their jails were above 100% capacity. A 2011 state law created program. Jails are run by local sheriffs, who can opt out of the program. Disability Rights NC says changes are needed to prevent overcrowding and fix jail safety problems more quickly.

 

 

FELONS-VOTING
Trial begins on challenge to NC felon voting restrictions
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A state trial has started in a lawsuit challenging when voting rights are restored for convicted felons in North Carolina. Three Superior Court judges heard opening statements and testimony in Wake County court Monday. Several civil rights groups and ex-offenders sued legislative leaders and state officials in 2019. They allege the rules violate the state constitution and unduly hurt Black residents. State law says felons can register to vote again once they complete several aspects of their sentence, including probation and parole. Lawyers defending the law say it treats all people convicted of felonies the same by withholding the right to vote. 

 

 

SHERIFFS-FELONIES
Bill retooling NC sheriff candidate rejection now law
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A new law says someone who’s been convicted of a felony can’t run for sheriff in North Carolina, even if the crime has been officially expunged from the person’s record. It’s one of five bills from the General Assembly that Gov. Roy Cooper said he signed into law on Monday. The bill clarifies how to implement a 2010 addition to North Carolina’s constitution barring convicted felons from running for the post. While criminal offenders have been able to get some felonies removed from their records for years, enough lawmakers agreed that it shouldn’t permit someone to run for county sheriff.

 

 

EX-JUDGE-SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGE
Former judge pleads guilty to indecent liberties charge
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina district attorney says a former Superior Court judge has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to taking indecent liberties with a teenage boy in 2019. News outlets report Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams says former judge Daniel Ray Green was given a two-year sentence, three years of supervised probation, and ordered to undergo sexual offender treatment after pleading guilty to a number of child sex offenses in Buncombe County. In addition, Green has been disbarred, but can petition in 2026 to have his law license reinstated.

 

 

DIVERTED BENEFITS-WORKER SENTENCED
Ex-social services worker sentenced for diverting benefits
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A former social worker in North Carolina has been sentenced to more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to redirecting federal benefits from ineligible applicants to herself. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina says in a news release that 32-year-old Lakisha Victoria McDougald also was ordered to pay almost $234,000 in restitution after pleading guilty in May. Prosecutors say McDougald, who was a former social worker in Harnett County, used state computer networks between 2014 and 2019 to unlawfully access the accounts of people no longer eligible for benefits from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.