AP-NC Newswatch

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October 27, 2021
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October 27, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch

 

Latest North Carolina News:

 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
COVID spread plummeting in North Carolina, state data shows
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The spread of COVID-19 has dropped substantially in North Carolina in recent weeks. The latest statistics released by state health officials on Tuesday show cases and hospitalizations at their lowest levels in about three months. The share of tests coming back positive have also declined noticeably. The development comes as the state struggles to convince more unvaccinated residents to come in for a shot. Meanwhile, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters are now available to more North Carolinians who have already been vaccinated. Residents are more than four times as likely get the virus and nearly 20 times likelier to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated people.

 

 

REVERSE DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT
Former hospital executive wins $10M in discrimination case
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A former top executive in a North Carolina-based health care system who claimed in a lawsuit that he lost his job because he is a white male has been awarded $10 million by a federal jury. In his 2019 lawsuit, David Duvall said he lost his job as senior vice president of marketing and communication at Novant Health due to its effort to diversify its top leadership. News outlets report the jury said Novant Health failed to prove it would have dismissed Duvall regardless of his race. A Novant Health spokesperson said the Winston-Salem-based company would issue a comment later Tuesday about the jury decision.

 

 

GACY EXHUMATIONS
DNA brings pain, closure to family of John Wayne Gacy victim
CHICAGO (AP) – Siblings of the man identified as a victim of the notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy say their family is shocked but grateful to police who used DNA to confirm his fate. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office on Monday confirmed that Francis Wayne Alexander was among the victims found on Gacy’s property near Chicago in the late 1970s. The agency exhumed unidentified remains in 2011 and has used DNA technology to try and identify them. Alexander’s siblings say their family spent years hoping he was alive but unable to contact them for some reason. Gacy was convicted of killing 33 young men and boys in the 1970s and was executed in 1994.

 

 

STATE BUDGET
Moore: North Carolina budget action could happen next week
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A top North Carolina Republican lawmaker says legislative action on a final state government budget could happen as soon as next week, with or without formal support from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters Tuesday that he, Senate leader Phil Berger and House and Senate Democratic leaders met in person Friday with Cooper to negotiate. Moore said Republicans could act after receiving another Cooper offer. The governor and GOP leaders could agree to a plan that Cooper can sign, or lawmakers could go forward without Cooper’s support. That could lead to a veto and an override attempt.

 

 

YOUNG COYOTES
Howling coyotes signals pups are moving, not Halloween
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Wildlife officials in North Carolina are advising residents that they can expect to hear some howling this week, not because Halloween is approaching but instead because young coyotes are leaving their parents to strike out on their own. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission says in a news release that people could see and hear more coyotes in the coming weeks. The commission says the pups may travel up to 300 miles before they settle down in a place not already occupied. Commission biologists say as the young coyotes roam, they expect an increase in reported sightings.

 

 

APARTMENT SHOOTINGS
Police: 1 dead, 2 wounded in NC apartment complex shootings
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Police say a man died and two others were wounded after shootings at a central North Carolina apartment complex. It happened Monday in Winston-Salem. Officers arriving at the Rolling Hills Apartment complex located a wounded 16-year-old girl and a 31-year-old woman. An additional shooting victim who had been driven away for medical help was located in a bank parking lot. Kelvin Rayvon James Jr. died The two wounded are in stable condition. Investigators determined James had been in a verbal dispute with another male, leading to gunfire, and that the two wounded had not been targeted. Police had announced no arrests Tuesday.

 

 

CHILD ABUSE CHARGES
North Carolina parents charged in abuse of 6-week-old
LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says two parents have been arrested in a child abuse case in which a 6-week-old was diagnosed with life-threatening injuries. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that deputies received a report on Saturday that an infant was brought to a local hospital. Detectives determined that the child sustained the injuries during the past week while in the care of its parents. Following an investigation, the sheriff’s office arrested 23-year-old Zachery Ryan Honeycutt and 18-year-old Destiny Alisa Watts. Both are from Lexington. The sheriff’s office says the child remains hospitalized in critical condition.

 

 

NAACP PRESIDENT
NC NAACP elects Maxwell as resident, unseating incumbent
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – An Army veteran is the new top leader of North Carolina’s NAACP, unseating the incumbent president. Deborah Dicks Maxwell of New Hanover County also is the first woman elected to the presidential post for the North Carolina State Conference. Maxwell received a majority of votes in last weekend’s virtual election. The Rev. T. Anthony Spearman had been president since 2017. He finished second in the three-candidate race. Maxwell has been a local NAACP leader for many years. Maxwell was an appointee last year to Gov. Roy Cooper’s racial equity task force for criminal justice.