Latest North Carolina News:
Historic Black church in North Carolina destroyed by fire
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) – Officials say fire has destroyed a historic Black church in North Carolina that dates back to the 19th century. News outlets report the fire started just before midnight Thursday at Second Creek Methodist Church in Salisbury. When firefighters arrived, nearly three quarters of the wooden building was already on fire. Investigators say someone walking their dog spotted the fire. Rowan County Fire Marshal Deborah Horne says investigators have gone house to house and conducted interviews and surveyed the area. Horne says investigators were expected to survey the damage on Thursday.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING-WOMAN SENTENCED
North Carolina nail salon owner sentenced for forced labor
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A federal prosecutor says a North Carolina woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for using verbal, physical and emotional threats to coerce a person to work at her nail salon for nearly two years. U.S. Attorney Dena J. King says Thuy Tien Luong of Charlotte was also sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution to the victim. Luong was convicted of forced labor in January 2021. Evidence presented at her trial showed Luong punished the victim when she disobeyed the defendant or otherwise failed to perform to the defendant’s satisfaction.
NC speaker: Parents’ bill with LGBTQ limits might be shelved
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore says a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” measure pushed by Senate Republicans recently may not get a final vote in his chamber before this year’s session ends in the next few weeks. Moore told reporters on Wednesday the political dynamics make it difficult to override a likely veto of the measure by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper and LGBTQ activists have condemned the measure, which in part would bar instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3 public school curriculum. Bill supporters say it would give parents tools to help them oversee their children’s education and health.
NC Democratic Black caucus boycotting weekend party events
RALEIGH. N.C. (AP) – A group supporting African Americans within the North Carolina Democratic Party says it’s boycotting statewide party events this weekend because it said party officials overlooked Juneteenth and Father’s Day. The African American Caucus of the North Carolina Democratic Party said Wednesday that the party “did not consider its magnitude of disregard” for the holidays when it scheduled required meetings in Durham on Saturday, the day before both observances. Those meetings included the state convention and a fundraiser dinner featuring Gov. Roy Cooper and U.S. Senate nominee Cheri Beasley. Party Chair Bobbie Richardson says the party will honor and celebrate Juneteenth while conducting party business.
ELECTION 2020-VOTING RALLY ARRESTS
Police, civil rights group in $336K accord over 2020 protest
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A city and two law enforcement agencies in a North Carolina county will pay $336,000 to a group of plaintiffs in a settlement stemming from a 2020 get-out-the-vote rally in which peaceful demonstrators were pepper-sprayed. The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and a Chicago-based law firm announced the settlement on Wednesday. A news release says the agreement involved the city of Graham and its police department, as well as the Alamance County sheriff. Police had said participants in the rally in October 2020 were arrested and pepper-sprayed for blocking a street without permission.
NC elevator safety upgrade in cottage rentals advancing
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Elevators inside vacation cottages or similar short-term rentals in North Carolina would have to include life-saving space guards in legislation advancing in the state Senate. The measure is a response to last summer’s death of a 7-year-old child at a vacation home on the northern Outer Banks. Authorities say the Ohio boy became trapped between the elevator car and the elevator shaft. The bill that cleared a Senate committee on Wednesday would require such elevators to meet safety standards designed to prevent a small child from becoming caught in the gap. The bill also directs the state building code to require such standards in new construction.
Police: Man fatally shot while driving on NC highway
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a man was fatally shot while driving on a North Carolina highway when shots were fired from another vehicle. Durham police say officers were called to northbound U.S. Route 15-501 near Pickett Road around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and found a man who had been shot inside a vehicle. The man died at the scene. Police say the man was driving northbound when shots were fired from another northbound vehicle. Police identified the victim as Jeremiah Tobias Dixon, 19, of Durham.
EPA: ‘Forever chemicals’ pose risk even at very low levels
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency is warning that two nonstick and stain-resistant compounds in drinking water pose health risks at levels so low they cannot currently be detected. Most uses of “forever chemicals” known as PFOA and PFOS have been voluntarily phased out by U.S. manufacturers. But there are some ongoing uses. The EPA on Wednesday issued nonbinding health advisories setting health risk thresholds for PFOA and PFOS to near zero. Environmental and public health groups hail the EPA’s action. The chemicals are in products including cardboard packaging and carpets. The chemicals remain in the environment because they don’t degrade. Serious health conditions associated with the chemicals include cancer.