NC farmers start euthanizing 1.5M chickens amid pandemic
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Coronavirus outbreaks at meat processing plants are forcing North Carolina farmers to euthanize 1.5 million chickens, according to a state official. Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Joe Reardon told The News & Observer on Friday that this is the first time during the pandemic that North Carolina farmers have had to euthanize their animals. Reardon said roughly a third of the 1.5 million chickens already had been killed. Agriculture officials said Thursday that 2,006 workers in 26 processing plants across the state have tested positive for coronavirus.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA VOTING
Lawsuit: NC laws expose many voters to virus risks
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A lawsuit filed by voting rights advocates claims North Carolina has failed to change its election laws to ensure that voters can safely cast ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit Democracy North Carolina and the League of Women Voters of North Carolina sued Friday on behalf of several elderly or disabled residents whose medical conditions make them more vulnerable to coronavirus. The federal lawsuit alleges that several aspects of North Carolina’s absentee vote-by-mail requirements are unconstitutional because voters will have to risk exposure to COVID-19 to successfully vote.
FINANCIAL AID FRAUD
School head charged in plot to steal $700K in student aid
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A school director has been charged with plotting to steal approximately $700,000 in student financial aid to help fund a religious leader’s North Carolina ranch. Federal prosecutors said 51-year-old Brenda Joyce Hall made her initial court appearance on Thursday to face federal charges including aggravated identity theft. Hall and others lived at a Cumberland County ranch owned and operated by a tent revival preacher. Hall operated a home school known as “Halls of Knowledge” from the property. An indictment says Hall used fabricated high school transcripts to fraudulently acquire hundreds of thousands of dollars in student aid to fund the operations of the ranch and make other purchases.
Teen accused of dropping stray dog from balcony on video
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say an 18-year-old North Carolina man accused of dropping a stray dog from a balcony and posting a video of it on social media was charged with animal cruelty. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the suspect, Jashon Tyrell Hampton, was arrested Friday on the felony charge by deputies from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies tried in vain to find the injured dog. The sheriff’s office began investigating after receiving a copy of the video on Wednesday, a day after it was posted on social media.