North Carolina News – June 12

North Carolina News – June 12


Outer Banks rental company sued over virus-related refunds

AVON, N.C. (AP) — A class-action lawsuit has been filed against a real estate company on North Carolina’s Outer Banks after it allegedly refused to issue refunds for people who couldn’t visit because of coronavirus-related travel restrictions. The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that the suit was filed against Surf or Sound Realty. Earlier this year, Dare County had closed its borders to prevent the virus’s spread. And the North Carolina Real Estate Commission had ruled that renters who could not reach their beach houses were due a refund. Company CEO Dale Petty disagreed with the commission’s ruling. He said many owners of the beach homes are struggling financially.


Police: Officer burned by explosive thrown during protest

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say they’re looking for a “person of interest”  after an explosive device was lobbed at an officer during a recent protest and he was left with second-degree burns. The Charlotte Observer reports that the incident occurred in Charlotte on May 30. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police released photos Thursday that show what appears to be a man dressed in black and carrying a backpack. Police described the explosive  as “a soda-can sized mortar.” It was thrown into a group of officers outside an office building and exploded before they could get out of the way. The officer’s clothing caught fire. He was struck by shrapnel and lost his hearing for two days.


Mexican town buries US teenager killed by police shotgun

ACATLAN DE PEREZ FIGUEROA, Mexico (AP) — Hundreds of people in a southern Mexico town have bid farewell amid tears and anger to a 16-year-old Mexican-American boy shot dead by local police. Mexican authorities say 16-year-old Alexander Martínez Gómez died from a shotgun blast to the head that was fired by a police officer. The Oaxaca state prosecutor said Thursday that the teen was shot from the front and died immediately. Another youth in a group of nine was wounded. The town government of Acatlan de Perez Figueroa says an officer was involved in the shooting, but it wasn’t “in bad faith.” The state prosecutor is questioning the claim that the incident was an accident and says he expects the detained officer to face murder charges.


Man charged in slaying on North Carolina college campus

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Police say a 23-year-old man accused of shooting someone to death on the North Carolina State University campus has been charged with murder. N.C. State Police said in a statement that Theodore James Lee Jr. was arrested at the university’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. N.C. State Police Chief Daniel L. House said an argument broke out between Lee and 61-year-old Quinten Crawford, and Lee pulled out a gun and shot the man. Police said Crawford was the father of Lee’s estranged girlfriend. Lee was set to appear in court Thursday. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment for him.


Public health workers fighting virus face growing threats

Public health workers fighting the coronavirus are facing growing threats from elected officials and members of the public who are frustrated with the lockdowns. They have at times turned the health workers into politicized punching bags, battering them with angry calls and physical threats. Many have chosen to leave or have been pushed out of their jobs. A review by Kaiser Health News and The Associated Press finds at least 27 state and local health leaders have resigned, retired or been fired since April across 13 states.


Alarming rise in virus cases as states roll back lockdowns

NEW YORK (AP) — Coronavirus cases are rising in nearly half the U.S. states. And while many are chalked up to increased testing or to small, local outbreaks, others are more alarming. In Arizona, hospitals were notified over the weekend to prepare for the worst amid surges across the state. And the governor of North Carolina says recent jumps have caused him to rethink plans to reopen schools or businesses. Texas and Utah are among the states that have also been identified as worrisome hot spots. What’s tricky is sorting out exactly why different surges are happening. The answer may vary from state to state, and even from county to county, some experts say.


N.C. governor says he tested negative for COVID-19

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says his test for COVID-19 came back negative. Cooper said at a media briefing earlier this week he would get tested, and he revealed the result on Thursday. His decision to test came with the release of new guidance from state health officials to medical providers recommending testing for people who had attended protests, rallies or other mass gatherings. The Democratic governor participated briefly in a racial justice demonstration outside the Executive Mansion last week. The number of completed tests statewide since the pandemic began is now well over 572,000.


N.C. teacher pay plan in Senate offers bonuses next year

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Senate Republicans would offer North Carolina public school teachers one-time bonuses above and beyond their usual experience-based raises in legislation advancing through the chamber.  The bill expected on the Senate floor early next week would provide $350 bonuses to teachers and instructional support personnel. The bill also encourages Gov. Roy Cooper to use federal COVID-19 relief funds earmarked for education to give additional $600 bonuses, although the governor’s office says he’s not allowed to use the money that way. The leading lobbying group for teachers opposes the measure. Republicans say they’ve got to act carefully with state funds given the economic downturn.

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