North Carolina News – June 25

North Carolina News – June 25


Coastal North Carolina city removes Confederate monuments

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina city along the coast has removed two Confederate statues located in public spaces near downtown. Wilmington officials said on Twitter early Thursday that they removed a statue of former Confederate politician George Davis and a statue at another Confederate memorial that didn’t depict a particular historical figure. News outlets reported that the bases of the monuments remained in place. City officials characterized the moves as temporary moves to protect public safety in accordance with a state law that generally prohibits permanent removals of Confederate monuments. They city is storing the two statues at an undisclosed location.


North Carolina legislative session getting close to end

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina legislators could soon end a legislative session marked by dealing with the COVID-19 economic downturn and challenging Gov. Roy Cooper’s orders keeping many businesses closed due to the virus. The House and Senate scheduled floor meetings on Thursday, and Senate Republicans say they’re not coming back after that. Since the session began in April, the two chambers have approved distributing $1.6 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds and could agree to move hundreds of millions more before they leave. They’ve also sent Cooper state government funding measures to ensure critical needs are covered during the next fiscal year as tax collections dwindle.


Coast Guard searching for missing tanker ship crewmember

CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a crewmember of a tanker ship approximately 400 miles east off Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. The agency on Wednesday said a man was reported overboard from the tanker ship Hellas Gladiator. A Coast Guard aircraft and two good Samaritan vessels are assisting in the search. The Virginian-Pilot reports the Hellas Gladiator is headed to the Netherlands. It sails under the flag of Malta.


N.C. gyms, bars stay closed as COVID-19 veto stays in place

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly has failed to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a measure that would have allowed gyms and bars to open again despite his executive order keeping them closed due to COVID-19. Republicans in charge of the House were unsuccessful on Wednesday in persuading enough Democratic colleagues to essentially cancel the governor’s veto from last week. The fitness centers and bars have been shuttered since March. Bars would have been able to only serve patrons outdoors. The bill is one of several seeking to overturn Cooper’s orders designed to dull the coronavirus spread.


North Carolina requires face coverings statewide

North Carolina’s governor has ordered people across the state to wear masks or other face coverings in public to fight the spread of COVID-19. Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order Wednesday that people must wear face coverings in public when it’s not possible to maintain physical distance. The order also mandates masks or other face coverings for employees of businesses including retailers and restaurants, as well as state employees in the executive branch. Violations of Cooper’s executive orders are generally punishable by misdemeanor, but Wednesday’s order directs law enforcement to issue citations to businesses or organizations that fail to enforce mask requirements, not individuals.


Court sides with health officials over opening of speedway

GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina stock car racetrack must remain closed and propose a new social distancing plan after a judge sided with health officials in an effort to curb the coronavirus spread. The judge agreed with health officials who said large gatherings at the Ace Speedway could contribute to an increase spread of COVID-19. The Wednesday ruling continues to put an injunction on Ace, which requires the track to close and stop operations. Ace attorney Chuck Kitchen said the speedway will seek an appeal. An initial injunction came after the speedway held three events with fans in excess of a thousand. A county health director said one person attending a May 30 race contracted COVID-19.


3 North Carolina police officers fired over racist rants

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Three North Carolina police officers have been fired after a video showed them making inappropriate comments, including one office saying society needed a civil war to wipe Black people off the map. The Wilmington Police Department took the action on Tuesday against Cpl. Jessie Moore, and officers Kevin Piner and Brian Gilmore. The comments were discovered  on June 4 as a police sergeant did a monthly video audit of the department. Authorities say it was during the two-hour video that Piner told Moore that he felt a civil war was coming and that he couldn’t wait.


Protesters arrested for slowing traffic on Interstate 40

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina cited three women whose protest over the death of George Floyd brought traffic to a crawl on Interstate 40. News outlets report the North Carolina State Highway Patrol arrested the three on Wednesday. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that while no group organized the I-40 slowdown, a publicity effort asked protesters to drive 10 mph on the interstate from 8:46 to 9:30 a.m. The start time was a reference to the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that a white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death led to protest nationwide.

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