North Carolina News – July 8

North Carolina News – July 8


Worker at center of N.C. ballot fraud probe seeks local seat

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. (AP) — The political operative at the center of a North Carolina absentee ballot fraud investigation has filed for reelection for a local elected position. Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. of Bladen County is running again for a board seat on the Bladen Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisors. Dowless filed on Monday’s final day of candidate registration and will run against two other candidates in the nonpartisan race. Dowless faces both state and federal charges related to his political work. The State Board of Elections ordered a new election for a North Carolina congressional seat after receiving evidence involving Dowless during the 2018 elections.


North Carolina high school to change its ‘Rebels’ nickname

MONROE, N.C. (AP) — A high school in North Carolina will change its mascot and nickname. Parkwood High School outside of Charlotte will no longer be called the Rebels. The Charlotte Observer reports that the Union County school board voted to make the change. The high school’s original logo had been an image of a Confederate soldier. But that changed in 2009 after the local NAACP chapter called it a form of “intimidation and harassment.” The current logo has a shield and sword and the letter “P.” Other schools have made similar changes over the decades. For instance, Monroe High School changed its mascot from the Rebels to the Redhawks in 1995.


Raleigh to cancel, postpone 5 events amid virus outbreak

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The city council of North Carolina’s capital city has voted to cancel or postpone five events that were scheduled to be held through October due to the coronavirus pandemic. The News & Observer reports the vote by the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday will affect parades, road races and festivals that were slated to be held in the city. Raleigh City Manager Ruffin Hall told the newspaper the cancellations were necessary amid the virus outbreak. Wake County’s website says there are more than 6,400 confirmed coronavirus cases in the county, where the city of Raleigh is located.


Several veto override attempts on tap at N.C. legislature

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican legislators will try again to end their streak of coming up short on vetoes from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The House and Senate have planned veto override attempts on six bills for when they hold floor sessions on Wednesday. A Cooper veto hasn’t been overridden since late 2018. It’s the result of Democrats holding enough seats to uphold vetoes if they remain united. He’s issued 25 vetoes since. Four vetoed measures being considered Wednesday seek to overturn parts of Cooper’s executive orders limiting business activities or mass gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another addresses concealed weapon permit holders at some churches.


N.C. residents won’t need a doctor’s order for a COVID test

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolinians will no longer need to get an order from their doctor to receive a coronavirus test. The state announced the change on Tuesday in a move to boost testing in minority communities that are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The state’s top health official, Mandy Cohen, warned that North Carolina lacks the chemical reagents it needs to conduct tests faster. This has caused the state to see delays of up to a week for residents to get back their COVID test results. North Carolina on Tuesday recorded its highest day of current coronavirus-related hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic.


Judge rules to let North Carolina bowling alleys reopen

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A judge has ruled that dozens of North Carolina bowling alleys closed since March under Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 order can reopen provided they meet sanitizing and social distancing rules. Judge James Gale granted on Tuesday a preliminary injunction that would apply to the 75 North Carolina establishments within a three-state industry association. Lawyers for the state immediately asked Gale to delay his ruling while they appeal. The association sued last month, saying its members were treated differently than businesses with similar risk factors allowed to reopen. Cooper’s administration has defended keeping them closed, calling bowling a higher-risk activity to spread the virus.


N.C. House acts on face mask, K-12 remote learning bills

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina House has addressed some COVID-19-related business left behind from two weeks ago on face mask use and alcohol beverage permit fees. The chamber voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday for several bills as part of a return to Raleigh for the General Assembly this week. The Senate also will take up business on Wednedsay, when the legislature is likely to attempt override votes on several of Gov. Roy Cooper’s recent vetoes before going home until September. One bill that cleared the House but still needs Senate support would make permanent a health exception to the state’s face mask ban that expires Aug. 1.


North Carolina Mountain State Fair canceled due to COVID-19

FLETCHER, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s agriculture commissioner has announced that the 2020 Mountain State Fair has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The fair was scheduled to take place from Sept. 11-20 at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher. Commissioner Steve Troxler says social distancing would be difficult to enforce. News outlets report the event drew more than 171,000 total visitors in 2019. Last year, a hot tub display in the agricultural center during the fair was linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. The state’s department of health and human resources says four people died and more than 130 others were infected.

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