VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
N.C. parents, businesses await Cooper’s COVID-19 plans
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina teachers and parents as well as gym and bar operators are anxious to know what Gov. Roy Cooper will say about the path ahead with the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooper scheduled a media briefing for Tuesday to discuss the state’s coronavirus case response. He said previously that he would announce this week how the state’s K-12 public schools would operate when classes begin Aug. 17. Cooper also must decide what to do with his executive order expiring Friday that extended closings of bars, health clubs and movie theaters shuttered since March. State virus death trends have been unfavorable in recent weeks.
BC-NC-RACIAL INJUSTICE-ASHEVILLE STATUES
Confederate monument removed from Buncombe County courthouse
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Workers have removed a Confederate monument that stands outside a county courthouse in the western North Carolina city of Asheville. The Citizen-Times reports that the monument was taken down Tuesday morning. The monument outside the Buncombe County courthouse honored the 60th Regiment and Battle of Chickamauga. The city of Asheville recently took down a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that stood downtown. County and city officials have also called for the creation of a task force to come up with a plan for a monument that honors Zebulon Vance. He was a Buncombe a North Carolina governor during the Civil War. The Vance monument stands in downtown Asheville. It was recently shrouded from view.
BC-NC-VIRUS OUTBREAK-ALCOHOL BAN
Charlotte mayor would support limits on evening booze sales
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The mayor of North Carolina’s largest city said she would support banning alcohol sales after 10 p.m. in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The Charlotte Observer reported Monday that Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles voiced her support after images circulated on social media of crowded gatherings at local restaurants and bars. Lyles said at Monday night’s City Council meeting that she would sign such an order if a policy group recommends it. Lyles’s statement followed those of Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio. She told reporters that policymakers were discussing the action. Restrictions on alcohol sales are already in place in places such as Orange County, North Carolina, and in South Carolina.
Judge: Man still not mentally competent for murder trial
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a North Carolina man who is accused of fatally stabbing a woman in 2011 is still not competent to stand trial for murder. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Cornelius Tucker Jr. will be sent to a hospital. He faces a first-degree-murder charge in the death of Constance Edwina Hall. Her body was found in a trash can. DNA tests prompted Tucker’s arrest in 2015. Forsyth Superior Court Judge David Hall signed an order on Thursday that involuntarily commits Tucker to a hospital until at least June 1, 2021. Court documents state that Tucker may never be able to stand trial because of his mental illness and a slew of physical medical issues.
Outer Banks island ravaged by storms and virus restrictions
OCRACOKE, N.C. (AP) — A secluded tourist destination on North Carolina’s Outer Banks is having an extremely tough year. Ocracoke Island is recovering from the most damaging hurricane in its recorded history and the near-economic paralysis wrought by one of the world’s worst pandemics. A little more than half of the island’s businesses have reopened since the hurricane struck and pandemic-related restrictions were lifted. Their owners are hoping to recoup some of their losses as tourists return, albeit in smaller than usual numbers. They don’t have much time: The hurricane season is expected to heat up again here in August.
WILD HORSE DEATH
Horse dies on North Carolina coast after choking on apple
COROLLA, N.C. (AP) — A wild horse on the North Carolina coast has died after officials say it choked on an apple, leading to warnings for people not to feed the herd. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund said on its Facebook page that a yearling colt named Danny choked on an apple last Friday. The organization said its veterinarian administered a sedative to try and relax the horse’s esophagus and allow the obstruction to pass. But it was discovered that the apple had been lodged long enough to cause an infection and rupture his esophagus. Officials blame Danny’s death on “humans who had no regard for the safety of the horses.”
Forest raises $2.4M, still behind in N.C. gov’s money race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest recorded his largest fundraising haul in his gubernatorial bid, but he’s still way behind Democratic incumbent Roy Cooper in the money race. The Committee to Elect Dan Forest says it raised $2.4 million from mid-February through the end of June and had $2 million in cash. Cooper’s campaign already announced last week it had raised close to $6 million during the extended second quarter and had $14 million in the bank. A separate committee designed to help Cooper and other Democratic Council of State candidates says it raised $6 million. Campaign finance reports were due last Friday.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-NORTH CAROLINA-STATUE
Statue of antebellum N.C. chief justice at court removed
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A statue of a 19th-century North Carolina Supreme Court justice has been taken away by workers from the entrance of the state Court of Appeals building. Chief Justice Thomas Ruffin is known in part for a ruling in which he concluded a slave owner’s power over a slave was absolute. The building is located across the street from the old state Capitol and once housed the Supreme Court. The statue was removed following recent topplings and damage to Confederate monuments in North Carolina and in other states. The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources will store the statue temporarily.
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