North Carolina News – July 20

North Carolina News – July 20


Judge weighs N.C. voting rule change demand with COVID-19

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A judge is listening to arguments this week about whether the COVID-19 pandemic demands changes to North Carolina’s voting systems this fall. U.S. District Judge William Osteen scheduled a hearing starting Monday involving a lawsuit by two voting advocacy groups and several citizens who fear current rules threaten their health if they want to vote. The plaintiffs want Osteen to block several voting restrictions now. A new state law already eases absentee ballot rules and directs that an online portal be created to file applications. Similar virus-related voting lawsuits have been filed in North Carolina and other states.


New flag warns of jellyfish, stingrays on Outer Banks beach

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) — Lifeguards on a beach in North Carolina’s Outer Banks have posted a new purple flag that is adorned with images of a jelly fish and a stringray. The Virginian-Pilot reported Sunday that that the flag serves as a warning when the sea creatures are nearby. The purple flag expands warnings to swimmers beyond the red banner that’s already flown when rip currents are present. A yellow flag also warns of heavy shore break or dangerous currents. Purple flags are a common maritime warning. But David Elder, supervisor of Kill Devil Hills Ocean Rescue, said he asked a local business to add images of the creatures to be more specific.


Police: Body of 22-year-old man recovered in North Carolina

MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say they recovered the body of a 22-year-old man from a lake in North Carolina after they were called about a possible drowning. The Mount Holly Police Chief said in a news release witnesses told police the man and another person were swimming in Mountain Island Lake Sunday when the victim went under the water and never resurfaced. The victim was found after a search of the area and declared dead at the scene. Authorities have not released his identity.


Former police headquarters vandalized, 23 arrested

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina have arrested 23 people after a former police headquarters was vandalized. Durham Police said those arrested are being charged with felonies for inciting a riot after vandalizing the city’s old police headquarters Saturday evening. Police said officers told the crowd to disperse but many people refused to leave. Police said there were broken windows, damaged furniture and graffiti spray painted on several floors of the building. Police said a man was assaulted by the crowd, including being thrown to the ground and kicked several times.


Police: motorcyclist killed in hit and run

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say a motorcyclist was killed in a hit and run. Durham police said a motorcycle driven by Raekwon Nixon, 24, collided with a vehicle as it was making a left turn Saturday evening. Nixon was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead a short time later. Police said the driver of the vehicle, Amado Lopez, allegedly fled the scene of the crash and surrendered a short time later. Police said Lopez is facing a felony hit-and-run charge.


Charges made related to death of toddler

SILER, N.C. (AP) — Police have charged two people in North Carolina with killing a 3-year-old boy. Tricia Ann Bissett, 33, and Judson Sier Dunnavant, 38, were charged with first-degree murder and other felony child abuse charges, news outlets reported. The Siler City Police Department said Saturday the charges are related to the death of Evan Preston Marrero, a toddler who died last year. Police said the pair are being held without bond.


Vegas-like casino near Charlotte to have groundbreaking

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for a new Vegas-style casino near Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer reports that Catawba Indians plan to break ground next week on a $300 million casino about 35 miles from the city. The Catawbas plan to open the casino next year. The South Carolina-based tribe has been trying for several years to build a casino in North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokees, who operate casinos in western North Carolina, are opposing the Catawba Indians’ effort to build a casino and have filed a lawsuit.


N.C. elections order could mean more early voting sites

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s top elections administrator has ordered counties to open a minimum number of early in-person voting sites this fall to buttress ballot access during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those sites also have to be open on otherwise optional voting weekends. State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell cited her emergency powers in announcing changes Friday. The order also tells election workers that while they’ll have to wear face coverings at voting centers and Election Day precincts in November, voters won’t be required to do so. A key Senate Republican and liberal-leaning election advocacy groups criticized the order for different reasons.

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