ELECTION 2020-MAIL VOTING-GOP
Here’s how Trump’s opposition to mail voting hurts the GOP
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s campaign against voting by mail is setting his party back in the race to sign its voters up for the easiest and safest way to cast a ballot during the pandemic. Republican strategists have worried privately for months that the president’s baseless claims of widespread mail voting fraud would put them at a disadvantage in November. Now that seems to be coming true. Republicans have traditionally dominated in mail voting in Florida. But now Democrats have leapt ahead in the race requesting mail ballots. The situation is similar is several other swing states.
Authorities: Professor died by suicide after backlash
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — The death of a North Carolina professor who recently announced his retirement amid backlash for comments he made on social media has been ruled a suicide. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office said an investigation showed University of North Carolina-Wilmington professor Mike Adams had killed himself with a single gunshot wound to the head. Officials say his body was found last Thursday by deputies doing a welfare check at his home after he wasn’t seen or heard from in several days. The latest controversy involving Adams happened in late May when he called the state’s governor “Massa Cooper” on Twitter. An online petition and some celebrities had called for his firing.
FOREIGN FIGHTERS-DEADLY AMBUSH
Prosecutors to consider death penalty in soldiers’ case
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have suggested that they will seek the death penalty against one of two men accused of the shooting deaths of a Florida couple so they could finance their trip to Venezuela to fight the socialist government. Attorneys for both sides held a video hearing on Monday for defendant Alex Zwiefelhofer, who along with fellow Army veteran Craig Lang are accused of arranging the deadly robbery of Serafin and Deana Lorenzo to finance the Venezuela trip. U.S. Attorney Josephine W. Thomas suggested a discussion with defense attorneys to determine how they would proceed with the case. Defense attorney D. Todd Doss said he didn’t feel prepared for such a discussion.
Officials: North Carolina deputy shot, suspect killed
CANTON, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a deputy in North Carolina was shot early Tuesday morning and the suspect in the shooting has died. The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office and the Canton Police Department said the shooting happened on a highway in Canton when the deputy and officers were responding to a report about a disturbance involving a person armed with a gun. WLOS-TV reports the suspect fired at officers when they arrived, and shot the deputy. The suspect was then killed during a gunfire exchange. Officials did not reveal the person’s identity. The deputy has been transported to a hospital. Authorities did not provide additional information on the deputy’s current condition.
Silkroad’s new face: Grammy-winning artist Rhiannon Giddens
Silkroad, the acclaimed international musical collective with a social conscience, has a new face — and a fresh sense of purpose. Silkroad announced Tuesday that Grammy-winning folk singer and instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens is its new artistic director. Giddens takes the baton from renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who founded the group two decades ago. The 43-year-old North Carolina native is the first woman and first multiracial artist to lead Silkroad. The Boston-based organization is known not just for its touring ensemble comprised of world-class musicians from all over the globe, but also for its efforts to use the arts to bridge differences across races, countries and cultures.
PRIVATE SCHOOL GRANTS
Suit again targets N.C. private school scholarship program
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Several North Carolina parents have sued to halt the state’s taxpayer-funded scholarship program for K-12 children to attend private schools. Monday’s filing in Wake County court comes five years after a closely divided state Supreme Court upheld the legality of the private-school grants through the Opportunity Scholarship Program. The plaintiffs in the new lawsuit say the program violates several portions of the state constitution, including those protecting religious freedom. They say their viewpoints on religion and sexuality bar them access to publicly funded educational opportunities because conservative private schools that receive the money demand adherence to their views on Christianity and LGBT rights.
Trump coming to North Carolina to see work on virus vaccine
MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) — President Donald Trump is coming to North Carolina to visit a biotech facility involved in work to create a COVID-19 vaccine. Trump’s trip on Monday to Morrisville is his first public event in the state since the eve of the March 3 presidential primary. Trump won North Carolina’s electoral votes in 2016 by nearly 4 percentage points. The state is also considered a presidential battleground this fall. The FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ Innovation Center that he’ll tour is manufacturing key components of a vaccine candidate developed by another company.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-LIQUOR SALES
North Carolina liquor sales see 12% jump during fiscal year
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Liquor sales in North Carolina have seen a 12% increase during the fiscal year that ended on June 30. The Fayetteville Observer reports the jump largely came in March when Gov. Roy Cooper shut down bars and restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic. Charles Hill owns multiple liquor stores in the state. He told the newspaper that customers said they were purchasing high amounts of alcohol because of fears Cooper would also shut down liquor stores. Liquor purchases by bars and restaurants has remained below normal levels as of June.
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