Bahamas, Florida brace as new Hurricane Isaias bears down
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Newly formed Hurricane Isaias is bearing down on the Bahamas and the U.S. East Coast. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph) early Friday and was centered about 340 miles (545 kilometers) southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says it was moving northwest at 17 mph (28 kph). The storm is forecast to strengthen near or over the Bahamas and it could near South Florida on Saturday and Sunday. Officials say the storm has killed one man in the Dominican Republic.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-BLACK LIVES MATTER APOLOGY
Black Lives Matter group: Apology to family of man who died
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A Black Lives Matter chapter in North Carolina has apologized to the family of a Black man who died last year for demanding the release of jail and body camera footage leading up to his death. Black Lives Matter Winston-Salem made the apology Thursday on Facebook. The group says they want to honor the dignity of John Neville. Prosecutors say Neville died in December due to a brain injury after he was placed face down and restrained by officers in a manner that made him unable to breathe. The family had previously opposed the video’s release, but said in a statement through their attorneys this week that they now want it released.
PROTECTED CORAL-MAN CITED
Officials: Man cited for taking federally protected coral
KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a North Carolina man visiting the Florida Keys stole large pieces of federally protected coral. The Miami Herald reports that Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded Wednesday night to a Key Largo condominium complex and issued the man a notice to appear in court for violating the Endangered Species Act. FWC investigators had been tipped off that someone had coral out on a balcony at the Landings of Largo. Officers identified it as staghorn coral. The man told officers he was in the Keys for the two-day lobster miniseason, which ended Thursday night.
HOME INVASION DEATH
Last of 3 guilty in deadly home invasion to be sentenced
BANGOR, Maine (AP) — The last of three people charged in a deadly home invasion in Maine is due for sentencing for murder. A jury convicted Christopher Murray of North Carolina last year. Prosecutors charged that Murray, Tony Locklear and Alexis Locklear shot Wayne Lapierre and his wife at their Millinocket home. Lapierre died from his wounds. Murray is scheduled to be sentenced in a Bangor courtroom on Friday.
Dominion overhauls leadership; Farrell stepping down as CEO
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Dominion Energy has announced a reorganized executive leadership team, including a new CEO. The Richmond, Virginia-based energy company said Friday that current chairman, president and CEO Thomas Farrell II will become the company’s executive chair, effective Oct. 1. In that role, Farrell will continue to serve as chair of the Board of Directors. The company said in a news release that Robert Blue is being promoted to president and CEO, reporting to Farrell. Edward “Ed” Baine will be promoted to president-Dominion Energy Virginia. Dominion Energy serves more than 7 million customers in 20 states with businesses with electricity or natural gas.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Big N. Carolina utilities told to stop disconnections longer
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators have told the state’s big for-profit electric, natural gas and water utilities to keep delaying disconnections through August as customers still struggle financially from COVID-19. The state Utilities Commission issued an order late Wednesday, the same day a provision expired in Gov. Roy Cooper’s separate executive order that prevented shutoffs for all residential customers. The expiration meant local governments and cooperatives could resume disconnections, but the commission wrote to say for-profit companies like Duke Energy and Dominion Energy must wait until at least Sept. 1. Unpaid utility bill expenses statewide at the end of June were at least $258 million.
Panel approves model of Billy Graham statue for US Capitol
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina legislative committee has approved a model of a statue honoring the late Rev. Billy Graham to represent the state in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. The Charlotte Observer reports the Legislature’s selection committee approved the model Wednesday. Graham’s statue would replace one of former governor and white supremacist Charles Aycock. Each state is allowed two statues. Aycock’s has represented North Carolina for nearly 90 years, but representatives have called for it to be removed, along with the state’s other statue of Zebulon B. Vance, a former governor and Confederate military officer. A congressional committee will hold a final vote on the model of Graham.
COVID patient didn’t recognize body after double transplant
CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago woman who last month became the nation’s first COVID-19 patient to undergo a double lung transplant says she woke up days later, unaware about the surgery and unable to “recognize my body.” Mayra Ramirez said that before she fell ill she was an independent, active person who moved from North Carolina to Chicago in 2014 to work as a paralegal. Ramirez, 28, underwent the lung transplant on June 5 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She didn’t wake up until mid-June. She spoke to the media Thursday alongside Brian Kuhns, 62, of Lake Zurich, Illinois, who followed her as the second U.S. coronavirus patient to undergo a double transplant.
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