North Carolina News – August 11

North Carolina News – August 11


Constraints gone, GOP ramps up effort to monitor voting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican Party heads into its first presidential contest this November free from decades-old legal constraints on the use of volunteers to monitor the polls on Election Day. It’s a boon for a party that has consistently raised the specter of voting fraud. But it’s also a concern for Democrats and voting rights groups. They fear the planned influx of tens of thousands of poll watchers under the imprimatur of the Republican National Committee is a thinly veiled effort to suppress Democratic turnout, particularly in minority communities.


Police: Man fatally shot by officer in North Carolina

ROBBINS, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a man who was randomly firing gunshots in a North Carolina city was fatally shot by a police officer after he refused to put down his weapon. News outlets report the shooting happened Monday night in Robbins, a city about 71 miles southwest of Raleigh. Robbins Police Chief Lawson Thomas said officers encountered the man while responding to a call about a person brandishing a firearm and firing gunshots. Thomas says officers tried to get the man to disarm, but he refused and fled. Police say an officer later shot him. Authorities have not revealed the man’s identity.


Summer jobs for young people are vanishing with the pandemic

The iconic summer job for high school and college students has been on the wane for nearly 20 years. But the pandemic is squeezing even more young people out of the workforce. Some are borrowing more money. Others have turned to pick-up jobs like Instacart, only to compete with older people who are similarly sidelined. A Drexel University education professor says summer work remains crucial for young people’s development, often leading to higher earnings and higher levels of education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for people ages 16 to 24 was 18.5% in July compared with 9.1% the same month last year.


North Carolina AG to probe sources of ‘forever chemicals’

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Attorney General will have his office investigate the sources behind so-called “forever chemicals” that have contaminated drinking water in the southeastern part of the state. The Fayetteville Observer reports that  AG Josh Stein made the announcement on Monday. The chemicals his office will focus on include substances like PFAS and GenX. PFAS are used in industrial processes to make things like nonstick coatings and fire suppression foams. Stein says the chemicals do not break down once they are released into the environment. They also build up in human blood and organs, causing harm to people’s health. GenX is a type of PFAS.


Regulators to allow increased squid fishing this year

BOSTON (AP) — Federal fishing regulators are allowing increased harvesting of a species of squid this year because of reports that the species can withstand it. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it’s increasing the accepted biological catch of shortfin squid from about 57 million pounds to about 66 million pounds. Fishermen bring the squid to shore in New England and the mid-Atlantic states for use as food by humans. NOAA says a working group found that the species “continues to be lightly exploited and the fishery footprint is small.” The new rules went into effect on Aug. 4.


Trump: Convention speech locale is White House or Gettysburg

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination will be held at either the White House or the Gettysburg battlefield. In a Monday tweet, Trump says a decision on the location of the Aug. 27 speech will be made soon. Both sites are federal property raising legal and ethical issues for their use in a political event. The Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania could also resurface the president’s defense of monuments to heroes of the Confederacy. Trump’s original plans to address the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida, were upended by the coronavirus. Now most of the convention will be conducted virtually.


Apt Bible passage at Catholic Mass coincides with earthquake

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A Catholic church in North Carolina which had a portion of 1 Kings for the Bible for its reading during an early Sunday morning Mass found the verse unusually timely. The Diocese of Charlotte says Father Richard Sutter of St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church said a lector had just reached the 19th chapter which states: “After the wind there was an earthquake — but the LORD was not in the earthquake.” It was about then that parishioners felt a 5.1 magnitude quake centered near Sparta that rattled North Carolina on Sunday. It was the most powerful earthquake to hit the Southern state in more than a century.


Prosecutors recommend probation for ex-N.C. Rep. Hayes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Prosecutors have asked a judge to give a former North Carolina congressman no prison time for lying to the FBI about his role in an effort to try to bribe the state’s top insurance regulator with large political contributions. The U.S. attorneys made the probation recommendation on Monday for Robin Hayes, who pleaded guilty in October to making a false statement to agents conducting the probe while Hayes was state Republican Party chairman. Four people were indicted in the case. Jurors convicted insurance company owner Greg Lindberg and consultant John Gray in March. Hayes, Gray and Lindberg are to be sentenced next week.

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