North Carolina News – August 12

North Carolina News – August 12


He set out to mobilize Latino voters. Then the virus hit.

GRAHAM, N.C (AP) — The coronavirus is disrupting Latinos’ long climb up the political ladder. They are the country’s largest minority group but haven’t fully flexed their political muscles. Only about half of Latinos are even eligible to vote because they’re under 18 or not citizens. In some states like North Carolina the numbers are far worse. Yet even in North Carolina there are enough Latinos to make a difference in close elections. Still, in the time of the coronavirus, new obstacles face Latinos. They are more likely to get sick or lose work due to the virus. And those seeking office are finding it challenging to make their case in their community.


Asheville may remove slave-owner names from some streets

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina city of Asheville is considering removing the names of slave owners and other people associated with discrimination from some streets and a park. The Citizen-Times reported Sunday that the recommendations for name changes follow this year’s protests against police brutality and racism. Asheville’s city manager had asked the Asheville and Buncombe County African American Heritage Commission to recommend names for removal as well as replacements. Among the names flagged for potential renaming is Patton Avenue. James Patton served on Asheville’s governing body in 1841 and is said to have owned at least 35 enslaved people.


Officials: Inmate stabs 2 officers in North Carolina prison

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Officials say two correctional officers in North Carolina were stabbed by an inmate when they attempted to remove him from his cell. News outlets report the incident happened Tuesday evening at Central Prison in Raleigh. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety says one of the injured officers was transported to a hospital for stab wounds on his legs. The other officer has been receiving treatment for injuries at the prison. Authorities say the inmate used a “homemade weapon” to stab the officers. Raleigh police and state prison officials are investigating the incident.


NC lawmakers want Cooper to seek Trump’s extended benefits

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders want Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to get on board with extending unemployment benefits that President Donald Trump offered in an executive order. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger told Cooper on Tuesday that the General Assembly plans to approve matching state dollars to receive the partially extended benefits when it reconvenes in September. They want him to submit an application for the money. The actions could result in at least another $300 per week for workers. Cooper’s office has been cool to the idea of using federal disaster funds to pay for the benefits.


New N.C. campaign spending rule ends practice Berger used

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina legislators can no longer spend campaign committee dollars toward buying or renting homes or condos that they or family members own. It’s a practice that state Senate leader Phil Berger used for years.  An administrative rule from the State Board of Elections that took effect this month bars such transactions. The changes come months after a retired campaign reform group leader first filed a complaint questioning Berger’s real estate activity. Berger’s campaign had received the OK from a previous elections board director to use campaign dollars for housing. The former campaign reform activist also filed an ethics complaint against Berger on Tuesday.


Cooper wins key ruling in COVID-19 legal fight with Forest

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has won another legal victory defending his COVID-19 executive orders, this time involving a lawsuit filed by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. A judge on Tuesday refused to block temporarily his orders limiting business activities and mass gatherings and mandating face coverings. Forest sued Cooper last month, saying the orders were unlawful because he failed to first get support from the Council of State. Cooper’s attorneys argued that Cooper used part of emergency management law that let him act unilaterally when local governments are unable to respond effectively.  Cooper and Forest are running for governor in November.


Aftershock rattles North Carolina town as governor visits

SPARTA, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 2.9 aftershock rattled the North Carolina town where a 5.1 earthquake on Sunday shook items from grocery store shelves and was felt from Washington, D.C., to Atlanta. The USGS website shows the aftershock occurred around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday and was centered almost 2 miles (3 kilometers) southeast of Sparta. The latest aftershock occurred hours after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper toured the town to survey the damage. Cooper met with homeowners as well as with local and county officials. Alleghany County’s sheriff says the county’s residents need help in repairing the damages.


UNC campus workers file lawsuit, say work conditions unsafe

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Campus workers in the University of North Carolina system have filed a lawsuit saying working conditions are unsafe and that workers are reporting for work with inadequate protective equipment in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that the union representing the workers says some university employees, including housekeepers and other campus workers, are provided one or two masks per week and many don’t have access to face shields or gowns. Herb Richmond, director of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Housekeeping Services Department, said he was talking with campus leaders about how the school can adapt to address their concerns.

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