Politics slows flow of US virus funds to local public health
Congress has allocated trillions of dollars to ease the coronavirus crisis. A joint Kaiser Health News and AP investigation finds that many communities with big outbreaks have spent little of that federal money on local public health departments for work such as testing and contact tracing. Others, like Minnesota, were slow to do so. So little money has flowed to some local health departments for many reasons: Bureaucracy has bogged things down, politics have crept into the process, and understaffed departments have struggled to take time away from critical needs to navigate the red tape required to justify asking for extra dollars.
Crowd protests outside US Postmaster’s North Carolina home
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — More than 100 demonstrators descended on the North Carolina neighborhood of the U.S. Postmaster General to protest recent changes to the Postal Service that have created fears for mail-in voting ahead of the November presidential election. News outlets report that protesters gathered for about two hours Sunday along the streets below Louis DeJoy’s Greensboro mansion. DeJoy, a Republican fundraiser and major political donor, has sparked outcry over postal delays, new prices and cutbacks as millions prepare to vote by mail to avoid polling places during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s unclear whether DeJoy was at the home during the demonstration.
Over $700K raised for slain boy’s funeral in North Carolina
WILSON, N.C. (AP) — More than $700,000 has been raised for the funeral service of a slain 5-year-old boy in North Carolina whose death has captured national attention. The donations poured into a GoFundMe page organized by Gwen Hinnant, who identifies herself on the website as Cannon Hinnant’s grandmother. Cannon’s funeral was held Thursday, days after the boy was fatally shot in the family’s driveway as he rode his bike. A neighbor has been charged with first-degree murder in his death. Some have taken to social media to claim that race was a factor in Cannon’s death. Police warned Friday about false information circulating on social media about the case.
North Carolina schools resume with most students online
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s public schools are returning to class with most students still learning at home through their computers to start the year due to continued worries about COVID-19. Nearly all schools in K-12 districts begin classes Monday. Districts and charter schools that teach about two-thirds of the 1.5 million public school students chose full-time remote learning for now. Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan also gave school boards options to hold in-person instruction with strict social distancing or provide a mix. During the past school year, school buildings closed in March and never reopened for classes.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Another COVID-19 cluster reported in UNC-Chapel Hill housing
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Another cluster of positive COVID-19 cases within student housing has been reported at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sunday’s disclosure of cases within the Hinton James dormitory building marks the fourth such cluster since the semester began Aug. 10 at the state’s flagship public university campus. A faculty committee is supposed to meet Monday to discuss the coronavirus clusters. Students are receiving a mix of in-person and remote instruction. Other UNC system schools already have started the fall semester or will soon. Nearly 145,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported overall in North Carolina since the pandemic began.
Police examining death of N.C. youth found near restaurant
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina’s capital city say they’re treating the death of a teenager found in a vehicle outside a fast-food restaurant as a homicide. Raleigh police officers arrived at the parking lot of a Bojangles restaurant near Garner on Saturday evening. Police identified the youth as 17-year-old Veronica Lee Baker of Raleigh. A police news release didn’t explain how she died and asks the public for information about what happened.
N.C. man charged with manslaughter in 2-year-old son’s death
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina’s largest city say a man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his 2-year-old son, who located his father’s gun and shot himself. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say Antonio Thomas Cureton was arrested Sunday and sits in the Mecklenburg County Jail. A news release says detectives determined Amor Cureton gained access to the unsecured firearm and discharged it, fatally injuring himself. The father is also accused of unlawful possession of firearms by a convicted felon and the failure to secure one to protect a minor. He faces a court appearance on Tuesday.
Judge: N.C. county can’t ban all protests around courthouse
GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled law enforcement in a central North Carolina county can’t bar all protests around the local courthouse, including near where a Confederate monument stands. U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles signed a preliminary injunction on Friday preventing the rules from being enforced. The Alamance County chapter of the NAACP and individuals have sued over the rules. Eagles writes the plaintiffs are likely to be successful in arguing their First Amendment rights were being violated. Eagles declined to rule on whether an updated protest policy is lawful. The Confederate monument has been a target for demonstrations following the death of George Floyd.
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