North Carolina News – August 21

North Carolina News – August 21


Pence faults ‘negative’ DNC, previews next week’s RNC themes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence says next week’s Republican Party convention “will make sure the American people see the choice” between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. Previewing themes for the Republican gathering, Pence told several morning talk shows Friday that viewers of next week’s RNC will hear about how the GOP will support law and order, and the men and women of law enforcement. Democrats wrapped their four-day convention Thursday night after nominating Biden for president and California Sen. Kamala Harris for vice president. Pence called the DNC’s virtual convention “negative” and says he couldn’t watch much of it.


Second Dem lawsuit claims USPS changes will harm mail voting

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democratic attorneys general are claiming in a second multi-state lawsuit that recent Postal Service policy changes will undermine mail-in voting this November. The complaint against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the agency was filed Friday in federal court in Philadelphia. The plaintiffs claim Postal Service changes have already caused problems and that agency leaders interfered with how states conduct elections according to the U.S. Constitution. The attorneys general say ballots may not be sent or received in time and some voters may simply not vote out of concern their ballot won’t get counted.


Knife-wielding North Carolina man shot during bus barricade

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say officers shot a knife-wielding man who barricaded himself in a city bus and later charged at officers who were attempting to remove him. Asheville police spokeswoman Christina Hallingse says the man was wounded and brought to a hospital following the Thursday morning encounter. The department said in a statement that the man, 35-year-old Grant Paul Dalton, was in critical but stable condition Thursday afternoon. Police said the shooting followed more than an hour of negotiation, during which Dalton barricaded himself on the vehicle and began stabbing himself in the neck. No other injuries were reported. The State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the shooting.


Nonprofit seeks help to repair North Carolina lighthouse

COROLLA, N.C. (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has put the brakes on planned repairs at a 145-year-old lighthouse in eastern North Carolina. A nonprofit that runs the Currituck Beach Lighthouse is now seeking financial help to finish the work. The Virginian-Pilot reported this week that the lighthouse is awaiting its first makeover since being built in the 19th Century. The Outer Banks Conservationists is hoping to raise $345,000. Tens of thousands of people a year pay up to $10 for a ticket to climb the 162-foot tower and enjoy its panoramic view. The revenues maintain the light and the buildings on the grounds. The tower remains closed to visitors.


N. Carolina State University moving undergrad classes online

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State University will move all of its in-person undergraduate classes online starting next week, according to an email sent to students from Chancellor Randy Woodson. The announcement comes just one day after the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill halted physical instruction on its campus. Several coronavirus outbreaks have occurred since classes began at both campuses on Aug. 10. And on Thursday, N.C. State reported two more COVID-19 clusters. Both campuses have offered students housing refunds. UNC System President Peter Hans said a small number of irresponsible students have prompted the transition to fully remote learning.


Republican who drew lines called gerrymanders faces charges

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina lawmaker who played a prominent role in Republican redistricting plans has resigned from the state House after being accused of federal fraud and tax violations. Prosecutors say North Carolina state Rep. David Lewis conducted a scheme to transfer money from his campaign committee to help his ailing farm. According to a plea agreement, Lewis will plead guilty to making false statements to a bank and failing to timely file a 2018 tax return. Prosecutors say they won’t recommend active prison time. Lewis had been a chief legislative author of Republican redistricting plans in recent years and the resulting litigation that followed.


N.C. judge won’t halt use of touch-screen vote-mark machines

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge has ruled certain touch-screen ballot-marking machines will remain in use in the state this fall. The judge rejected a request by the state NAACP and voters who wanted ExpressVote machines barred from future elections. They’ve been used in roughly 20 counties. The names of the voters’ choices are printed on the ballot and correspond with bar code data that’s printed on the same ballot and tallied by a separate counting machine. Judge Rebecca Holt wrote no ExpressVote tabulation errors have been reported and there’s no evidence their use will increase the spread of the coronavirus.


Ex-county commissioner sentenced to prison for tax fraud

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A former North Carolina county commissioner has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison after pleading guilty to filing false federal tax returns and failing to file a return. The U.S. Department of Justice says former Forsyth County commissioner Everette Witherspoon Jr. will have to report to federal prison in October. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder also ordered Witherspoon to pay about $211,000 in restitution. According to prosecutors, Witherspoon filed tax returns in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 and failed to report income he made as a commissioner and under-reported income he made through his mental health company.

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