North Carolina News – August 31

North Carolina News – August 31

LAURINBURG, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say that a prisoner has died after a fight with other inmates. WRAL reported Saturday that State Bureau of Investigation and the Division of Prisons is conducting an investigation. The incident occurred at the Scotland Correctional Institution in southeastern North Carolina near Laurinburg. Authorities said that Mario S. Organistas was fatally stabbed with a homemade weapon after he and five others had entered a cell. The prison was placed on lockdown. Organistas was pronounced dead by the county medical examiner’s office. He was serving a 28-year sentence for second-degree murder.


SBA offers loans to homeowners, businesses hit by earthquake

SPARTA, N.C. (AP) — The federal government will begin offering low-interest loans to homeowners and small business owners who were impacted by North Carolina’s earthquake. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the U.S. Small Business Administration will begin offering the loans on Monday. More than 500 structures were reported to be damaged by the 5.1-magnitude earthquake on Aug. 9 near the town of Sparta in the northwestern part of North Carolina. The loans will be available in Alleghany, Ashe, Surry and Wilkes counties as well as Grayson County in Virginia.


Gov. Cooper, Republican lawmakers back at NC Supreme Court

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislators are returning to North Carolina’s highest court for their latest push and pull over powers held by state government branches. The state Supreme Court scheduled arguments on Monday from lawyers for Cooper and GOP legislative leaders in Cooper’s lawsuit challenging how federal block grant money is spent. A Court of Appeals panel favored the General Assembly in the case last year. But Cooper says the money isn’t state tax dollars, so it’s his duty to ensure the funds are spent the way Congress dictated. Cooper has sued over several legislative actions.


6 injured in crash between ambulance, wrong-way driver

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say six people have been injured after an ambulance collided with a pickup truck that was driving the wrong way down a North Carolina road. The Mecklenburg Emergency Medical Services Agency told news outlets that four people in the pickup truck were taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries after the car hit the ambulance at around 3 a.m. Monday in Charlotte. Officials said two ambulance crew members were hospitalized but were expected to be OK. News outlets report the crew members were driving back to headquarters after finishing their shift and did not have a patient on board when the crash happened near an interstate ramp.


Trump to visit Wilmington to declare it WWII Heritage City

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — President Donald Trump will visit Wilmington Wednesday to declare it a World War II “Heritage City.” News outlets report that the visit is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the end of the war. Legislation enacted last year requires the Secretary of the Interior to declare at least one city a year to be a World War II Heritage City. Wilmington would be the first. Wilmington has been home to the Battleship North Carolina since 1962. The ship was active in the Pacific theater during World War II and is now a floating museum.


Prison escapee who walked off job captured in North Carolina

HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — A minimum security inmate who walked away from from a prison job assignment in North Carolina has been captured. Prison officials say Michael Lee Willis-Rockett was taken into custody Sunday at about 9 a.m. after he was identified at a hotel in High Point. Officials say he was given away by his tattoos. Officials say Willis-Rockett, an inmate at Wake Correctional Center, walked away from his job assignment at the Department of Public Safety’s warehouse in Apex, where he loaded trucks. He has been serving a two-year sentence for identity theft and had been scheduled for release in December. He is now charged with escape.


Raleigh Police arrest 14 protesters for breaking curfew

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina’s capital city say they arrested 14 protesters after a march against racial injustice violated a newly imposed curfew. News outlets report that hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Friday night. The protest was largely peaceful, though an American flag was burned, portable toilets were toppled and a memorial to fallen police officers was vandalized with red spray paint. Police say that after the 10 p.m. curfew was breached, they allowed the group to disband. Police say many went home, but some made clear they planned to defy the curfew. Fourteen protesters were charged with violating curfew.; one was also charged with assaulting a police officer.


Postal chief DeJoy has long leveraged connections, dollars

WASHINGTON (AP) — As questions linger about election-year changes to post office operations and service, congressional Democrats are trying to figure out how Republican donor Louis DeJoy came to be hired as postmaster general. DeJoy wasn’t among the 53 candidates for the job who were initially presented to the U.S. Postal Service board of governors. Democrats are also focusing on whether Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin played any role in pushing DeJoy for the job. DeJoy is a businessman who turned his father’s trucking company into a national logistics operator. He’s clashed with labor unions and forged political connections that eased his path into lucrative government contracting.

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