NC governor’s race sets pace for Democrats in the South
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s gubernatorial election between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest provides one of Joe Biden’s best chances for victory in the South. With less than three months until Election Day, the governor is in prime position to win reelection, with a lead over Forest in public opinion polls. Cooper has earned high praise for his proactive, but balanced approach to controlling the coronavirus. His reelection path offers clues to what will work for Southern Democrats in an election cycle that will once again determine control of the White House and Congress.
Ex-NC Rep. Goodwin, who made history with childbirth, dies
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s first lawmaker to give birth while holding office has died at age 50. The husband of former state Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin announced on Wednesday that she died Tuesday night after she was diagnosed with cancer more than a decade ago. Goodwin was an attorney who served in the state House from 2005 through 2010. She gave birth to the couple’s second child in 2008. At the time she said she hoped her juggling of legislative and family duties would serve as a model that both could be done. Goodwin recently worked at the state Industrial Commission.
Carolina University student dies in quarry drowning
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A soccer player and student at Carolina University in Winston-Salem has drowned in a quarry. The Winston-Salem Journal reported Wednesday that Emmanuel Korwor Konneh drowned at Balfour Quarry in Salisbury. He and three friends had gone to the area to swim Konneh had moved with his family to the Concord area from Liberia over two years ago. He was a freshman soccer player at Carolina University. The school was formerly known as Piedmont International University. Konneh was a freshman in the Patterson School of Business. He was pursuing a management degree.
NC legislature back to spend more federal virus relief aid
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly is making a brief return trip to Raleigh to distribute federal COVID-19 relief funds that otherwise disappear at the end of the year. The House and Senate planned to gavel in at midday Wednesday, nearly two months since they last met. Republican leaders want to approve by Thursday a package that spends just over $1 billion in federal CARES Act money earmarked for the state. One provision in the GOP plan would give $325 payments to families with school-age children for help with child care and other needs. Unemployment benefits would rise by $50 weekly as well.
Juneteenth to become paid holiday in North Carolina county
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) — A county in North Carolina has voted to make Juneteenth a paid holiday for employees. The Orange County Board of Commissioners unanimously decided on Tuesday to honor June 19, the day in 1865 that all enslaved Black people learned they had been freed. The holiday has reached a new level of recognition in the wake of protests across the country. The county says the move is expected to cost taxpayers about $61,000 in salaries and benefits. Wake County said in July that it was the first in the state to make Juneteenth a paid holiday. Other town and county boards are expected to soon consider similar proposals.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Cooper orders gyms partially open, keeps bars closed
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has issued an executive order that will soon allow residents to go to gyms but keep them prohibited from entering bars. The mass gathering limit will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors starting on Friday. Republicans remain concerned businesses can’t survive further closure extensions. The executive order will allow gyms and bowling alleys to open at 30% capacity. Bars, movie theaters, nightclubs, dance halls, amusement parks and indoor entertainment venues must remain closed. Cooper said the mandate for face coverings will stay in place.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA UNIVERSITIES
Since reopening, 3K N.C. college students got coronavirus
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — At least 3,000 college students across North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus since schools reopened in early August. Roughly four in five cases across the state have come from UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University and East Carolina University. The spike in coronavirus cases prompted the three campuses to halt undergraduate in-person classes and move students out of their dorms as classes go fully online. Dozens of private and public colleges in the state have wildly different standards for reporting coronavirus information and the state public health department cannot force the universities to turn over much of their data.
Payments to parents in NC Republicans’ virus relief package
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina legislature will reconvene briefly starting Wednesday to consider spending leftover federal COVID-19 relief funds to reach the pockets of parents, the unemployed and poll workers. House and Senate Republicans have agreed on a package they want to send to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper this week to spend just over $1 billion in coronavirus relief from Congress. The package would include sending $325 payments to households with children to help parents with child care and education. Cooper will have to decide whether to sign the General Assembly’s final package or veto it. The top House Democrats blasted the plan as “completely inadequate.”
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