House to investigate DeJoy possible campaign law violations
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats will investigate whether Postmaster General Louis DeJoy encouraged employees at his business to contribute to Republican candidates and then reimbursed them in the guise of bonuses, a violation of campaign finance laws. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, House Oversight Committee chair, announced the investigation Tuesday. The Washington Post reports that five people who worked for DeJoy’s former business were urged to write checks and attend fundraisers at his North Carolina mansion. Two former employees said DeJoy would give bigger bonuses to reimburse them. It’s not illegal to encourage employees to contribute to candidates but it is illegal to reimburse them as a way of avoiding federal campaign contribution limits.
AP-NC-WILMINGTON POLICE-MILITARY GEAR
Police use obscure federal program to borrow military gear
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Police in the North Carolina city of Wilmington have been borrowing military surplus items such as generators and M-16 rifles from the Department of Defense. The Wilmington Star News reported Tuesday that the city’s police department is using an obscure federal program to get the equipment. It’s been borrowing the gear for the past 16 years. Wilmington police Capt. Rodney Dawson said that patrol officers are assigned M-16 rifles because those weapons exist on the street. He said officers need to be prepared if confronted by a suspect armed with that kind of rifle. Dawson added that the weapons cannot be used for crowd control or civil disturbances. The equipment is being lent out free of charge.
North Carolina trooper cited for taking $5K in gear from gym
GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper is accused of stealing $5,000 worth of exercise equipment from a gym before it reopened to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic. News outlets cited the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office and reported that 44-year-old Jerome John Letcavage was charged with larceny on Saturday. The trooper is accused of taking weights and resistance bands from a YMCA on Wednesday, three days before it officially reopened. Gov. Roy Cooper lifted restrictions Friday that had kept such exercise centers closed for months. A spokesperson told WCNC-TV that Letcavage remains employed with the agency. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment for him.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-LABOR DAY
The Summer of COVID-19 ends with health officials worried
The Lost Summer of 2020 is drawing to a close with many big Labor Day gatherings canceled across the U.S. and health authorities pleading with people to keep their distance from others so as not to cause another surge in coronavirus cases like the one that followed Memorial Day. Downtown Atlanta was quiet as the 85,000 or so people who come dressed as their favorite superheroes or science fiction characters for the annual Dragon Con convention met online instead. Huge college football stadiums in places like Ohio State and the University of Texas sat empty. Many Labor Day parades were called off, and masks were usually required at the few that went on.
SBI investigating western North Carolina police shooting
An investigation is underway after officers in western North Carolina shot a suspect who police say was armed with a knife. TV station WLOS reported Monday that officers with the Spruce Pine Police Department shot the suspect Sunday. The condition of the person shot was not immediately clear. Officials say the shooting is being investigated by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. An SBI spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press.
N. Carolina beach rental companies prepare for a busy fall
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Many coastal North Carolina vacation rental companies say it’s been a busy summer despite the coronavirus pandemic, and they’re not expecting a slowdown any time soon. While Labor Day marks a ceremonial end to summer, long-term rentals for the fall are pouring in, representatives for companies along the coast told The StarNews. Many parents are teleworking and students are taking classes online. One company’s project manager says the rest of September and October will be “insanely busy,” with some longer-term rentals coming off the market for two or three months.
Man charged after hitting 187 mph along N. Carolina highway
FOUR OAKS, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say a man is facing numerous charges after speeding at nearly 190 mph along Interstate 95 over the weekend. A State Highway Patrol trooper attempted to stop the driver Sunday after he sped through a work zone on the interstate, TV station WRAL reported. The car reached a maximum of 187 mph in an area with a posted limit of 65. Troopers say the man eventually crashed into bushes in the Four Oaks area while attempting to avoid stop sticks. No one was injured. He was being held under a $125,000 bond.
Shroud that covered Asheville monument won’t be replaced
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A shroud that had been covering a Confederate monument in downtown Asheville won’t be replaced after wind tore it off. TV station WLOS reports the city says the shroud on the Vance monument won’t be replaced but scaffolding that had been holding it up will remain until a taskforce makes a decision on the monument’s future. The city paid $18,500 to put up the shroud. The city has also been paying a $2,600 monthly scaffolding rental fee. A 12-member taskforce is expected to present recommendations for the monument’s future in three months.
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