ELECTION 2020-BALLOTS-NORTH CAROLINA
Hundreds of ballots accepted as N. Carolina begins voting
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Hundreds of ballots have been accepted in North Carolina, making the Tar Heel State the first in the nation to kick off voting in the November general election. As of Tuesday evening, county elections officials accepted 903 of the more than 606,000 ballots sent out to voters since Friday. The GOP has historically done well in North Carolina mail voting, but this year the people asking for the ballots are not generally Republicans. Democrats have requested more than 358,000 ballots, and independents more than 215,000, while only about 112,200 have so far been sought by Republicans.
North Carolina home of Nina Simone gets permanent protection
TRYON, N.C. (AP) — The childhood home of iconic musician and civil rights activist Nina Simone will be indefinitely preserved in North Carolina. The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced Tuesday that its African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, in partnership with World Monuments Fund and Preservation North Carolina, recently secured permanent protection of the singer-songwriter’s childhood home in Tryon. The legal agreement binds all current and future owners to permanently protecting the building’s “authentic character.” The house can be renovated, but it cannot be demolished. The Trust said Simone taught herself piano in the wooden cottage as a young girl in the 1930s. Her music helped define the civil rights movement. She died in 2003 at the age of 70.
ELECTION 2020-DUELING CAMPAIGNS
Trump and Biden run vastly different pandemic campaigns
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are taking diametrically opposite approaches to campaigning during a pandemic. With less than eight weeks until the Nov. 3 election, the candidates are effectively staking out different visions for the country. Biden is emphasizing guidelines supported by local health officials. Trump is railing against restrictions that he argues are politically motivated, though he isn’t backing up those claims with evidence. Trump prefers indoor arenas, but after a June rally in Oklahoma, when the president addressed a half-empty arena, his campaign decided to move to airport hangars and tarmacs. Biden has appeared in public sparingly since the pandemic, and with the strictest adherence to state guidelines..
FATAL WORKPLACE ACCIDENT
Man dies in North Carolina manufacturing facility accident
MEBANE, N.C. (AP) — A 50-year-old truck driver was fatally struck by another tractor-trailer as it backed into a loading dock at a South Carolina equipment manufacturing facility. Orange County officials said in a statement that Eugene Early McDowell IV died Tuesday at the scene of the accident at ABB Inc. in Mebane. A witness told investigators that McDowell had backed his truck into the loading dock and gotten out, just as another truck backed in beside him and struck him. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Mebane Fire Department and Orange County EMS responded and attempted life-saving measures, but McDowell’s injuries were too severe. Authorities are investigating.
Democratic groups sue to seek fixes for more NC ballots
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Several Democratic groups want to block a state provision that requires residents to cast their vote over from scratch if a witness fails to sign or provide an address on the envelope containing their absentee ballot. The groups filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the State Board of Elections. The board has already determined that voters who fail to sign the envelope containing their completed ballot can rectify the omission by signing an affidavit. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit want a judge to allow voters to rectify the absence of witness information the same way.
Walmart testing drones for deliveries in North Carolina city
NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart has launched a pilot program using drones to deliver groceries and household essentials in a North Carolina city. The retail giant is using drones from Flytrex in Fayetteville, where it says it hopes to gain insight into customers’ and its workers’ experience with the technology. A Walmart executive acknowledges that it will be a while before drones are widely used for package deliveries. Last week, Amazon won regulatory approval to deliver packages by drone. UPS and a company owned by search giant Google have also won regulatory approval to deliver by drones.
SISTER FATALLY STABBED
Officials: Teen sentenced in sister’s stabbing death
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A 17-year-old boy has been sentenced to prison after he pleaded guilty to killing his sister nearly three years ago in North Carolina. The Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday in a news release that Claude Henderson II was given a 16- to 20-year sentence for Kayla Hensley’s death. Hensley’s body was found near a dumpster in Weaverville in 2017 with severe cuts on her neck. Henderson was initially charged with first-degree murder. The charge was switched to second-degree murder after Henderson’s defense argued he could not “premeditate and deliberate before the murder” due to his age. The release says he was 14 at the time of Hensley’s killing.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA-UNIVERSITIES
E. Carolina University hits 1,000 COVID cases among students
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — More than 1,000 East Carolina University students have tested positive for the coronavirus since fall classes began on Aug. 10. Student case counts are also approaching 1,000 each at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. All three campuses shut down in-person classes for undergraduate students last month and urged them to move out of their dorms and return home. The uptick in cases across North Carolina college campuses comes as the state begins to transition to a Phase 2.5 reopening plan allowing businesses, including gyms, to partially reopen.
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