North Carolina News – September 17

North Carolina News – September 17


After Sally: Rescue, recovery and a wary eye on rivers

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Rivers swollen by Hurricane Sally’s rains could mean more problems for parts of south Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Sally has diminished to a tropical depression. But it’s still a rainmaker as it has moved Thursday into Georgia, on a path to the Carolinas. Authorities warned that rain from the storm could swell eight waterways in Florida and Alabama to record levels. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned residents and visitors of possible river flooding in the coming days. The National Weather Service says the small city of Brewton, Alabama, can expect moderate to major flooding.


The Latest: Sally downing trees, flooding roads in Georgia

County sheriffs in Georgia are reporting numerous trees down and closures of flooded highways and streets as Sally moves across the South, dumping rain. In central Georgia, Robins Air Force Base closed one of its entrances Thursday morning due to flooding. In a Facebook post, the base said it would delay the start of the workday for some employees. Authorities have warned that rain from the storm could swell eight waterways in Florida and Alabama to record levels. Sally sloshed ashore Wednesday morning on the Gulf Coast as a Category 2 hurricane. It has since weakened to a tropical depression.


Nurses vote to unionize at Mission Hospital in Asheville

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Nurses at a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, have voted to unionize and gain the power to bargain over their benefits and working conditions. The Citizen-Times reported a ballot count on Thursday morning showed that there were roughly twice as many “yes” votes by Mission Hospital nurses than there were votes against forming a union. The vote concluded a year-long effort by nurses and union representatives to organize. The 1,600 registered nurses who work at Mission Hospital and the St. Joseph campus will be represented by National Nurses United. The hospital had opposed the union effort. It said a union would ultimately hurt the hospital’s quality of care and could cause its labor costs to “increase materially.”


Argument leads to guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to charges that include involuntary manslaughter after police said he pushed a man to the ground and kicked him during an argument. The Winston-Salem Journal reported that Robby Vincent Smith pleaded guilty in Forsyth Superior Court on Wednesday. Judge David Hall sentenced Smith to serve a minimum of one year and six months to a maximum of two years and seven months in prison. He had no previous criminal record. Authorities said the men got into an argument at a motel in March 2019.  An autopsy found that 69-year-old Daniel Bruce Souther had various medical issues. But authorities said a head injury Souther received in March contributed to his death.


Authorities find drowning victim in Smokies national park

Authorities say they have found the body of a man who drowned in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A news release from the park says 25-year-old Yogesh Patel of Oak Forest, Illinois was found Tuesday afternoon. Park officials say he was discovered in 18 feet of water in Midnight Hole by rescue divers and was removed by emergency response workers that afternoon. Officials say Patel went missing the previous evening after reports that he fell in the water at Midnight Hole and was observed struggling, but bystanders were unsuccessful in their attempts to pull him out.


NC lieutenant governor: Reopen schools without mask mandate

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest has called for all North Carolina K-12 public schools to reopen without requiring students or teachers to wear masks. At a Wednesday morning news conference, the lieutenant governor said he would not mandate masks if elected governor, and that he wants the state to move quickly to Plan A so everyone can have 100% in-person learning. The current directive from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper allows school districts to partially reopen under Plan B, but also gives local school boards the option to stay fully remote under Plan C. Federal health officials have encouraged mask wearing as an effective way to contain the spread of COVID-19.


N.C. State eclipses 1,000 coronavirus cases among students

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — More than 1,000 students at North Carolina State University have tested positive for the coronavirus since classes began last month. N.C. State is now the second college in the state to surpass 1,000 student cases. East Carolina University hit that mark earlier this month, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has seen more than 950 COVID-19 cases among students thus far. All three campuses halted in-person undergraduate classes and urged students to leave their dorms and return home to their families due to a surge in cases shortly after the fall semester began on Aug. 10.


Raytheon doubles job cuts to 15,000, citing airline downturn

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — Raytheon Technologies plans to eliminate more than 15,000 jobs this year at its corporate offices, jet engine-maker Pratt & Whitney and aviation and military equipment manufacturer Collins Aerospace. Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes announced the revised job cut numbers Wednesday during a Morgan Stanley analysts conference. The cuts are nearly double what the company disclosed in July amid a downtown in the airline industry during the coronavirus pandemic. Jobs will be eliminated at Raytheon’s headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, Connecticut, and Collins Aerospace in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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