North Carolina News – September 25

North Carolina News – September 25


Trump infuses politics into his choice for the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump aims to maximize the benefit of his Supreme Court choice before Nov. 3 and even secure an electoral backstop should the results be contested. He is closing in on his pick to fill the vacancy just weeks before Election Day. The selection of his third justice to the high court is infused with politics. Even before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last week, the president had tried to use the likelihood of more Supreme Court vacancies to his political advantage. Now, as he nears a decision on her likely replacement, Trump has used the vacancy to appeal to battleground-state voters and as a rallying cry for his conservative base.


Virus pandemic continues to hammer universities’ finances

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to cause economic hardship for some of North Carolina’s universities. The Raleigh News & Observer reports that N.C. State has announced new employee furloughs and salary cuts. And administrators at the University of North Carolina warned of similar actions as revenues drop. Leaders at N.C State said temporary furloughs and salary cuts are the result of a “sharp reduction in revenue” this fall in areas that include university housing, campus dining facilities and transportation. UNC is facing potential revenue losses of $300 million this fiscal year. It has been trying to save money by limiting new hires and restricting spending on events and travel. There also have been furloughs and salary reductions in some auxiliary units


Initial unemployment claims slightly drop in North Carolina

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s initial unemployment-insurance benefit claims showed a slight downward trend last week. The Winston-Salem Journal reported Thursday that the state had 12,591 claims for the week that ended Sept. 19. The number is slightly down from a revised 13,437 the previous week. Since the pandemic began, the highest weekly total for unemployment insurance claims in North Carolina has been 172,745. That was for the week that ended March 28. Across the nation, there were 870,000 initial claims filed last week. For comparison, the national weekly peak was the 6.87 million claims for the week that ended March 28.


North Carolina highway reopens after sand, water cleared

OCRACOKE ISLAND, N.C. (AP) — A highway linking barrier islands on North Carolina’s Outer Banks has reopened after water churned up by a tropical storm flooded the road and piled sand as high as 6 feet over the pavement. The state Department of Transportation announced that N.C. 12 reopened to traffic at noon Thursday after it was closed near Hatteras and Ocracoke islands for days as crews worked to clear the remnants of flooding from Hurricane Teddy off the roadway. News outlets say the storm didn’t make landfall in the U.S. but generated high winds and waves off the coast, with high tides repeatedly sending tons of sand and water over the road.


Post office defends on claims that cuts threaten election

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Officials from six states and the District of Columbia have asked a federal judge to halt what they say are slowdowns at the U.S. Postal Service that threaten the upcoming presidential election. They argued Thursday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia that on-time delivery dropped sharply in July and has not fully rebounded as the nation battles a pandemic and prepares for an election that could hinge on mail-in ballots. Judges in Washington state and New York issued emergency orders this month in similar cases. The states involved in Thursday’s hearing are Pennsylvania, California, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina.


GOP elections board members in NC resign over absentee deal

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The two Republican members of North Carolina’s state elections board have resigned after signing off on a settlement to help voters fix absentee ballot problems. The settlement has been criticized by Republican leaders. Ken Raymond and David Black announced their resignations late Wednesday from the State Board of Elections over the tentative agreement to let voters correct problems with witness information on their absentee ballots without filling out an entirely new ballot. Raymond and Black had joined the three Democratic state board members in unanimously approving the settlement, which was announced Tuesday.


Records: Mail delivery lags behind targets as election nears

Data obtained by The Associated Press shows Postal Service districts across the nation are missing the agency’s own standards for on-time delivery as millions of Americans prepare to vote by mail. The lag times are especially pronounced in key regions of some battleground states, where delivery times are below the national average. That raises the possibility that scores of mailed ballots could miss deadlines for reaching local election offices if voters wait too long. Missing a deadline is one of the key reasons mail-in ballots get rejected. Postal service leaders have said the agency will prioritize election mail.


Trump promotes health care ‘vision’ but gaps remain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — More than three-and-a-half years into his presidency and 40 days from an election, President Donald Trump is launching what aides term a “vision” for health care heavy on unfulfilled aspirations. Trump spoke Thursday at an airport hangar in swing-state North Carolina to a crowd that included white-coated, mask-wearing health care workers. He signed an executive order covering a range of issues, including protecting people with preexisting medical conditions from insurance discrimination. But that right is already guaranteed in the Obama-era health law his administration is asking the Supreme Court to overturn. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump’s order “bogus.”

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