North Carolina News – September 30

North Carolina News – September 30


North Carolina man charged with fraud in virus aid scheme

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man accused of fraudulently applying for $6.1 million in coronavirus relief funds has been federally charged. The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that 38-year-old Tristan Bishop Pan submitted 14 Paycheck Protection Program loan applications and received more than $1.7 million for fake businesses. Prosecutors said some of the businesses were named for fictional characters from the television series Game of Thrones and included falsified tax filings and false statements about payroll expenses. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment for him. The Paycheck Protection Program was created to give small businesses forgivable emergency loans during the pandemic.


Worker killed in lift collapse at North Carolina university

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A construction worker has died after a lift carrying the laborer collapsed on a North Carolina university’s campus. A state Labor Department spokeswoman said the lift was about 35 feet in the air when dirt on the wet ground caved in around a tire Saturday, killing Tiburcio Mendoza. The accident happened at the site of a new, 185,000-square-foot sciences building at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. DPR Construction said Mendoza was a subcontractor with the company. A spokesman said DPR was working with investigators to determine the details surrounding the accident. The university said campus police were called to the scene but aren’t investigating.


Appalachian State student dies following COVID complications

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An Appalachian State University student has died after suffering from coronavirus complications. Nineteen-year-old Chad Dorrill is the first reported COVID-related death within the University of North Carolina system since in-person classes resumed. Dorrill lived off campus in Boone and took all of his classes online. Nearly 550 students have tested positive for COVID-19 at Appalachian State. The university remains open for in-person classes. UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and East Carolina University halted physical learning in classrooms to undergraduate students last month due to clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks.


Unfriendly skies: Airline workers brace for mass layoffs

DETROIT (AP) — About 40,000 workers in the airline industry are facing layoffs on Thursday unless Congress comes up with another aid package. Many are worried about how they’ll pay for rents, mortgages and food, or for health insurance. A clause in the $25 billion aid package to airlines at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic prevented them from laying off workers. But that clause expires on Thursday. Some workers are holding out hope that another agreement can still be reached. Congress has been considering a second round of airline aid for weeks, but it’s hung up in the debate over a larger national relief package.


Police: Search underway after suspect shoots at officer

HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say they are searching for a suspect who they say fired a gun at a High Point officer. The Greensboro News & Record reported Tuesday that the officer had responded Monday afternoon to a report of multiple larcenies from motor vehicles. Police said the officer knocked on the window of an Audi to speak with the driver. But police said the suspect refused to roll down the window before opening the door and firing a handgun. Police said the suspect fired at the officer’s face and narrowly missed. The officer retreated behind his patrol car and returned fire. Police said that another car then picked up the suspect and fled.


Visitors allowed into nursing homes under certain conditions

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Visitors are now allowed into nursing homes in North Carolina if those facilities meet certain conditions. The Raleigh News & Observer reported that the change took effect Monday. But it’s limited to facilities that have not had COVID-19 cases in the previous 14 days and those in counties where the percentage of positive coronavirus tests is less than 10%. As of Saturday, seven of the state’s 100 counties had positive test rates that were higher than 10%. Visitors also must be screened for COVID symptoms. They must wear a face covering and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after a visit.


Homeless man accused of smearing blood on sorority house

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina have charged a homeless man who they say was armed with a machete and smeared satanic messages in blood on a sorority house and on a vehicle belonging to a student. East Carolina University Police Capt. Chris Sutton says 25-year-old Patrick Canter was charged with injury to real property. Sutton says the man injured himself and then smeared what appeared to be his own blood on the front of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority house as well as a resident’s white Jeep that was parked at the house on Sunday. It was not immediately clear whether Canter has an attorney who could comment.


North Carolina school board censures member for slur

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — A school board in a North Carolina county has censured one of its members for using a derogatory slur in describing a remote learning plan and not realizing her microphone was open. News outlets report that during the Sept. 21 meeting of the Cabarrus County school board, Laura Blackwell was heard while off camera agreeing with an unidentified person on the call who said young children should not be kept in front of a computer. Blackwell used a word that has been used to demean people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. She apologized, but a petition is circulating that calls for her resignation.

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