North Carolina News – October 16

North Carolina News – October 16


Black scholars form effort to fight trolls, disinformation

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A group of U.S. Black scholars, activists and writers has launched a new project to combat misleading information online around voting, reparations and immigration. The recently launched National Black Cultural Information Trust seeks to counter fake social media accounts and Twitter trolls who often discourage Black voters from participating in elections. Project founder Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor says some dubious accounts behind the social media American Descendants of Slavery movement tell Black voters to skip the presidential election. She says some accounts also use the movement’s ADOS hashtag to flame divisions between African Americans and Black immigrants.


Cunningham outraises Tillis, enters October with less cash

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — In North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race, Democrat Cal Cunningham raised far more than Republican Sen. Thom Tillis. But Cunningham entered October with less cash on hand than Tillis. Campaign finance records both campaigns submitted to the Federal Elections Commission show Cunningham raised $28.3 million from July 1 to Sept. 30. Tillis’s campaign took in nearly $6.6 million. Tillis entered the home stretch of the competitive and costly Senate with nearly $2.4 million more in available cash than Cunningham. Polls show the race is close. Republicans are looking to retain the seat. Democrats hope a Tillis defeat would shift control of the U.S. Senate to their party.


Investigation continues into death of Outer Banks’ woman

KITTY HAWK, N.C. (AP) — An autopsy of a woman living on North Carolina’s Outer Banks has found that she died from a blow to the head that could have been accidental or intentional. The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that LeeAnn Fletcher Hartleben, 38, of Kitty Hawk, was found unresponsive in her home  in July. How her head was struck was “undetermined,” according to a report from the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that was obtained by The Virginian-Pilot. Hartleben’s family members say they suspect foul play. District Attorney Andrew Womble said his office is reviewing the autopsy along with the other evidence to determine whether or not to bring charges. Hartleben boyfriend was named early by police as a person of interest.


HBCU: School’s president has died after 3 months in role

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A historically Black college in North Carolina says the school’s president has died three months after starting his tenure. Saint Augustine’s University announced Irving Pressley McPhail’s death Thursday night in a post on their Facebook page. A cause of death was not released. McPhail started his role with the university, which is located in Raleigh, on July 15. The post said he had “made a memorable and positive impact” during his short time in the role. The school says the university’s vice president will serve as interim president.


N. Carolina ‘moving in wrong direction’ as COVID cases surge

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina has recorded its highest single-day COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began. The state’s top public health official on Thursday warned that trends are sliding in the wrong direction and high-risk activities may have to be rolled back. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says he’ll reevaluate his Phase 3 reopening guidelines next week. Health officials have warned against large indoor gatherings of unmasked people. COVID-related hospitalizations have increased along with the percentage of tests that are coming back positive. Officials say half of people called for contact tracing purposes are not responding.


Biden campaign flips COVID-19 threat into new Trump contrast

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden’s presidential campaign turned its first known coronavirus scare into another contrast with President Donald Trump. The Democratic campaign announced Thursday that three people in its orbit had teste positive for the coronavirus, including a top aide to Kamala Harris. The campaign said that out of an abundance of caution, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, would suspend travel temporarily. The campaign also released medical experts’ explanations of why they believed Biden was never exposed and wouldn’t have to cancel upcoming travel. The disclosure came in the closing weeks of a general election battle dominated by how the Republican incumbent has handled the pandemic and his own COVID-19 diagnosis.


Trump, Biden go at it — from a distance — in town halls

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden squared off, in a way, Thursday night, their scuttled second debate replaced by dueling televised town halls. Their events showcased striking differences in temperament, views on racial justice and approaches to the pandemic that has reshaped the nation. Trump was defensive about his administration’s handling of the coronavirus, and evasive when pressed about whether he took a required COVID-19 test before his first debate with Biden. Trump refused to denounce the QAnon conspiracy group, and only testily did so regarding white supremacists. Biden, for his part, gave answers that were long and sometimes vague.


The Latest: Trump raises $247.8M in Sept., far behind Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s campaign and Republicans raised $247.8 million in September — better than the month before, but still lagging far behind his Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who raised $383 million over the same stretch. Trump’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and its joint fundraising committees finished the month with $251.4 million cash on hand — dramatically less than the $432 million Biden reported having in the bank just weeks before the Nov. 3 election. Trump and Republicans jointly raised $210 million in August, a robust sum dwarfed by the record $364.5 million raised by Democrats and Biden.

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