North Carolina News – October 19, 2020

North Carolina News – October 19, 2020

North Carolina resumes processing deficient absentee ballots

North Carolina issued new guidance Monday to allow counties to deal with more than 10,000 absentee ballots with various deficiencies that have been in limbo due to court battles over the witness requirement for voting by mail. The State Board of Elections issued a directive telling counties to immediately resume notifying voters whose ballots arrive with a range of deficiencies on how to fix the problem or start the process over. The memo tells counties that voters who mail in ballots without a witness signature must start a new ballot and have it witnessed again. But the state board said counties can allow voters to fix more minor problems by returning a signed affidavit.


Kamala Harris to make two stops in North Carolina Wednesday

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris will visit North Carolina on Wednesday. Harris’ visit will come nearly a week after she canceled a visit to the state due to COVID-19 cases among a staffer and flight crew member. A brief statement released by the Joe Biden presidential campaign Monday said Harris plans to visit Asheville and Charlotte. No specifics have been released yet. As early voting began last week, the Biden campaign focused on North Carolina, including a stop in Durham Sunday by the former vice president for a voter mobilization event. Harris will be in North Carolina on the same day President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a rally at Gastonia Municipal Airport.


Churches pay for billboards to oppose Virginia casino

BRISTOL, Va. (AP) — A coalition of churches is paying for billboards with messages designed to influence voters to reject a $400 million casino proposed to be built at a vacant mall in Virginia. Messages written in bold black letters are splashed across bright yellow billboards in Bristol, urging opposition to the proposed Hard Rock Hotel and Casino resort project. One of the billboards reads: “What would Jesus do? He would definitely vote no on the casino referendum.” On Nov. 3, Bristol voters will decide through a referendum whether the city will allow the casino to be built on the site of the vacant Bristol Mall.


Man jailed for throwing liquor bottle, hitting child

REIDSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina have jailed a man after he threw a liquor bottle and hit a 5-year-old child in the head. News outlets report the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office said 25-year-old Aaron Tyrone Sheppard was intoxicated at the time of the incident on Saturday night in Reidsville. The sheriff’s office said the unidentified child was taken to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to survive. Sheppard is charged with felonious assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. He is jailed on a $3 million secure bond, and it’s not known if he has an attorney to represent him.


North Carolina teenager drowns while swimming at rock quarry

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say a teenager has drowned while swimming in a rock quarry. News outlets report deputies with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said dispatchers received a 911 call on Saturday regarding a swimmer in distress. The deputies say two people took them to the area where 17-year-old Victor Douglass Morgan was last seen. The deputies and volunteer firefighters jumped into the water in search of Morgan, whose body was found submerged about 25 to 40 feet from the quarry’s edge. The sheriff’s office says first responders performed life-saving procedures before taking him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


Police: Teen charged for shooting that wounded 2-year-old

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A teenager has been charged with attempted murder in connection with a shooting that wounded a 2-year-old child in North Carolina. Goldsboro police said in a news release that officers arrested the 17-year-old suspect Saturday. The arrest happened a day after responding officers saw a car leaving the area of the shooting in Goldsboro and heading to a hospital. That driver then exited the vehicle with the child, who police said appeared to have a gunshot wound on the leg. Police say the child is in stable condition and expected to be released from treatment soon. The suspect has been booked into juvenile center. Police haven’t released his identity.


Officials: COVID-19 cases could be tied to church events

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Public health officials in North Carolina say at least nine cases of COVID-19 could be connected to a Charlotte church’s convocation events last weekend. Mecklenburg County said its health department urges anyone who attended the events at the United House of Prayer for All People to get tested for the coronavirus, the Charlotte Observer reported. Free COVID-19 testing was being offered in the area on Sunday. Church officials could not immediately be reached for comment by the newspaper.


Search continues for missing hiker from Asheville

HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. (AP) — Rescue crews are continuing their search for a hiker who went missing in the North Carolina mountains. A spokeswoman for Haywood County Emergency Management told TV station WYFF 27-year-old Chad Seger was last heard from Monday, when he spoke briefly with a family member. The station reported his car had been found at the entrance of a popular hiking trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway after he was reported missing on Friday. Search efforts Saturday turned up no sign of him. According to the county, Seger is from Asheville, is familiar with the area and is in good physical health.