North Carolina News – October 20

North Carolina News – October 20


Study ends without finding cause of rare cancer in N.C. town

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — An investigation into a cluster of rare eye cancer cases in a North Carolina town has concluded without finding any definitive answers. TV station WBTV reports the Huntersville town council got $100,000 from the state to conduct the study about the ocular melanoma cases and got the report back Monday night. A team of physicians from around the world conducted a range of tests, including environmental investigation looking for outside causes and genome sequencing looking to see if the cases could be due to a hereditary trait. The lead doctor said the cause of the cases “remains a mystery.”


East Carolina University announces more furloughs, pay cuts

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A university in North Carolina has announced temporary furloughs and salary reductions for its athletics staff due to budget deficits caused by the coronavirus pandemic. East Carolina University’s athletic director said in a statement Monday that the furloughs and pay cuts for coaches and staff members will start next month. They are based on salary, and will be effective through June 2021. The entire athletics staff had recently been furloughed for five days to reduce the school’s deficit by $4.7 million. The News & Observer reports that the school estimates a $25 million budget shortfall this fall.


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.


Trump says Fauci is ‘terrific guy’ but not ‘team player’

WASHINGTON (AP) — A day after claiming the American people are tired of listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Donald Trump is insisting that he gets along with the nation’s top infectious disease specialist. But Trump is also complaining that the doctor is not a “team player.” Trump’s strained relationship with Fauci has political overtones as the president defends his record on the pandemic just two weeks before Election Day. Polls show Trump trailing Democrat Joe Biden in key battleground states, but Trump says he’s confident of victory. After three days of campaign stops in the West, the president heads to a rally Tuesday evening in Erie, Pennsylvania.


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.

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