North Carolina News – October 21

North Carolina News – October 21


North Carolina scrambles to inform voters of absentee errors

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Time was dwindling for thousands of North Carolina voters to fix absentee voting errors as elections officials hustled out an updated process for handling mail-in ballot problems two weeks before Election Day. Court battles had halted processing of ballots mailed back with deficiencies from Oct. 4 until the state issued new guidance Monday. State and federal judges had frozen key parts of the process amid lawsuits over what to do with ballots that lacked a witness signature and other information. After the new rules were announced, some counties said they had all but cleared the backlog, but voters elsewhere said they hadn’t yet been contacted.


Trump tends to his electoral map, Biden eyes Obama boost

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is hopping from one must-win stop on his electoral map to the next in the leadup to a final presidential debate that may be his last, best chance to alter the trajectory of the 2020 campaign. Democrat Joe Biden is hoping for a boost from former President Barack Obama, who’ll be holding his first in-person campaign event for Biden on Wednesday in Philadelphia. Biden has been holed up for debate prep in advance of Thursday’s faceoff with Trump in Tennessee. Trump trails in polls in most battleground states. The Republican president stopped in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and was bound for North Carolina on Wednesday.


Body of missing hiker found in North Carolina mountains

CANTON, N.C. (AP) — Officials say rescue crews have found the body of a young hiker who went missing in the North Carolina mountains. According to a statement from the Haywood County Emergency Management team, 27-year-old Chad Seger’s body was found in the Pisgah National Forest on Tuesday. Local news outlets report search teams found Seger’s body at approximately 3 p.m. in an off-trail area in the Shining Rock Wilderness area. He was last seen on Oct. 12. The statement said it was too early to determine his cause of death.


Library removes name of white supremacist from branch

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a North Carolina library will remove the name of a former state governor from one of its branches because of his ties to white supremacy. A Charlotte Mecklenburg Library branch near SouthPark mall is named after Gov. Cameron A. Morrison, who helped lead the white supremacy campaign of 1898. Morrison Regional Library will now be named SouthPark Regional Library. Library officials said the change was recommended because of Morrison’s racist pass as a leader of the “Red Shirts,” a militant arm of the Democratic Party that kept black voters from going to the polls. Signs will reflect the name change in the coming months.


Court lets North Carolina keep absentee deadline extension

A federal appeals court has ruled that North Carolina can accept absentee ballots for more than a week after Election Day as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Tuesday night declining to block the deadline extension that was announced in late September. At the time, the State Board of Elections increased the deadline from three days to nine, as long as ballots were postmarked by Election Day. The change was part of a settlement with voting rights advocates. State and national Republican leaders went to court to fight the deadline extension.


At least 50 COVID-19 cases tied to North Carolina event

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — TV station WBTV reports that health officials in a North Carolina county say they are investigating at least 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to an event at a church. The Charlotte Observer reported that Mecklenburg County urged all people who attended convocation events at the United House of Prayer for All People on Oct. 10 and 11 to get tested. At the time, the county linked at least nine cases of COVID-19 to the weekend event. Mecklenburg County Deputy Health Director Raynard Washington says the number has nearly tripled. Washington says the church made an effort to ensure masks were worn and that those attending practiced social distancing, but he said people didn’t always comply.


N.C. insurance magnate begins serving federal prison term

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina insurance magnate and prolific political donor has started serving a federal prison sentence for corruption-related convictions. The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed that 50-year-old Greg Lindberg was in custody on Tuesday at a minimum-security prison in Montgomery, Alabama. A judge denied his requests to delay his reporting date. Lindberg was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after being convicted of attempting to bribe North Carolina’s insurance commissioner to secure preferential regulatory treatment for his insurance business. Lindberg is appealing his convictions. A second person convicted for the scheme won’t report to prison until January.


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.

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