ELECTION 2020-EARLY VOTE
Early vote total exceeds 2016; GOP chips at Dems’ advantage
The number of people casting an early ballot in the presidential election now surpasses those who voted early during all of 2016. That’s more than 58 million people voting with eight days to go before Election Day. Democrats have been dominating early voting, but Republicans are slowly narrowing the gap. That’s because in-person early voting has kicked off in a number of states and President Donald Trump has convinced many of his supporters they should not vote with mail ballots. One out of every 4 of the voters is either new or infrequent, a sign of a potential record-setting turnout.
Servicewomen killed in Alabama plane crash identified
FOLEY, Ala. (AP) — Authorities have identified the two service members who were killed when their plane crashed in a residential Alabama neighborhood. U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Morgan Garrett and U.S. Navy Lt. Rhiannon Ross were on a routine training flight Friday out of Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Florida when their plane crashed in Foley, Alabama. The T-6B Texan II aircraft crashed around 5 p.m. Friday. No one was injured on the ground. Garrett was a student aviator for the Coast Guard. She was identified by the superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Ross was later identified by the Navy.
AP-NC-SCHOOL VIRUS CLUSTERS
Private schools are reporting more coronavirus clusters
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Private schools in North Carolina have reported having more coronavirus clusters than public schools have. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Monday that there were 14 active coronavirus clusters at private K-12 schools across the state. There were 11 active clusters at K-12 public schools. No deaths have been reported from the active clusters. The information came from the Department of Health and Human Services. North Carolina has more than 2,500 public schools and 751 private schools. A majority of public schools started the school year online. Many private schools opted for full-time, in-person classes.
AP-NC-HEAT RELATED ILLNESS
Concerns over heat-related illness rise in rural areas
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — State officials in North Carolina say that high temperatures are increasingly becoming a health threat in rural areas. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Sunday that climate change will likely exacerbate the problem in the coming decades. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has been figuring out where to focus heat prevention efforts after receiving a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heat prevention coordinator Lauren Thie said that a large area of focus is counties adjacent to the Sandhills. They include Bladen, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland counties. Thie said a disproportionate number of people get sick from the heat in the those counties.
Strong year for North Carolina pecans
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — After several years of uncooperative weather, North Carolina pecan farmers say 2020 will bring a bumper crop. The Charlotte Observer reports that key reasons are plentiful rain and sunshine this year as well as the lack of any major storms. The state’s prime pecan seasons starts early next month and runs through the end of the year. North Carolina is a top pecan-producing state and grows about 4 million to 5 million pounds a year, according to agricultural officials.
Police: 4 men shot in Raleigh
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina said a man was killed and three others were shot near a bar. Raleigh Police Sunday evening that Justin Carlton Jones, 25, was killed in an early morning shooting. They said two men had been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in connection to the incident. The two men are Jamaal McKinney and Jeffrey Steven Lynch.
ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Cunningham keeps low in NC Senate race marked by his affair
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham is bypassing uncomfortable questions about his extramarital activities in the final days of his race with GOP Sen. Thom Tillis. Cunningham acknowledged three weeks ago that he exchanged sexually suggestive texts with a woman who is not his wife. The Associated Press later reported they had an intimate encounter as recent as July. He’s mostly stuck to controlled virtual calls with interest groups and small, unannounced in-person appearances. Tillis and his allies have blasted Cunningham’s reticence. The U.S. Senate race is now the most expensive in history, with its outcome possibly deciding control of the chamber.
AP-US-VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHURCH CLOSING
North Carolina church ordered to close due to virus outbreak
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina health official has ordered a large church to close its doors temporarily because of concerns it is helping to spread the coronavirus by disregarding social distancing measures. Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris ordered the United House of Prayer for All People to close all of its buildings Saturday. She said the church has not cooperated with efforts to stem the virus’s spread, the Charlotte Observer reported. Harris said at least three deaths and more than 121 confirmed cases of the virus have been linked to the church, which held a weeklong church event earlier this month.
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