VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina Gov. Cooper signs order preventing evictions
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolinians unable to pay their rent will not be evicted for the rest of the year. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the executive order prohibiting landlords from removing tenants on the basis of unpaid rent. The directive got approval from the Council of State. About 300,000 to 400,000 North Carolina households are currently unable to pay rent and 240,000 eviction filings would be expected to be submitted by January 2021. The announcement comes as North Carolina sees an increase in confirmed cases, hospitalizations and percent of tests coming back positive. In the coming weeks, Cooper will decide will reevaluate the state’s reopening guidelines.
SUPREME COURT-NORTH CAROLINA-ABSENTEE
Supreme Court leaves NC absentee ballot deadline at Nov. 12
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will allow absentee ballots in North Carolina to be received and counted up to nine days after Election Day, in a win for Democrats. The justices on Wednesday refused to disturb a decision by the State Board of Elections to lengthen the period from three to nine days, pushing back the deadline to Nov. 12. The board’s decision was part of a legal settlement with a union-affiliated group. Under the Supreme Court’s order, mailed ballots postmarked on or before Election Day must be received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 12 in order to be counted.
ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Big names helping Tillis; Cunningham discreet in campaigning
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — While North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis tries to make big splashes in the final days of his reelection bid, Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham remains discreet with in-person campaigning. Tillis planned to hold a Thursday morning event with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in Greensboro and attend President Donald Trump’s evening rally in Fayetteville. Texas. Sen. Ted Cruz and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are also coming to Tillis’ aid. Cunningham’s campaign hasn’t released his public schedule. He’s been keeping to small, unannounced events, particularly since he acknowledged exchanging suggestive texts with a woman who’s not his wife.
Taking a stand has new meaning in heavily litigated election
The United States is barreling toward Election Day in what is believed to be the most litigated race in American history. Even seemingly mundane issues like where poll watchers can stand are turning into legal disputes in some states. Lawsuits by the hundreds already have been filed as both Democrats and Republicans try to settle in court a process that is usually determined by citizens simply casting ballots. The legal action runs along a broad spectrum, from a dispute over whether guns are allowed near polling places to more complicated matters that already have reached the Supreme Court.
Letters, texts, caravans, parades: Advocates mobilize voters
In the best of times, it’s a massive logistical challenge to get millions out to vote. In 2020, the difficulty has been dramatically compounded: by fear of the coronavirus, by complications and confusion over mail-in ballots, by palpable anxiety over the bitter divisions in the country. As early voting has surged dramatically, advocates behind the scenes have been mobilizing in myriad ways, from volunteer letter-writers to block associations to national movements, from college marching bands to lone violinists, from fleets of minivans to bicycle parades to horseback rides to the polls in Indian Country.
AP-NC-VIRUS OUTBREAK-GOVERNOR’S RACE
Health officials confirm COVID-19 case at Dan Forest rally
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina health officials have confirmed a case of COVID-19 linked to a campaign rally for Republican candidate for governor Dan Forest. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said it’s aware of one case involving a person who attended a rally for the lieutenant governor in Burnsville on Oct. 15. No further details were available, and a spokesperson for the Forest campaign didn’t immediately respond to an email or text seeking comment. During his campaign, Forest has opposed Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically addressing sending children back to school and sending people back to work.
Maryland, Virginia, NC, reach offshore wind agreement
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina have announced an agreement to advance offshore wind development. The three governors announced a framework for the states to promote offshore wind. The states have agreed to form a team with representatives from each jurisdiction that will work to streamline the development of regional offshore wind resources. The three states have committed to work together to increase regulatory certainty and encourage manufacturing of component parts. The partnership also will aim to reduce project costs through supply chain development and share information and best practices.
AP-NC-PRICE GOUGING FINE
North Carolina AG: Company fined $150K for price gouging PPE
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein says a company that he had accused of price gouging on personal protective equipment has been fined $150,000. The AG’s office said in a statement that Wake County Superior Court Judge Vince Rozier filed the judgement on Wednesday against the New Jersey-based Stephen Gould Corporation. Stein’s lawsuit claimed the company pitched millions of masks to state agencies, some hospitals and nonprofits at a markup of more than 100 percent. He said it would have led to tens of millions of dollars in profits. North Carolina’s price gouging statute prohibits charging too much for critical goods or services in times of crisis. It remains in effect until Nov. 13.
Sheriff: Inmate has committed suicide at Wake County jail
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say that a federal inmate being held at the Wake County Detention Center has killed himself. The Raleigh News & Observer reports that Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said the inmate did not show any signs of crisis when he was admitted. The sheriff said the unidentified inmate was found unresponsive in his cell shortly after 7 p.m. The sheriff did not say what the inmate had been charged with. But he was being held on a “housing assistance request” from federal prison officials. Baker said the inmate’s attorney visited him Wednesday. But he said he did not know what transpired during the meeting.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-RESTAURANT OWNERS
Restaurant owners win suit against insurer for COVID losses
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A spokesperson for a company run by a North Carolina restaurant owner says the owner has won a lawsuit filed against his insurance company for coverage of business losses due to the pandemic. Giorgios Hospitality Group spokesperson Jennifer Noble Kelly told WRAL-TV Wednesday that a Durham County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Giorgios Bakatsias and another owner in the lawsuit earlier this month. Bakatsias and the other owner, Matt Kelly, sued Cincinnati Insurance Company in May for payment of lost business income and other expenses as a result of the pandemic. A spokeswoman for the insurance company says the company doesn’t believe business interruption coverage applies in this case.
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