Tropical Storm Eta dumps blustery rain on Florida west coast
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tropical Storm Eta is dumping torrents of blustery rain on Florida’s west coast as it slogs over the state after making landfall north of the heavily populated Tampa Bay area. The National Hurricane Center in Miami predicts that after coming ashore Thursday morning, Eta will move northeast across Florida. Eta briefly gained hurricane strength at midweek before weakening to a tropical storm nearing landfall. Eta first hit Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane, killing at least 120 people in Central America and Mexico before moving into the Gulf of Mexico.
Crews respond to reports of 20 trapped at flooded campground
HIDDENITE, N.C. (AP) — A fire department in North Carolina says that it’s responding to reports that up to 20 campers need to be rescued from a flooded campground in Alexander County. The Charlotte Observer reported Thursday that the Hiddenite Family Campground sits along the South Yadkin River and is about 60 miles northwest of Charlotte. Heavy rain has fallen across western North Carolina and is being blamed for mudslides, flash flooding and power outages. Besides the campground, officials in Conover in Catawba County said on Twitter that rescuers are also responding to reports of a car that went over a bridge.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-STATE RECORDS
N.C. State Archives, library public research centers reopen
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s depositories for old government and academic records, maps, books and genealogical materials are reopening to the public at reduced capacity after COVID-19 forced their closures for months. State Archives public research locations in Raleigh and Manteo and the State Library of North Carolina in Raleigh planned to welcome visitors by appointment starting Thursday. The Western Regional Archives in Asheville will follow starting Friday. Guests must set up formal appointments online and are required to wear face masks inside. Public computer terminals also will be closed. A lot of research can still be completed remotely and without in-person visits.
ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina Sen. Tillis reelected, keeps seat for GOP
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis has won reelection to his Senate seat. Tillis’ win means Democrats must now win both runoff races in Georgia in January if they are to seize Senate control from the GOP. Tillis earned a second term in the U.S. Senate by defeating Democrat Cal Cunningham. Tillis benefited from fallout over a Cunningham sex scandal in the campaign’s final month. The Associated Press declared Tillis the winner on Wednesday after determining there weren’t enough outstanding votes for Cunningham to catch him. Cunningham had conceded the race on Tuesday, saying “the voters have spoken.”
ELECTION 2020-LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
Divisive, but direct: Mark Robinson aims to work with Cooper
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican Mark Robinson will serve as North Carolina’s first Black lieutenant governor. He hopes he can work with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and state lawmakers on veterans-related issues. Robinson is a political newcomer who rose to prominence for a gun rights speech he made in front of Greensboro’s City Council. He wants the state to create the constitutional right to carry a firearm without a license or permit. He is also pushing for a tax exemption on the pensions of all military veterans. Robinson is a divisive figure who ran against Democrat Yvonne Holley and has written several controversial posts on Facebook.
Overturned boat prompted massive search off Outer Banks
BEAUFORT, N.C. (AP) — An overturned boat on the coast of North Carolina prompted a massive search for two people who were reportedly on board. The Raleigh News & Observer reports that a fishing boat was discovered on its side Tuesday morning more than three miles from Beaufort Inlet. The Coast Guard said in a statement that a family member of one of the passengers said the vessel left Atlantic Beach Sunday with two people on board to fish near shore. Beaufort Inlet is just west of Cape Lookout near the southern tip of the Outer Banks. The search had spanned about 200 square nautical miles as of Tuesday afternoon.
ELECTION 2020-COUNCIL OF STATE
Wood reelected N.C. auditor; Dobson next labor commissioner
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democrat Beth Wood has been reelected North Carolina state auditor and outgoing Republican state Rep. Josh Dobson will be the next labor commissioner. Wood earned a fourth four-year term by defeating Republican challenger Tony Street. Dobson will succeed retiring Commissioner Cherie Berry after beating Democratic nominee Jessica Holmes. Wood led Street on Wednesday by 93,450 votes, while Dobson had a margin of nearly 89,000 votes over Holmes. The Associated Press called both races after determining there weren’t enough outstanding votes for the trailing candidates to catch up. Several other North Carolina races remained too early to call.
Search for suspects continues after shooting outside church
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina are still looking for suspects after a man was killed outside a church during what authorities said was a “violent and brazen” drive-by shooting. The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday that High Point police are looking for at least two different vehicles. One is a “newer model” four-door Dodge Charger. The other is a white, four-door car. Investigators said that 60 to 70 spent shells from multiple weapons were found outside the church. It had been hosting a funeral service on Sunday for “a young man who had died in October.” Fredrick Cox Jr. died at the scene outside Living Water Baptist Church. Police said that several others suffered minor injuries.
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