SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP
North Carolina Senate Democrats pick leadership for session
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democrats in North Carolina’s state Senate have returned four lawmakers to leadership positions for the upcoming session after the GOP defended its majorities in both chambers of the legislature. The Democratic Caucus announced in a news release Tuesday that it had held a virtual meeting to elect its leadership. Sen. Dan Blue of Wake County was elected to a fourth term as Senate Democratic leader. Sen. Jay Chaudhuri of Wake County was elected to a second term as Senate Democratic Caucus Whip. Sen. Ben Clark was elected to a third term as Senate Democratic Caucus Secretary and Sen. Valerie Foushee was appointed to a third term as Senate Democratic Caucus chair.
Clorox bringing 158 new jobs to North Carolina
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The Clorox Company is going to create 158 new jobs in Durham, North Carolina, in its vitamins and supplements division. Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announced Tuesday that the company will invest $7.5 million to bring the division’s headquarters to Durham and expand existing operations in the city. The supplements business makes brands of vitamins including RenewLife and Rainbow Light. Clorox’s Burt’s Bees division already employs 500 at its Durham headquarters and a manufacturing plant in Morrisville.
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina certifies November general election results
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina State Board of Elections has certified results for the 2020 general election. The state Supreme Court chief justice race between Republican Paul Newby and Democrat Cheri Beasley is still going through a recount process. President Donald Trump defeated Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 1.3 percentage points. Sen. Thom Tillis defeated Democrat Cal Cunningham by a wider margin. The state saw a record number of registered voters and mail-in votes. Over 5.5 million of the more than 7.3 million registered voters cast ballots in this year’s election. The 75% voter turnout surpassed the 69% participation seen in November 2016.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE TESTING
Some N.C. colleges to require negative COVID-19 after break
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Some North Carolina colleges plan to require students to show a negative COVID-19 test in order to return to campus after their winter break. At the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors meeting last week, President Peter Hans said schools will do re-entry testing or require students to show a negative test before they can return for the spring semester. The News & Observer reports that Hans also sent a letter to chancellors on Nov. 2 suggesting strategies for the end of the fall semester and spring. Those efforts are intended to keep students and employees safe and keep universities running this spring without serious spikes in cases and disruptions.
HOLIDAY ROAD CONSTRUCTION
Much NC highway construction halted to ease holiday traffic
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina transportation officials say they’re temporarily halting much construction work along interstates and other major routes to ease congestion for holiday travelers. The North Carolina Department of Transportation said in a news release that it was shutting down work along interstates, U.S. routes and key state routes from Tuesday through next Monday. In certain exceptions, work that doesn’t impact travel lanes and certain projects that would make it unsafe to open all travel lanes will continue. The agency encouraged drivers to check road status on DriveNC.gov if they have questions about a particular route. It also asks travelers to follow safety rules.
RDU HOLIDAY TRAVEL
RDU predicts 167,000 Thanksgiving flyers, a drop from 2019
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Raleigh-Durham International Airport says that it expects this year’s Thanksgiving holiday traffic to be much lower than it was last year due to the pandemic. The airport said in a news release Monday that it’s expecting 167,000 passengers to fly through the airport from Nov. 23 to Nov. 30. It predicts the busiest travel day will be Sunday, with about 9,100 passengers. The airport says it expects about 8,400 travelers to fly through the airport on Tuesday. By contrast, 54,800 passengers flew through the airport on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Cooper revamps N.C. mask mandate, maintains occupancy limits
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has issued a new directive to boost mask wearing and tighten business restrictions amid rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Occupancy and mass gathering limits remain unchanged in Monday’s executive order. The state’s top public health official, Dr. Mandy Cohen, warns that North Carolina is “on very shaky ground” heading into the Thanksgiving holiday. Cooper’s executive order goes into effect Wednesday and expires Dec. 11. Businesses and individuals will be subject to fines for refusing to follow the statewide mask mandate, first issued in June. Customers must wear masks at all times in gyms and in restaurants unless they are actively eating or drinking.
HEROIN DEATH CONVICTION
North Carolina man convicted in 2017 heroin death
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has been convicted of providing heroin in 2017 to a man who died of an overdose. The Raleigh-based federal prosecutor’s office said in a news release Monday that 37-year-old Randon Austin Jenkins of Jacksonville was convicted by a federal jury last week of distribution of heroin resulting in death along with other drug and firearms charges. The news release said when the deceased victim was discovered they found bags of heroin with a unique stamp in his room. Court documents say that Jenkins provided the victim with the drugs in May of 2017
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