AP-NC-OFFICER DIES-CAR CRASH
Deputy who was injured in Thanksgiving car accident has died
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy in North Carolina who was seriously injured in a Thanksgiving car crash has died in the hospital. The Rocky Mount Telegram reported Tuesday that Nash County deputy Jared Michael Allison had been hospitalized since Nov. 26. Sheriff Keith Stone said that Allison was “a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the citizens of Nash County.” Allison was working Thanksgiving Day evening as part of an effort to enforce seat belt laws. Stone said that Allison had spotted a motorcyclist driving recklessly and began a pursuit. Stone said that Allison’s vehicle struck a sedan before hitting a culvert. He was ejected from the vehicle.
North Carolina man found dead in Virginia river identified
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — Authorities have identified the North Carolina man whose body was found floating in Virginia’s Smith River. The Martinsville Bulletin reported Tuesday that the Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke used DNA analysis to identify the remains as Edward Harrison Ariail. Ariail, 67, was from High Point and suffered from dementia. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office said there were no apparent signs of foul play or homicide. No cause of death has been released. The final autopsy report is pending as more testing is completed. The body was discovered in late October in the rain-swollen Smith River.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CLASS FAILURES
46% of N.C. school’s students fail classes in some grades
WILSON, N.C. (AP) — Nearly half of third to 12th grade students at a North Carolina school district failed a class this school year while taking virtual classes. Wilson County Schools says 46% of students in those grades failed a class during the first nine weeks of the school year. That’s more than double the rate from the same period last year. WRAL-TV reports the first quarter of the school year was entirely remote. Elementary and middle school students then transitioned into hybrid learning. Superintendent Dr. Lane Mills said in a statement that the outcome is “not what we want for our students and system.” He says it’s a pattern “happening across the state.”
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
N. Carolina to get 85,000 initial Pfizer COVID vaccine doses
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina will soon get about 85,000 doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. Gov. Roy Cooper and state Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen say healthcare workers will be the first to receive it. Nursing home staff and residents and people who self-report at least two serious underlying health issues will be next in line. Cooper said the state is working through logistical challenges in getting the vaccine to rural communities that lack sufficient storage capacity. The first disbursement of vaccines comes as North Carolina is seeing its highest count of COVID hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic. More than 2,000 patients are currently hospitalized.
ELECTION 2022-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Mark Walker takes early jump into N. Carolina Senate race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Outgoing North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker has announced his bid to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr in 2022. It’s a path the Republican indicated a year ago he’d pursue after he declined to seek reelection in his House district following an unscheduled redistricting. He said in a video message on Tuesday that he’s running in part because he’s got “the experience to fight and to win in Washington.” Walker is a Baptist minister and favorite of the state’s Republican base. His quick entry may signal an attempt to make other big-name conservatives think twice about getting in. Those include Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law.
North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd tests positive for COVID-19
ADVANCE, N.C. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Budd of North Carolina says he’s tested positive for COVID-19 and will complete his recovery at home. Budd said in a video message posted Tuesday on social media that he has “very mild symptoms” and will work remotely from his family farm with staff in the district and in Washington. The 49-year-old Budd won reelection last month to represent the central 13th Congressional District. North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis tested positive for the virus in early October and recovered back home as well. Budd was first elected in 2016.
Aid will help seniors, those with disabilities to heat homes
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Officials in North Carolina say that some households in the state will be eligible to receive federal money to cover one monthly winter heating bill. The Winston-Salem Journal reported Monday that the money would come from the federal Low-Income Energy Assistance program. North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services said the money is meant to help thousands of eligible seniors and people with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic. The payment amounts will be based on the heating source. For instance, $300 will available for coal or wood. People who use natural gas or oil would get $400. For electric, the amount is $500.
2017 ban on local LGBT ordinances ends in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A 3 1/2-year ban on new local ordinances aimed at protecting LGBT rights in North Carolina has expired. The expiration of the moratorium Tuesday prompted gay rights groups to urge the passage of such measures. The ordinances would prohibit LGBT discrimination at workplaces, hotels and restaurants. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper agreed to the moratorium on the ordinances in March 2017. In return, GOP lawmakers agreed to eliminate a provision of a 2016 law that required transgender people to use public bathrooms matching their biological sex. The “Bathroom Bill” drew widespread condemnation and prompted several large corporations and sports teams to relocate events to other states or reconsider expanding in North Carolina.
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