BC-NC-VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHRISTMAS PARADE
Town plans Christmas parade despite coronavirus concerns
YOUNGSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A town in North Carolina is planning to hold a Christmas parade despite concerns from county health officials that the event could facilitate the spread of the coronavirus. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Wednesday that Youngsville plans a mile-long parade with up to 300 people watching. The town has faced repeated warnings from the Franklin County Health Department that COVID cases are rising. The county also said that the parade would violate Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order limiting crowds. Town Manager Phil Cordeiro told county officials that Youngsville’s parade falls under the same First Amendment exemption. He also said the parade is a permitted religious service because it starts in the parking lot of a church.
ELECTION 2020-CHIEF JUSTICE
Newby still up after machine recount in N.C. justice race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican Paul Newby’s narrow lead over Democratic incumbent Cheri Beasley changed little overall as a statewide machine recount of North Carolina’s very close race for Supreme Court chief justice was finally completed. The machine recount that finished Wednesday night left Newby with a 401-vote lead over Beasley with nearly 5.4 million votes cast in the race. Beasley’s campaign says it immediately asked the State Board of Elections for a hand recount of a small portion of ballots statewide. Newby led by 406 votes before the machine recount. Beasley is the first Black female chief justice in the state. Newby is senior associate justice.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-ANTI-MASK SIGNS
Police: N. Carolina store owner cited for discouraging masks
WENDELL, N.C. (AP) — Police say a North Carolina store owner was given a citation for encouraging customers NOT to wear a mask while inside her store, violating orders to preserve public health during the coronavirus pandemic. Wendell General Store owner Regina Harmon was cited Wednesday with one count of aiding and abetting the violation of an executive order. Harmon’s store posted signs stating: “Masks not required, exceptions to every rule” and “We request that you not wear a face covering.” Gov. Roy Cooper’s mask requirement has been in place since June. Wendell police say officers cited Harmon after consulting with the Wake County District Attorney’s Office.
Police: 18-year-olds charged with assaulting couple at mall
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Police say two 18-year-olds have been charged with attacking a man and woman at a North Carolina mall. Brandon Denard Crosby and Tynaysha Jada Davis were arrested Monday and charged with assault. Winston-Salem police say a couple was beaten in a parking lot at Hanes Mall on Saturday. The two adults went to the mall to pickup the man’s daughter, who said she was being threatened by a group of teenagers. Six others involved in the case were charged as juveniles. It’s unclear whether Crosby or Davis have attorneys. Mall officials say teens under 18 must now be accompanied by an adult who is over 21-years-old during all weekend operating hours.
US appeals court rules judge wrongly halted NC voter ID
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that a lower court judge wrongly blocked the implementation of North Carolina’s latest photo voter identification law with her legal injunction last year. Wednesday’s unanimous opinion by a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined District Judge Loretta Biggs erred by declaring the 2018 requirement was tainted by racial bias largely because a previous voter ID law had been struck down on similar grounds. Both were approved by the Republican-controlled legislature. The opinion doesn’t mean the voter ID requirement can be carried out now because an injunction is still in place in state court.
STATE AUDIT-VIRUS RELIEF
NC audit questions monitoring of virus funds for education
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — State Auditor Beth Wood’s office says North Carolina’s education department has failed to monitor sufficiently whether over $140 million in federal coronavirus relief money was used properly or met its intended purposes. That is the conclusion of a performance audit released Wednesday that goes through August. Wood’s auditors focused on money for nutrition services and summer learning programs and for distribution to local districts. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson disagrees with much of the audit’s findings. He says his agency “vigorously worked” to deliver relief funds while making sure helping those in need was a key focus.
OBIT-SLIM JIM CREATOR
Lon Adams, Slim Jim jerky recipe creator, dies of COVID-19
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Alonzo “Lon” T. Adams II, the man who created the formula for Slim Jim beef jerky sticks, has died from complications of COVID-19. Lynn Barrow of Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Raleigh confirmed Adams died on Nov. 28. He was 95. A funeral service was held Wednesday. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Adams was a World War II veteran who survived the Battle of the Bulge despite being shot in the head. Today’s Slim Jims are the result of Adams’ recipe, described by The New York Times in 1996 as a combination of processed ground beef, chicken meat and other parts, along with a range of spices and chemicals.
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.
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