North Carolina News – December 8

North Carolina News – December 8


N.C. state Sen. Jeff Jackson is considering US Senate bid

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina state senator said he’s considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2022. Democratic legislator Jeff Jackson of Charlotte told supporters on Tuesday that he and his wife will discuss the possibility during the holidays and announce a decision later. The 2022 race should be an open seat, with GOP Sen. Richard Burr saying years ago he wouldn’t seek another six-year term. Democratic state Sen. Erica Smith and Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Walker already have announced they’re running. Jackson joined the state Senate in 2014 and won another two-year term last month. He’s an attorney and Army National Guard soldier.


Deputies: Woman held NC concert with nearly 200 people

ZEBULON, N.C. (AP) — A woman who authorities say organized a concert in North Carolina that had nearly 200 people in attendance has been charged. The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responding to a noise complaint Sunday found the concert at an event venue in Zebulon. Outdoor gatherings in the state are limited to 50 people unless the event is taking place in a building that has received an exemption or has a seating capacity for 10,000 people. Authorities say Nanci Morales-Gonzales was the event coordinator. The News & Observer reports she was charged with participating in an outdoor mass gathering, which is a class 2 misdemeanor. She could face a $150 fine if she is found guilty.


North Carolina police officer on paid leave after shooting

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a North Carolina police officer was placed on paid administrative leave after a shootout left a robbery suspect wounded. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police says eight-year veteran Samantha Thompson was placed on leave, while the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations looks into the incident. Officers encountered a robbery suspect at a convenience store Sunday morning. Police say the suspect shot at officers and one of them returned fire. Police say the suspect fled the scene but was apprehended when he crashed into a utility pole. Officers later realized the suspect was wounded. The suspect was identified as 34-year-old Jemario Bernard Baldwin. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney.


Task force recommends ways to improve N.C. teacher diversity

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A task force that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper commissioned to study K-12 educator diversity has finalized its recommendations.  The DRIVE Task Force was comprised of nearly three-dozen educators, administrators, education advocates, government and university system representatives and business leaders. Black, Hispanic and other minority students comprised 53% of the statewide public school population in the 2018-19 school year but only 21% of teachers were considered minorities. The report approved Monday recommends expanded financial assistance for student-teachers, the promotion anti-bias instructional practices and the creation of support networks for teachers of color. The panel says many improvements will require significant spending.


Amid pandemic, grants keep Army veteran’s business afloat

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — When the COVID-19 pandemic dried up 95% of the income coming into Nicole Walcott’s North Carolina business, the U.S. Army veteran dug in her heels and started applying for any grant she could find. Without the financial assistance she’s received from nonprofits like Operation Homefront, Walcott doesn’t believe her alternative wellness center in Fayetteville would be open today. Throughout the pandemic, Operation Homefront has helped more than 1,000 veterans struggling financially even though the nonprofit has been receiving fewer donations. As a new wave of the virus hits, they’re bracing for an influx of even more requests.


Foxx, Budd return to Washington after positive COVID tests

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two Republican members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation have returned to work in Washington after both tested positive recently for COVID-19. U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx of Banner Elk tested positive the week of Nov. 23. Rep. Ted Budd of Advance had announced last week he received a similar coronavirus diagnosis. The 77-year-old Foxx was asymptomatic, while Budd said he had mild symptoms. Foxx’s office and Budd said on Monday that were back in the nation’s capital. Foxx and Budd both won reelection last month.


Julius Chambers honored by renamed N. Carolina post office

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A post office in North Carolina’s largest city is now renamed for a late civil rights attorney. President Donald Trump signed into law recently a measure backed by North Carolina’s congressional delegation and designed to honor Julius Chambers. His law firm won many significant civil rights cases, including one over court-ordered busing in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district. Chambers later served as chancellor of North Carolina Central University. A northeast Charlotte post office is now known as the “Julius L. Chambers Civil Rights Memorial Post Office.” Chambers died in 2013 at age 76.


North Carolina gets $14M from record telemarketing penalty

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s public schools will receive $14 million for the state’s share of a record settlement with a satellite television company that federal courts have determined participated in unlawful telemarketing activities. State Attorney General Josh Stein and other government attorneys who anchored the litigation against Dish Network announced the $210 million settlement several months after a federal appeals court decision addressing a 2017 trial judgment in Illinois. The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday that Dish will pay $126 million to the federal government, with the remainder being distributed to North Carolina and three other states. The lawsuit was filed over a decade ago.

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