BIKER BEACH-RACISM LAWSUIT
Black bikers see racism in Myrtle Beach, SC, traffic plan
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina beach city is in the second week of a federal trial over whether it discriminates against thousands of Black tourists who visit each May to celebrate motorcycle culture. Myrtle Beach says it implemented a 23-mile-long traffic loop for public safety during Atlantic Beach Bikefest, commonly known as Black Bike Week. Civil rights groups accuse the city of trying to make the experience so unpleasant that Black visitors will eventually stop coming. The annual gathering takes place right after Harley Week, where most bikers are white. Lawyers say the city doesn’t impose the same restrictions on the white motorcyclists.
AP-NC-ATTACK ON FAMILY
Police: Man assaulted family with Black Lives Matter sign
LEWISVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say that a white man has been accused of assaulting two family members whose car displayed a homemade Black Lives Matter sign and a sign honoring Breonna Taylor. The Winston-Salem Journal reported Wednesday that the incident occurred Dec. 3 in Forsythe County. Arrest warrants said that 55-year-old Rod Steven Sturdy of Lewisville faces two misdemeanor charges of simple assault and assault on a female after punching a woman her juvenile brother in the face. Helen Parsonage, the family’s attorney, said Sturdy blocked the family’s car in a parking lot and used racist language. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman confirmed that Sturdy used racist language.
AP-NC-FATAL SHOOTING-WOMAN CHARGED
Sheriff: N. Carolina woman charged in man’s shooting death
DOBSON, N.C. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a North Carolina woman in connection with a man’s shooting death. The Surry County Sheriff’s Office says 47-year-old Carrie Leigh Whitaker was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder in the shooting death of 61-year-old Ronald Alan Clark. Sheriff Steve Hiatt says deputies received a call Monday afternoon regarding a shooting at Clark’s home. When deputies arrived, they found him dead from an apparent gunshot wound. Hiatt says it was Whitaker who called the sheriff’s office about the shooting. A motive for the shooting wasn’t immediately released. It’s unclear whether Whitaker has an attorney.
Sheriff: Officer charged with bringing contraband into jail
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a North Carolina correctional officer was fired and accused of bringing contraband into a detention center. Terrence Tyrell Austin, of Henderson, was charged with providing tobacco/vapor products to an inmate. The Durham County Sheriff’s Office says inmates at the Durham County Detention Facility were caught smoking cigarettes on Nov. 10. Investigators discovered that 33-year-old Austin was smuggling the tobacco products into the facility. He was subsequently fired. It’s unclear whether Austin has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina sets 10 p.m. curfew amid surge in virus
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is directing many businesses to shut down by 10 p.m. in order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Grocery chains and some retail stores that sell groceries will still be allowed to open past 10 p.m. Bars and restaurants must shut down by that time. Cooper wants people off the streets from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. because of a sharp rise in cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the state. North Carolina is hoping to deliver its first shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to hospital workers next week.
ELECTION 2022-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
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.
Publisher handcuffed while objecting to lack of court access
GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina newspaper publisher was handcuffed and ordered out of a courtroom as he objected to a decision to block reporters from attending a plea hearing. The case involved a woman accused of driving her car at two 12-year-old Black girls. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Tom Boney Jr. is publisher of The Alamance News and was delivering a document requesting a hearing on whether it’s appropriate to close the court to reporters. Journalists from other outlets had already been told they weren’t allowed inside the Alamance County Courthouse. After Boney tried to explain his objection, the judge ordered him to leave the courtroom in handcuffs.
Hall, Hamilton leaving Cabinet as Cooper preps for 2nd term
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two members of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s Cabinet won’t remain in their posts as his second term begins next month. The Democratic governor said on Tuesday that Military and Veterans Affairs Secretary Larry Hall and Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi Hamilton are leaving their jobs in the coming weeks. Cooper didn’t immediately announce their successors, who like other Cabinet secretaries are subject to state Senate confirmation. Hamilton and Hall were state House members when Cooper picked them for his administration. Cooper also says the search for a permanent secretary of the Department of Information Technology has begun.
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