North Carolina News – January 12

North Carolina News – January 12


Appalachian State and UNC-Charlotte delay in-person classes

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte have delayed the start of in-person classes as the number of coronavirus cases rise across the state. The Greensboro News & Record reported Monday that in-person classes at Appalachian State won’t begin until Feb. 1. That is two weeks later than originally planned. UNC-Charlotte said on Monday that it is pushing back face-to-face classes by a month. UNC-Chapel Hill was the first public university in North Carolina to push back the start of in-person undergraduate classes.


College employee accused of being Proud Boy, no fault found

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State University says its investigation into an employee accused of being a member of the Proud Boys “did not substantiate any significant allegations.” The school announced its findings into Chadwick Jason Seagraves, a desktop support team manager, on Monday. The university had launched a probe after the allegations about Seagraves were posted on Twitter and reported by Raw Story. Seagraves has previously told the News & Observer the he was not a member of the far-right extremist group. He was also accused of publishing personal information about left-wing activists in Asheville and Portland, Oregon. He hasn’t acknowledged doing that.


Smokies seeks volunteers to monitor visitor use patterns

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park is looking for volunteers to monitor visitor use patterns in several of the park’s most popular locations. Park visitation has increased by more than 30% over the last decade, resulting in congestion at some of the most popular destinations. According to the park, that has caused problems like people parking along the roadside, causing damage and creating a safety hazard as they walk along busy roads. Managers will use the data collected by volunteers to develop recommendations to improve access and safety.


Army investigating officer who led group to Washington rally

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Army is investigating a psychological operations officer who led a group of people from North Carolina to the rally in Washington that led up to the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. Commanders at Fort Bragg are reviewing Captain Emily Rainey’s involvement in last week’s events. Rainey says she acted within military regulations and that no one in her group broke the law. Maj. Daniel Lessard says the 30-year-old is assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg. Rainey says her group attended the rally but did not enter the Capitol.


Supreme Court rejects UNC appeal on sex assault discipline

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill of a lower court decision requiring it to release disciplinary records of students who violated the school’s sexual assault policies. Last May, the N.C. Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the flagship school of the UNC system had to release the records. The school had been sued by a media coalition including Capitol Broadcasting Co. and the school’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel. In September 2016, the group requested documents under the North Carolina Public Records Act. The university denied the request.


Who were they? Records reveal Trump fans who stormed Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — The violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last week was overwhelmingly made up of longtime Trump supporters. The Associated Press reviewed social media posts, voter registrations, court files and other public records for more than 120 people connected to the rioting. They include Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists and adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory. The evidence gives lie to claims that the violence at the Capitol was perpetrated by left-wing antifa thugs rather than supporters of the president. An FBI official says investigators have seen “no indication” antifa activists were disguised as Trump supporters during the Capitol riot.


Environmental group to sue over sea turtle protections

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An environmental group says it will take the National Marine Fisheries Service to court over reductions in plans to keep endangered and threatened sea turtles from drowning in inshore shrimp nets off of eight states. The fisheries service in late 2019 scaled back plans to make inshore shrimpers in the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Atlantic put turtle escape hatches into their nets.  Under U.S. law, people and groups planning challenges to actions taken under the Endangered Species Act must give the government 60 days notice. That’s what the Center for Biological Diversity is doing. A fisheries service spokeswoman says the agency cannot comment on pending litigation.


Ex-Rep. Batch heading to NC Senate; mayor joining House

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A recently defeated state legislator and a small-town mayor have been appointed to fill vacancies at the North Carolina General Assembly as the new session convenes this week. Wake County Democratic activists over the weekend picked former Rep. Sydney Batch and Knightdale Mayor James Roberson to fill vacancies. Gov. Roy Cooper confirmed those choices by issuing formal appointments on Monday. Batch succeeds state Sen. Sam Searcy, who resigned last week. Batch served one House term before losing in November. Roberson will fill a House vacancy created as Rep. Darren Jackson was appointed to the state Court of Appeals by Cooper.

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