CATFISH RECORDS BROKEN
3 North Carolina catfish records were broken during pandemic
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has given some people more time to fish. And that may be why three catfish catfish records were broken last year in North Carolina. The Virginian-Pilot reports that the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission announced the new records on Wednesday. They involved three catfish species. The commission said that Pinehurst resident John Stone caught a 23-pound, 5-ounce channel catfish in a private pond in Moore County in September. Joey Baird of Lawrenceville, Virginia, caught a 121-pound, 9-ounce blue catfish in Lake Gaston in July. That same month, Tyler Barnes of Pikeville, reeled in a 78-pound, 14-ounce flathead catfish from the Neuse River.
N. Carolina man charged in shooting of off-duty deputy
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man wanted in connection with the shooting of an off-duty deputy has been arrested. The Durham County Sheriff’s Office said 26-year-old Jerry Lamont Harris Jr. was taken into custody Thursday at a home in Durham. He had been placed on Durham County’s “most wanted” list since the shooting on Nov. 14. Authorities say the off-duty deputy was driving his own car that day when occupants in another car fired shots into his vehicle. The deputy was hospitalized and has since returned back to work. Two other people were charged in connection to the shooting last year. Harris faces multiple charges.
Former Make-A-Wish Iowa CEO arrested on theft charges
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The former CEO of Make-A-Wish Iowa has been arrested and charged with first-degree theft and the unauthorized use of a credit card for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars of the charity’s money. Records show that 40-year-old Jennifer Woodley, who now lives in North Carolina, was booked at the Polk County Jail in Des Moines on Thursday evening and released. The criminal complaints against her weren’t immediately available, and it wasn’t clear if she has an attorney. The organization announced last summer that it had discovered financial irregularities during a compliance review and that Woodley had been dismissed after serving as CEO for one year.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Small number of N.C. vaccine doses thrown out, official says
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina is seeing a small amount of coronavirus vaccines thrown out for reasons including doses that weren’t used in a timely manner after being taken out of a freezer. Mandy Cohen is the state’s top public health official. She said at a news conference Thursday that the Department of Transportation will offer free rides to vaccination clinics for people who need transportation. People 65 years or older are currently eligible to get vaccinated. State health officials say more than 573,000 vaccines have been distributed thus far. Cohen wants the existing supply of first doses to dwindle. She said that would demonstrate that the state is more efficiently utilizing its resources.
UNC task force develops plan to address racial equity
GREENSBORO, N>C. (AP) — A University of North Carolina task force has released a report outlining ways the system can fight discrimination and promote racial equity. The News & Record of Greensboro reports the UNC System Racial Equity Task Force unveiled its final report Wednesday at the Board of Governors meeting. The 65-page report contains six broad recommendations and 28 suggested actions across the 17-campus system. Among the recommendations, the report calls for improvement in recruitment, retention and promotion practices. The task force was formed six months ago, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police last year.
EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
North Carolina legislators press again for ERA ratification
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Equal Rights Amendment supporters say it’s still important that the North Carolina legislature ratify the proposal even as ERA’s future is being weighed by a court. General Assembly lawmakers and state and national ERA activists announced Thursday their redoubled efforts to bring ratification up for debate and votes this year. Republicans in charge of the General Assembly have been cool to acting on these resolutions in the past. The amendment was first sent to the states in the 1970s, and Virginia became the 38th and apparent last state necessary for validation. But what happens next is tied up in litigation.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina prisons get first wave of COVID vaccine doses
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Department of Public Safety has received about 1,000 doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for inmates and prison staff. An additional 300 doses allocated for the prison system are expected to arrive this week. The limited supply will go to prison healthcare staff administering the vaccine, staff working with infected inmates or in housing units where offenders have tested positive for the virus and inmates 75 years or older. Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee worries about vaccine hesitancy among some staff members and inmates. Vaccination is currently voluntary for the roughly 14,000 workers and 29,000 inmates in the state’s prison system.
Gasoline spill in North Carolina worse than first reported
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A report filed to the state shows that a crack in the wall of a gasoline pipeline caused more than a million gallons to spill in a North Carolina nature preserve. That’s more than four times the size that a company initially reported. The Charlotte Observer reports that in September, Michael Regan, then-secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, said 273,000 gallons of gasoline spilled in Mecklenburg County’s Oehler Nature Preserve near Huntersville. But Colonial Pipeline reported to regulators Wednesday that the estimated amount of gasoline released from the underground pipeline was 1,119,982 gallons. A Colonial spokeswoman says the company is investigating why the crack formed.
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