North Carolina News – February 24

North Carolina News – February 24


States pass their own virus aid, not waiting on Washington

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — States are not willing to wait for more federal help and have been moving ahead with their own coronavirus relief packages. Maryland and California recently approved help for small businesses, the poor, the jobless and those needing child care. New Mexico and Pennsylvania are funneling grants directly to cash-starved businesses. The spending shows that many states have proved unexpectedly resilient during the pandemic. And it has provided fuel for critics who say they don’t need another massive infusion of cash from Congress. The Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion relief plan would send hundreds of billions of dollars to state and local governments.


Release: NC woman went shopping with $150K virus relief loan

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a North Carolina woman lied to get nearly $150,000 in coronavirus relief that she later spent on shopping sprees. A U.S. Attorney’s Office press release says 24-year-old Jasmine Johnnae Clifton appeared in court Monday after being indicted last week on two fraud charges relating to disaster benefits. The release says Clifton applied for a relief loan meant to help existing small businesses harmed by pandemic shutdowns. It says she falsified documents for an online clothing business that had been defunct since 2019. The release says she spent the money at diamond stores and luxury clothing retailers. Her defender declined to comment.


North Carolina women’s school to add health-oriented majors

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C (AP) — A North Carolina women’s college says it is adding health-oriented majors to its curriculum beginning in the fall. Salem College said in a news release Wednesday that it will be offering health sciences, health humanities and health advocacy and humanitarian systems. The Winston-Salem school also says it is offering women’s leadership development programming, a renewed core liberal arts curriculum and expanded internship and service-learning opportunities. All are centered on leadership and health. Salem College is the nation’s oldest educational institution for girls and women in the U.S. It was founded in 1772.


N Carolina elections head: Delay ’21 city races, ’22 primary

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s top elections administrator says the Census delay will make it impossible for some local governments to carry out their elections on time. Karen Brinson Bell wants state lawmakers to sign off on her recommendation that all municipal elections be delayed until 2022. She is also calling on leaders to delay the scheduled March 2022 primary in order to generate new legislative and congressional maps. The Republican-controlled General Assembly decides when to hold the elections, and the state elections board implements the plan. Some members worry the proposal will create unnecessary delays for municipalities that don’t need the Census data to carry out elections.


Constitution, Green parties get more time to keep NC voters

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two small political parties in North Carolina that failed to meet candidate support thresholds in November to remain on future ballots will get more time to retain their registered voters. The State Board of Elections agreed on Tuesday not to redesignate voters registered with the Constitution Party of North Carolina or North Carolina Green Party as unaffiliated voters until June. But the change won’t happen if the parties turn in enough signatures by then to be recognized again in time for the upcoming municipal elections. The board also unanimously agreed Tuesday that the North Carolina Libertarian Party will remain an official party.


North Carolina woman indicted in husband’s shooting death

WASHINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a North Carolina woman has been indicted for killing her husband last summer during a domestic dispute. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office says 55-year-old Valinda Leggett was indicted by a grand jury on Feb. 10 in connection with the death as 59-year-old Gregory Leggett. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office says Gregory Leggett was shot once in the chest on July 3. Deputies say the couple had been arguing, and added that Valinda Leggett was cooperating with investigators. A judge has set her bond at $50,000. It’s not known if she has an attorney.


NC bill lets concealed permittees be armed at more churches

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina legislative committee has agreed to a bill that would let concealed weapon permit holders be armed at more churches. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Tuesday for the measure, which allows the permittees to carry handguns on private school campuses when separate church services are happening onsite. Current law allows standalone churches to let concealed weapon holders carry a handgun, but not at churches that hold services at the same location where the school operates. The measure largely follows portions of a 2020 gun bill that Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed.


Police: Woman claimed to have virus, blew into deputy’s face

LINCOLNTON, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say that a woman has been charged after she claimed to have the coronavirus and blew into a sheriff deputy’s face. The Charlotte Observer reports that the incident occurred Sunday evening in Lincoln County. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said Jasmine Louise McClain was already in police custody because she had been identified as a suspect in a stabbing. The sheriff’s office said she admitted to having tested positive for COVID-19 eight days earlier.  She was charged with assault on a government official. The sheriff’s office did not state whether McClain has actually tested positive COVID-19.

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