NORTH CAROLINA-DEPUTY SHOOTING
Curfew made later after protests over shooting of Black man
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina city where a Black man was shot and killed by deputies said Friday it will push its curfew back by several hours each night after a week of generally peaceful protests. Elizabeth City officials said that starting Friday night, the curfew will run from midnight until 6 a.m. On previous nights, the curfew had taken effect at 8 p.m. Protesters have been demanding justice and transparency, including the release of deputy body camera footage, after Andrew Brown Jr. was shot and killed last week by deputies serving drug-related warrants. Protests have been generally peaceful, but some protesters have been arrested after they remained on the streets after the curfew went into effect.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE ANXIETY
US officials: Anxiety drove vaccine reactions in 5 states
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials have concluded that it was anxiety — and not a problem with the coronavirus vaccine — that caused apparent reactions in dozens of people earlier this month. Experts say the clusters are an example of a phenomenon that’s been chronicled for decades from variety of different vaccines. Basically, some people get so freaked out by injections that their anxiety spurs physical symptoms. Many of the 64 people affected either fainted or reported dizziness. Some got nauseous or vomited. A few had racing hearts or chest pain. None got seriously ill. The report said it happened in California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa and North Carolina.
Sheriff: Heavily armed gunman among 5 dead in home standoff
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a gunman who killed himself, two deputies and his mother and stepfather in a 13-hour home standoff in North Carolina had a large cache of weapons and may have been contemplating an attack in public. Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman identified the dead on Thursday. He said George Wyatt Ligon and his wife Michelle were dead along with the shooting suspect, 32-year-old Isaac Alton Barnes. Barnes was Michelle Ligon’s son and the man’s stepson. Hagaman said family members had expressed concerns about the large number of weapons in Barnes’ possession and what he might try to do.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-RELIEF FUNDS
NC lawmakers looking at billions more in federal virus aid
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina legislators are starting to fill in more details on distributing the latest tranches of coronavirus relief money approved in Washington. The Senate’s budget-writing committee recommended on Thursday legislation that would formally appropriate well over $6 billion allocated for North Carolina in the American Rescue Plan approved by Congress. That law already determined how this money must be used. This legislation doesn’t address spending $5 billion more earmarked for North Carolina. Lawmakers have more discretion in how to spend that cash. Thursday’s bill also adjusts a state law limiting how much rental and utility aid could be awarded in each county.
NORTH CAROLINA-DEPUTY SHOOTING
Sheriff: Deputies who didn’t fire at Black man back on duty
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff says four deputies involved in the case of a Black man who was fatally shot last week have returned to active duty after a review of body camera video showed they did not fire their weapons. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten announced in a news release Thursday that he has restored to duty four out of the seven deputies who were placed on administrative leave after the shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. Wooten released the names of all seven deputies who went to Brown’s residence to serve arrest and search warrants. He said the three deputies who fired their weapons will remain on leave until an investigation is completed.
NC Sen. Tillis says he feels great after cancer surgery
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis says he feels great following prostate cancer surgery earlier this month. The second-term Republican senator told Charlotte TV station WCNC this week that he was diagnosed at the height of his reelection campaign last fall. The station says a routine physical and PSA blood test revealed the possibility of prostate cancer. Tillis defeated Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham in November. He says he’s slowly adding exercise back into his routine, and is aiming to skydive on his 61st birthday in August.
DEPUTY SHOOTING-BODY CAMERA LAW
North Carolina body camera law comes under harsh glare
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina law that gives local courts authority over the release of body camera video has come under a harsh glare after a judge refused to make public footage of deputies shooting and killing Andrew Brown Jr. The 2016 law says that law enforcement video is not a public record and generally cannot be released without court approval. A judge ruled Wednesday that body camera and dashboard footage in Brown’s death must be kept from public view for at least another month to avoid harming a state investigation. The April 21 shooting happened as deputies were serving drug-related warrants at Brown’s home in Elizabeth City.
EXTRA CREDIT GRANTS-AUDIT
Audit: Hurdles slowed COVID-19 grants to poor families in NC
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina state audit says the details and timing of a coronavirus relief grant program created last year by the General Assembly made it more difficult for low-income families to obtain payments. State Auditor Beth Wood released on Thursday a performance audit of the “Extra Credit Grant” program, which was carried out by the Department of Revenue. Families received $335 to assist with virtual schooling and child-care costs during the pandemic. The performance audit found low-income families didn’t receive payments because of the additional administrative steps during a short window of time. The grant application already has been extended to May 31.
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