North Carolina News – July 8

North Carolina News – July 8


Democratic US Senate candidate Cheri Beasley raises $1.3M

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley of North Carolina has raised nearly $1.3 million in little more than two months since entering the race in April. Her campaign announced the total Wednesday. The former state Supreme Court chief justice is gearing up to for an expensive bid to fill the seat that Republican Sen. Richard Burr is vacating in 2022. The possible pickup opportunity for Democrats could sway the balance of the Senate and determine whether Republicans can more easily stifle President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. The campaign of Beasley’s top Democratic primary foe, state Sen. Jeff Jackson, says it brought in more than $700,000 from April 1 to June 30.


Black students, faculty: UNC needs self-examination on race

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Black students and faculty at the University of North Carolina say the handling of the Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure case is yet another example of the institution’s failure to welcome and support scholars and students of color. Black students and faculty say that without meaningful self-examination and actionable change by the university, UNC risks its ability to recruit and retain students and faculty of color. Hannah-Jones announced Tuesday that she would decline an offer of tenure at UNC after a donor raised concerns that led to the Board of Trustees declining to vote on granting her tenure.


Judge jails editor over reporter’s use of recorder in court

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge sent a small-town newspaper editor to jail after one of his reporters brought an audio recorder to court. Superior Court Judge Stephan Futrell charged a Richmond County Daily Journal news editor and a staff writer with criminal contempt of court. The judge sentenced editor Gavin Stone to five days in jail and fined reporter Matthew Sasser $500. The newspaper and media rights groups believe the punishment is excessive and threatens free speech. The court has previously warned the news organization about bringing electronic devices into the courtroom. The judge did not respond to a request for comment.


Tropical storm pounds East Coast after killing 1 in Florida

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Tropical Storm Elsa is carving a destructive and soaking path up the East Coast after killing at least one person in Florida and spinning up a tornado at a Georgia Navy base that flipped recreational vehicles upside-down and blew one of them into a lake. One person was killed in Jacksonville, Florida, when a tree fell onto a car. And a spokesperson for Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia says a possible tornado struck a park for recreational vehicles on the base, hospitalizing about 10 people. A tropical storm watch extended up the East Coast to Massachusetts.


North Carolina owner of venomous snakes facing charges

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man whose venomous snake escaped from his home and terrorized a neighborhood for several days is facing multiple misdemeanor charges. News outlets report the Raleigh man is facing 40 charges in connection to his escaped zebra cobra and other venomous snakes. His cobra was reported outside a home about a half-mile from his on June 28, and captured by Raleigh animal control officers the following Wednesday. One of the misdemeanor charges says the man didn’t notify law enforcement of the snake’s escape, as required by state law.


Philanthropies eagerly back journalist Hannah-Jones

NEW YORK (AP) — Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones is using major philanthropic donors to build her future as a tenured professor at Howard University, just as other major donors sought to stymie the Pulitzer Prize-winning Black investigative reporter at the University of North Carolina. Hannah-Jones announced Tuesday that she will establish the Center for Journalism and Democracy at Howard to increase diversity in journalism. The $20 million in contributions point to a growing philanthropic effort to diversify news organizations and strengthen journalistic standards. The donations, including $5 million each from the MacArthur, Knight and Ford foundations and an anonymous donor, will also bring award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates to Howard, a historically black school that’s also his alma mater.


Months after filing for bankruptcy, Belk names new CEO

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina-based department store chain has named a new CEO, months after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Charlotte Observer reports a news release from Belk on Wednesday says Nir Patel has been promoted to CEO from president and chief merchandising officer. Patel replaces Lisa Harper, who had been the CEO since July 2016. Harper is now executive chair of the Belk Board of Directors. The news release did not say what led to the change. In January, Belk announced it was filing for bankruptcy with plans to emerge from it in the following month.


Murder charge dismissed for woman over mental capacity

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge has dismissed a first-degree murder charge against a woman after it was determined she will never regain the mental capacity to stand trial. The Winston-Salem Journal reports the decision came after a hearing in Forsyth County Superior Court in which a psychologist testified that 38-year-old Tonesha Tonyae Collins’ mental-health issues prevent her from fully understanding her legal situation and participating in her defense. Judge Michael Stone signed an order that involuntarily commits Collins to Central Regional Hospital, where she has been for the past four years. She was indicted in 2017 in the shooting death of a gas station manager in 2016.

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