TROPICAL WEATHER-NORTH CAROLINA-BEACHES
National Weather Service warns of rip currents from Henri
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — The National Weather Service is warning residents and beachgoers on the North Carolina coast of rip currents and rough surf associated with Tropical Storm Henri. Meteorologist Steven Pfaff of the weather service’s Wilmington office says swells from Henri are expected to created hazardous surf conditions at all area beaches beginning Friday and continuing on Saturday as swells from the storm intensify. The weather service also says dangerous swimming conditions are expected given the high likelihood of rip currents and larger breaking waves in the surf. As of Friday morning, the system was centered in the Atlantic Ocean about 370 miles (600 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph).
Man surrenders after claiming to have bomb near US Capitol
WASHINGTON (AP) — A man who claimed to have a bomb in a pickup truck near the U.S. Capitol has surrendered to law enforcement after an hourslong standoff that prompted a massive police response and the evacuations of government buildings and businesses in the area. Police say they did not find a bomb in the vehicle but possible bomb-making materials were collected from it. Authorities are trying to learn what led the man, identified by law enforcement officials as 49-year-old Floyd Ray Roseberry of North Carolina, to drive onto the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress and make bomb threats to officers.
2 dead, 20 missing in North Carolina county flooded by Fred
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina have found two people dead and about 20 remain missing in Haywood County in floods caused by Tropical Storm Fred. Now as a post-tropical cyclone, Fred is drenching New York and New England. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Henri is sending dangerous swells onto East Coast beaches and is expected to become a hurricane as it approaches the northeastern U.S. early next week. More than 200 people searched flooded areas in western North Carolina along the Pigeon River. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper planned to join Haywood County officials Thursday afternoon to survey the flood damage. Farther north, about 10 families evacuated their homes in the rural town of Western in central New York as waters rose.
Imagination, Skittles help boy, 5, conquer Appalachian Trail
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A boy who recently hiked the Appalachian Trail is preparing for his next adventure in kindergarten. Five-year-old Harvey Sutton tagged along with his parents over more than 2,100 miles to complete the feat. He was 4 years old when he and his parents began their walk in January in Georgia. He was 5 years and 4 months old when the family completed the journey last week in Maine. That puts him among the youngest to complete the trail. One expert says kids are resilient enough as long as parents keep their development in mind and scale the hike to a child’s abilities.
Enough NC senators agree sports gambling bill is good bet
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Enough North Carolina state senators have agreed a sports gambling bill is a good bet. The Senate voted Thursday for a measure that would direct the state lottery commission to issue between 10 and 12 licenses to entities that can offer online and in-person betting on pro, college and Olympic-style sports. The bipartisan measure advanced to the House although a majority of Senate Republicans voted against it. Social conservatives have remained opposed to the idea. A bill sponsor said such gambling is already happening online and through unlawful bookies in the state, so it makes sense to regulate the wagering and tax it.
Restrictions on NC nonprofit donor disclosures OK’d by House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A bill described by supporters as one that prevents snooping into citizens’ contributions to North Carolina charities is near final legislative approval. The House voted Thursday along party lines for the measure pushed by Republicans. A version passed the Senate three months ago. Democrats suspicious of the idea contend it would lead to reduced transparency of certain political activity and so-called “dark money.” The bill says the rules wouldn’t apply to political committee disclosures. The bill now returns to the Senate for consideration. Any final bill would go to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.
Medical examiner: Illinois man visiting park killed by bear
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The chief medical examiner in North Carolina says a man visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last year was likely killed by a bear. A news release from the National Park Service said Thurdsay that the death of Patrick Madura of Elgin, Illinois, was the second bear-related fatality in the history of the park. Park rangers said at the time that Madura’s remains were found after backpackers discovered an unoccupied tent and saw the remains “with a bear scavenging in the area” on Sept. 11, 2020. The bear was located by rangers and euthanized.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-GOVERNMENT CENTER
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center closes to public
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center is closing to the public because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Mecklenburg County. The city issued a statement saying the center would be closed to the public beginning on Thursday. According to the statement, the closure applies to public meetings held by the Charlotte City Council, Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education. The public can participate in meetings virtually by signing up with the clerk’s office from each elected body. Public meetings will also be televised, shown online on the GOV Channel website and on social media.
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