ELECTION 2022-MINORITY VOTERS
Effort to register minority citizens in N. Carolina launches
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A new organized effort to boost North Carolina minority voter turnout during the 2022 elections and beyond is underway. The New North Carolina Project is modeled after a similar initiative in Georgia founded by former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. The North Carolina organization aims to register over 100,000 voting-age adults and increase early-voting turnout dramatically next year. The group’s leader is former Democratic state House candidate Aimy Steele. She says the initiative will focus on residents in 29 rural eastern and Sandhills counties and portions of seven urban centers for 2022. The project also will endorse candidates.
FORMER PASTOR-SEX CHARGES
Warrant: Ex-pastor devised scheme against girl’s parents
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a former pastor in North Carolina gave a false report of child abuse to a sheriff’s office and tried to get them to sign over parental rights for their teenage daughter who he is accused of sexually assaulting. The Asheville Citizen Times reports warrants issued for 41-year-old Trent Brandon Holbert detailed the events that led to multiple sex charges being filed by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office. According to the warrants, when Holbert reported the parents to the N.C. Division of Social Services with allegations of neglect, the claims were found not to be true.
Mexican nationals plan protest at North Carolina consulate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Mexican nationals in North Carolina are planning a protest at the Mexican Consulate office over what they say is unfair treatment from staff and long wait times for services. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that the protest is scheduled for Friday outside the consulate office in Raleigh. Mexicans living across the state have taken to social media demanding that the consulate “treat them with respect” and serve the community in a “more organized manner.” Spokesperson Oscar Solis says the consulate will be attentive to the demands and respond accordingly.
Cooper receives NC energy bill that gets final legislator OK
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A landmark energy measure for North Carolina that aims to dramatically reduce power plant greenhouse gas emissions has received final legislative approval and is now on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk for his expected signature. The House voted on Thursday for the consensus legislation, which passed the Senate on Wednesday. The negotiated agreement instructs the North Carolina Utilities Commission to draw up a plan by the end of next year to meet carbon dioxide reduction goals that Cooper has championed. The bill also allows Duke Energy to seek multiyear rate increases and performance-based earnings incentives.
NC legislative leaders regroup after Cooper budget offer
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican legislative leaders will soon draw up another budget offer for Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper after he presented a counterproposal this week. House Speaker Tim Moore confirmed on Thursday that Cooper sent a counteroffer to him and Senate leader Phil Berger earlier this week. The two GOP leaders last week finalized internal negotiations on a state government budget and presented that plan for Cooper to consider. Differences are likely around tax cuts, teacher pay raises and education spending. Berger, Moore and Cooper have been more optimistic this year that a deal could be hammered out that the governor would be willing to sign into law.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHILD CARE CENTERS
NC child care centers can seek virus grants from $800M pool
CARRBORO, N.C. (AP) — Child care providers in North Carolina can begin applying next week for grants coming from an $805 million pool for the state through a COVID-19 relief law approved by Congress. Gov. Roy Cooper announced the start of North Carolina Child Care Stabilization Grants while visiting a Carrboro school on Thursday. All private, licensed early care and learning programs can apply starting Monday. Grants will range from $3,000 to $60,000. The grants can be used for things like payroll, capital improvements and training. Grants will be awarded starting in November for 18 months.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NURSING HOMES
Ghost towns: Nursing home staffing falls amid pandemic
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Even before the pandemic bared the truth of a profit-driven nursing home industry with too few caring for society’s most vulnerable, thin staffing was a hallmark of facilities around the country. Now, an Associated Press analysis of federal data finds that staffing is even thinner, with about one-third of U.S. nursing homes reporting lower levels of nurses and aides than before COVID-19 began ravaging their facilities. The American Health Care Association, which lobbies for care facilities, says 99% of nursing homes and 96% of assisted living facilities are reporting staffing shortages. The organization called for additional federal funding, changes to Medicaid and government programs to bolster caregiver hiring and development.
North Carolina town councilman sentenced for making threat
HERTFORD, N.C. (AP) — A judge has ordered a North Carolina town councilman to serve five days in jail after finding him guilty of threatening a citizen at a town council meeting this summer. The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reports Hertford Town Councilman Quentin Jackson was sentenced on Wednesday and appealed the decision. The district court judge found Jackson guilty of threatening a man during the meeting on July 6. The judge sentenced Jackson to serve 120 days in jail, but suspended the sentence and ordered him to serve 12 months of supervised probation.
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