North Carolina News – October 22

North Carolina News – October 22


North Carolina college receives record $200 million gift

SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina college says an anonymous donor has given it $200 million for its endowment, the largest gift in its history. Catawba College, with an enrollment of 1,200, announced the gift on Thursday. According to the school’s web page, one-third of the gift will provide recurring funding to support and enhance Catawba’s programs in environment and sustainability. Two-thirds of the gift is dedicated to supporting strategic initiatives, strengthening student scholarships, enhancing student success programming, promoting a thriving workplace and investing in faculty excellence. Earlier this year, Catawba College received gifts totaling $18 million to retire the college’s entire debt. 


NTSB: Small plane wrecked in North Carolina hit pine trees

ANDREWS, N.C. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says a private pilot and a passenger were killed earlier this month when the small plane they were in collided with pine trees in North Carolina. The preliminary report issued Wednesday says the single-engine Beech S35 was flying from Liberty, Texas, to Franklin, North Carolina, on Oct. 3 when the unidentified pilot diverted to Western Carolina Regional Airport in Andrews due to weather conditions. It later left for Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and soon hit tall pine trees. The plane hit the terrain steeply with its nose low and came to a rest upside down. 


USDA OKs disaster declarations for North Carolina counties

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack has granted North Carolina’s request for a primary county disaster designation for 12 counties after excessive rain and flooding from Tropical Storm Fred. A news release from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office also says six additional counties were named as contiguous disaster counties. The designation makes farmers eligible for certain assistance, including emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency, provided they meet eligibility requirements. The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred dumped several inches of rain across western North Carolina, resulting in flooding and landslides. It also damaged crops and farming infrastructure during harvest time.


NC speaker: Medicaid expansion not in latest budget offer

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The leader of the North Carolina House says the latest budget offer that Republicans sent to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper wouldn’t expand Medicaid broadly as Cooper wants. But Speaker Tim Moore says it does sweeten a previous proposal on worker pay raises. The legislative and executive branches are trying to hammer out a budget that Cooper would be willing to sign. The alternative would be for lawmakers to approve their own plan and try to override what would likely be a Cooper veto. Cooper is a longtime advocate of expanding Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of more people, but Republicans are divided on the idea.


Former Gaston County commissioner to serve in NC House

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — The ex-chairman of a local hospital board who resigned his position last year when his social media postings early during the COVID-19 pandemic got public attention will serve out the term of a North Carolina legislator who died. Gaston County Republican activists chose Donnie Loftis over two other candidates Wednesday to succeed the late GOP Rep. Dana Bumgardner. He was in his fifth term when he died almost three weeks ago. Loftis was chairman of the CaroMont Health board when he resigned after questions about some Facebook posts, including one that called coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders “tyranny.” Loftis is a former county commissioner and Army veteran.


One dead, two hurt after truck hits N. Carolina school bus

NEWTON, N.C. (AP) — The N.C. State Highway Patrol says one person was killed and two people were injured after a school bus collided with a truck in North Carolina. The News Herald of Morganton reports there were no children on the bus, but a state trooper confirmed the driver of the truck was killed and the two who were injured were taken to hospitals in the Newton area. The injuries are not considered to be life-threatening. According to the patrol, the truck collided with the bus at an intersection and knocked into another vehicle and ended up on its side.


North Carolina sheriff’s office looks for police impostor

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office wants the public’s help in finding a man who they accuse of impersonating a law enforcement officer. The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office received a report that a teenage girl had been stopped on Wednesday by a man claiming to be an officer. According to a news release, the teenager asked what department the man was with and if she could see his badge. The man let her go. The Hickory Daily Record reports police in Hickory say a man roughly matching the description of the suspected fake officer stopped a motorist on U.S. Highway 321 in Hickory early Thursday.


Buzzards settle in North Carolina town despite scare tactics

BUNN, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina town finds itself under siege by buzzards, and nothing local leaders do to scare them off seems to be working. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the buzzards have chosen the town of Bunn as their meeting place. In December, the local high school fired a propane cannon day and night. The high school also hung effigies around its rooftop to keep the birds from swooping down to congregate. That didn’t work, either. One resident says she counted 58 buzzards in her yard, on her roof and on a fence.

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