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North Carolina News – October 27

North Carolina News – October 27

OXYGEN TANK-WORKER LAWSUIT

She asked to bring oxygen to work — they fired her instead

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A woman who was fired after asking to bring an oxygen tank to work to help her breathe will get $25,000 in a federal settlement. Delaware-based TriMark Foodcraft also agreed to train its staff on what qualifies as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Jean S. Perry worked as an accounting clerk for the kitchen equipment maker in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was fired after trying to return to work following a hospital stay for breathing problems related to a disability. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s settlement also requires TriMark to clearly inform employees about their rights. 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA

COVID spread plummeting in North Carolina, state data shows

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The spread of COVID-19 has dropped substantially in North Carolina in recent weeks. The latest statistics released by state health officials on Tuesday show cases and hospitalizations at their lowest levels in about three months. The share of tests coming back positive have also declined noticeably. The development comes as the state struggles to convince more unvaccinated residents to come in for a shot. Meanwhile, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters are now available to more North Carolinians who have already been vaccinated. Residents are more than four times as likely get the virus and nearly 20 times likelier to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated people.

REVERSE DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT

Former hospital executive wins $10M in discrimination case

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A former top executive in a North Carolina-based health care system who claimed in a lawsuit that he lost his job because he is a white male has been awarded $10 million by a federal jury. In his 2019 lawsuit, David Duvall said he lost his job as senior vice president of marketing and communication at Novant Health due to its effort to diversify its top leadership. News outlets report the jury said Novant Health failed to prove it would have dismissed Duvall regardless of his race. A Novant Health spokesperson said the Winston-Salem-based company would issue a comment later Tuesday about the jury decision. 

GACY EXHUMATIONS

DNA brings pain, closure to family of John Wayne Gacy victim

CHICAGO (AP) — Siblings of the man identified as a victim of the notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy say their family is shocked but grateful to police who used DNA to confirm his fate. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office on Monday confirmed that Francis Wayne Alexander was among the victims found on Gacy’s property near Chicago in the late 1970s. The agency exhumed unidentified remains in 2011 and has used DNA technology to try and identify them. Alexander’s siblings say their family spent years hoping he was alive but unable to contact them for some reason. Gacy was convicted of killing 33 young men and boys in the 1970s and was executed in 1994.

STATE BUDGET

Moore: North Carolina budget action could happen next week

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A top North Carolina Republican lawmaker says legislative action on a final state government budget could happen as soon as next week, with or without formal support from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters Tuesday that he, Senate leader Phil Berger and House and Senate Democratic leaders met in person Friday with Cooper to negotiate. Moore said Republicans could act after receiving another Cooper offer. The governor and GOP leaders could agree to a plan that Cooper can sign, or lawmakers could go forward without Cooper’s support. That could lead to a veto and an override attempt. 

YOUNG COYOTES

Howling coyotes signals pups are moving, not Halloween

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Wildlife officials in North Carolina are advising residents that they can expect to hear some howling this week, not because Halloween is approaching but instead because young coyotes are leaving their parents to strike out on their own. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission says in a news release that people could see and hear more coyotes in the coming weeks. The commission says the pups may travel up to 300 miles before they settle down in a place not already occupied. Commission biologists say as the young coyotes roam, they expect an increase in reported sightings. 

APARTMENT SHOOTINGS

Police: 1 dead, 2 wounded in NC apartment complex shootings

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Police say a man died and two others were wounded after shootings at a central North Carolina apartment complex. It happened Monday in Winston-Salem. Officers arriving at the Rolling Hills Apartment complex located a wounded 16-year-old girl and a 31-year-old woman. An additional shooting victim who had been driven away for medical help was located in a bank parking lot. Kelvin Rayvon James Jr. died The two wounded are in stable condition. Investigators determined James had been in a verbal dispute with another male, leading to gunfire, and that the two wounded had not been targeted. Police had announced no arrests Tuesday.

CHILD ABUSE CHARGES

North Carolina parents charged in abuse of 6-week-old

LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says two parents have been arrested in a child abuse case in which a 6-week-old was diagnosed with life-threatening injuries. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that deputies received a report on Saturday that an infant was brought to a local hospital. Detectives determined that the child sustained the injuries during the past week while in the care of its parents. Following an investigation, the sheriff’s office arrested 23-year-old Zachery Ryan Honeycutt and 18-year-old Destiny Alisa Watts. Both are from Lexington. The sheriff’s office says the child remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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