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North Carolina News – December 21

North Carolina News – December 21

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA

Cooper pushes for COVID boosters, won’t reimpose mandates

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and top state health officials are making a push ahead of the holidays to expand free at-home testing and encourage vaccinated individuals to get a booster. But they declined to reimpose statewide mandates — even as they warned on Monday of a huge COVID-19 surge fueled by the omicron variant. Over two-thirds of North Carolina adults have received at least two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the J&J vaccine. But Cooper said 62% of vaccinated people have not yet received boosters. Early studies suggest the vaccinated will need a booster shot for the best chance at preventing an omicron infection. 

CHILD SEX ABUSE LAW-JUDGES

Judges deem law addressing child sex abuse unconstitutional

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Judges have ruled that a North Carolina law cannot temporarily lift the statute of limitations to allow people who were sexually abused as children decades ago to be able to sue in civil court. The measure had passed the state legislature unanimously in 2019. But a three-judge panel ruled Monday that the state constitution bars the legislature from reopening the statute of limitations. The judges stressed that they felt bound by precedent and suggested that the issue may be better suited for the North Carolina Supreme Court to consider instead of the panel. It was not immediately clear whether the ruling would be appealed.

ELECTION 2022-SENATE

NC Gov. Roy Cooper to endorse Cheri Beasley for U.S. Senate

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Monday said he plans to endorse Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley in the coming days. He was asked about recent comments in which he appeared to back his party’s presumptive Senate nominee. Beasley is the first black woman to serve as chief justice of the state Supreme Court. The path toward the nomination was cleared for her last week when state Sen. Jeff Jackson left the race. U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and ex-Rep. Mark Walker are the leading Republican candidates working to secure their party’s nomination.

MOTEL FIRE

Morning fire displaces guests at North Carolina motel

GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) — Officials say an early morning fire swept through a North Carolina motel, displacing guests and causing approximately $500,000 in damages. No injuries were reported. News outlets report guests reported the fire in the attic at the Embers Motor Lodge at around 5 a.m. on Sunday. Firefighters arrived within a minute, according to a news release from the Graham Fire Department. The firefighters reported flames in the main two-story section of the motel. Around 11:39 a.m., the fire department said the fire was under control. The motel, built in 1955,  is located adjacent to Interstate 40/85 in Alamance County.

TRAFFIC CRASH-THREE KILLED

Three killed in head-on collision on North Carolina road

WILKESBORO, N.C. (AP) — The N.C. State Highway Patrol says three people were killed in a head-on collision on a county road. News outlets report troopers responded to a crash in Wilkes County on Friday afternoon. The patrol says a pickup truck ran off the road in a curve, crossed the center line and collided with an oncoming car. According to the patrol, both vehicles ran off the road and the car overturned. The patrol identified the victims as 45-year-old Sherry Elaine Aderhold, who was driving the pickup truck, and 79-year-old Ellen Huffman Roten, and 81-year-old Pearl Bullins Huffman.

DURHAM SHOOTINGS

North Carolina city reports fourth shooting death in week

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Police in a North Carolina city are looking into the fourth shooting death in a week after a man who was found shot died at a hospital. The Herald-Sun of Durham says Durham police officers responded to a shooting call shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The officer found a man whose identity hasn’t been released. Police say he was taken to a local hospital where he died. As of Dec. 11, there had been 261 people shot in Durham in 2021, and 39 of them died. That compares to 297 people shot at the same time in 2020 with 30 deaths. 

SUSPECT SOUGHT-SHOTS FIRED

N. Carolina man wanted for shooting into home, setting fire

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office is looking for a man who they say fired shots into the home of his ex-girlfriend’s parents, set his rental home on fire and fled from law enforcement officers after an attempted traffic stop. WRAL reports Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker says 24-year-old Raequan Mudd is considered armed and dangerous and residents in north Raleigh should be on the look out for him. On Friday, officers located Mudd and tried to stop him. Authorities say Mudd sped off and crashed his SUV at an intersection on the north side of Raleigh and then fled on foot. 

POLICE SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA

Police: Officer fatally shoots man stabbing 13-year-old girl

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina police department says one of its officers shot and killed a man who was stabbing his ex-wife’s 13-year-old daughter inside a home. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says the teenager was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries on Saturday. Police say the girl’s mother fled after the man forced his way into the Charlotte home. Police Chief Johnny Jennings told reporters that officers found the man holding the girl at knifepoint and tried to de-escalate the situation before he stabbed her. The man died at the scene. None of the officers were injured.

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

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