ELECTION 2022-NORTH CAROLINA-SENATE
NC governor backs Beasley as Senate primary field clears
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Roy Cooper has given former North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley his endorsement for the U.S. Senate. His video message Wednesday attempts to secure a smoother path for Beasley to become the Democrats’ nominee to fill the seat of Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who isn’t seeking reelection. Cooper appointed Beasley to the top spot on the state Supreme Court in 2019, making her the first Black female chief justice in North Carolina history. She’s been in private practice since narrowly losing an election to the post the next year. Cooper says Beasley has what it takes to win the Senate spot this fall.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-STATE EMPLOYEES
Eased leave rules seek to get more NC employees in schools
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina state employees are seeing leave rules eased to help address staffing shortages in the K-12 schools caused by COVID-19. Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration announced Wednesday that workers can fill in as paid substitute teachers through mid-February and still use their community service leave allotment. Full-time workers get 24 hours of such leave annually, but it couldn’t otherwise be used if the person was getting paid for the duties. It also could apply to cafeteria or bus driver fill-ins. Districts across the state have been struggling to keep positions staffed because of workers testing positive or low pay.
Recusals sought as remapping case moves to NC Supreme Court
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The legal fight over North Carolina’s redistricting plans shifted to the state Supreme Court the day after trial judges refused to throw out the new maps. Three of the seven justices have been asked by lawyers to stay out of upcoming deliberations because of alleged conflicts. Plaintiffs in the case filed appeal notices with the state’s highest court after Tuesday’s ruling by a three-judge panel allowing the new congressional and legislative districts be used in upcoming elections. The lines were approved by the Repubilcan-controlled General Assembly. Democrats hold four of the seven Supreme Court seats.
SHOOTING DEATH-SUSPECT SOUGHT
Man sought in North Carolina shooting death; 1 man charged
LENOIR, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says one man is in custody and another man is being sought in a shooting death. News outlets report the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office says 22-year-old Isaac McKinely Dixon is wanted on one count of murder in the shooting death of 25-year-old Jose David Martinez Aguilera of Lenoir. Law enforcement officers and first responders found Aguilera dead Tuesday evening inside a car. The sheriff’s office and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation determined Aguilera had been shot outside a home in Lenoir. The sheriff’s office says 22-year-old Zachary Nathaniel Kersey of Lenoir is charged with accessory after the fact to murder in connection with Aguilera’s death.
STEEL MILL-WEST VIRGINIA
Steelmaker Nucor to build $2.7B plant in West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A North Carolina steelmaker will build a $2.7 billion mill in West Virginia, creating an estimated 800 manufacturing jobs. Gov. Jim Justice calls the location of Nucor Corp.’s plant in Mason County the largest investment in the state’s history. Lawmakers completed legislation at Justice’s request Tuesday to offer the company an undisclosed tax incentive. Charlotte-based Nucor recycles scrap metal in electric arc furnaces to produce steel. Construction of the facility will start this year and is expected to be finished by 2024. It’s anticipated to create an additional construction 1,000 jobs. The company also is considering building a transloading and processing center in northern West Virginia.
Investigation into death, overdoses at North Carolina jail
RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office has asked the state to look into the death of an inmate at a county jail on Wednesday while an investigation is underway into what led to apparent overdoses by four other inmates. WLOS reports the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office said that just before 5 a.m., a nurse and a detention officer found inmate Andrew Franklin Hodge unresponsive in his cell. Emergency workers and Rutherfordton Fire Department personnel responded, but Hodge was pronounced dead. Four other inmates were taken to a local hospital after they displayed symptoms consistent with an overdose.
OFFICER SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
Knife-wielding man shot by N. Carolina police officers dead
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say a knife-wielding man shot and wounded by an officer is dead. A news release from the Raleigh Police Department says the man was taken to a local hospital after Tuesday’s shooting and was pronounced dead. His identity hasn’t been released. Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said officers responding to a traffic accident along Interstate 440 saw the man holding a knife and walking away with a small child. The man ignored commands to drop the knife, and swung it at officers when they tried to take him into custody. Patterson says that’s when one of the officers shot him.
HUNTING OFFENSES-MAN CHARGED
N. Carolina man cited for hunting violations after accident
LEWISVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a North Carolina man is charged with multiple hunting offenses after an accident last week in which a woman was shot in the chest with an arrow as he was handing her a bow. The Winston-Salem Journal reports the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission says 19-year-old Noah Foster Herrin and 18-year-old Kaitlin Marie Jones were coming down from a tree stand on a tract of land near Lewisville on Friday when Herrin handed jones a crossbow loaded with an arrow. During the transfer, the arrow was released and hit Jones in the chest. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment. No charges were filed in that incident.
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