VIRUS OUTBREAK-STATE EMPLOYEES
NC state employees getting extra day off for booster shot
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina state employees will be getting an extra day of vacation for receiving a COVID-19 booster. Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order Wednesday that provides the leave to workers whose Cabinet-level agencies report to him. The extra time off will be given to those who have already received the first COVID-19 booster or those who show documentation by Aug. 31 of receiving one. Cooper also announced that agencies are pausing a policy that began last September in which unvaccinated employees would have to be tested at least weekly. It still may apply to workers in health care facilities or prisons.
Police: No charges in shooting at rapper DaBaby’s house
STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Police say no charges will be filed in a shooting at the North Carolina home of rapper DaBaby. News outlets report Troutman police said on social media on Thursday that the investigation into the April 13 shooting has been completed. According to the post, investigators consulted with the Iredell County District Attorney’s Office in determining no charges will be filed. Troutman Police Chief Josh Watson told The Associated Press at the time that DaBaby and at least one other person were at the home when the shooting happened on the evening of April 13. Watson wouldn’t say who was shot or who did the shooting. The unidentified victim suffered wounds that were not life-threatening.
North Carolina woman charged in boyfriend’s shooting death
ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say a woman has been jailed in the shooting death of her boyfriend inside a home. News outlets report Roanoke Rapids police said in a statement that officers received a call around 1:05 a.m. Thursday that indicated a man had been shot in the chest. When officers arrived, they found 19-year-old Robert Jenkins lying on the floor with a gunshot wound in the upper chest. Jenkins was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation led to police charging 22-year-old Emoni Alston with voluntary manslaughter. Alston is being held under a $20,000 in the Halifax County jail
FORGED DEEDS-MAN CHARGED
Man indicted for forging deeds to steal N. Carolina property
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a Georgia man has been indicted on charges that he used the identities of seven North Carolina residents to forge deeds and have their property fraudulently transferred to him. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Isaiah Robert Louise Baskins Jr., of Macon, Georgia, was indicted by a Forsyth County, North Carolina, grand jury for common law forgery, identity theft, and separate counts of accessing government computers to defraud and preparation to commit housebreaking. In April 2016, Baskins accused a local hospital volunteer of assaulting him and using a racist slur. The volunteer was fired, but the criminal charge against her was dismissed after Baskins failed to show up to court.
ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING DEATH
DA: No charges after woman mistaken for panther shot, killed
HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina district attorney says no charges will be filed in the shooting death of a woman who was mistaken for a panther. News outlets report District Attorney Andrew Murray says 19-year-old Rachel Buchanan, her boyfriend and another couple were at a home near Hendersonville on Oct. 20. The two men left to retrieve a phone charger, and were armed because of reports of a black panther in the woods. Murray says Buchanan and the other woman decided to play a prank on the men and began laughing. The men mistook the noise for a panther growling and opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun and a 9 mm pistol, hitting Buchanan in the head and the chest.
SEX CRIMES-MAN CHARGED
North Carolina man jailed on $12M bond on child sex charges
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A sheriff’s office says a North Carolina man has been jailed on a $12.4 million bond on multiple sex charges involving a child. The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office says 66-year-old John William Lovelace of Ayden was arrested on Wednesday by Winterville police officers and detectives with the sheriff’s office. Lovelace is charged by Winterville police with four counts of second-degree forcible sex offenses and three counts of sexual battery. The sheriff’s office charged Lovelace with two counts of statutory sex offense with a child less than 15 years of age and indecent liberties with a minor.
Another NC mini-session begins, with no action expected
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly is bypassing work this week during another reconvened session that had been previously announced to take up any unexpected business. The House and Senate gaveled in their floor meetings at midday Wednesday, and both adjourned within 15 minutes. Republican leaders say there are no plans for recorded votes before the session ends Friday. A similar mini-session occurred in early April without action, either. The General Assembly’s traditional budget-adjusting session begins May 18. Senate leader Phil Berger says he and House Speaker Tim Moore are aiming to complete that session by July 1.
Abortion battles in states fire up after Supreme Court leak
The Supreme Court’s apparent intention to abolish a nationwide right to abortion, spelled out in a draft opinion leaked this week, will not be the final chapter in the nation’s most pitched culture battle. Democrats in states where the right to abortion is enshrined in law are bracing for a wave of legal attacks and other maneuvers seeking to undermine access, including from other states. California and Colorado are pushing to protect access to abortion in their state constitutions. Connecticut and Washington state are shielding providers from possible lawsuits as they anticipate that women seeking abortions will need to cross state lines.