The Latest: ACC tourney players, coaches get tracing devices
(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Atlantic Coast Conference will expand use of KINEXON SafeTag contact tracing devices by equipping players, coaches and Tier 1 personnel for its upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. SafeTags measure proximity between users to provide school medical officials with contact tracing data when an individual tests positive for COVID-19. All 15 ACC schools used the devices inside team facilities during the regular season to mitigate the spread of the virus. An ACC release stated that the technology identified several high-risk close contacts of a positive case within the league. Bars, restaurants and music venues will also be able to close two hours later, at 2 a.m., instead of at midnight.
Cooper seeking improved warning system after deadly tornado
Officials say a ferocious tornado struck shortly before midnight Monday just inland from the barrier island of Ocean Isle Beach. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that the state must learn from the surprise tornado that struck Ocean Isle Beach with little or no warning, leaving three people dead and 10 injured. The governor surveyed the brunt of the damage, at Ocean Ridge Plantation, a neighborhood where residents recounted near-death experiences from the powerful EF3 tornado that approached swiftly. Some said they received a warning alert on their phone two minutes after the tornado had already passed. AdBefore the tornado hit his Ocean Ridge Storage Solutions business about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the Ocean Ridge Plantation, he said he was already struggling financially from the governor's pandemic-related business restrictions.
The Latest: Biden says Milwaukee is 'cold as the devil'
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)The Latest on winter weather across the U.S. (all times local):WASHINGTON— President Joe Biden offered his administration’s assistance Tuesday in a call with at least seven governors of states impacted by severe winter weather this week. Among those on the call were Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves and Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt. Biden, who was heading to Milwaukee to participate in a CNN town hall, declared the weather there “cold as the devil up there.”___KENSINGTON, Md. The events show how vulnerable America is to extreme weather —both hot and cold— which increases with climate change, scientists said. J.B. Pritzker has declared a disaster proclamation after a winter storm blanketed the state with snow and caused power outages.
The Latest: N.C. senators OK bill to force schools to reopen
Authorities in Greece have extended a curfew in the country's two largest cities after a new rise in COVID-19 cases . ___THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:Spain surpasses 3 million coronavirus cases, seventh highest total in the world. The governor got his Pfizer shot along with Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and several other state officials who are newly able under Louisiana’s latest eligibility criteria. Health officials reported 1,526 new confirmed infections Tuesday — half in the greater Athens region — and another 20 deaths. AdAcross the state, officials have started to vaccinate people 65 and older and some workers who can’t do their jobs remotely.
The Latest: More rules for returning New Zealand travelers
(Peter Meecham/New Zealand Herald via AP)WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Travelers returning to New Zealand will face stricter rules at quarantine hotels as health authorities investigate how up to three people got infected with the coronavirus while isolating at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel. The record increase of 65 deaths is three more than the previous one-day record reported on Jan. 6, according to health department records. The university and county health department are asking students to limit leaving their residence to going to classes, getting food, work and other necessary in-person activities. The health department said in the news release that if the case counts continues to rise, stricter measures will have to be applied. The previous one-day record of 62 was reported Jan. 6, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
The Latest: China's Hebei toughens virus rules over outbreak
State health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey urged residents to continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing their hands frequently. Health care officials are currently vaccinating health care workers, first responders and those living in long-term care facilities —all people in the highest-priority groups for getting doses. In the first phase, priority was given to health care workers and residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Cuomo says hospitals need to do a better job of vaccinating the health care workers who are eligible now. Only health care workers and nursing home residents and staff members are currently being vaccinated in New York.
Biden picks Regan for EPA nominee, Haaland for interior head
Scott Applewhite, File)President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he had chosen North Carolina regulator Michael S. Regan as his nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as his pick for interior secretary. Biden will introduce Regan, Haaland and other newly named nominees at an event Saturday. North Carolina Gov. In North Carolina, Regan led the negotiations that resulted in the cleanup of the Cape Fear River, which has been dangerously contaminated by PFAS industrial compounds from a chemical plant. With Duke Energy, he negotiated what North Carolina says was the largest cleanup agreement for toxic coal ash.
The Latest: Hong Kong re-imposes restaurant dining bans
Hong Kong on Wednesday reported an additional 100 cases, bringing its two-week total to 1,274. Hong Kong has reported a total of 7,075 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, with 112 deaths. The Texas Department of State Health Services also said 9,028 people were hospitalized across the state. Since late November, the new daily cases have soared past 10,000 on several days, with 15,103 new cases reported Tuesday, according to state health officials. ___BOISE, Idaho — Idaho public health officials abruptly ended a meeting Tuesday evening after the Boise mayor and chief of police said intense anti-mask protests outside the health department building — as well as outside some health officials’ homes — were threatening public safety.
The Latest: Conn. extends pandemic jobless benefit to 38,000
State health officials decline to identify which hospitals have expressed interest, but say there is need statewide. Hospitalizations have not yet reached their summer heights in Georgia, but beds are filling rapidly with COVID-19 cases. ___HARRISBURG, Pa. — States faced a deadline on Friday to place orders for the coronavirus vaccine as many reported record infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Ukraine, which is facing a rapid rise in coronavirus cases, tightened weekend restrictions last month but lifted them this week. ___ATLANTA — Vice President Mike Pence is trying to boost Americans’ confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines that are awaiting regulatory approval and distribution.
2017 ban on local LGBT ordinances ends in North Carolina
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)RALEIGH, N.C. – A 3 1/2-year ban on new local ordinances aimed at protecting LGBT rights in North Carolina expired Tuesday, prompting gay rights groups to urge the passage of such measures now. It drew national condemnation and prompted several large corporations and sports teams to relocate events to other states or reconsider expanding in North Carolina. As the moratorium ended, leaders of Equality North Carolina and the Campaign for Southern Equality on Tuesday urged North Carolina residents to contact leaders of cities and urge them to expand anti-discrimination laws for the LGBT community. The moratorium had barred new local ordinances related to private employment, hotels and restaurants. Beau Mills, executive director of the North Carolina Metro Mayors Coalition, said before the ban ended that he wasn't aware of any city planning to pass new ordinances right away.
Republicans retain power in states despite Democratic push
“This was a status quo election.”Heading into Tuesday, Republicans had full control of 29 state legislatures compared to 19 for Democrats. “The reality is we are still running on very gerrymandered maps,” said Christina Polizzi, national press secretary for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. They were countered by the Republican state leadership committee, which had a target of about $70 million. But Republican redistricting power will be diminished in some states because of changes that occurred in recent years. Instead, Republicans added to their House ranks with more conservatives, increasing the potential to override vetoes by Democratic Gov.
Montana goes red; it's status quo in other governor races
Mike Parson, and State Auditor Nicole Galloway are seen onstage before the Missouri gubernatorial debate at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia, Missouri. Democrats are hoping to gain control of more state legislative chambers after Republicans scored huge wins in 2010. The only governor's job to change parties is in Montana, where Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. The national Democratic and Republican governors associations and the campaigns themselves have contributed more than $24 million to the race. In Missouri, incumbent Mike Parson, a Republican, defeated Nicole Galloway, the state auditor who was the Democrats' best chance to pick up a seat.
Races for governor take top billing in Missouri, Montana
FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 file photo, Missouri Republican Gov. Its the most hotly contested of the nations 11 governors races this fall. Which party holds the governor's office could be especially consequential over the next few years. In governor’s races, many of the attack ads are funded by each party’s governors association. In the governor’s race, he said Gianforte’s financial support of a Montana museum dedicated to creationist beliefs was a big problem.
The Latest: India's cases top 2.3M, fatality rate drops
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference Tuesday with the top elected officials of 10 states that together account for about 80% of Indias total cases, urging them to rigorously apply the strategies of containment, surveillance and contact tracing to drive the fatality rate below 1%. Those measures appear to have been successful in bringing numbers down from the more than 100 new daily cases reported at the end of last month. ___MEXICO CITY Mexico reported a near-record 926 newly confirmed COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, bringing the countrys accumulated total to 53,929. The Health Department reported 6,686 new coronavirus infections, bringing the countrys total confirmed cases so far to 492,522. At that rate Mexico will reach a half million confirmed cases soon, but given the extremely low rate of testing less than 1.1 million tests in a country of almost 130 million inhabitants the number would like be a vast undercount.
North Carolina to relax 10-person limit for GOP convention
FILE - In this July 21, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump smiles as he addresses delegates during the final day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. North Carolina public health officials told the Republican National Committee the party can have more than 10 people in a room to conduct official convention business while in Charlotte. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)RALEIGH, N.C. North Carolina will ease gathering restrictions for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte this month after a push by the national party for the state to be more accommodating. The RNC has estimated it would have no more than 500 delegates per day at the Charlotte Convention Center and the Westin hotel. The back-and-forth between the state and RNC comes amid a months-long battle between Trump and North Carolina's Democratic governor.
Governors face competing voices as reported virus cases rise
With reported coronavirus cases rising rapidly in many states, governors are getting lots of advice on what they should do. Dr. Brian Labus, an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Public Health and a member of the medical team advising Sisolak, said he knows the governor has to weigh public health advice against political and economic considerations. The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases per day in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 40,000 Friday. In Utah, coronavirus cases have been surging since most businesses were allowed to reopen in May. As West Virginia has seen a spike in reported virus cases, Gov.
Democrats confirm plans for nearly all-virtual convention
Democrats will hold an almost entirely virtual presidential nominating convention Aug. 17-20 in Milwaukee using live broadcasts and online streaming, party officials said Wednesday. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi will serve as convention chair, party officials said. Unlike this president, Joe Biden and Democrats are committed to protecting the health and safety of the American people, Perez said. Besides events in Wisconsin, Democrats plan other events in satellite locations around the country to broadcast as part of the convention. Veteran producer Ricky Kirshner, who has worked on every Democratic National Convention since 1992, will lead production of the convention, including the satellite broadcasts.
While Confederate statues come down, other symbols targeted
Sundays work follows the removal of two other Confederate statues on the state Capitol grounds in Raleigh on Saturday. Cooper ordered the statues removed after protesters toppled two other Confederate statues Friday night, stringing one up by the neck and hanging it from a light pole. Cooper has advocated the statues removal for years. In another case in California, symbols of the Black Lives Matter movement have been targeted in recent weeks with vandalism. The Ventura County Sheriffs Office said late Saturday that a tarp painted with the letters BLM has been repeatedly damaged in Thousand Oaks.
Judge orders N.C. track with large crowds to stop races
Roy Coopers administration has ordered closed a small stock-car track thats allowed large crowds to gather repeatedly for weekend races well above COVID-19 limits for mass gatherings. (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP)GRAHAM, N.C. A North Carolina judge on Thursday ordered a small stock-car track to halt racing after state health officials declared large weekend crowds at recent races violated an executive order by Gov. Media reports indicated many gathered at three weekend races since late May sat and stood near each other, and few wore masks. Kitchen also argued that the Turners constitutional rights were being violated and that they were subject to selective enforcement of Coopers order. If its wrong to have races, than all races have to be shut down, Kitchen said.
GOP head eyeing Jacksonville as Trump convention speech host
But she made clear that Jacksonville is the favorite now that Charlotte, North Carolina, the official host of this summer's Republican National Convention, has balked on promising Trump a full-blown convention free from social distancing measures during the coronavirus pandemic. Shame on him, because he put politics over the people of his state and revenues coming into his state, McDaniel said in the radio interview. Mayor Len Curry is a former chair of the state Republican Party and the area is the home base of GOP Gov. We are going to keep our convention of, the business of the convention in Charlotte. Charlotte officials on Wednesday said that despite public comments from Trump and GOP officials, they had not been officially informed of any intent to move any part of the convention.
GOP lawmakers push bill to keep Trump, RNC in North Carolina
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump participates in a briefing about Hurricane Dorian with North Carolina Gov. Trump's tweets Monday about the RNC, planned for Charlotte, come just two days after the North Carolina recorded its largest daily increase in positive cases yet. A draft of the bill, authored by Republican State Rep. John Torbett of Gaston and circulated last week by North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley, calls for convention events in Charlotte to be held at full capacity, just as Trump had demanded from Cooper. The bill would require attendees to complete both pre-attendance and daily health surveys and have their temperatures taken prior to entry. Torbett's bill is unlikely to garner support among Democratic state lawmakers, who are concerned about reopening the state too soon and holding mass gatherings.
Trump looks elsewhere after GOP convention spat with NC gov
Trump and the RNC had demanded that the August convention be allowed to move forward with a full crowd and that participants not have to wear face coverings. Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority.A traditional GOP convention brings together roughly 2,500 delegates, the same number of alternate delegates and many times more guests, journalists and security personnel. They agreed to continue talking about ways to have a safe convention in Charlotte.But Cooper made clear to Trump that those conditions would likely be impossible to accommodate. The RNC's leader, Ronna McDaniel accused Cooper of dragging his feet on giving them guidance for proceeding with convention plans. Tennessee's Bill Lee said GOP officials were coming to scout Nashville on Thursday.
Trump says GOP is pulling convention from North Carolina
We have been committed to a safe RNC convention in North Carolina and its unfortunate they never agreed to scale down and make changes to keep people safe, Cooper tweeted in response to the decision. Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority.A traditional GOP convention brings together roughly 2,500 delegates, the same number of alternate delegates and many times more guests, journalists and security personnel. The Republican governors of states including Tennessee, Florida and Georgia had said they would be interested in hosting if North Carolina fell through. Changing sites had been seen as difficult for reasons including the contract between GOP officials and Charlotte leaders to hold the convention there. Associated Press writers Zeke Miller in Washington; Jonathan Mattise in Nashville, Tenn.; Jonathan Drew in Durham, North Carolina; and Tom Foreman Jr. in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, contributed to this report.
As Trump deadline approaches, N.C. wants more on convention
RALEIGH, N.C. North Carolina's top health official asked Friday for more details on how GOP leaders will protect attendees of a Republican National Convention this summer during the COVID-19 pandemic. President Donald Trump has threatened to move his formal renomination elsewhere if he does not soon get guarantees of being able to hold a large-scale event. The GOP's letter Thursday did not mention such a request, but Cohen said it had been discussed by phone. The state continues to support the hosting of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte if it can be done safelty, Cohen wrote to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and convention CEO Marcia Lee Kelly. Cooper is seeking reelection this fall in a state Trump won in 2016.
North Carolina governor: RNC hasn't submitted safety plan
North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen sent a letter Monday to the top RNC organizer asking for a written safety plan after Trump demanded in a tweet that North Carolina guarantee a full-scale, in-person convention will be held. Cooper and Cohen say that they had discussed various scenarios with convention organizers but want their plan in writing. Were ready to hold the RNC convention in North Carolina in a safe way. Cooper said his administration required a similar written plan from NASCAR ahead of its recent race in the Charlotte area that was held without fans. The county surrounding Charlotte has had the most virus cases of any in North Carolina, and the state is experiencing an upward trend in cases.
Trump's convention demand comes amid Charlotte virus surge
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump participates in a briefing about Hurricane Dorian with North Carolina Gov. Trump's tweets Monday about the RNC, planned for Charlotte, come just two days after the North Carolina recorded its largest daily increase in positive cases yet. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)CHARLOTTE, N.C. President Donald Trumps demand for a full-capacity Republican convention in August is putting pressure on North Carolina health officials and local Republicans as coronavirus cases surge in the host county and statewide. Republicans in Georgia say they're ready to host the convention if North Carolina falls through. With proper screening, I think they can pull this off.___ Drew reported from Durham, North Carolina, and Robertson reported from Raleigh, North Carolina.
Trump threatens to move RNC without assurances from governor
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump participates in a briefing about Hurricane Dorian with North Carolina Gov. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Donald Trump threatened Monday to pull the Republican National Convention out of North Carolina if the state's Democratic governor doesn't immediately sign off on allowing a full-capacity gathering in August despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Trump's tweets about the upcoming RNC in Charlotte come two days after North Carolina's largest daily increase in virus cases yet. Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed... full attendance in the Arena, Trump tweeted Monday. Cooper narrowly beat an incumbent Republican in 2016 while Trump won the state.
Funeral held in North Carolina for former US Sen. Kay Hagan
GREENSBORO, NC Family and friends paid tribute Sunday to former U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, eulogizing her as a "humble and kind" public servant who used hard work and good manners to get things done. Hagan, who won election in 2008 as the state's first female Democratic senator, died Oct. 28 of a rare virus. She won a seat as a Democrat in the North Carolina state Senate in 1998. She served a single term in the Senate and lost her 2014 reelection bid to Republican North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis. He said he realized he had "struck gold" when Hagan agreed to run for the state Senate.