Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT


N Carolina governor declares emergency to combat virus

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Roy Cooper has declared an emergency in North Carolina from the coronavirus and his administration urged older people and medically fragile residents to avoid large gatherings. Cooper's declaration announced Tuesday gives state government broader powers and monetary flexibility. His statewide health recommendations are for people over 65 and those with underlying chronic medical issues. He also urged employers in the Triangle area to maximize technology so employees can work at home. Six of the seven positive COVID-19 cases in North Carolina are from Wake County residents. Cooper acknowledged the recommendations could lead to inconvenience and loss of income but says they are based on the best medical advice.


North Carolina Marines identified as those slain in Iraq

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Defense identified two service members killed in Iraq on Sunday as members of a Marine special forces unit based in North Carolina. A Defense Department news release issued Tuesday says the Marines died while assisting Iraqi security forces in the north-central part of Iraq. The U.S. military previously said two service members were killed by enemy forces during a mission against an Islamic State stronghold.  The slain Marines were identified as Gunnery Sgt. Diego Pongo of Simi Valley, California; and Capt. Moises A. Navas of Germantown, Maryland. They were both assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.


1-year-old among four killed in North Carolina traffic crash

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says a 1-year-old girl is among four people killed in a single-car accident. A news release from the patrol says a car driven by 27-year-old Jacques Jamal Dickens of Tarboro ran off N.C. Highway 125 on Tuesday morning, hit a ditch, a highway sign and several trees. The patrol says Dickens and two passengers in the car were ejected from the vehicle. Troopers identified the child as London McDowell, who they say was being held by a passenger in the front seat. Investigators say that passenger was wearing their seat belt, but Dickens and the other two passengers ejected were not.


Appeals judge to keep out of North Carolina voter ID case

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court judge won't participate in any deliberations over litigation that challenges the constitutionality of the state's latest voter photo identification law.  The state Court of Appeals announced that Judge Chris Brook recused himself from the voter ID case. The court says Brook's withdrawal made moot a motion from Republican lawmakers seeking Brook be left out because of his previous legal work fighting a 2013 voter ID law. GOP legislators now want the remaining 14 Court of Appeals judges to decide whether three of the judges were wrong last month by ruling a 2018 photo ID requirement shouldn't be implemented.


North Carolina man killed in 20-foot jump at dirt bike event

CONNELLY SPRINGS, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say a 27-year-old man died after crashing his dirt bike during a motocross event. Documents from the Burke County Sheriff's Office said that Samuel Ryan Marti was trying to perform a 20-foot jump at the Lost Valley Motorsports Park in Connelly Springs when he landed on his front tire and was tossed over the handlebars of the bike. The Sheriff's Office said he became immediately unresponsive and wasn't able to be saved by first responders on Sunday. An incident report identified Marti as a staff sergeant at Pope Air Force Base in Cumberland County.


North Carolina man wanted after fatal wreck kills teenager

HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — Police are looking for a North Carolina man who fled the scene of a traffic accident that killed his 18-year-old son. The High Point Enterprise says 39-year-old Roderick R. White faces multiple charges, including second-degree murder and driving 103 mph in a 45 mph zone. High Point police says White was driving a 2020 Chevy Blazer Sunday morning when he lost control, ran off the road and hit several trees and a fence before it caught fire. Three people were ejected from the car, including White’s son, Roderick White Jr., who was killed in the crash.


NC officials: 5 more coronavirus cases for 7 total statewide

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina health officials say five more people have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to seven statewide. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says all five new patients are from Wake County and each traveled to Boston in late February to attend a conference. Their tests are being sent to federal authorities for final confirmation. The department said in a statement Monday that several cases of COVID-19 across the country have been linked to the conference. North Carolina reported two earlier, unrelated cases: one in Wake County and another in Chatham County.


Vidant Health announces 191 layoffs, citing budget shortfall

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — An eastern North Carolina health system says a budget shortfall is causing them to layoff nearly 200 workers. News sources report Vidant Health CEO Dr. Michael Waldrum said in an email that the first steps to eliminate the $18 million budget shortfall during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 was to reduce costs, implement operational efficiencies and to discontinue recruitment. Waldrum said the 191 positions to be cut will be on the business and administration side of the health care system. Of the total, 82 jobs will be cut at the corporate level.