VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
N. Carolina jobless claims surge from virus layoffs
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Unemployment benefit requests in North Carolina surged this week due to the new coronavirus as business activity slowed and as a ban on dining in at restaurants and bars began. The state Division of Employment Security says the number of claims in which people blamed COVID-19 for their layoffs or for reduced hours surpassed the average weekly number of overall claims in less than 24 hours. Similar jobless claim surges are occurring in other states. North Carolina state health officials now count more than 60 residents as testing positive for the virus. Attorney General Josh Stein says his agency is investigating price-gouging complaints.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY-DEATH
North Carolina man found dead in car on Blue Ridge Parkway
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The National Park Service says a North Carolina man has been found dead inside his car on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Asheville Citizen Times reports a news release from the park service said dispatchers received a report on Tuesday of an unresponsive male near milepost 422, nearly an hour south of Asheville. Rangers and local rescue crews arrived and determined 72-year-old Thomas Edward Barnes of Black Mountain had died of an apparent sudden medical emergency. Parkway spokeswoman Leesa Brandon says there were 17 deaths on the parkway in 2019. Brandon said there have been at least three deaths on the parkway so far in 2020.
Fighting fear with beer: Virus spurs curbside beer sales
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (AP) — Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. But with the new coronavirus popping up all over the country, a trip to your favorite tap room isn’t in the offing. So breweries are stepping up, offering curbside growlers to stave off the grumbling. Amid the growing coronavirus pandemic, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order Tuesday closing all restaurants and bars, except for takeout. But instead of grumbling, Tar Heels are growling. A number of other states around the country have put similar measures into place. But where one door shuts, another door may open. Breweries are finding that's a car door.
BIG DONOR-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina judge warns about bribery trial juror contact
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge ordered two men convicted of trying to bribe a North Carolina insurance regulator not to contact jurors from their recently completed trial after learning a consultant attempted to do so on their behalf. U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn Jr. wrote Wednesday that he learned shortly after this month's guilty verdicts against insurance company magnate Greg Lindberg and John Gray that a man associated with the two was reaching out to jurors. Cogburn says he told the U.S. attorney's office about it in order to examine possible jury harassment and intimidation, which the consultant says didn't happen.
SHOT INSIDE AMBULANCE
North Carolina police: Man shot to death inside ambulance
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say a man was being treated inside an ambulance when another man shot him dead. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said officers were called to a Days Inn around 4 a.m. Wednesday after a security guard reported a disturbance involving at least five people. The department said paramedics were treating a man for shortness of breath when he asked for a friend to join him inside the ambulance. After a medic refused, citing protocol, police said the man returned and shot the victim multiple times. The victim was pronounced dead. Police said no first responders were injured and the suspect was taken into custody.
North Carolina man accused of stabbing wife, leaving scene
MOCKSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff's office has charged a man with attempted first-degree murder after his wife was stabbed. The Winston-Salem Journal reports the Davie County Sheriff's Office said 38-year-old Shawn William Lee Wilkins was arrested on Tuesday and placed in the county jail on a $500,000 bond. According to the sheriff's office, deputies went to a home on N.C. Highway 801 South and found 22-year-old Abigail Wilkins of Mocksville with a stab wound. The sheriff's office said. Abigail Wilkins was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem to undergo surgery.
MISSING MAN-MURDER ARREST
Sheriff: Murder arrest made after missing man found dead
BOLTON, N.C. (AP) — Deputies in North Carolina say a large amount of blood was found in the backyard of a man who was later found dead in the woods. A news release from the Columbus County Sheriff's Office says 82-year-old Edward Davis was reported missing from his home in Bolton on Monday. Investigators say 23-year-old Tucker Rector was determined to be a person of interest and interviewed. Authorities say a search of Rector's home turned up vital pieces of evidence in the case. Davis' body was then found in the woods. Rector is charged with murder. It's unclear whether he had an attorney who could speak for him.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Governor: Dine-in service halted at N. Carolina restaurants