Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT


N. Carolina school closings extended, gathering size tighter

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is ordering tighter assembly and business restrictions to attempt to thwart the spread of the new coronavirus. He also says public schools must remain shuttered for several more weeks. Cooper said Monday that his new executive order will make it a misdemeanor for there to be assemblies of more than 50 people starting late Wednesday afternoon. The current prohibition is on gatherings of more than 100 people. Public schools statewide also will stay closed through May 15. And all hair salons and barbershops, gyms, movie theaters must close. State health officials have counted nearly 300 cases of infection.


Textile mill leading push to make 10(m) face masks per week

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina textile company is organizing a national effort to produce up to 10 million face masks per week for healthcare workers as they treat coronavirus patients. The Charlotte Observer reports that Gastonia-based Parkdale Mills Inc. is working with companies such as Hanesbrand, Fruit of the Loom and others to build a manufacturing supply chain for the masks. Parkdale is one of the country's largest yarn spinners. The National Council of Textile Organizations said in a news release that the companies are often competitors in the marketplace, but are banding together "for the greater good of a nation facing one of its most monumental challenges.”


North Carolina wins court piracy case over Blackbeard's ship

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is ruling unanimously for North Carolina in a copyright fight with a company that has documented the salvage of the pirate Blackbeard's ship off the state's coast. Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court Monday that the company's copyright infringement lawsuit could not go forward because the Constitution generally protects states from lawsuits in federal courts. The 21st century dispute arose over the Queen Anne's Revenge, which ran aground more than 300 years ago. The ship is the property of the state, but under an agreement, North Carolina-based Nautilus Productions has for nearly two decades documented the ship's salvage. In the process, the company copyrighted photos and videos.


NCHSAA extends suspension of prep sports through May 18

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association says all athletics events will remain suspended through at least May 18 amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement Monday came after Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order closing statewide public schools through May 15. Previously the NCHSAA had suspended all athletics events run through April 6. In a statement, commissioner Que Tucker says officials will use the coming weeks to make decisions about future steps. The questions ahead include whether to eventually resume spring sports and hold state basketball championship games that were originally scheduled March 14.


Fort Bragg investigates death of soldier in barracks

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a soldier who was found unresponsive in his barracks at a military base in North Carolina last week. Fort Bragg officials said in a statement that Pvt. Jamie Wyatt Boger died at Fort Bragg on March 16. The Fort Bragg Criminal Investigation Division was assigned to investigate the cause. The Fayetteville Observer reported that Boger was from Ohio, and had enlisted in the Army in March 2019. Governor Roy Cooper ordered all U.S. and North Carolina flags at state facilities to be lowered to half-staff Friday in honor of Boger and three other Fort Bragg soldiers who have died since January.


Police: North Carolina teen fatally shot while sleeping

ERWIN, N.C. (AP) — A sheriff's office in North Carolina says a teenager has died after being struck by a bullet while sleeping. The Harnett County Sheriff's Office told news outlets that 18-year-old Iyania Rhone was asleep in a home in Erwin around 12:30 a.m. when multiple shots were fired inside. News outlets report a bullet struck Rhone's pelvic area, and she died from her injuries in a hospital. Investigators told news outlets they believe the shots came from a moving car. The sheriff's office is investigating.


Bust of Orville Wright back in place at N. Carolina memorial

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) — The recovered bust of aviation pioneer Orville Wright is back on a pedestal next to the memorial honoring his and his brother’s achievements on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The bust was placed back atop the granite base at the foot of Wright Brothers National Memorial Park late last week. The bust and the base had been damaged last October during the theft. The bust was recovered a few days later. It was at Kill Devil Hills that Orville and Wilbur Wright conducted their powered air flight with a pilot aboard in December 1903.


Large N. Carolina county enacts stricter limits amid virus

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The county that includes North Carolina's capital has announced strict prohibitions on gatherings and movement that are more restrictive than the statewide orders already in place to blunt the spread of the new coronavirus. Wake County says all hair and nail salons, spas, gyms and fitness centers and tattoo parlors must close starting Monday. Assemblies of 50 or more people must be canceled and playground equipment in parks will be off limits. State officials say they have identified more than 250 COVID-19 cases in the state as of Sunday. That includes about 40 in Wake County.