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Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EDT

SESSION ENDS

Virus response, reopen fights mark N.C. legislative session

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina lawmakers have concluded most of their work for the year. House and Senate members wrapped up around 3 a.m. Friday following an 18-hour marathon of negotiating and voting on bills. Before leaving they passed legislation setting another Medicaid overhaul date, funding a monument to honor African Americans and trying again to reopen businesses shuttered by Gov. Roy Cooper due to COVID-19. They’ll likely return briefly in early July to address any Cooper vetoes and outstanding issues before leaving for the summer. Legislators of both parties did find rare consensus on virus relief funding, mail-in absentee balloting and transportation reform.

COOPER-BILL SIGNINGS

N.C. governor signs bill giving $350 bonuses to teachers

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has signed into law a public school educator pay bill that he says still fails to give what teachers and staff need. The measure signed on Friday provides $350 one-time bonuses by October to teachers and instructional support personnel along with their usual experience-based raises. The measure also urges Cooper to pay addtional $600 bonuses using federal COVID-19 relief money, but it’s unclear if he can do that. The measure is one of nine bills he signed Friday. He’s got more than 50 others on his desk to consider over the next 10 days.

NFL-COACHING SUMMIT

NFL’s coaching summit highlights minority candidates

The biggest takeaway following the NFL’s two-day quarterback coaching summit is there’s no shortage of qualified minority candidates waiting for opportunities to be head coaches and coordinators.  The league and the Black College Football Hall of Fame earlier this week held a virtual version of their summit, a third-year project aimed at improving the league’s diversity. Dozens of pro and college football coaches and assistants participated. Washington Redskins executive Doug Williams, who co-founded the Black College Football Hall of Fame, says the “pipeline is full.”

CHILD FATALLY SHOT

North Carolina man charged with fatally shooting 7-year-old

FOREST CITY, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say a man fatally shot a 7-year-old girl three hours after he was released from jail on a different gun charge. News outlets report 26-year-old Shaquille Francis was charged with murder in the death of Aaliyah Norris, who was shot in the head while in a car on Tuesday. She died Thursday. Forest City Police Chief Chris LeRoy says investigators don’t think she was the intended target. LeRoy says that that three hours before Aaliyah was shot, Francis was released from jail on a charge of assault by pointing a gun. It’s unclear if Francis has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

SLEEPING BEAR SHOT

N. Carolina wildlife officials investigate shooting of bear

WASHINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Wildlife officials in North Carolina are investigating the shooting of a black bear that had been seen sleeping in the community of Washington. WRAL-TV reported Friday that the bearwas shot Thursday. Wildlife officers and police officers had been keeping an eye on the animal throughout the afternoon. Wildlife officers were notified of the shooting around 5 p.m. They found the bear dead when they arrived at the scene. The station reports six 9 mm bullet casings were recovered from the scene. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Officer Ryan Biggerstaff says people in the community have not cooperated with the investigation.

FATAL INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT

2 men killed in industrial accident at Colorado cheese plant

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Two men were killed while working on a pipe extension project at a cheese plant in northern Colorado. Weld County’s coroner says 25-year-old Odaniz Javier Ortiz Quinones, of Greeley, and 47-year-old Joseph Jarvis Jr., of Greensboro, North Carolina, were working on the roof of the Leprino Foods plant in Greeley on Monday when the accident happened. Investigators say a high-pressure pipe suddenly discharged, killing the men and injuring a third worker, who is expected to survive. No noxious gases or hazardous materials were involved. The men were working on behalf of a welding subcontractor based in another state. No other information was released.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA

N Carolina lieutenant governor to sue over COVID-19 orders

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest informed Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper Thursday he intends to sue over the way Cooper has imposed business restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Forest wrote a letter arguing the governor has violated state law by issuing executive orders curtailing business without seeking concurrence from a group of elected officials known as the Council of State. Forest, who’s running against Cooper in the November gubernatorial election, cites multiple times during the pandemic that Cooper issued executive orders without formal assent from a majority of the council. Cooper’s office accused Forest of playing politics.

CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS-NORTH CAROLINA

Coastal North Carolina city removes Confederate monuments

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina city along the coast has removed two Confederate statues located in public spaces near downtown. Wilmington officials said on Twitter early Thursday that they removed a statue of former Confederate politician George Davis and a statue at another Confederate memorial that didn’t depict a particular historical figure. News outlets reported that the bases of the monuments remained in place. City officials characterized the moves as temporary moves to protect public safety in accordance with a state law that generally prohibits permanent removals of Confederate monuments. They city is storing the two statues at an undisclosed location.

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