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


North Carolina hospitality industry says 370K out of work

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's restaurant and hotel operators are pleading for state financial aid and tax deadline relief as closings and reduced travel from the new coronavirus have thrown over 370,000 employees out of work. Hospitality industry leaders told state House members on Tuesday that while assistance from Washington will ultimately help, it won't come quickly enough. North Carolina health officials reported about 1,500 positive COVID-19 cases in the state. Eight state residents have now died and over 150 are hospitalized. Cooper also ordered utilities not to turn off services for those who can't pay their bills for the next two months.


Judge: NC sheriff must resume issuing pistol permits

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a North Carolina sheriff must resume accepting and processing pistol purchase permits within one week. WNCN reports Superior Court Judge A. Graham Shirley issued his ruling on Tuesday. Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker temporarily suspended accepting new pistol purchasing permits on March 24, two weeks after Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency and 11 days after President Donald Trump declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency. Shortly after Baker issued the suspension, a lawsuit was filed against Baker and the sheriff’s office.


Food hub supports restaurant workers, sells safe meals

CARRBORO, N.C. (AP) — Restaurants and farmers in a North Carolina town known for arts and cuisine are joining forces to offer residents safe dishes while also supporting food-service jobs threatened by COVID-19. Carrboro United sprouted in the town of 20,000 as the brain child of a retired retail CEO and a longtime restaurateur.  They came up with the idea of selling prepared and raw food packages online to residents, who then line up in cars at a central location to receive their boxes while still practicing social distancing. About 3,800 meals are now being distributed through the initiative in the town about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Raleigh.


Sheriff: Gunman killed outside North Carolina courthouse

Authorities say a gunman was killed in an exchange of gunfire with officers outside a North Carolina courthouse. Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller said a deputy responding to the scene Tuesday was hurt but expected to survive. He indicated that the injury wasn't a gunshot wound but wouldn't elaborate. Miller said no bystanders or courthouse employees were hurt. Dozens of deputies and police officers swarmed the area while the courthouse was locked down, and witnesses described hearing several gunshots. Miller says officers returned fire on the suspect who was inside a parked car, killing him.


N. Carolina public TV now airing programs to help students

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's public television network is now airing educational programs designed to complement work that students are doing at home or online while schools are shuttered. University of North Carolina Television started airing shows this week on its North Carolina Channel and on the web focused on learning for children in grades four to 12.  The Department of Public Instruction is also assembling materials related to the programs for online access or for printing. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered K-12 public schools be closed starting March 16. They now aren't expected to reopen until at least after May 15.


UNC Wilmington suspends summer programs due to coronavirus

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — UNC Wilmington officials say the school's summer programs have been suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak. The programs were scheduled to begin in April and continue through June 24. The school said in a prepared statement that the only program excluded from the suspension are athletic programs, and a decision on those will be made by May 15. Currently, non-athletic summer programs scheduled to begin after June 24 are  expected to take place. in addition, the school said information about new student orientation will be sent directly to new students in the coming weeks.


Two dead, one wounded after North Carolina shooting

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff's office says two people are dead and a third person is wounded after a shooting. The Johnston County Sheriff's Office tells local news sources that it received a call early Tuesday about a shooting at a residence. The sheriff's office said when deputies arrived, they found the bodies of 21-year-old Lindsay Rae Webb and 23-year-old William Kyle Parker dead from gunshots wounds. The sheriff's office says a 45-year-old man was also shot in the arm and taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries. Capt. Jeff Caldwell said the shooting was domestic and the two victims knew each other.


North Carolinians urged not to have hairdressers visit homes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — State officials are urging North Carolina residents not to coax hairdressers and massage therapists into making house calls during the stay-at-home order for the coronavirus outbreak. WRAL reports that providers who make house calls are at risk of losing their license and being charged with a misdemeanor. Since all salons and spas have closed, officials say some providers have been offering or getting requests to make house calls. Executive director with the N.C. Cosmetic Arts Board Lynda Elliott says that since people working in the industry are hands-on with the client, there’s no way to keep six feet apart.