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

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina deputy dies during COVID-19 hospitalization

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A sheriff says that a North Carolina deputy has died while being treated in intensive care for coronavirus. Montgomery County Sheriff Chris Watkins said in a news release that the deputy died Tuesday night at a hospital in Pinehurst. The 43-year-old deputy had experienced what he thought were allergy symptoms but later tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted Monday to the hospital. North Carolina state health officials reported nearly 1,600 positive COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday morning.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHARLOTTE-AFRICAN AMERICANS

Data: Virus impact disproportionate for blacks in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Heath officials observing COVID-19 in North Carolina's largest city say demographic data showed African Americans are being disproportionately affected. The Charlotte Observer reports that data from Mecklenburg County shows black residents accounted for 43.9% of 303 confirmed COVID-19 cases locally through Saturday. By comparison, the U.S. Census estimates from last July show African American  residents make up only 32.9% of Mecklenburg County’s population. Mecklenburg County Commissioner Mark Jerrell said the numbers are alarming, and it’s something officials have to get under control immediately. As of Wednesday, Mecklenburg County reported 444 cases of coronavirus.

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING-CHILD HURT

3-year-old wounded in drive-by shooting in North Carolina

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say a 3-year-old was the victim of a drive-by shooting and suffered life-threatening injuries. News sources report officers with Kannapolis police found the girl at a home on Tuesday evening. The child was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Police say the parents of the child were also at home at the time of the shooting and were not injured. According to police, those responsible for the shooting drove by the residence in a dark colored sedan which is the object of a search.

ELECTION 2020-CONVENTIONS

Biden: A normal convention 'hard to imagine' as scheduled

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing Democrats and Republicans to take a close look at whether they'll be able to move forward as planned this summer with conventions that typically kick off the general election season. Prospective Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said this week that it’s “hard to envision” a normal convention in July in Milwaukee. But he also noted that Democrats “have more time” to figure things out. Republicans, meanwhile, are expressing confidence they can pull off their convention as scheduled in August. But party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel still allows for the possibility that the pandemic could upend GOP plans.

SENATE-MURDOCK

Primary winner Murdock appointed to North Carolina Senate

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The winner of a North Carolina legislative primary last month has been appointed to the state Senate to fill a vacancy for the rest of the year. Gov. Roy Cooper formally appointed Natalie Murdock on Wednesday, the day after Durham County Democratic activists meeting online picked Murdock to succeed Sen. Mickey Michaux, who resigned from the seat. Michaux is a longtime House member who filled the Senate seat in January when Sen. Floyd McKissick resigned to join the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Murdock won the primary for the seat in March and if elected in November gets a two-year term.

MISSISSIPPI NEWSPAPERS-PUBLISHER

New publisher named for some newspapers in Mississippi

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — A longtime newspaper executive has been named publisher of several Mississippi newspapers and magazines owned by Boone Newspapers Inc. Rex Maynor will lead The Natchez Democrat, Natchez The Magazine, The Brookhaven Daily Leader, Brookhaven Magazine, the Prentiss Headlight and their digital and print products. The 57-year-old Maynor began his career in 1981 at his hometown newspaper in Clinton, North Carolina.  He has worked in sales for Community Newspaper Holding Inc. He also has been publisher of papers in Auburn, Alabama, and Branson, Missouri.

AP-NC-POLICE SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA

Police ID passenger in stolen SUV who was shot by deputies

LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina have identified a man who was shot and killed last week by sheriff's deputies following a chase through three counties. The Winston-Salem Journal reported Tuesday that John Mark Hendrick Jr. was identified by the Davidson County Sheriff's Office as the man who died. The office said that Hendrick was a passenger in a stolen SUV that deputies stopped in the Linwood community in Davidson County. Authorities said that Hendrick was killed after driver Charles Justin Boothe tried to run over two Davidson County deputies.

CHILD-FATHER-KILLED

Deputies find 2-year-old, father shot to death inside home

LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff's office says deputies discovered a 2-year-old girl and her father shot to death inside a home. Sheriff's Office Capt. Mike Burns said the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a house near Lexington around 4 p.m. on a call from a concerned citizen. He said officers discovered the girl and a man identified as her father dead from apparent gun shot wounds inside. Nobody else was in the home. Burns didn't comment on the circumstances leading to the shooting, but said the office isn't looking for any suspects. Officials didn't immediately identify the victims.