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


Legislative economist predicts billion-dollar hit to revenue

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s chief legislative economist has estimated that state revenue collections could take a billion-dollar hit during the current budget cycle due to the coronavirus pandemic. The General Assembly’s chief economist said this week that the state could see overall revenue fall $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion below previous collection forecasts for the two-year budget cycle ending in June 2021 because of the economic slowdown. Legislative economist Barry Boardman wrote the estimate in an email to Senate budget writers that was obtained by The Associated Press. He cautioned the estimates are “very preliminary” and that an updated forecast is expected by mid-May.


North Carolina treasurer goes home after COVID-19 treatment

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell has been released from the hospital after what his office said was five days of treatment for symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus. A statement from Folwell's office on Friday said Folwell will continue his recovery from home, following protocols described in his discharge as well as those required by local and state health officials. Folwell said in a previous statement that he returned to Raleigh after a recent, long-planned trip with his son and noticed that his perennial cough had worsened. He said he thought initially it was a reaction to pollen, but he ultimately contacted a doctor and got tested.


North Carolina courts delay most proceedings due to virus

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s chief justice has pushed most court proceedings back to June or later in order to promote social distancing to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley issued an order that state superior and district court proceedings be rescheduled until June 1 or later if they don’t meet criteria for an exception. Beasley had previously postponed most court proceedings until mid-April. The order allows exceptions for proceedings that can be conducted remotely, certain urgent criminal proceedings or emergency relief such as restraining orders and domestic violence protective order. Chief judges can also make exceptions if they determine that a hearing can be held without endangering people’s health.


Cape Fear Valley Health announces second round of furloughs

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Officials with Cape Fear Valley Health have announced a second round of furloughs in light of temporary closing of some services and rescheduled surgeries and procedures. Last week, the health system announced it would temporarily furlough nearly 300 employees. The latest round of temporary furloughs announced on Friday will affect approximately 350 workers. The news release says that since the initial furloughs, inpatient occupancy at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center has dropped to 60 percent. Normally, officials say the hospital stays at full occupancy year round. In addition, the health system says its other hospitals are also at low occupancy.


North Carolina woman charged after woman set on fire

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a North Carolina woman on an attempted first-degree murder charge after investigators say she set another woman on fire. News sources report Goldsboro police say Karla Ann Davis of Goldsboro  is being held without bond in the Wayne County jail. Police responding to a call regarding an assault at a home on Wednesday found Latonya McCoy, who investigators say suffered severe burns. McCoy was first taken to a local hospital before she was transferred to the burn unit at UNC Hospitals, where police say she remains in critical condition.


North Carolina inmate killed in fight with fellow prisoner

HOOKERTON, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a North Carolina inmate has died after being stabbed with a weapon during a fight with another prisoner. WITN-TV reports that a North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesman confirmed the attack happened around 4:30 p.m. in a housing unit at the Maury Correctional Institution in Hookerton. The victim has been identified as 75-year-old Charles Rogers. Officials said he was pronounced dead at the scene and the unit was placed on lockdown. The inmate accused of attacking Rogers wasn't immediately identified. Law enforcement and the Department of Public Safety are investigating.


Legislative cafeteria worker tests positive for COVID-19

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The COVID-19 outbreak has reached into North Carolina's Legislative Building, where a cafeteria employee tested positive for the virus. Legislative Services Officer Paul Coble wrote to legislative staff that the unidentified worker was sent home March 26 after showing symptoms and received the positive test result on Wednesday. The cafeteria closed Wednesday indefinitely for cleaning. Employees working with the person have been asked to self-quarantine. Coble said snack bars at the building and at an adjoining office building were being cleaned and expected to reopen Thursday for takeout only.


North Carolina man arrested for violating gathering order

TARBORO, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has been arrested after sheriff's deputies who were responding to a call about a shooting found more than 70 people at a barn. News outlets report the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office responded to Bynum Drive in Pinetops in reference to shots fired into a residence. When deputies reached the scene, they saw vehicles leaving the area, and when they went to the back of the residence, they found more than 70 people, which is in violation of Gov. Roy Cooper's order limiting gatherings. John Fitzgerald Taylor of Pinetops was charged last Saturday for violating the governor's executive order.