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


Experts: Distancing rules improve N. Carolina hospital odds

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and health experts are laying groundwork to convince the public that social distancing orders could be needed beyond April to dull COVID-19′s spread and preserve hospital beds and lives. Cooper’s current statewide stay-at-home order and ban on dine-in service at restaurants and bars currently expire in a few weeks. A team of epidemiologists and other health policy experts released a report Monday that says maintaining social distancing rules gives hospitals a better chance to respond to a patient surge. North Carolina is now reporting more than 2,850 positive COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths.


School official tells teachers ignore 'public school haters'

BOONE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina superintendent is getting praise for his social media post shaking off critics of public schools during the coronavirus pandemic. Watauga County Schools Superintendent Scott Elliot said on Twitter that school officials are too busy caring for students to deal with ‘public school haters’. Elliot says he wrote the post after seeing messages about how the pandemic should be a catalyst for reforming public schools. He says teachers need to hear it is fine to ignore critics and stay focused on students. School districts in the state have served over a million meals to children in low-income families.


North Carolina man wanted for throwing block party

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina have issued warrants for a man who they say threw a block party in violation of Gov. Roy Cooper's stay-at-home order. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports police in Hillsborough have issued a warrant for 32-year-old Tocee Mitchell charging him with violating Cooper's executive order. A news release from Hillsborough police say officers were dispatched to the party twice on Sunday. According to the news release, police found about 30 cars in the area in their first visit and found the cars were still there an hour later.


N. Carolina court ruling leaves Smithfield agreement intact

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court leaves intact an agreement in which up to $50 million paid by the world’s largest pork producer is being distributed as environmental grants. The arrangement reached in 2000 between Smithfield Foods, several subsidiaries and then-Attorney General Mike Easley can continue after a majority of justices determined last week that the money didn't have to be earmarked for the public schools. A conservative activist challenged the agreement in court in 2016, saying the money should be treated like fines or penalties. The attorney general selects grant recipients based on recommendations.


Police: Suspect shot after domestic violence call

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Investigators in North Carolina say an officer shot a suspect while responding to a report of domestic violence. The unidentified person was in critical but stable condition after being shot early Saturday morning by a Kernersville police officer. It is the third shooting involving a law enforcement official in the Winston-Salem area in recent weeks. Police have not released the name of the officer or said whether the suspect had a weapon. Police say the state bureau of investigations is investigating the Saturday shooting. An investigation is standard when an officer is involved.


1-year-old girl shot, wounded outside North Carolina home

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say a 1-year-old girl was wounded by a stray bullet that struck her outside of a public housing complex. Durham police said in a statement Sunday that the child was taken to a hospital with wounds that were not life-threatening. Police say the child was outside with a parent Sunday afternoon when she was struck by gunfire meant for someone else. Officials said the shooter drove away. Police did not immediately make any arrests.


College student fills void with 'One Shining Moment' video

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A student at North Carolina State University has kept alive a tradition associated with postseason college basketball. Max Goren produced his own version of “One Shining Moment,” similar to the video which CBS Sports showcases at the end of the men's national championship game. Goren thought he’d seen online a mention that, despite the lack of a tournament, the traditional video should go on. So, he spent three hours plying YouTube videos to come up with a 3-minute product which earned him recognition from bloggers and podcasters and even a call from an NFL agent.


2 dozen at N. Carolina assisted living center test positive

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) — About two dozen residents at an assisted living center in western North Carolina have tested positive for COVID-19. The Henderson County Health Department and Cherry Springs Village in Hendersonville announced the outbreak at the center on Sunday. The center says it's under quarantine and individuals who tested positive are being treated in isolation. More than a dozen congregate settings are currently in ongoing outbreaks in North Carolina. State health officials reported Sunday close to 2,600 positive COVID-19 cases statewide and 31 deaths. More than 260 people are hospitalized.