State Government
Cooper Orders Alcohol Sales Cease After 11 p.m. PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 30 July 2020 09:28
Governor Roy Cooper is doubling down on prevention measures with Executive Order 153 stopping the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries at 11 pm. North Carolina bars that are currently closed will remain closed. This order will take effect Friday, July 31.
 
“Slowing the spread of this virus requires targeted strategies that help lower the risk of transmission,” said Governor Cooper. “This will be particularly important as colleges and universities are scheduled to start, bringing people all over the country to our state. We have seen case numbers increase among younger people, and prevention is critical to slowing the spread of the virus.”
 
The order will not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores or other entities permitted to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption. Local governments that have implemented orders that end alcohol sales before 11 pm or that apply to other entities remain in effect.
 
Also today, NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen gave an update on North Carolina’s data trends. Dr. Cohen explained that while North Carolina’s numbers appear to be stabilizing, officials need more time to watch the data and current levels of cases and hospitalizations remain high.
“Seeing glimmers of potential progress does not mean we can let up -- it means it’s time to double down,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, MD. “The positive signs in our trends should only strengthen our resolve to keep at it with those 3 Ws – wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands often.”
 
Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is starting to level.
 
Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days
North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is leveling, but is still high.
 
Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days
North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is declining, but still above 5 percent.
 
Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days
North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is increasing, but the state still has hospital capacity.
In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:
 
Laboratory Testing
North Carolina averaged 29,000 tests per day last week. However, concerns remain about testing turnaround times, supply chain issues and the need for federal support.
 
Tracing Capability
North Carolina continues hiring contact tracers to bolster the efforts of our local health departments.
 
Personal Protective Equipment
Our personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable.
 
State Awards Grants For Electric School Buses And Fast Charging Stations PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 30 July 2020 09:02
North Carolina has awarded nearly $30 million to replace 111 school buses and 16 transit buses and to install 33 zero emission vehicle (ZEV) fast charging stations across the state. The projects funded by Phase 1 of the Volkswagen Settlement Mitigation Plan will reduce 31.8 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions annually – which is equal to the annual NOx emissions of more than 51,000 passenger cars. 
 
“These awards not only put hundreds of children in safer school buses, they also reduce air pollution, encourage electric vehicle use, and advance North Carolina’s transition to a cleaner economy,” said Governor Roy Cooper. 
 
The awards are the first phase of North Carolina’s $92 million share of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s settlement with Volkswagen for unlawfully cheating on vehicle emissions. Gov. Cooper designated the Department of Environmental Quality to administer distribution of the settlement funds. 
The competitive application process resulted in 116 proposals for two grant programs: the Diesel Bus and Vehicle Program and the ZEV Infrastructure Program.
 
The awards include:
$12.2 million for school bus replacements
$6.1 million for transit bus replacements
$4.2 million for on-road heavy duty equipment, including refuse haulers, dump trucks and debris trucks
$1.8 million for off-road equipment (ferry repower projects) 
$3.4 million for ZEV DC Fast Charge stations
Expanding North Carolina’s ZEV infrastructure and replacing aging, diesel engines with cleaner alternatives helps us reduce emissions and combat climate change, while improving air quality in communities across the state,” said DEQ Secretary Michael S. Regan. In total, 54% of funding for Phase 1 went to projects in urban/suburban areas and 46% went to projects in rural areas. A total of 174 vehicles will receive full or partial funding for replacement or repower. 
 
Republicans Blast Governor's Criminal Justice Task Force PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 28 July 2020 08:48

Sens. Danny Britt (R-Robeson) and Warren Daniel (R-Burke), who co-chair the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement regarding Gov. Roy Cooper's task force:

“Gov. Roy Cooper’s task force is an exercise in political cowardice. It permits him, as he did today during his pre-screened press conference, to avoid taking positions on any politically challenging issues, instead passing off responsibility to his new task force.

“Conveniently, the task force’s report isn’t due until after the November election, allowing him to buy time during his bid for a second term. Gov. Cooper needs to lead, not make a mockery of the public and the press with barely-concealed covering actions.

“By contrast, the Republican-led legislature has and will continue to take action on criminal justice reform. We passed into law Raise the Age and are advancing the First Step Act and Second Chance Act. These policies are built on the idea that mistakes made by teenagers should not sentence people to a lifetime of missed opportunities, including housing, schooling, and good-paying jobs.

“What exactly was Governor Cooper doing during his 16 years as this state’s top law enforcement officer, and his time before that as chair of the Judiciary Committee?”

 
Cooper Establishes Criminal Justice Racial Inequity Task Force PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 28 July 2020 08:45
Governor Roy Cooper formed the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice. The task force will recommend solutions to stop discriminatory law enforcement and criminal justice practices, and hold public safety officers accountable.
 
“We must acknowledge racial inequities in our systems of law enforcement and criminal justice, and then work to eliminate them. This task force will address policies and procedures that disproportionately burden communities of color,” said Governor Cooper.
 
Led by Attorney General Josh Stein and North Carolina Supreme Court Associate Justice Anita Earls, the task force will convene a wide range of stakeholders including: community policing advocates, state and local law enforcement agencies, justice-involved individuals, representatives of the judicial branch, individuals from marginalized populations and more. 
 
The task force will develop and help implement policy solutions to address systemic racial bias in criminal justice and submit legislative and municipal recommendations on or before December 1, 2020. 
 
Additionally, the Order creates a Center for the Prevention of Law Enforcement Use of Deadly Force within the State Bureau of Investigation to track statistics and improve training related to the use of force.
 
This week, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety Erik Hooks directed law enforcement agencies under the purview of DPS to ensure each division has a duty to intervene policy in place. He also directed that divisions conduct policy reviews on use of force, de-escalation techniques, arrest procedures, cultural sensitivity training and internal investigation processes. Executive Order No. 145 directs cabinet agencies and encourages non-cabinet state agencies with sworn law enforcement officers to do the same. 
 
 “We can stop the use of excessive force by police and we know what is needed to achieve racial equity, now is the time to put that knowledge to work,” said North Carolina Supreme Court Associate Justice Anita Earls. “I am grateful to the Governor and the Attorney General for recognizing that the Judicial Branch has a crucial role to play in eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and I am committed to a collaborative process with meaningful community involvement to achieve those goals in short order.”
 
“The Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice will consider and implement strategies to bring about real change in the criminal justice system. For way too long, Black people have not been treated equitably in the United States. We have to fix that,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. “I look forward to working closely with co-chair Justice Anita Earls and the full Task Force to making North Carolina a safe place for every person, no matter who you are.”
Read the full Order and FAQ.
Communities of color are disproportionately affected at each stage of the criminal justice system, with national data showing the following:
Black adults are 5.9 times as likely to be incarcerated than white adults;
Hispanic adults are 3.1 times as likely to be incarcerated than white adults;
Black drivers are approximately twice as likely as white drivers to be pulled over by law enforcement for a traffic stop;
Black defendants are more likely to be jailed before trial than white defendants; 
The murders of white people are more likely to be solved than the murders of Black people;
When Black men and white men are convicted of the same crime, Black men receive a prison sentence that is 20 percent longer;
Black women are imprisoned at twice the rate as white women; and
Black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than are white men, and Black women are 1.4 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than are white women.
 
This task force follows Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 143, which will address longstanding social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 July 2020 08:48
 
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