Morning News Briefs: Monday, September 9th, 2019
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Access Restricted To Hard-Hit Ocracoke Island After Dorian
While some parts of North Carolina's Outer Banks are reopening to residents and visitors, access to Ocracoke Island remains restricted due to extensive damage from Hurricane Dorian.
Re-entry to Ocracoke was limited Sunday to emergency responders and other authorized personnel, including supply crews.
Donnie Shumate is the spokesman for Hyde County, which includes Ocracoke. He says crews are continuing to survey the "catastrophic" damage Sunday. There's still no power.
Shumate says a staging area has been set up where residents can access things like food, water and cleaning supplies. The Salvation Army was serving lunch and dinner at a community center.
NC Sets Up Forum To Report Storm Damage To Historic Property
North Carolina's Historic Preservation Office has set up an online forum so local governments and residents can report damage to historic properties caused by Hurricane Dorian.
The office wants information about wind and flooding to historic structures, cemeteries and state highway historical markers. With that information in hand, the office can offer aid, technical expertise, and consultation with federal and state entities.
Purdue Pharma May Seek Bankruptcy Protection
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma says it's continuing to negotiate a settlement over the toll of opioids. This comes a day after some state attorneys general, including North Carolina’s Josh Stein, sent a letter to their colleagues saying talks with the company had reached an impasse and that they expected the company to file imminently for bankruptcy protection.
In the statement, the company said it believes "a settlement that benefits the American public now is a far better path than years of wasteful litigation and appeals."
Guilford Among Top Counties For New HIV Infections
A new report shows that Guilford County ranks second among large urban counties in North Carolina for new HIV infections.
The new cases are predominantly affecting African American men and those between the ages of 20 and 29. Overall though, the number of cases is coming down across the state.
Scott Trent is a lead health educator with Triad Health Project, an HIV service organization in Greensboro. He says we have the tools to end this epidemic.
Trent says one of the biggest breakthroughs is a preventative pill or pre-exposure prophylaxis, taken once a day.
He adds that addressing disparities in health care access and the remaining stigma around HIV are also crucial.
NC Congress Vacancies Soon Filled With Special Elections
Vacancies in two of North Carolina's 13 congressional seats — one caused by a congressman's death and the other by a ballot fraud probe — should be finally filled after the results of Tuesday's special elections are tallied.
Candidates in the 3rd and 9th Congressional Districts had to overcome Hurricane Dorian and shuttered voting sites to keep politicking in the campaigns' final days. And scheduled visits on Monday to North Carolina by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence — their second during the campaigns — emphasize the importance of the races.