Associated Press

"Donald Trump" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

President Donald Trump has won the presidential battleground of North Carolina over Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Trump campaigned aggressively in North Carolina with in-person rallies at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Biden frequently criticized Trump’s decision to hold those rallies and the president’s handling of the virus. Former President Barack Obama was the most recent Democrat to win North Carolina, in 2008. Biden’s campaign hoped the counting of as many as 116,000 mail-in absentee ballots in subsequent days would overwhelmingly swing in his favor, but he fell short.

NCDPS

Flooding caused by heavy rains across North Carolina prompted Gov. Roy Cooper to declare a state of emergency on the same day searchers resumed efforts to find a 1-year-old and an adult still missing after flood waters swept through a campground. County-level emergencies also have been declared in Burke, Catawba, Iredell, Yadkin and Alexander counties. Alexander is where flood waters from the South Yadkin River inundated a campground, killing three people. Emergency workers saved 31 others from their vehicles, some of them hanging onto their campers.

A search is continuing for two people who were believed to be on a recreational fishing boat that overturned off the North Carolina coast. The U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement Thursday that it and its partner agencies are still looking for George Hamilton Andrews of Raleigh and William Watkins Merriman IV of Wilmington. Their boat was discovered near Beaufort Inlet off the southern Outer Banks Tuesday morning. The men were last seen departing from Atlantic Beach on Sunday for a fishing trip aboard a 35-foot boat named Strike Zone.

North Carolina’s depositories for old government and academic records, maps, books and genealogical materials are reopening to the public at reduced capacity after COVID-19 forced their closures for months. State Archives public research locations in Raleigh and Manteo and the State Library of North Carolina in Raleigh planned to welcome visitors by appointment starting Thursday. The Western Regional Archives in Asheville will follow starting Friday. Guests must set up formal appointments online and are required to wear face masks inside. Public computer terminals also will be closed.

North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis has won reelection to his Senate seat. Tillis' win means Democrats must now win both runoff races in Georgia in January if they are to seize Senate control from the GOP. Tillis earned a second term in the U.S. Senate by defeating Democrat Cal Cunningham. Tillis benefited from fallout over a Cunningham sex scandal in the campaign’s final month.

NOAA National Hurricane Center

A new study finds that hurricanes are staying stronger longer after striking land than they did decades ago, and that means more destruction inland. Wednesday's study blames man-made climate change for making ocean water warmer and increasing the staying power of storms. In the 1960s, a typical hurricane lost two-thirds of its power within 17 hours. Now it typically takes almost 33 hours for the storm to decay that much. It took nearly 50 hours for 2018's Florence to lose two-thirds of its power after landfall.

Democrat Cal Cunningham has conceded to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina. Cunningham said in a statement Tuesday that “the voters have spoken” and it was clear Tillis had won. Tillis leads Cunningham by 94,500 votes. The race is still too early to call, with votes still uncounted. With Cunningham’s concession, all eyes now turn to Georgia, where two U.S. Senate runoff races in January are likely to determine the balance of the upper chamber. Cunningham accepted defeat even after outraising Tillis during what became the most expensive U.S.

NCDPS

North Carolina will not reopen the economy further as coronavirus cases rise and a higher percentage of COVID tests are coming back positive. In anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that indoor gathering limits will be tightened from 25 people to 10 people. Cooper also ruled out any consideration for a position in Democratic President-elect Joe Biden's administration. He praised state Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen amid speculation she could be a top contender for a cabinet-level position.

The association representing North Carolina’s 100 sheriffs is making policing recommendations developed in the months following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody and widespread demonstrations against racial injustice. The North Carolina Sheriffs' Association released its professionalism report on Tuesday. It recommends expanded training and regular mental health screenings for deputies. The sheriffs also want to close loopholes that could make it difficult to move officers out of law enforcement after they commit misconduct. Panels created by Democratic Gov.

NCWRC Sea Turtle Project

A green sea turtle has laid eggs unseasonably late in the year on a beach in North Carolina’s Outer banks. The Virginian-Pilot reported Friday that it marks the first time in more than two decades that a turtle has laid a nest this far past summer. The eggs were laid Halloween morning near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Female sea turtles typically lay nests during the warmer months. Nests laid after Aug. 20 are considered late. Meaghan Johnson of the National Park Service said that the baby turtles are unlikely to survive. But she said they could stand a chance if there’s a mild winter.

East Carolina University

East Carolina University has renamed two campus buildings in honor of former chancellors. The school announced Friday that the student recreation center is now the Richard R. and JoAnn M. Eakin Student Recreation Center. Gateway Hall is now Steve and Nancy Ballard Hall. The buildings are considered examples of their respective time at the school. Ballard was ECU’s sixth chancellor and 10th administrative officer beginning in 2004. Eakin was the school's fourth chancellor and eighth chief administrative officer, serving from 1987 through 2001. The naming ceremony was held on Thursday.

North Carolina Republicans are pressing state election officials to make public more information about the number of outstanding ballots from this week’s election that could be counted. Nearly a dozen Election Day races in North Carolina remain too early to call, including those for president and U.S. Senate. As many as 172,000 ballots have either yet to be counted or rejected, or could trickle in through the mail before a deadline next week. Republican lawmakers demanded tracking data from the State Board of Elections for ballot envelopes turned in at the post office.

NCDPS

Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper acknowledged Republican victories in the state but believe his margin of victory in his reelection bid suggests voters want state lawmakers to expand Medicaid. Republican leaders Phil Berger and Tim Moore appear to disagree. They say Republican candidates won competitive legislative races where Democrats campaigned heavily on the issue of health care. Cooper defeated Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest by more than 4 percentage points.

State officials say an elderly North Carolina inmate with pre-existing conditions and a positive COVID-19 test has died. A news release from the N.C. Department of Public Safety says the unidentified inmate died at the Central Prison hospital on Tuesday. According to the news release, the inmate tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 14 and was in the hospital when his condition worsened. The department didn't specify what the pre-existing conditions were. The department reports the death was the third at the prison related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 21st in the state prison system.

North Carolina Republicans are celebrating the preservation of their majorities in both General Assembly chambers. Their victory allows them next year to redraw state and congressional districts based on the 2020 census. Those districts could be in place for a decade. Republicans withstood a massive effort by Democrats inside the state and nationally to wrest control of the chambers. Republicans took back several seats they gave up in 2018. But Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's reelection means he can keep using his veto stamp as a check on GOP legislative activities.

North Carolina Republicans have withstood a massive effort by Democrats to retake both General Assembly chambers. Election results showed GOP legislators winning majorities in the 50-seat Senate and 120-seat House so the party can extend control there for another two years. Democrats had been on a multimillion-dollar spending push to win several additional seats in each chamber and flip power. The GOP majorities mean Republicans will be able in 2021 to redraw district maps for the next decade based on new census figures.

Republican incumbent U.S. Senator Thom Tillis has declared victory over Cal Cunningham.  But the Associated Press reports that the race between Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham is too early to call, with many votes yet to be counted. Tillis led Cunningham by nearly 97,000 votes from among more than 5.4 million votes counted through early Wednesday. There were still outstanding mail-in absentee ballots and an unknown number of provisional ballots cast. Tillis celebrated what he called a victory in a speech to supporters Tuesday night.

Democrats flipped two open U.S. House seats that they had been favored to win in North Carolina on Tuesday while Republicans defended two seats that had turned into competitive races, leaving the state’s congressional delegation with an 8-5 split in favor of the GOP.  The congressional races were among key down-ballot races that also included contests that were determining the power balance in the state’s legislature and the makeup of a group of key statewide offices. The key presidential battleground also has a hotly contested U.S. Senate race and a closely watched governor’s race.

NCDPS

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has been reelected, defeating Republican challenger Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. The mild-mannered governor has often been reluctant to criticize President Donald Trump. He has been generally praised for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. However, some complained he was slow to reopen K-12 public schools and certain parts of the economy. Forest often criticized the shuttering of small businesses, including bars, bowling alleys and gyms.

Democrat G.K. Butterfield wins reelection to U.S. House in North Carolina's 1st Congressional District.

Republican David Rouzer wins reelection to U.S. House in North Carolina's 7th Congressional District.

Republican Greg Murphy wins reelection to U.S. House in North Carolina's 3rd Congressional District.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has voted to keep 10 polling places open longer beyond their initially scheduled closure because they opened late or had technical difficulties. The move Tuesday is expected to delay statewide reporting of results. The longest extension was 45 minutes for a site in Sampson County. That means the state can’t publicly report any statewide results until 8:15 p.m. State elections officials last week said that if hours are extended at any polls, they wouldn’t publicly post any results until all polls are closed.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has voted to keep four polling places open longer because they opened late, which is expected to delay statewide reporting of results.  The longest extension was 45 minutes for a site in Sampson County. That means the state can’t publicly report any statewide results until 8:15 p.m. State elections officials said in a news release last week that if hours are extended at any polls, they wouldn’t publicly post any results until all polls are closed.

Jared Brumbaugh

North Carolina’s general election will determine the power balance in the state’s legislature, the shape of its congressional delegation and the makeup of a group of key statewide offices. Much attention has been focused on contests for president, U.S. Senate and governor in the key battleground state. Down-ballot races are also closely contested in the state, which has already seen a record-setting early voting period. Fifteen closely contested races in the North Carolina General Assembly are likely to determine whether Democrats or Republicans will control the legislature.

North Carolina voters are deciding to give Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis six more years. The first-term senator has been a staunch ally of President Donald Trump but has been criticized for voting to repeal the 2010 health care overhaul. Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham has stressed his service in the Iraq War and as a U.S. Army reserve officer and military prosecutor. But in the final weeks of the campaign he admitted that he had sent sexually suggestive texts to a woman not his wife.

The contest between Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is among a few governor’s races across the country that are being closely watched in this year’s election. Cooper is banking on the support of voters who approved of his handling of the coronavirus, while Forest aims to appeal to business owners and K-12 public school parents dissatisfied with the state’s slow reopening. The race between Cooper and Forest has attracted attention from outside groups, which have spent millions to shape voter attitudes.

Jared Brumbaugh

North Carolina’s elections office is predicting that at the end of Election Day it will be able to tally and report at least 97% of all ballots cast. The N.C. State Board of Elections said in a news release Sunday that it will post results as quickly as possible but that its primary objective will be an accurate count. There’s a good chance Americans won’t know the winner of Tuesday’s presidential election when they go to bed that night. In North Carolina, mail-in ballots are not due until Nov. 12 if postmarked by Election Day.

NCDPS

Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper entered the final weeks of his reelection campaign having significantly outraised his opponent. Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest took in nearly $4 million from July 1 to Oct. 17. Cooper received more than $17 million during that time. The bulk of contributions to Forest came from individual donors. Cooper got most of his money from outside political groups. Democrats in other statewide races have raised substantially more than Republicans. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is spending aggressively to elect Democrat Yvonne Holley for lieutenant governor.

Laura Taylor, Center of Environmental and Resources Economic Policy at NCSU

Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina have announced an agreement to advance offshore wind development. The three governors announced a framework for the states to promote offshore wind. The states have agreed to form a team with representatives from each jurisdiction that will work to streamline the development of regional offshore wind resources. The three states have committed to work together to increase regulatory certainty and encourage manufacturing of component parts.

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