First, here are two important items taking place in Washington you should be aware of:

  • Yesterday, President Trump and Attorney General Barr announced the expansion of Operation Legend, a sustained and coordinated effort by federal law enforcement to fight violent crime in some of America’s largest and most dangerous cities.  The effort, first launched earlier this month in Kansas City, Missouri, will be expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque.  Both cities have experienced serious upsurges in violence.  Last weekend alone more than 60 people were shot in Chicago, and Tuesday night 14 people were shot near a funeral being held for another shooting victim on the city’s south side.  The operation is named for four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed in Kansas City last month while he slept. 

    As part of the effort, the Justice Department is directing the FBI, the U.S. Marshals, the DEA and ATF to significantly increase the resources they have available in these cities to help fight this wave of violent crime.  It will include stepped-up investigations into gangs, drug and gun traffickers, and firearms offenders, as well as grants to local law enforcement agencies to help them better combat crime in their area.

  • Second, negotiations on CARES 2, the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation, continue.  Senate Republican Leader McConnell hopes to release his draft legislation as a starting point for negotiations with Democrats as soon as late today or tomorrow.  Among the items rumored to be in the Senate’s legislation are another round of direct stimulus payments, some sort of extension for unemployment insurance benefits, and a second round of PPP loans for businesses impacted by the outbreak.  As I’ve noted, the specifics are likely to change as negotiations continue, and the Senate bill that should be released soon is only a starting point for what will almost certainly be a week or more of continued discussions.


Here’s today’s COVID-19 update:

  • Hospitalizations from COVID-19 remain high statewide at 1,188North Carolina reported 1,892 new coronavirus cases yesterday.  28 additional individuals were reported to have died from the virus yesterday, for a total of 1,726.  More than 1.52 million tests have been completed across the state so far.

  • Here’s an update from the White House on how the Trump Administration is taking action to protect American seniors.  The Administration will be distributing an additional $5 billion in funding – in addition to the approximately $5 billion already approved – to all nursing homes who receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement funds. 

  • As we continue to take steps to prevent the virus’ spread, here are some tips from the CDC about how you can go about your daily social activities safely – such as checking a restaurant’s website or social media for information about specific COVID-19 safety guidelines they may have.

  • Sampson County Schools announced yesterday that it will open the 2020-2021 school year under a fully-remote learning plan.  The School Board will continue to monitor the status of the COVID outbreak and will revisit the remote learning plan for K-8 students prior to September 14.  High school students will stay on remote learning through at least October 14th.

  • Brunswick County has announced that it is currently tracking six ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at congregate living facilities across the county, four of which are in nursing homes and two affecting residential care facilities.  Presently, the county is addressing outbreaks at these facilities:
    • Arbor Landing at Ocean Isle Beach
    • Autumn Care of Shallotte
    • Brunswick Health and Rehab Center
    • Carolina Dunes Behavioral Health
    • Southport Health and Rehab
    • Universal Health Care of Brunswick
    • For more information, see the County’s website here.

For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting Boombalatti’s Homemade Ice Cream in Wilmington, which will continue its tradition of serving “Christmas in July” with holiday-themed flavors this weekend.  They’re not letting the COVID-19 outbreak get in the way of spreading some holiday joy just when we all could use it. 

As always, stay tuned to and the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ website for the latest on the outbreak.