US-Power Outage Vandalism

Eden Maracco, 8, has lunch her dad, Jeffery, on Monday at Reds Food Truck Corner while power is out at her home in Southern Pines, N.C. Tens of thousands of people face days without electricity after someone shot up two power substations.

Blackouts by bullets may take days to fix

Tens of thousands of people braced Monday for days without electricity in a North Carolina county where authorities say two power substations were shot up by one or more people with apparent criminal intent.

Across Moore County, many businesses and restaurants displayed “Closed” signs in windows and had empty parking lots at a time of year when they are normally full of tourists and holiday shoppers. Others handed out free food or coffee, or were able to open by conducting transactions in cash. The county, located about 60 miles southwest of the state capital of Raleigh, announced schools would be closed Tuesday for a second day.

Duke Energy has restored power to roughly 9,000 customers after a peak of about 45,000 customers were without electricity in the county of about 100,000 inhabitants. Jeff Brooks, a Duke spokesman, said recovery will be gradual, noting “a pretty sophisticated repair with some fairly large equipment” will continue into Thursday.

Gov. Roy Cooper said state and federal investigators “are leaving no stone unturned in this investigation to find those who are responsible.

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields declined to elaborate Monday about the shootings other than to say the damage was done by gunfire. But whoever was responsible, he said, “knew exactly what they were doing to ... cause the outage that they did.”

Ariz. certifies election despite GOP complaints

Arizona’s top officials certified the midterm election results Monday, formalizing victories for Democrats over Republicans who falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged.

The certification opens a five-day window for formal election challenges. Republican Kari Lake, who lost the race for governor to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, is expected to file a lawsuit in the coming days after she’s spent weeks of criticizing the administration of the election.

Election results have largely been certified without issue around the country, but Arizona was an exception. Several Republican-controlled counties delayed their certification despite no evidence of problems with the vote count. Cochise County in southeastern Arizona blew past the deadline last week, forcing a judge to intervene on Thursday and order the county supervisors to certify the election by the end of the day.

Lake and her allies have focused on problems with ballot printers that produced about 17,000 ballots that could not be tabulated on site and had to be counted at the elections department headquarters.

Lines backed up in some polling places, fueling Republican suspicions that some supporters were unable to cast a ballot, though there’s no evidence it affected the outcome. County officials say everyone was able to vote and all legal ballots were counted.

‘Sesame Street’ icon Bob McGrath dies at 90

Bob McGrath, an actor, musician and children’s author widely known for his portrayal of one of the first regular characters on the children’s show “Sesame Street” has died at the age of 90.

McGrath’s passing was confirmed by his family who posted on his Facebook page on Sunday: “The McGrath family has some sad news to share. Our father Bob McGrath, passed away today. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.” Sesame Workshop tweeted Sunday evening that it “mourns the passing of Bob McGrath, a beloved member of the Sesame Street family for over 50 years.”

McGrath was a founding cast member of “Sesame Street” when the show premiered in 1969, playing a friendly neighbor Bob Johnson. He made his final appearance on the show in 2017, marking an almost five-decade-long figure in the “Sesame Street” world.

— The Associated Press

The actor grew up in Illinois and studied music at the University of Michigan and Manhattan School of Music. He also was a singer in the 60s series “Sing Along With Mitch” and launched a successful singing career overseas in Japan.

“A revered performer worldwide, Bob’s rich tenor filled airwaves and concert halls from Las Vegas to Saskatchewan to Tokyo many times over,” Sesame Workshop said. “We will be forever grateful for his many years of passionate creative contributions to Sesame Street and honored that he shared so much of his life with us.”