Reopen NC group plans rally for NC speedway hit with restraining order

North Carolina news

BURLINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Reopen NC, the group that has held several protests about Gov. Roy Cooper’s speed of allowing businesses to open during the COVID-19 pandemic, has another event planned for Saturday.

The group will not be in Raleigh — the site of previous protests — but will instead hold a rally and fundraiser near Burlington for Ace Speedway.

An Alamance County judge Thursday granted the state a temporary restraining order against Ace Speedway – limiting its audience to 25 people.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Dr. Mandy Cohen filed for a temporary restraining order against the speedway on Wednesday.

The speedway has played host to thousands on more than one occasion over the last month – violating Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order that limits mass gatherings.

Last weekend, the speedway claimed its weekly events were a “protest” in an effort to skirt Cooper’s executive order.

Cooper called that a “flagrant” violation of the rules.

In granting the order, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Tom Lambeth said that Cohen’s complaint shows that there is an “imminent health hazard.”

The event Saturday, which includes a car show and raffles, will begin with a news conference at 11 a.m., Reopen NC officials said. Group co-founder Ashely Smith will be at the event.

The money raised will be donated to Ace Speedway owner at 2:30 p.m.

“Supporting law enforcement will also be present at the event,” the news release said, although what that means is unclear.

The event will be in an area northeast of Burlington at 3222 N.C. 49, the group said.

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