Local Headlines for Friday, March 8, 2018

posted by Mark Starling -

Police Officer Arrested In Beating

The Buncombe County District Attorney's Office says the police officer accused of beating Johnnie Jermaine Rush last August has been arrested.  Leaked bodycam footage of the incident has brought the beating to the forefront of discussions among the city council and the police department.  Chris Hickman resigned from the department earlier this year.  He is now charged with felony assault, misdemeanor assault and communicating threats.

Flu Deaths Continue To Rise In N.C.

Flu-related deaths remain on the rise in North Carolina.  The Department of Health and Environmental Control says 12 more people died from the flu last week, which raises the total number of deaths to more than 250 this flu season.  Health officials are still urging the public to get a vaccination, as the season may still continue for at least two more months.  Governor Roy Cooper says he wants all North Carolinians "to do their part to stay healthy and stop the flu from spreading."

Body Identified From Creek In Boone

Investigators in Boone say that a woman found dead in a creek this week was the driver of an unoccupied car found 200 feet away.  State Troopers first found a Toyota Camry in Howard Creek off Highway 194.  A body was then found in the creek close to five hours later.  She has been identified as Linda Reece Osborne of Zionville.  One investigator says it appears she was able to leave the car after it came down the embankment off the highway.

Bridge Construction Begins In Polk County

The North Carolina DOT is preparing its roads for increased traffic during this fall's World Equestrian Games.  Two bridges are now being constructed close to the Tryon International Equestrian Center on Highway 74.  The bridges are expected to carry travelers over a road built near the center.  The equestrian games are held every four years and last attracted 75 countries in 2014 when they were held in France.

Businesses Want Better Parking And Operational Costs

An Asheville Chamber of Commerce survey reveals area businesses are most concerned about infrastructure needs such as parking and housing.  The chamber organized a group that traveled door-to-door earlier this year to gauge how businesses are doing and what concerns them most.  A chamber rep says permitting and lower operational costs are also on the minds of business owners in Asheville.

Random Drug Testing Of Students Proposed In Mooresville

Mooresville Graded School District is considering drug testing students in seventh through twelfth grades.  The policy would affect students who are involved in athletics, extracurricular activities or have a parking permit.  The testing would be randomly done at Mooresville Middle and High Schools.  The district's chief operating officer says any information from the tests will only be communicated between parents and students.

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