Local and State Headlines for Thursday, September 13, 2018

Florence Downgraded To Category Two (Undated)

Hurricane Florence is approaching the east coast as a category two storm.  The National Hurricane Service still anticipates Florence to bring devastating storm surges and heavy rainfall despite weakening winds.  The storm is expected to slowly move from the Wilmington area down the South Carolina coast before turning inland.  Forecasters predict significant rain throughout North Carolina between today and Tuesday.   

Local States Of Emergency In Polk, Rutherford (Polk County, NC)

Western North Carolina is bracing for possible heavy rains from the remnants of Hurricane Florence.  Polk and Rutherford Counties declared local states of emergency to prepare first responders for action.  Steady rains are expected to begin in the mountains sometime Saturday, with winds reaching 20 miles-an-hour.  Polk County leaders will meet today to discuss any possible schedule changes to the World Equestrian Games in Tryon.      

Campsites Close Until After Storm (Asheville, NC)

Campgrounds in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests are closing at noon today.  The U.S. Forest Service says sites will be evaluated once the storm effects from Hurricane Florence pass through.  The Blue Ridge Parkway has also issued a mandatory evacuation for its campgrounds and will offer refunds.

Blowing Rock Armed Robbery Suspect Killed In KY Shootout (Blowing Rock, NC)

Blowing Rock Police say an armed robbery suspect who targeted a local bank was shot dead in Kentucky.  He was wanted for armed robberies in multiple states.  The suspect reportedly held up the United Community Bank on Tuesday before continuing on to Kentucky.  U.S. Marshals and deputies killed him during a shootout at a rest stop on I-75 north.  

Motorcyclist Injured In Parkway Crash Files Suit (Asheville, NC)

A South Carolina man who crashed his motorcycle two years ago on the Blue Ridge Parkway is suing the federal government.  The lawsuit claims he had hardly any warning when he struck a bump at mile marker 465 near Cherokee before the motorcycle allegedly flipped over.  The man says the roadway was unsafe and contained no adequate traffic signs.  The suit is seeking one-point-seven-million-dollars for medical costs and emotional damage.    

Arden Plant Announces Investment, More Jobs (Arden, NC)

An Arden manufacturer is adding jobs and investing nearly eleven-million-dollars at its plant.  Reich LLC has been making auto parts at its Vista Boulevard location since 2011.  The investment will add 15 jobs, bringing the plant's total to over 160.  Buncombe County's commission chair says Reich has become a leading employer in the county.      

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