Local and State Headlines for Monday, November 19th, 2018

Chickenpox Continues To Spread At Asheville School (Asheville, NC)

The chickenpox outbreak at an Asheville private school is continuing to grow.  The Citizen-Times is reporting that almost one-fourth of the Waldorf School's nearly 150 students had contracted the virus as of Friday.   It's North Carolina's largest outbreak since the chickenpox vaccine first became available in 1995.  The school has a high rate of religious exemptions for vaccinations.         

WNC Congressman Sanctioned Over Sexual Harassment Allegations (Washington, DC)

A Western North Carolina congressman is being sanctioned over sexual harassment allegations against a former staffer.  An ethics committee report revealed on Friday that Republican Mark Meadows could've done more to ensure his office was free from discrimination.  Chief of Staff Kenny West resigned in 2015 after the harassment allegations surfaced, but was paid for two months afterward.  Meadows has been ordered to reimburse the U.S. Treasury more than 40-thousand-dollars.  

Missing Gaston County Man Found Dead In Blowing Rock (Blowing Rock, NC)

Blowing Rock Police are investigating the death of a Gaston County man found on Friday.  Officers found 72-year-old Milton Hayes off an embankment a day after he was reported missing.  His car was discovered yesterday about a quarter-of-a-mile away in Blowing Rock.  Investigators believe he ran off the road during the ice storm on Thursday night and left his car in a disoriented state.  

Troopers Plan Heavy Patrols For Thanksgiving (Asheville, NC)

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is gearing up for a busy holiday travel period.  Troopers will be posted every 20 miles along the I-40 corridor between Wednesday and Sunday.  The highway patrol is urging drivers to reduce speed and avoid distracted driving during what is expected to be the busiest travel time of the year.  Triple-A forecasts nearly 50-million Americans have planned a Thanksgiving road trip. 

Candler Community Raises Money For Hurricane-Damaged Home (Candler, NC)

The Candler community is coming together to help out a family whose home was heavily damaged during Hurricane Michael.  A large tree fell into the home off Smokey Park Highway, landing just inches away from a sleeping baby.  Donors reportedly pitched in around 15-thousand-dollars in a fundraising event over the weekend.  The Bland family says it was given a 90-day window to bring the house back to code. 

Lake Julian Hosting Festival Of Lights Again (Buncombe County, NC)

Holiday lights will once again be bright for an annual event south of Asheville.  The Festival of Lights runs at Lake Julian from December 1st through the 23rd.  The lake's park manager told WLOS-TV that more than 12-hundred participants took part last year, and there could be even more this year.  There are 54 light displays in all.  

Mooresville Teacher Reportedly Killed By Drug Dealer In Mexico (Mooresville, NC)

The governor of Chihuahua, Mexico says a missing Mooresville teacher was killed by a drug dealer in Mexico.  Patrick Braxton-Andrew went missing last month while on a walk in Urique.  Chihuahua's governor says the 34-year-old Spanish teacher was killed in a "cowardly and brutal murder" by the Sinaloa cartel.  A Facebook page dedicated to the search for Braxton-Andrew reported over the weekend that his body had been recovered.      

Teens Say Crash Killed Their Classmate In Cornelius (Cornelius, NC)

Cornelius Police are investigating a crash that some teens say killed their classmate on Saturday night.  A car collided into a tree on Bailey Road just off Statesville Road.  NBC Charlotte says a group of friends gathered at a memorial last night and planned to ride by the crash site as a tribute.  The teens said the passenger who was killed and the driver of the car were part of a motor club called the Charlotte Motor Syndicate.

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