Local and State Headlines for Friday, November 30th, 2018

More Chickenpox Cases Reported (Asheville, NC)

The chickenpox outbreak in Asheville is continuing to grow.  Buncombe County health officials say another student at the Asheville Waldorf School and four residents have contracted the virus.  It's not clear if there is a connection between the community cases and the school.  The quarantine period for over 100 students at the school ended ten days ago.  More than three dozen students have been reported with chickenpox so far.  

Report:  Gaston County Boy Drowned (Gaston County, NC)

Medical examiners say the cause of death of a six-year-old who disappeared in Gaston County this September is drowning.  Maddox Ritch was found five days after he ran out of his father's sight at Rankin Lake Park.  The autopsy results released yesterday revealed there was no evidence of trauma.  Gastonia's police chief says he no longer anticipates any criminal charges will be filed in the case. 

Parking Fines Doubling In Asheville (Asheville, NC)

Parking fines are going up in the city of Asheville.  The parking services manager told the Citizen-Times that this will be the first increase in nearly 20 years.  Ticket fines will double beginning in February.  The cost of parking at city garages and at meters have also increased since the beginning of 2017.  

Suspect In Standoff Caught In Rutherford County (Rutherford County, NC)

The search for the suspect of a Rutherford County standoff is over.  Deputies tried to force the man out of a home on Shuping Drive Wednesday night with tear gas after he was allegedly seen waving a gun.  The sheriff believes he escaped out of the back of the home and a highway patrol helicopter was unable to locate him.  The suspect was arrested during a traffic stop in Rutherford County on Thursday afternoon.

Downtown Evacuated After Leak (Asheville, NC)

The Asheville Fire Department says an oil leak caused an evacuation in downtown last night.  Hazmat crews searched a building on Patton Avenue to find that an old boiler was reportedly leaking oil in the basement.  The scene was deemed to be non-hazardous.  The owners of two businesses stayed at the scene all night to be on fire watch until the liquid is cleaned up.    

WNC Breweries Making New Beer To Help Fire Relief (Asheville, NC)

Breweries in western North Carolina are joining in to make a special beer to help communities affected by the Camp Fire in California.  Sierra Nevada Brewing Company created a new beer called Resilience and is now sharing the recipe with other breweries nationwide.  WLOS-TV says French Broad River Brewing and Green Man are among those who plan to donate the sales they get from the new brew.  More than one-thousand breweries nationwide are taking part so far.

Sources Say Honeywell To Relocate To Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)

A consumer and commercial products company is expected to move its headquarters to Charlotte.  Multiple sources have confirmed Honeywell International will bring around 750 jobs due in large part to an incentives bill passed this week in North Carolina.  Honeywell would be the seventh Fortune 500 company to be based in the Queen City.  An official announcement is expected this morning.  

Voting Irregularities Alleged In Ninth District Race (Bladen County, NC)

Allegations of voting irregularities in the ninth district congressional race are surfacing.  The state board of elections voted to delay certification of the results this week, in which Republican Mark Harris defeated Democrat Dan McCready by just over 900 votes.  Signed affidavits from Bladen County reveal that some voters had their absentee ballots picked up from their homes.  North Carolina's Democratic Party said the troubles over the absentee ballots must be fully investigated.         

Woman Heads To Prison For Selling Drugs In Overdose Death (Charlotte, NC)

A woman is heading to prison for dealing drugs that led to a deadly overdose in Huntersville.  The man was found dead several hours after taking a dose of fentanyl mixed with heroin in late May last year.  Amanda Allen entered guilty pleas to involuntary manslaughter and drug charges.  A Mecklenburg County judge sentenced her to ten years in prison.

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