Local and State Headlines for Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Buncombe Co.'s First Black Sheriff To Be Sworn In (Buncombe Co., NC)

Buncombe County's first black sheriff will be sworn in today.  Quentin Miller is replacing Sheriff Van Duncan, who's retiring after 12 years.  Miller will be sworn-in during a historic ceremony at 1:30 p.m.

Parts Of Blue Ridge Parkway Reopen (Asheville, NC)

Parts of Blue Ridge Parkway are reopen amid unusually warm weather.  Temperatures reached above 70 degrees in Asheville yesterday, allowing crews reopen the parkway as far north as Blowing Rock, down to Mile Post 402 at Stony Bald Overlook.  Craggy Gardens and Mount Mitchell State Park are also open.  The National Weather Service says a pair of cold fronts this week will push temperatures back below normal.  Folks are urged to check the park's real-time road map before heading out.  

NC Elections Board Chairman Resigns (Raleigh, NC)

The chairman of the state elections board is resigning.  Democrat Andy Penry stepped down over the weekend following comments he made online criticizing President Trump.  He said he's leaving the board because he doesn't want to "be used as an instrument of distraction" in an ongoing investigation.  North Carolina's 9th Congressional District is under investigation for possible criminal conduct and absentee voter fraud.

Small Earthquake Hits Franklin (Franklin, NC)

There are no reports of damages are injuries after a small earthquake hit near Franklin.  The 2.0-magnitude quake struck seven miles north of Franklin around 9 o'clock yesterday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.  The epicenter was in the Nantahala National Forest, south of Fontana Lake. 

Lake Julian Festival Of Lights Opens In Arden (Arden, NC)

A holiday event that will benefit the Buncombe County Special Olympics is open in Arden.  The Lake Julian Festival of Lights started welcoming cars yesterday evening.  The event will run nightly through December 23rd.  Tickets are ten dollars per vehicle and 20 dollars per large van or bus.  Twenty percent of the proceeds benefit the Special Olympics. 

Charlotte Turns 250-Years-Old (Charlotte, NC)

Charlotte is celebrating its 250th birthday today.  The city's founding was authorized by Colonial Governor William Tryon back on December 3rd, 1768.  A huge party will be held today to celebrate the milestone birthday.  It will take place on the square at Trade and Tryon streets starting at 11:30 a.m., complete with food trucks and free cake.

UNC Trustees Expected To Choose A New Home For Silent Sam (Chapel Hill, NC)

Silent Sam could be getting a new home soon.  The University of North Carolina's Board of Trustees is meeting today to recommend a new location for the Confederate monument, according to the News and Observer.  Silent Sam stood for more than a hundred years at the entrance of the Chapel Hill campus before it was toppled by protesters in August.

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