Flu Deaths on the Rise, Meadows Says Impeachment Over,Rainy End To The Week

Flu Deaths Continue Rise In NC

(Raleigh, NC) -- The number of flu-related deaths in North Carolina continues to rise. State health officials say nine people died from the flu last week, which brings the total number of deaths up to 54 for the season. Most of the deaths are among people aged 65 and older. The CDC reports more than eight-thousand people across the U.S. have died from the flu since the end of September.

WNC Congressman Says Impeachment Dreams Are Slipping Away

(Washington, DC) -- Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows says the Democrats' impeachment dreams are slipping away. The Republican sent out a barrage of tweets yesterday as the impeachment trial of President Trump moved through day ten. It could all come to an end as early as tonight if the U.S. Senate votes against calling witnesses. Meadows said the trial should end today with President Trump acquitted.

Health Officials Link Legionnaires To Hot Tubs In Final Report

(Buncombe County, NC) -- A deadly Legionnaires' outbreak at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair is still being blamed on hot tubs. State health officials gave their final report yesterday, which claims Legionella bacteria likely came from aerosolized water from the hot tubs. Nearly 140 people were sickened with the respiratory infection, while four died. The hot tubs, which were on display at the Davis Event Center in Fletcher, were initially considered to be the source when the investigation began last fall.

Nearly Three-Thousand Pallets Burn In Haywood County

(Haywood County, NC) -- Investigators are looking for whoever set fire to a large pile of pallets in Haywood County. Firefighters found nearly three-thousand pallets up in flames when they responded to the scene in the Bethel community early Thursday morning. It took units from around ten fire departments to bring the fire under control and keep it from spreading to surrounding areas. Haywood County sheriff's officials are looking for any information from the public that might be helpful.

Three Arrested In Henderson County Assault

(Henderson County, NC) -- Three suspects are facing charges in a Henderson County assault. The sheriff's office says one person was taken to Mission Hospital after being attacked at a home in the Mills River area Tuesday. The group was arrested on charges ranging from felony assault to robbery. One suspect is at-large.

Duke Shuts Down Coal Burning At Lake Julian

(Arden, NC) -- There's no more coal burning at the Lake Julian Power plant. Duke Energy shut down the coal operation on Wednesday, as efforts move over to cleaner-burning natural gas. The Citizen-Times reports the plant burned more than four-thousand tons of coal a day at its peak. Duke Energy has already begun its project of removing coal ash from the Lake Julian site.

Panthers And Olsen Agree To Part Ways

(Charlotte, NC) -- The Carolina Panthers and tight end Greg Olsen are parting ways. The 34-year-old said yesterday the two parties mutually agreed it was the best decision. Olsen leaves the Panthers as perhaps the franchise's top all-time tight end statistically. The Panthers organization said in a tweet "Thank you, Mister Reliable." The 13-season veteran didn't announce what the future holds.

Mother Arrested After Child Found Naked On Bike

(Gastonia, NC) -- A Gastonia mother is accused of child abuse after her young child was found outside naked early Thursday. It was shortly after midnight when investigators say the three-year-old was riding his bike alone with no clothes on along a road surrounded by businesses. The toddler's mother was arrested after Social Services found out where the boy lived. She allegedly tried to resist arrest.

Transgender Student Sues Cleveland County Schools

(Cleveland County, NC) -- Cleveland County Schools is being sued over its bathroom policy. NBC Charlotte reports a transgender male student at Kings Mountain High School claims he was discriminated against when he was told he couldn't use the boys bathroom. A judge has since issued a restraining order to allow the student access. The suit will be heard in court again on Tuesday.

Residents Speak On Duke's Proposed Rate Hike

(Charlotte, NC) -- Charlotte-area residents are weighing in on a proposed Duke Energy rate hike. The North Carolina Utilities Commission held a public hearing over the six-point-seven-percent increase at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse last night. Most people who spoke were in opposition. A Duke spokesperson said the increase will help invest in its transition to cleaner energy.

NoDa Sandwich Shop Re-Opening After Co-Owner's Murder

(Charlotte, NC) -- A NoDa sandwich shop is re-opening tomorrow nearly two months after one of its co-owners was shot to death. The CMPD is still looking for whoever killed Scott Brooks as he was trying to open up Brooks' Sandwich House for business in early December. The family decided to shut the restaurant down, but now has big plans for a grand re-opening from ten-to-five tomorrow. T-shirts printed in honor of Scott Brooks will be sold with profits going to Habitat for Humanity.

KFC Releasing Plant-Based Chicken In Charlotte

(Charlotte, NC) -- KFC is rolling out meatless chicken in the Charlotte area next week. Nearly 20 restaurants will test out a plant-based fried chicken throughout February. The option is expected to be available to customers ordering fried chicken or nuggets. The launch already tested well in Atlanta last year.

Red Hat CEO Whitehurst Moving To IBM

(Research Triangle Park, NC) -- Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst is moving up and moving out. IBM announced Thursday that Whitehurst will become president of IBM in early April on the heels of a 12-year run at Red Hat. Red Hat is a subsidiary of IBM and the company reported fourth quarter revenue was up 24-percent. It's the first billion-dollar quarter ever for Red Hat.

Report: Nine New Flu Deaths In NC

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says nine people died from the flu last week. The total number of flu-related deaths in the state this season is now 54. There were 31 flu-related deaths at this time last year so the state is on pace for a death toll above last season's total of 203. Health officials say flu activity is widespread and they're urging people to get flu shots.

DMV Adding REAL ID Express Days

(Durham, NC) -- The Division of Motor Vehicles is moving to make it easier for people to get a REAL ID. That's a driver's license or state-issued ID card that meets new federal requirements to travel by plane or visit a military base or federal facility where ID is required. The DMV is offering READ ID Express Days when offices are devoted to processing REAL IDs and other simple transactions. The first REAL ID Express Day is this Saturday at the East Durham DMV office, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fewer Teachers Leaving North Carolina

(Undated) -- Fewer teachers are leaving North Carolina. The latest teacher turnover report from the state Board of Education shows slightly more than seven-thousand of the state's 94-thousand teachers left in the last school year. It's the third year in a row the number of teachers leaving has fallen.

Rainy End To The Week

(Undated) -- Weather forecasters say the weekend will get off to a rainy start in the Triangle. There's a 60-percent chance of rain today, mainly after 5 p.m. and a 90-percent chance of rain tonight. It'll be more of the same on Saturday, after an early morning low around 38. Afternoon highs today and Saturday will be in the low to mid-50s.

Painter Shot In Chest In High Point

(High Point, NC) -- A painter is in critical condition after he was shot in the chest in High Point. It happened yesterday morning at Chatham Woods Apartments on Lakecrest Avenue. Police say the man was hired to paint the outside of the complex and was shot in the chest by one of the tenants. The painter is identified as Bryon Castillo of Winston-Salem. The tenant was arrested.

Greg Olson, Carolina Panthers Part Ways

(Charlotte, NC) -- Greg Olson and the Carolina Panthers are parting ways. The 34-year-old tight-end announced on Twitter yesterday that he'll be leaving the team. Olson said he and general manager Marty Hurney came to a mutual agreement. Olson had one year remaining in his contract.

Man Believed To Have Robbed Two Businesses In Winston-Salem

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Winston-Salem police are looking for an armed man who robbed two businesses back-to-back. Michael's on Hanes Mall Boulevard and Subway on North Point Boulevard were robbed within about 20 minutes of each other last night. In both cases, the suspect is described as white, about five-foot-ten and 190 pounds, wearing a white ball cap and blue jeans. No one was hurt. Anyone with information is asked to come forward.

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