Cooper to Talk Next Steps in Virus Response, DOT Puts Projects On Hold

Governor To Weigh In On State Restrictions Today

(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper is expected to reveal more plans today in relation to the state's stay-at-home order. The current measure is expected to expire next Wednesday. There has been rising pressure from Senate Republicans and protesters in Raleigh to make a decision on how Cooper plans to move forward. Public schools may find out what the remainder of the academic year will look like.

Asheville, Buncombe Agree To Mutual Aid

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Buncombe County and the city of Asheville are joining forces during the coronavirus pandemic. The two governments signed a mutual aid agreement this week that will allow employees to cross lines among the entities if needed, like in the case of first responders. Buncombe commission chair Brownie Newman says it's an example of good planning and good cooperation. He doesn't expect it will be needed, but it's being used as a precaution for now.

Some WNC Counties Remain Without Coronavirus Cases

(Raleigh, NC) -- A handful of counties in western North Carolina still have no reported cases of coronavirus. Those include Graham, Swain, Madison and Yancey. Public health officials said Wednesday there have been just over 350 cases elsewhere in the mountain region, with around 75-hundred statewide. There are just over 430 hospitalizations.

ABC Board Buying Back Liquor Bottles

(Asheville, NC) -- The Asheville ABC board is buying back unused liquor bottles from local bars and restaurants. The measure allows refunds on purchases dating back to the beginning of the year, up to 100-thousand-dollars. Mixed beverage sales at those locations were down less than half year-to-year in March. On the flip side, retail liquor sales skyrocketed 50-percent in that same period.

DOT Puts Projects On Hold

(Asheville, NC) -- Some road projects are being delayed due to a budget shortfall in the state's DOT. The agency is looking at a 300-million-dollar loss so far since the coronavirus pandemic started affecting travel. WLOS-TV says at least nine projects in western North Carolina are on hold. The widening of I-26 will continue since the project began prior to the public health emergency.

National Guard Helping MANNA Food Bank

(Asheville, NC) -- The National Guard is on the way to help MANNA Food Bank, based in Asheville. A team of 40 personnel is expected to arrive this week and assist with warehousing and distribution to families in need. MANNA's CEO told the Citizen-Times they've given out about a million pounds of food in April, which is a drastic rise from just two months ago. The National Guard is also deploying teams to another half-dozen food banks across the state.

Governor To Reveal Plans For Reopening State Economy Today

(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper is expected to announce his latest plan for reopening North Carolina's economy today. This comes amid heightened pressure from businesses and others, who want him not to extend the statewide stay-at-home order beyond the scheduled April 29th expiration date. Cooper indicated earlier this week, that he would like to "ease back" social distancing restrictions on businesses in a way that is safe and does not cause a spike in the number of coronavirus cases. The plan will be unveiled at a news conference scheduled for 3 o'clock this afternoon.

Colvin Standing Firm On Night Time Curfew Until Expiration Date

(Fayetteville, NC) -- There is mounting pressure on the mayor of Fayetteville to lift a city-wide curfew ahead of its April 29th expiration date. The curfew, which went into effect on April 1st, prohibits residents from being outside between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. seven days a week, unless they are performing essential services. Since the start of the curfew, Fayetteville police officers have issued around 130-warning citations. In a recent letter to Mayor Mitch Colvin, city councilmember Johnny Dawkins said the curfew is overreaching and it also instills unnecessary fear in law abiding citizens.

Department Of Commerce Says Claim Filing Process Getting Better

(Raleigh, NC) -- The North Carolina Department of Commerce has announced the hiring of an additional 800-workers to handle the large influx of phone calls and help speed up the process of filing claims for unemployment benefits. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, over 700-thousand people have filed claims. But complaints continue about phone calls not getting through and problems with the Department's computer system when filing electronically. Officials say it normally takes about 14-days for a claim to be processed.

State Reports First Coronavirus Death In Prison Population

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina Corrections officials are reporting the first death of a prison inmate due to complications related to COVID-19. The inmate, whose identity was not released, died Tuesday in a hospital after testing positive for the disease nearly two weeks ago. He was being housed at the Pender Correctional Institution in Burgaw. The death comes one week after more than 400-prisoners at the Neuse Correctional Institution in Goldsboro tested positive for the coronavirus.

Possibility Of Strong Damaging Storms Developing Over North Carolina Today

(Raleigh, NC) -- Most of central North Carolina, including the Triangle, has been placed under an enhanced risk of severe storms today. This means there is a possibility of those storms producing damaging winds, hail and a slight chance of tornadoes. The latest model from the Storm Prediction Center estimates the strongest of the storms will move across the area late this afternoon and into the evening hours. Rainfall is in the forecast for the early part of the day.

32 Residents, Staff At Guilford Co. Nursing Home Test Positive For COVID-19

(Guilford Co., NC) -- Over 30 residents and staff members at a Guilford County nursing home have coronavirus. Administrators at Clapps Nursing Center in Pleasant Garden found out about the first positive case on April 17th and decided to test all residents and staff members soon after. Twenty residents tested positive for the virus, and so did a dozen workers. Administrators say most of the residents are asymptomatic.

Three Killed In Double-Murder-Suicide In Graham

(Graham, NC) -- A possible double-murder-suicide is under investigation in Graham. The scene unfolded late Saturday morning at a home in the 15-hundred-block of Broadway Drive. Sixty-five-year-old Susan Thomas, 69-year-old Douglas Sheets and 66-year-old Edward Thomas were found dead. Police believe Edward Thomas shot and killed the other two before turning the gun on himself. They say the motive was domestic-related.

Winston-Salem Man Killed In Single-Vehicle Wreck

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A Winston-Salem man is dead after crashing his car into a telephone pole. The wreck happened yesterday afternoon in the 29-hundred-block of Old Salisbury Road. The victim is identified as 52-year-old Michael Kestner. Police are not sure why the driver lost control. An investigation is ongoing.

Meck Health Director Wants Stay Home Order Extended

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Mecklenburg's health director is urging local leaders to extend a stay-at-home order, no matter what decision the governor makes. Gibbie Harris said at last night's virtual commission meeting that it's probably not the best health practice to open up locally again. County Manager Dena Diorio told commissioners there may not be enough support from local mayors to extend the county's order, which expires next week. Commissioner Trevor Fuller accused some people of playing politics during the pandemic, rather than allowing public health officials to decide.

Panthers Pick Seventh In Tonight's Draft

(Charlotte, NC) -- The Carolina Panthers will have a choice of young talent at tonight's virtual NFL draft. The first round begins at eight, with the remaining rounds coming up over the next few days. Carolina chooses seventh overall. The team's first pick is likely to come on defense, with only two starters returning next season. It's a new-look Panthers already, with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and head coach Matt Rhule.

Over 13-Hundred Coronavirus Cases In Mecklenburg County

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- More than 13-hundred people in Mecklenburg County have tested positive for COVID-19. Public health officials reported a jump of 76 cases locally from Tuesday to Wednesday. Statewide numbers have climbed to around 75-hundred, with 430 hospitalizations.

CMPD Looking For Suspects In Triple Shooting

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is still looking for suspects in a shooting that injured three in southeast Charlotte last weekend. It was Saturday morning when shots were fired into one unit at the Grier Park Apartments. One of the victims was an eleven-year-old girl, and all are expected to survive. Officers say they believe the apartment was targeted.

Severe Weather Possible Today

(Charlotte, NC) -- There's a threat of some severe weather today in the Piedmont. The National Weather Service is calling for potential strong thunderstorms later this afternoon in Charlotte. Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes are possible. Heavy rainfall could cause isolated flooding into the evening.

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