Phase 1 ReOpening Set to Start at 5PM, Pastor Charged with Child Sex Crimes

Phase One Begins Today In Buncombe

(Asheville, NC) -- Buncombe County is entering into phase one of the state's re-opening today at 5 p.m. Most businesses are allowed to re-open with social distancing. Buncombe's interim health director is still encouraging residents to limit nonessential travel and to wear face masks when out of the house. Buncombe County is still limiting visitors in and out of the county to only mountain residents.

Asheville Parks Open Again This Weekend

(Asheville, NC) -- A number of parks in western North Carolina are preparing to re-open this weekend. Asheville is opening its city parks tomorrow, while river park areas in Buncombe County have already been re-opened. Chimney Rock State Park and the Smoky Mountains National Park are also partially opening.

Man Dies When Car Hits Business

(Henderson County, NC) -- A driver is facing charges in the death of a business owner in Henderson County. Trooper say the man was traveling on U.S. 25 two days ago when he sideswiped a car and then slammed into a storage business. The wreck killed the owner of the business. The driver was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.

Coronavirus Cases Climb Over 600 In WNC

(Raleigh, NC) -- The number of coronavirus cases in western North Carolina is over 600. Those are some of the more than 13-thousand-500 cases reported statewide by the News and Observer last night. There are over 500 deaths in North Carolina. Around 170-thousand tests have been administered.

Henderson County School Projects On Hold

(Henderson County, NC) -- School projects are being put on hold in Henderson County. A loss of revenue due to COVID-19 means school safety projects at an elementary and middle school will have to wait. The school district is losing more than three-million-dollars from the county in its budget. County funding is now on hold.

Part Of Biltmore Estate Opens Tomorrow

(Asheville, NC) -- Part of the Biltmore Estate is back open for visitors starting tomorrow. The large tourist draw has been closed since late March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in a furlough for over two-thousand employees. Annual pass holders will only be able to visit park areas of the estate for now. The Biltmore House lodging area isn't opening just yet.

Phase One Re-Opening Starts Today

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Phase one of the state's re-opening begins this afternoon at five. Many businesses are allowed to re-open with social distancing and lesser capacity. Restaurants are still not allowed to offer in-person dining. The first phase is expected to last two to three weeks.

Pastor Charged With Child Sex Crimes

(Concord, NC) -- A Concord pastor is facing child sex crime charges. Investigators say Brian Mahiques is accused of statutory sex offense and indecent liberties with a minor in connection to accusations from 15 years ago. The victims were under 16-year-old. Mahiques was youth paster at the Refuge Church and is now pastor at Encounter Church. He was arrested this week.

Mecklenburg County Seeks Five-Percent Testing

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- County leaders are pushing for more coronavirus testing in the Charlotte area. The focus of testing over the next 30 days will be for at-risk people, those with symptoms and first responders. The goal is to test five-percent of Mecklenburg County's population within that time.

Panthers To Open Season Against Raiders

(Charlotte, NC) -- The Panthers are kicking off the 2020 season at home against the Las Vegas Raiders September 13th. The NFL released the schedule for each of its teams last night. Carolina's first NFC South game will be on the road in week two at Tampa, where quarterback Tom Brady was traded in the offseason. The preseason begins in mid-August against Jacksonville at Bank of America Stadium.

Charlotte Motor Speedway To Host Cabarrus Graduation

(Concord, NC) -- Cabarrus County's graduating seniors are getting a special send-off next month. The students are participating in an in-car ceremony at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on June 12th. There will be a commencement shown on the speedway's large TV screen before the seniors take a trip on the track.

Lottery Winner Uses Fortune Cookie Numbers

(Charlotte, NC) -- A Charlotte man is a big lottery winner thanks to some Chinese fortune cookies. The highway construction worker says he used the numbers from the cookies on a Mega Millions ticket he bought at a BP Mini Mart in Gastonia last month. The numbers won him two-million-dollars in the April 21st drawing. The big winner plans to pay off his car and buy a house.

Largest One Day Case Numbers Linked To More Testing

(Raleigh, NC) -- The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina reached more than 13-thousand-500 Thursday. Boosted by a single-day increase of 639-new cases, health officials believe the spike is also linked to a record number of people getting tested. State Health Officer Dr. Mandy Cohen says she is comfortable with Phase One being activated at this time. She also said the recent upward trajectory of new coronavirus cases was anticipated by the Health Department, because of the more aggressive push for more people to get tested.

Discovery Of Infected Employee Prompts Temporary Shutdown Of DMV Building

(Raleigh, NC) -- The entire Division of Motor Vehicles headquarters building in downtown Raleigh was shut down Thursday. This after it was discovered that a worker had tested positive for COVID-19. A DMV spokesperson said, although the infected person did not work on a floor that was open to the public, the building will remain closed until a contractor can be hired and the facility is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

First Wave Of NC Prison Inmates Released Early To Avoid Spread Of COVID-19

(Raleigh, NC) -- Nearly 200-North Carolina prison inmates have recently been granted early release in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus inside state corrections facilities. According to a report released by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, most of those released were nearing the end of their sentences and were already on work release programs. Others had underlying health conditions, which would have increased the risk of them being exposed to the virus. And all were serving time for non-violent offenses.

Fundraiser, Donor, Huge Trump Supporter Named Postmaster General

(Raleigh, NC) -- A North Carolina business leader who has raised millions of dollars for the Republican Party, has been named by President Trump to be the next U.S. Postmaster General. Louis DeJoy, a retired CEO of New Breed Logistics, will take over a government agency that has over 600-thousand employees and has also experienced years of declining revenue before the COVID-19 pandemic. DeJoy, who is in charge of fundraising for the Republican National Convention, is set to begin work on June 15th.

Man Charged In Death Of Lexington Assistant Principal

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A Winston-Salem man is facing multiple charges in the crash that killed a Lexington City Schools assistant principal. Police say 53-year-old Richard Moore was driving drunk when he slammed into a car head-on, killing the passenger. She was identified as 35-year-old Holly Hinson, the assistant principal at Lexington Senior High School. Moore is charged with felony death by vehicle, DWI, reckless driving, and driving the wrong way. He's being held on a 25-thousand-dollar bond.

COVID-19 Testing Expanding In Surry Co.

(Surry Co., NC) -- Surry County is hosting a mass COVID-19 testing event. The health department is teaming up with Hugh Chatham and Northern hospitals to test Surry County citizens for the virus. The event will take place on Monday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's available for those with or without symptoms.

Winston-Salem Man Accused Of Raping Woman Behind Building

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A Winston-Salem man is accused of raping a woman who asked him for directions. It happened this past Monday in the 14-hundred block of North Patterson Avenue. Police say a woman asked 41-year-old Wayne Butler for directions, and that's when he forced her behind a building and raped her. Butler is also charged with exposing himself to a woman in the same area a week-and-a-half earlier. He's behind bars on a 250-thousand-500-dollar bond.

Man Arrested Of Killing Texas Woman Arrested In Forsyth Co.

(Forsyth Co., NC) -- A man accused of killing a Texas woman is under arrest in Forsyth County. Thirty-one-year-old Corey Campbell is accused of murdering 34-year-old Darlene Solis, whose body was found in Harris County, Texas on April 30th. Houston police learned the two were in a relationship and identified Campbell as a person of interest in Solis' death. They learned he might be staying with his mother in Walnut Cove and issued a warrant for his arrest. Campbell is due to appear in court today.

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