Cases Jump Statewide,Judge: Churches Can Gather,Racing Returns to Charlotte

Federal Judge Allows In-Church Services

(Raleigh, NC) -- Churches are allowed to hold in-house services in North Carolina. A federal judge blocked Governor Roy Cooper's order that limits indoor gatherings to no more than ten people on Saturday, making way for churches to hold sanctuary services if they wish. The temporary restraining order lasts 14-days. The News and Observer reports New Life Baptist in Johnston County held a service with about 25 people attending yesterday. Governor Cooper said he doesn't want indoor meetings to become hot spots, but the decision won't be appealed.

Buncombe County Offering Community Testing

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Community testing sites for COVID-19 are rolling out starting tomorrow in Buncombe County. There's an effort in conjunction with Western North Carolina Community Health Services to provide testing access to anyone facing barriers, like finances, health care and transportation. The first mobile site is available Tuesday afternoon at the Pisgah View Apartments on Granada Street in Asheville. A second location will be open Wednesday afternoon at the Sandy Mush Community Center in Leicester.

Ugly Weather Expected As Tropical Storm Affects Coast

(Undated) -- Multiple parts of North Carolina are under threat of severe weather as the first major tropical weather of the season moves up the coast. Most of the state's seaboard is under a warning today as Tropical Storm Arthur travels up the Atlantic. The Outer Banks and some inland areas could feel winds around 40 miles an hour with several inches of rain. At the same time, thunderstorms are possible for western North Carolina most of the day and evening. Local rain could reach a couple of inches.

Organization Pushing For Extra Police Pay In Asheville

(Asheville, NC) -- A law enforcement group is urging Asheville to boost the pay for essential workers. The Southern States Police Benevolent Association sent a letter to Mayor Esther Manheimer last month requesting extra pay for law enforcement personnel as they respond to the call of duty while facing potential exposure to the coronavirus. Manheimer told WLOS-TV over the weekend that the city is looking into extra hazard pay, but the cost to do so remains an issue. A new relief bill passed by the U.S. House would provide more money for essential workers.

Coronavirus Testing Numbers High For NC

(Raleigh, NC) -- COVID-19 testing numbers are continuing to ramp up statewide. Health officials report that more than ten-thousand tests were administered in North Carolina both yesterday and Friday. Positive cases rose to more than 18-thousand-600 overall yesterday, which was an increase of over 500 day-to-day. Avery County remains the only locale in the state without a positive case.

Local Real Estate Market Expected To Be Okay

(Asheville, NC) -- Home prices in the Asheville area are expected to remain strong despite effects from the coronavirus pandemic. Beverly-Hanks Real Estate tells the Citizen-Times that listings and sales are down right now, but it won't compare to the housing market crash more than a decade ago. Numbers for the second quarter are still expected to be down, however, in part due to the lack of in-person showings and closings. The median sales price for the mountain region in the first quarter was around 20-thousand-dollars above the same time in 2019.

Republicans Against Trump Plan A Charlotte Convention

(Charlotte, NC) -- A GOP group is planning to gather in Charlotte this August to make a stand against President Trump. The Charlotte Observer reports the Republicans for a New President is preparing to hold its own summit at the same time as the Republican National Convention, which is slated to begin at the Spectrum Centre on August 24th. Former North Carolina Supreme Court justice Bob Orr says the party under Trump isn't advocating principles of limited government, freedom of press or separation of powers. It's unclear what kind of physical presence the convention will have due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rough Weather Expected, Tropical Storm Moves Up Coast

(Charlotte, NC) -- Charlotte and other parts of North Carolina are under threat of severe weather as the first major tropical weather of the season moves up the coast. Most of the state's seaboard is under a warning today as Tropical Storm Arthur travels through the Atlantic. The Outer Banks and some inland areas could feel winds around 40 miles an hour with several inches of rain. At the same time, thunderstorms are possible for Charlotte today with severe gusts and heavy rain. Potential flooding is possible through Wednesday.

One Found Dead In Catawba County Fire

(Catawba County, NC) -- Investigators are searching for the cause of a deadly house fire in Catawba County. Flames erupted inside a residence close to downtown Newton early Sunday morning. One person was found dead inside. It took around an hour for crews to bring the fire under control.

Racing Returns To Charlotte

(Charlotte, NC) -- The eyes of NASCAR turn to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend. Racing made its return to the track yesterday as Kevin Harvick won at the Darlington Speedway in South Carolina. The next race comes up Sunday for the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. No fans are allowed in the stands.

Restaurant Owner To Use Technology For Temperature Screening

(Charlotte, NC) -- An uptown restaurant is using technology to keep people safe upon re-opening. The owner of Moa Korean BBQ and Bar on Tryon Street told WSOC-TV that he's installing a thermal-imaging camera to monitor temperatures of customers as they enter. The cameras have already been used at another restaurant he runs in South Carolina. There's no word on when restaurants will be allowed to offer in-person dining, but it could come as early as a potential phase two opening statewide this weekend.

Coastal Residents Warned About Arthur's High Winds And Rip Currents

(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper is urging residents living in coastal areas of North Carolina to remain cautious and aware as tropical storm Arthur draws near this morning. The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for parts of the coastline stretching from Atlantic Beach to Hatteras. Also covered under the warning are parts of Surf City, Duck, Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. The storm is expected to have sustained winds of 45-mph, with gust of up to 60-mph. The main threat for beachgoers is dangerous rip currents.

Health Officials Concerned About One-Day Surge In New Cases

(Raleigh, NC) -- The number of confirmed new cases of the coronavirus saw another dramatic surge in North Carolina on Sunday. The Department of Health and Human Services reported a single-day increase of 530-laboratory confirmed cases yesterday, which brought the total to over 18-thousand-600 and more than 490 patients in the hospital. More than 680-people have also died from the illness.

Many Churches Across State Held Indoor Services Sunday

(Raleigh, NC) -- A number of churches across North Carolina held indoor services Sunday, one day after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against Governor Roy Cooper's restrictions on indoor religious gatherings. The group, Return America, filed the suit last Thursday, arguing that Phase One of Cooper's executive order was a violation of the constitution's right to freedom of religion and assembly. The temporary restraining order remains in effect for 14-days.

Cooper Could Decide To Move Into Phase Two By Friday

(Raleigh, NC) -- Various sectors of the state economy will be keeping a close watch on Governor Cooper this week as he decides whether or not to move into Phase Two of reopening. Cooper has said that could happened as early as Friday May, 22nd. Cooper and state health officials are continuing to monitor data to determine if certain benchmarks are being met. They include decreases in positive COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, increased testing and contact tracing. Under Phase Two, nail and hair salons, gyms, bars and restaurants, entertainment venues and places of worship would be allowed to reopen.

Fayetteville Man Dies After Being Shot During Fight

(Fayetteville, NC) -- Police in Fayetteville are investigating the death of a man who died in a shooting early Sunday morning. Officers responded to a call of shots fired around 1:30 a.m. in the area of Chandler Street and William Clark Road. When they arrived, they found the victim had been shot multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A preliminary investigation reveals the victim and the shooter had gotten into an altercation prior to the violent incident. Authorities say the suspected shooter remained on the scene and is cooperating with detectives.

Gov. Cooper Tells Residents To Prepare For Tropical Storm Arthur

(Undated) -- Governor Roy Cooper is urging folks to get ready for Tropical Storm Arthur. The storm is expected to move near the North Carolina Coast today after its outer rainbands brushed the shore yesterday. Rough surf, heavy rain and gusty winds are expected. Arthur is the first named storm of the year.

Walmart Offers Drive-Thru Testing

(Wilkesboro, NC) -- Folks can now get tested for coronavirus at a Walmart in Wilkes County. The drive-thru testing is offered starting today in the parking lot of the Walmart on U.S. Highway 421 in Wilkesboro. Appointments will be available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 a.m to 9 a.m.

Federal Judge Blocks Coronavirus Restrictions On Churches

(Raleigh, NC) -- A federal judge is blocking Governor Roy Cooper's order limiting church services in North Carolina to ten people or fewer. Judge James Denver ruled Saturday the decree would not hold up to court challenges because it violates the First Amendment. Denver said there is no pandemic exception to the Constitution. Cooper's office urged churches to adhere to guidance from health officials to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Suspect Arrested In Shooting Death Of Teen Girl

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Winston-Salem police are announcing an arrest in the shooting of a teenage girl. Jordan Tuttle is accused of shooting 18-year-old Malaka Knight on May 11th. She was found unresponsive at a home in the 24-hundred-block of Caledonia Drive and is currently listed in critical condition at the hospital. Tuttle is facing several charges, including assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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