COVID Cases Jump...Again, Buncombe Pools Re-Open, July 4th Goes Virtual

NC Coronavirus Hospitalizations Hit Another High

(Raleigh, NC) -- Coronavirus hospitalizations are at another high in North Carolina. Public health officials revealed yesterday that nearly 850 people were being treated in the hospital. More than 29-thousand people of the state's 47-thousand cases have recovered. The seven-day average of new cases in North Carolina is over 800.

>>Temperature Checks Resuming For State Lawmakers

(Raleigh, NC) -- State lawmakers will once again have their temperatures checked at Raleigh's legislative building. The Senate Democratic Caucus questioned legislative services officer Paul Coble this week after multiple screening tools for COVID-19 have reportedly fallen upon the wayside. Coble said yesterday they stopped checking because there were no elevated temperatures for six weeks, but he's ordered temperature checks to resume in the House and Senate next week. There's also a call from Democrats in both chambers to urge some Republican lawmakers to wear masks.

Residents Speak For And Against Rutherford Confederate Monument

(Rutherford County, NC) -- Residents seem to be at an impasse over the fate of a Confederate monument in Rutherford County. Online petitions with opposing views of whether to keep or remove the monument have both pulled in more than 21-hundred signatures each as of last night. No commissioners have publicly announced their stances. The monument has been up for more than a century.

July Fourth Going Virtual In Asheville

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Asheville's Independence Day celebration is going virtual. The Downtown Association announced yesterday the fireworks display is being canceled, with an online concert to take its place. Eight local artists will play at four difference venues, with the shows broadcast over several social media channels. Nearby communities, like Hendersonville, are still planning fireworks celebrations.

Airport's Golf Course Purchase On Hold

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville Regional Airport's plan to buy a golf course is on hold. Some residents voiced concerns about the community impact the closure of Broadmoor Golf Links would have at the Henderson County commission meeting yesterday. Airport officials haven't said if the course would be closed, but only that it was a strategic move for the airport's long-term goals. The Citizen-Times reports the commissioners put the pending purchase on hold. The airport authority says permission to purchase the property isn't needed, but they do need the county's go-ahead to take the course off the tax rolls.

Buncombe's Outdoor Pools Re-Open Today

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Buncombe County's pools are opening for the summer. Five outdoor pools run by county recreation services are opening at 30-percent capacity this morning at 10:30. Attendees must wear face coverings when not in the pool. Pool workers will sanitize the areas in between two scheduled swim sessions each day.

Gaston County Sees Big Coronavirus Case Increase

(Gaston County, NC) -- The number of COVID-19 cases in Gaston County is increasing at a high rate. NBC Charlotte reports there's been a jump over more than 300-percent between May 30th and June 12th. The number of hospitalizations has grown to 20, after numbers were in single-digits a month ago. The Chief Medical Officer of CaroMont Health called the rise troubling.

Murder Suspect Arrested In Drive-By Shooting

(Charlotte, NC) -- A suspect is facing charges in the March murder of a 19-year-old woman in Charlotte. Investigators say Brianna Stephenson was in a car at Tuckaseegee Road and Freedom Drive when she was shot in an apparent drive-by. The CMPD charged 18-year-old Christopher Chisholm with murder yesterday. He was already in Mecklenburg County jail.

Charlotte Considers Face Mask Mandate

(Charlotte, NC) -- The city of Charlotte is joining Mecklenburg County in considering a potential face mask mandate. Governor Roy Cooper is expected to address the issue statewide as early as today. The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in large numbers, with one-thousand new cases reported yesterday. Face masks are mandatory in Raleigh starting Friday.

Gaston Commissioner Wants Confederate Statue Removed

(Gaston County, NC) -- One Gaston County commissioner wants a Confederate statue at the courthouse removed. Ronnie Worley told WSOC-TV the three-story statue represents soldiers who fought for slavery. He's now looking to start a committee of veterans that will study what can be done with the monument. Worley says a better place would be a museum or cemetery.

Two Arrested In Matthews Hotel Murder

(Matthews, NC) -- Two suspects are in jail for a hotel murder in Matthews. One man was shot to death and another was injured at the Holiday Inn Express earlier this month. Matthews investigators say the shooting stemmed from a fight in a room at the hotel. A man and woman were arrested for first-degree murder yesterday.

UNCC Fees To Remain Same

(Charlotte, NC) -- Tuition and fees aren't expected to change for UNC-Charlotte students, no matter what kind of classes they take this fall. Instruction is being presented either online, in-class, or a mix of the two. The school says that won't change fees. A student government association member says student leaders plan to present their official disagreement with the proposals today.

Raleigh Mayor Sets Timeline For New Mandatory Face Covering Ordinance

(Raleigh, NC) -- Raleigh Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin's expanded State of Emergency that includes a mandatory wearing of face coverings, is set to go into effect at 4 p.m. tomorrow. The order will require people to wear a covering in any location where it is not possible to maintain social distancing. Baldwin said the action is being taken in response to reports of large gathering at numerous locations across the city this past weekend, where people were literally ignoring social distancing protocols.

New Coronavirus Cases In North Carolina On Upward Trajectory

(Raleigh, NC) -- State health officials reported record numbers of new cases of the coronavirus for a fourth straight day on Wednesday. One-thousand-two confirmed laboratory cases within a 24-hour period. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services also reported an increase of 17-more COVID-19 hospitalizations yesterday, which reached a new record of 846-people. Hospitals across the state are reporting 21-percent of in-patient beds are available and 23-percent of ICU beds are available.

Trustees Vote To Lift Ban On Name Changes At UNC Chapel Hill

(Chapel Hill, NC) -- The Board of Trustees at UNC Chapel Hill has announced that it has voted to lift a controversial moratorium against renaming buildings and monuments on the school's campus. The moratorium was first enacted in 2015 and was not set to expire until 2031. The policy was intended to prevent the names of individuals associated with the confederacy, slavery and white supremacy.

Lawmakers Vote To Give Teachers A Small One-Time Bonus

(Raleigh, NC) -- Members of the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill Wednesday that would provide a one-time bonus for state teachers and support personnel. The legislation calls for a one-time 350 dollar direct payment to teachers, along with a request that Governor Roy Cooper allocates an additional 600-dollars to the payment with funds provided by the CARES Act. This comes as state budget writers are expecting a decline of as much as four-billion dollars in tax revenues for the upcoming 2021 fiscal year that begins July 1st.

Duke To Evaluate Applications For Admissions Without ACT Or SAT Scores

(Durham, NC) -- Officials at Duke University have announced that students applying for first time admission, will have the option of not submitting their SAT and ACT scores. The rule change applies to the upcoming school year. In a written statement, the University acknowledged that difficulties in registering for the exams would likely continue because of COVID-19. The statement also said applicants who choose not to submit their SAT or ACT scores would not be at a disadvantage.

Winston-Salem City Council Member Tests Positive For COVID-19

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Winston-Salem City Council Member Annette Scippio has coronavirus. Scippio was exposed to the virus last week and tested positive on Monday. She waived her right to privacy and allowed her test results to be shared with the public. All city and staff members who came in close contact with Council Member Scippio were also tested for COVID-19. Those results are pending.

Guilford Co. Schools Release Statement On Reopening Summer Practices

(Guilford Co., NC) -- Guilford County Schools is reopening summer practices and workouts in a modified format. The district made the announcement yesterday. High school fall sports and marching band training will reopen on Monday, July 6th. Participants will be required to undergo health screenings and temperature checks before each practice.

>Winston-Salem Dash To Reveal Name Of New Stadium

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- It's a big day for the Winston-Salem Dash. The team will reveal the name of their new downtown stadium this morning. The stadium is currently BB&T Ballpark, but it's getting a new name following the merger of BB&T and Suntrust banks.

Greensboro Announces At-Home Summer Camp Packages

(Greensboro, NC) -- The City of Greensboro is announcing a series of at-home summer camps. The Parks and Rec' department is rolling out the new "Summer Stay Camp" kits starting next Monday. They'll include self-guided activities, complete with educational themes. A new kit will be released every Monday through August 10th.

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