Face Mask Mandate Begins Today
(Raleigh, NC) -- A statewide face mask mandate goes into effect this afternoon at five. Governor Roy Cooper's decision to require face coverings was announced Wednesday, when he also revealed the state would stay under Phase Two restrictions until July 17th. Children under eleven and people with medical conditions won't be required to wear one. There's also an exception for people exercising outside.
Girl Dies After Forest City Shooting
(Asheville, NC) -- A suspect is now facing murder charges in the shooting of a girl in Forest City. The police department confirmed yesterday that seven-year-old Aaliyah Norris died, two days after she was shot in the head while in a car on Oak Street. The suspect was initially charged with assault, but it's been upgraded to murder. Forest City's police chief says the suspect was released from jail on unrelated charges just three hours before the shooting.
Coronavirus Hospitalizations Go Down
(Raleigh, NC) -- COVID-19 hospitalizations are back down in North Carolina. Public health officials said yesterday 891 people were being treated at hospitals, which was a 24-patient drop from Wednesday. The number of new statewide cases dropped as well. Thursday saw an increase of one-thousand cases, compared to 17-hundred the day before.
Buncombe Offering COVID-19 Testing Sites Through Summer
(Buncombe County, NC) -- Buncombe County is rolling out a series of COVID-19 testing sites the rest of the summer. Healthcare workers will be set up at the Ingles parking lot on Highway 70 in Swannanoa every Tuesday beginning next week. Another location will be held at the Buncombe County Sports Park on Thursdays. A third testing site will run on Sundays starting July 5th at the Allied Health parking lot on Genevieve Circle in Asheville.
Coronavirus Outbreak Reported At Macon County Nursing Home
(Macon County, GA) -- A small coronavirus outbreak is being reported at one Macon County nursing home. The county's health department confirmed yesterday that two staff members at Macon Valley Nursing Home recently tested positive and are now isolating at home. All residents and staff are being tested. There have been no positive tests in patients at any county long-term care facility so far.
Asheville Announces Plans For Virtual Fourth
(Asheville, NC) -- The lineup for Asheville's July 4th concert is set. The concert comes in place of the annual fireworks, which were canceled over public health concerns. The Grey Eagle, Orange Peel, Isis Music Hall and Asheville Music Hall are each bringing two bands to the stage beginning at four in the afternoon one week from tomorrow. You can find links and lineups for the concert on Asheville social media pages.
Mooresville Bowling Alley Plans Opening Despite State Order
(Mooresville, NC) -- A Mooresville business owner is planning to open his doors despite state restrictions. Paul Kreins told NBC Charlotte he's lost about 800-thousand-dollars in revenue since his bowling alley, Inside Victory Lanes, was forced to shut down. Governor Cooper's decision to extend phase two several more weeks means entertainment venues like bowling alleys are supposed to remain closed. Kreins says he's opening at five this afternoon anyway, with social distancing and sanitation measures in place.
Panthers' Coach Considers Kneeling With Players
(Charlotte, NC) -- The Carolina Panthers' new head coach says he will consider kneeling with his players if they decide to do so at games this fall. Matt Rhule said yesterday he is supportive of social justice and will back players with whatever they do. Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the National Anthem in 2016 to protest racial inequality. Former Panthers' safety Eric Reid continued to kneel throughout last season.
Cherrysville Man Sentenced For Filming Girls
(Cherryville, NC) -- A Cherryville man who secretly filmed girls showering is heading to prison. Richard Hilliard had been accused of committing the acts at his home in Cherryville, aboard a yacht and in various hotel rooms. He pleaded guilty more than a year ago. A judge sentenced him to 35 years in prison yesterday, in addition to a supervised release for the rest of his life.
PetSmart Employee Accused Of Tying Leash Around Kid's Neck
(Charlotte, NC) -- A Charlotte PetSmart employee is accused of wrapping a leash around a child's neck. One woman told WBTV she and her two kids were in the Steele Creek store earlier this week, where their puppies were pulling on their leashes. She claims an employee took the leash and put it around her seven-year-old's neck, asking her if she likes how it feels. PetSmart executives say the employee has since been fired. The former employee may be facing charges.
Forest Vows To Sue Cooper For Violating Emergency Management Act
(Raleigh, NC) -- Lt. Governor Dan Forest has announced plans to sue Governor Roy Cooper. In a statement released Thursday, Forest said Cooper has violated the state's Emergency Management Act by issuing a number of Executive Orders that have resulted in many North Carolina businesses remaining closed for an extended period of time. Forest also claims Cooper issued the orders without concurrence from a majority of the 'Council of State.' Forest is running against Cooper for Governor in the November general election.
Senate Approves Bill Allowing Arcades, Amusement Parks And Playgrounds To Reopen
(Raleigh, NC) -- The North Carolina General Assembly made another attempt Thursday to get around the governor's Executive Order that keeps certain businesses closed. Members of the Senate passed a bill that has already cleared the House that would allow amusement parks, arcades and playgrounds to reopen. Such businesses would be limited to 50-percent of the authorized fire capacity.
Cooper Signs Second Chance Act Into Law
(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Cooper signed into law Thursday the so-called 'Second Chance Act.' The legislation would allow those who have been convicted of certain low-level and non-violent offenses to have their criminal records cleared. Senate Bill 562-provides for some people to have their records expunged if they've gone 10-years with no new charges, completed their sentences and paid their fines.
Durham Police Arrest Four Protesters Outside Headquarters Building Downtown
(Durham, NC) -- Four people were arrested during protests outside the Durham Police Department Thursday. The four men, who are part of the 'Other America Group' that has staged a sit-in since early last week, were charged with impeding the flow of traffic, resisting arrest and delaying or obstructing a law enforcement officer. The group is opposed to the City Council's recent approval of the City's budget that fully funded the police department
Veteran North Carolina Lawmaker Leaving Senate After 18 Years
(Raleigh, NC) -- The second longest-serving member of the North Carolina Senate will be stepping down. Republican Jerry Tillman, of Randolph and Guilford counties, announced Thursday that he plans to resign next week. Tillman, who was first elected to the Senate in 2002, cited age as one of the reasons for leaving the upper chamber. He turns 80 in October.
High Point Police Chief Announces Retirement
(High Point, NC) - High Point's longtime police chief, Ken Shultz, is announcing his retirement. He revealed the news to City Council members on Wednesday. Shultz had been with the High Point Police Department for 31 years.
Winston-Salem Sheetz Closed Due To COVID-19 Case
(Winston-Salem, NC) - A Sheetz convenience store in Winston-Salem is shut-down after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The store is located on N.C. Highway 150, near Hickory Tree Road. The company said the store was immediately closed and will be deep cleaned, sanitized and disinfected before it's reopened.
Three North Carolina Police Officers Fired Over Racist Comments
(Wilmington, NC) -- Three North Carolina police officers are out of a job after making racist comments. The Wilmington Police Department says the trio was heard on video making "hate-filled, threatening" remarks against Black people. Chief Donny Williams explains the conversations between the fired officers were "brutally offensive and deserved immediate action."
Bonefish Grill In Winston-Salem Closes Permanently
(Winston-Salem, NC) - The Bonefish Grill in Winston-Salem is permanently closed. The restaurant had been located in the Thruway Shopping Center for over a dozen years. Company officials said it's closing because its lease has expired. They encouraged residents to visit their location in Greensboro on Koury Avenue.