COVID Cluster Linked to Revival, Liquor Sales in NC Jump, Tweetsie Closing

Town Board Votes To Remove Sylva Confederate Statue

(Sylva, NC) -- The movement to take down a Confederate monument in Jackson County is gaining traction. The town commission in Sylva voted to remove a statue known as Sylva Sam during a virtual meeting yesterday. The initial meeting last Thursday was canceled after several accounts hacked the session. The measure will now go to the Jackson County commission early next month.

Transylvania County Votes For In-Person Classes

(Transylvania County, NC) -- A western North Carolina school district is planning to move kids back into the classroom this fall. The school board in Transylvania County voted last night on a Plan B re-opening for its students. It includes a mix of virtual and in-class learning. Students will go to campus in two groups, which will be separated into either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Parents are allowed to switch their children to total virtual learning.

COVID-19 Cluster Connected To Church Revival

(Jackson County, NC) -- Public health officials are keeping a close eye on a COVID-19 cluster connected to a Jackson County church revival. County officials revealed yesterday eight people who attended the three-day event at the Cashiers Church of God earlier this month all tested positive. Anyone who attended the revival is being asked to keep a close eye on their symptoms.

Missing Asheville Woman Found Alive

(Asheville, NC) -- A missing Asheville woman is alive. The Buncombe County Sheriff's Office said Monday that 34-year-old Elizabeth Belcher was located, but there's no word on where or when. Her family originally told investigators she disappeared on July 18th from her home on Hat Creek Drive in west Asheville.

Liquor Sales Jump

(Raleigh, NC) -- Liquor sales are continuing to boom in North Carolina amid the coronavirus pandemic. Latest fiscal year numbers showed a 12-percent jump in sales of booze, up to a record high of over one-point-three-billion-dollars. The jump was in large part due to retail sales, as restaurants and bars shut down in the spring over COVID-19 concerns. It's the fifth consecutive year of record sales in North Carolina, but this year's jump was larger than normal.

High Speed Internet Coming To WNC

(Madison County, NC) -- High speed internet is coming to thousands more in Madison County. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was on-hand yesterday to announce a three-million-dollar grant which will help bring access to students, farmers and businesses around the area in need during the COVID-19 health emergency. It is expected to be available by the end of the year.

Over 50-Thousand Students Sign Up For Remote Learning

(Charlotte, NC) -- Over a third of CMS students are going completely virtual when school begins. The district says more than 50-thousand children are signed up for the Full Remote Academy, which will last for at least one semester. CMS will follow a hybrid model in a separate plan, where students will rotate in-person for two weeks before going fully virtual. Students under that option would be able to go back into the classroom if school officials changed the schedule again.

Union County Church Damaged By Fire

(Union County, NC) -- A fire at a Union County church is being investigated. Flames tore through the sanctuary and some offices at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Monroe on Monday morning. No one was injured. Firefighters aren't sure yet what caused the blaze. It's one of the oldest Catholic churches in the county.

Suspect Arrested In Lincoln County Murder

(Lincoln County, NC) -- A man is in jail for a murder in Lincoln County. Investigators say the victim was found dead in a driveway on Howard's Creek Mill Road on Sunday morning. It's unclear exactly how he died. Deputies arrested a 33-year-old suspect for second-degree murder.

CMPD Officer Charged With DWI

(Union County, NC) -- A CMPD officer is accused of driving while impaired. Officer Lorenzo Knaff is now on unpaid administrative leave after a traffic stop in Union County over the weekend. He's been with the department since 2006. It's unclear if he was on duty or not at the time of the stop.

Tweetsie Railroad Shuts Down

(Blowing Rock, NC) -- Tweetsie Railroad's short-lived re-opening is over. The Blowing Rock amusement opened to limited weekend operations more than ten days ago, but said yesterday it was closed again due to restrictions imposed by the state. The railroad was reportedly operating at reduced capacity. Governor Roy Cooper is expected to announce his decision of whether or not to relax more guidelines some time next week.

President Tours North Carolina Plant Now Working On A Coronavirus Vaccine

(Morrisville, NC) -- President Donald Trump visited the Triangle Monday to get an in-person look at one company's work in developing a coronavirus vaccine. Trump toured the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnology Center at RTP, where researchers are manufacturing antigens for a vaccine being produced by Novavax. Novavax recently received a 1-point-6 billion dollar federal grant as part of Operation Warp Speed. The first batch produced at the Morrisville facility will be used in Phase 3 human clinical trials of the drug. Some 30-thousand people nationwide, have volunteered to participate.

Pence Confirms Plans To Visit Apex North Carolina School Tomorrow

(Apex, NC) -- The White House has confirmed that Vice President Mike Pence will be in North Carolina tomorrow visiting the Thales Academy in Apex. According to a notice sent out to parents Monday, Pence will tour the kindergarten through fifth grade portion of the campus, to see how School Choice works and to advocate for its further implementation. Following the tour, Pence will hold a round table discussion with a group of staff members.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed In Effort To Block Opportunity Scholarships Program

(Wake County, NC) -- A class action lawsuit was filed Monday by a group of parents who are opposed to the Opportunity Scholarships Program. In papers filed in Wake County Court, the plaintiffs argued that the program is unconstitutional. The taxpayer funded initiative pays for K-12 students to attend private schools. The suit claims that Vouchers for students to attend private schools are an affront to a state that has such a cherished history of public education.

Raleigh Based Company Working With Moderna And Pfizer On Two Separate Vaccines

(Wake County, NC) -- A Raleigh based research lab is asking for volunteers as it is preparing to start human testing of vaccines developed by two major pharmaceutical companies. Wake Research announced Monday that it will conduct trials on potential vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer. Both vaccines have already gone through Phase 1 of testing. The company says it's looking for volunteers from three different groups. Frontline health care workers, those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes and minority populations that are most vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus.

Number Of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In North Carolina Now Tops 114-thousand

(Raleigh, NC) -- State health officials reported there were 16-hundred-25 new cases of the coronavirus reported in North Carolina on Monday. That pushed the total past 114-thousand infections since the pandemic first began. Of that number, one-thousand-169 patients were being treated at hospitals across the state. The Department also said the percentage of people testing positive remains around eight-percent. There have also been one-thousand-790-deaths from the disease.

SBI Investigates OIS In Mt. Airy

(Mount Airy, NC) - The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into an officer-involved shooting in Mount Airy. Police responded to a home on the 500-block of Allred Mill Road Sunday night about a chemical overdose. Officers say 22-year-old Samual Cochran Junior was found armed with a knife. There was an altercation, and they opened fire. Cochran died at the scene.

Trump Cheers Work On COVID-19 Vaccine

(Morrisville, NC) - President Trump is cheering work on a possible coronavirus vaccine. He spoke at a biotech plant in Morrisville yesterday and said there has never been a more aggressive search for a vaccine. The President also noted plans for a rapid deployment of a vaccine, once it has been approved. North Carolina is a key battleground state in this year's presidential election.

NC Liquor Sales Jump

(Raleigh, NC) - Liquor sales are up in North Carolina. That's according to newly-released data from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. Sales jumped by 12- percent during the fiscal year that ended on June 30th. "The Fayetteville Observer" reports the increase is largely due to Governor Roy Cooper shutting down bars and restaurants in March to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Greensboro Woman Accused Of Child Abuse

(Greensboro, NC) - A Greensboro woman is under arrest on suspicion of child abuse. Thirty-five-year-old Kristen Kemper is facing several charges after, police say, she assaulted two children last weekend. Police say she gouged the ten and 12-year-old's eyes and tried to suffocate one of them with a pillow. Kemper is also accused of assaulting an officer. During her court hearing yesterday, she was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.

Randleman Man Accused Of Murder In Deadly Fight

(Asheboro, NC) - A man is facing murder charges in connection with a deadly fight at an Asheboro restaurant. It happened last Thursday at Lucky's Burger and Tap on Dixie Drive. Twenty-six-year-old Darrell Turner is accused of punching 38-year-old Rodney Duncan, causing Duncan to lose consciousness and fall. He died on Sunday. Turner is now charged with second-degree murder and is behind bars under no bond.

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