NC COVID Infection Rate Drops to 6 Percent, Judge OK's Frost Plea Deal

Some WCU Staff Against In-Person Instruction

(Cullowhee, NC) -- The Faculty Senate at Western Carolina University is against face-to-face learning. The group approved a resolution yesterday to encourage virtual learning when class begins next Monday. The resolution claims there aren't proper policies or procedures in place to stay safe. The North Carolina Public Service Workers Union filed a lawsuit yesterday against the UNC System over alleged unsafe conditions.

Judge Accepts Former Commissioner's Plea

(Buncombe County, NC) -- A judge is okay with a plea agreement in the fraud case of a former Buncombe County commissioner. Ellen Frost previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. after investigators say she misapplied nearly 600-thousand-dollars in county funds a few years ago. The plea deal was accepted in a short hearing yesterday in Asheville. Frost's legal team is planning to request home confinement rather than prison time.

NC Reports Small Increase Of New COVID-19 Cases

(Raleigh, NC) -- COVID-19 numbers are a bit better day-to-day in North Carolina. Health officials reported the smallest single-day increase since early June yesterday, with 626. The positivity rate also dwindled down to five-percent for the first time in three months. The secretary of health services credited the state's re-opening plan and face mask requirement for the lower numbers.

Hendersonville Police Chief Stepping Down

(Hendersonville, NC) -- A western North Carolina police chief is stepping down. Herbert Blake announced his resignation yesterday as head of the Hendersonville Police Department after 12 years. He said he was proud of the many ways the department has grown during that time, which includes the implementation of body cameras. His last day comes up August 21st.

Buncombe Center Of Solar Boom

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Buncombe County is the central point of a public solar energy boom. The Citizen-Times reported on Monday crews are getting to work on the largest group of projects in the state, which ranks second nationally in solar. Local governments approved to spend nearly 12-million-dollars on a handful on 50 projects that should all be complete by 2022.

Asheville Chef Tops Bobby Flay

(Asheville, NC) -- An Asheville chef is showing off his chops to the country's best. Reza Setayesh cooked a Chinese savory crepe to win an August 9th episode of "Beat Bobby Flay" on the Food Network. Setayesh is a longtime product of the Asheville area, having attended A-B Tech more than 30 years ago and now serving as owner of BimBeriBon.

Trump Narrows Down Location Of Nomination Speech

(Washington, DC) -- President Trump is almost sure of where he'll accept the Republican nomination, but it won't be in the Queen City. Delegates are meeting in Charlotte later this month for a scaled-down version of the Republican National Convention, where they'll formerly nominate him. Trump tweeted yesterday he's narrowed down the site of his August 27th speech to either the White House or the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania.

Taste Of Charlotte Canceled This Year

(Charlotte, NC) -- Charlotte's largest food event is being scrapped this year. Organizers announced yesterday the three-day Taste of Charlotte is canceled over health guidelines. The traditional June event was initially postponed from June to September. They're already taking applications for the June 2021 festival.

Company Ordering Homeless Camp To Move

(Charlotte, NC) -- Homeless people camping out in a tent city near uptown are being ordered to leave. The WB Moore Company owns the private property at West 12th and North Poplar streets, where the homeless population grew as the coronavirus pandemic hit. The company is now planning a demolition on the property next Monday. The crowd of around 100 people must leave by Friday afternoon at five.

Former Gastonia Police Chief Dies Of COVID-19

(Gastonia, NC) -- A former Gastonia police chief is dead from COVID-19 complications. Sixty-five-year-old Rodney Parham spent about a week-and-a-half in the hospital before passing away Friday. He served as chief for two years before retiring in 2003, but worked with the Gastonia department for three decades. Current Chief Robert Helton said Parham made Gastonia a better place.

CMS School Board Meets Tonight

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMS school board is meeting this evening to discuss last minute details before the academic year begins next week. WBTV reports some parents and students are looking for answers on fall sports. Several people have signed up during public comments to specifically address sports. The football season is tentatively scheduled to begin next month.

Man Randomly Firing Shotgun Killed By Police In Robbins

(Robbins, NC) -- An investigation is underway into an officer-involved shooting Monday night in the Moore County town of Robbins, in which a man with a shotgun was killed. The incident happened shortly after 8 p.m. near the In & Out Store along the 200-block of North Salisbury Street. Officers received a call of a man walking through a parking lot firing shots randomly. Authorities say when police arrived on the scene, the suspect pointed the gun at them. They reportedly shot the suspect several times, killing him.

Federal Marshals Help Track Down Child Murder Suspect In Goldsboro

(Wilson, NC) -- The search for a suspect accused in the shooting death of a five-year-old boy in Wilson Sunday is now behind bars. U.S. Marshals, along with several other state and local law enforcement agencies, were able to capture 25-year-old Darius Sessions in Goldsboro on Monday. Police say Sessions reportedly walked up to the child, identified as Cannon Hinnant, and shot him at point blank range in the head. The boy died a short time later at Wilson Medical Center. Investigators have yet to establish a motive for the killing. Sessions has been charged with first degree murder.

Health Department Records Lowest One-Day Coronavirus Count In More Than Two Months

(Raleigh, NC) -- State health officials are reporting the number of new coronavirus cases confirmed on Monday was the lowest single-day total in over two months. Records show the 626 infections yesterday was the fewest since June 2nd. However, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says the low figure may have been because one commercial lab was late in submitting testing data. The Department also reported Monday that the number of positive test results has fallen to five-percent.

Cooper To Tour Earthquake Ravaged Sparta Today

(Sparta, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper is scheduled to tour the town of Sparta today to survey the damage caused by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck on Sunday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, as many as 12 smaller aftershocks have been recorded since around midnight Monday. The tremor caused widespread minor damage to several homes and businesses in the area. Mayor Wes Brinegar has declared a State of Emergency so that local residents can apply for federal disaster assistance.

Demonstration Held To Keep Fayetteville's Controversial Market House

(Fayetteville, NC) -- Dozens of protesters gathered in front of the Fayetteville City Hall Monday in a show of support for the City's historic Market House. This as the City Council has been in recent discussions about removing the controversial image from all Fayetteville logos. The structure that was first built in 1838 and dedicated as a National Historic Landmark in 1973, was also a place where African Americans were bought and sold during the colonial slave trade.

More Aftershocks Possible Following 5.1 Quake In Allegheny Co.

(Allegheny Co., NC) - More aftershocks are possible after Sunday's five-point-one-magnitude earthquake rocked North Carolina and several surrounding states. It was the largest the state has felt in 100 years. No one was seriously hurt, but there is some damage to roads and structures in Sparta where the quake hit. The U.S. Geological Survey says there's about a 50-percent chance for after-shocks this week of a magnitude three or greater.

Lawsuit Filed Against WFU Coach In Punching Death

(Winston-Salem, NC) - The mother of a man killed by a former Wake Forest University coach is filing a civil lawsuit in the case. Donna Kent is suing former assistant men's basketball coach Jamill Jones, as well as the university. Police say the Sandor Szabo banged on Jones' car in New York in 2018, mistaking it for an Uber. They say Jones got out, punched Szabo and sped off. He was sentenced to three years of probation.

Woman Arrested In Deadly Assault In Greensboro

(Greensboro, NC) - A young woman is under arrest in connection with a deadly assault in Greensboro. Twenty-three-year-old Angelica Wiley is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 33-year-old Michael Mayo, Junior. The alleged assault happened on Sunday in the 500-block of South Reginald Road. An investigation is ongoing.

Elon University Postpones Fall Sports

(Elon, NC) - Elon University is postponing fall sports competitions due to COVID-19. That includes football, volleyball, men and women's soccer, and men and women's cross-country. The university is also postponing men's and women's golf and men's and women's tennis from the fall through the spring.

MerleFest Postponed

(North Wilkesboro, NC) - MerleFest 2021 is postponed. The event is being pushed from the last weekend in April to mid-September. It's dubbed as one of the best bluegrass, Americana and string music festivals in the nation. The 2020 festival was canceled altogether because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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