Phase 3 Begins Friday, WNC Cities See Grant Money Flow, COVID Cluster ID'd


North Carolina To Enter Phase Three

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina is entering phase three of its re-opening plan tomorrow. Governor Roy Cooper announced a loosening of some restrictions yesterday since he says the state is holding steady on health trends. Movie theaters will be allowed to open at 30-percent capacity, while outdoor venues can open at reduced capacity as well. Bars can also open outdoor spaces at 30-percent.

>>COVID-19 Cluster Identified At Macon County Sheriff's Office

(Macon County, NC) -- A COVID-19 cluster is identified at the Macon County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Robbie Holland says there have been five positive tests among employees over the last few days. That number may increase in the next day as more test results come back. There may be some delays in issuing gun permits and completing fingerprinting due to the cases.

Cherokee Man Pleads To Assault In Death

(Cherokee, NC) -- A Cherokee man is going to spend more time in jail for an assault that ended in death. Steve Queen died more than two years ago after he was punched in the face by James Panther on the reservation. WLOS-TV reports Panther pleaded guilty to assault yesterday. He was sentenced to three years in jail, where he has already spent one year.

Driver Sentenced In Wreck That Injured Couple

(Jackson County, NC) -- A Jackson County man is heading to prison for a wreck that injured an elderly couple. Lab reports revealed Travis Zepeda was under the influence of methamphetamine when he drove onto the opposite side of U.S. 23-441 in Sylva in April 2019. He hit a car with an Ohio husband and wife, who were both seriously injured. A judge sentenced Zepeda yesterday to between 19 and 32 months in prison after he pleaded to felony counts of serious injury by motor vehicle.

Cities Receive Improvement Grants

(Asheville, NC) -- Some western North Carolina cities are receiving grants to improve roads. The state is sending out over 130-million-dollars in Powell Bill funding to help complete critical projects statewide. The city of Asheville will use over two-million-dollars for resurfacing roads. Hendersonville and Waynesville are also receiving funds.

Asheville Prepping For Basketball Tourney

(Asheville, NC) -- The Harrah's Cherokee Center in Asheville is preparing to host an annual college basketball tournament usually set thousands of miles away. The Maui Invitational was moved from Hawaii to western North Carolina this season due to COVID-19 concerns, and Asheville was awarded as host. No fans will be allowed to attend the event, but city officials still believe hosting the event will generate more than one-million-dollars for the city. It's expected to be held in late November or early December.

CMS Holding Emergency Meeting Over Learning Plans

(Charlotte, NC) -- CMS leaders are holding an emergency meeting tonight over the district's learning plans. WBTV reports the school board isn't expected to change the scheduling timetable, but it may instead have to do with student rotations. Pre-K through 5th grades students are expected to start coming back into the classroom on October 12th.

Investigators Look For Truck After Haunted House Shooting

(Rowan County, NC) -- Rowan County investigators are looking for a truck that could be connected to a haunted house shooting. It was Saturday night when shots were fired as multiple fights broke out at Reaper's Realm Haunted House and Trail in China Grove. There were around one-thousand people at the attraction at the time. Investigators said yesterday they've identified a 2015 Silver Dodge Ram pick-up truck that fled the scene.

American Airlines Furloughing Thousands

(Fort Worth, TX) -- American Airlines will begin to layoff and furlough 19-thousand employees today. CEO Doug Parker said yesterday the decision comes in the wake of the Payroll Support Program expiring. Lawmakers have been unable to come to an agreement for more federal aid for the airline industry. Charlotte Douglas International Airport is American's southeastern hub.

Person Found Dead In RV At Walmart

(Morganton, NC) -- Investigators are looking into details of a death outside a Morganton Walmart. Fire crews were called out to the parking lot Tuesday night, where flames were pouring out of an RV. One person was found dead inside the RV once the fire was extinguished. It's unclear if the death was caused by fire or other means.

Passenger Numbers Increase At CLT

(Charlotte, NC) -- Passenger counts are continuing to rise at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Traffic totaled more than two-point-one-million people in August, which was around a six-percent jump month-to-month. That number is down around 50 percent from numbers in August 2019. The total for the year so far is also about half of what it was last year at CLT.

Single-Day COVID-19 Numbers Appear To Be Going Back Up

(Raleigh, NC) -- Data released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Wednesday indicated the number of new COVID-19 cases is trending back upward. The report showed there were one-thousand-495 confirmed cases yesterday, an increase of 606 from the day before. The figures also showed the state's positivity rate had jumped to six-point-five-percent. Around 956 people were in the hospital. Three-thousand-532 people have died from the disease.

Jobless Numbers In North Carolina Have Been Steadily Decreasing

(Raleigh, NC) -- The North Department of Labor is reporting the state's unemployment rate has dropped in all 100 counties. Figures released for the month of August showed the statewide jobless rate at around seven-percent, the lowest its been since the beginning of the pandemic. Across the Triangle, it was six-point-one-percent. And in Mecklenburg County, the unemployment rate was at a bit over seven-percent.

Teen Recovering At WakeMed After Being Stabbed

(Raleigh, NC) -- A 16-year old girl is in serious condition following a stabbing incident in Raleigh Wednesday night. It happened around 8:30 pm along the 1000-block of Garner Road. Police did not release any information with regard to what led to the altercation or suspects. The girl is recovering at WakeMed.

Judge Rules Board Of Elections Out Of Court Settlement May Have Been Illegal

(Raleigh, NC) -- A federal judge issued an opinion Wednesday saying the terms of an out of court settlement in a lawsuit over absentee ballots may be a violation of one of his previous rulings. In a written statement, Judge William Osteen said the part of the agreement that eliminates the requirement to have absentee ballots signed by a witness is a misinterpretation. The judge ordered the North Carolina Board of Elections to submit a more detailed clarification of the agreement.

COVID-19 Cases Confirmed At Two Greensboro Elementary Schools

(Greensboro, NC) -- Two Greensboro elementary schools reopen today after positive COVID-19 cases. Vandalia and Washington Montessori elementary schools each reported one case of the coronavirus. They were closed yesterday for cleaning. It's not clear if students or staff members contracted the virus.

Nestle Purina PetCare Coming To Rockingham Co.

(Rockingham Co., NC) -- Neslte Purina PetCare is building a manufacturing and distribution facility in Rockingham County that will eventually bring 300 jobs to the area. Governor Cooper's office made the announcement yesterday. The 450-million-dollar facility is opening up at a former brewery site near Eden. It's expected to be up-and-running by 2022.

Kamala Harris' Husband Visiting Greensboro

(Greensboro, NC) -- The husband of Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris is visiting Greensboro. Doug Emhoff will be in the city tomorrow for a campaign event. His visit comes less than a week after Harris campaigned in Raleigh, and Joe Biden was in Charlotte. It's not yet clear where tomorrow's event will be held.

Carolina Classic Drive-Thru Food Fair Opens

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- The Carolina Classic Food Fair is going to look different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The nostalgic event is turning into a drive-thru food fair at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds. Folks will be able to order their favorite fair food from 12 different vendors. Drive-thru games will also be a part of the fun. The fair runs today through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.