Early voting off and running, First Flu Death in NC, COVID Cases Jump

Early Voting Going Smoothly

(Asheville, NC) -- Early voting is off and running in a big way across North Carolina. Thursday brought out over 270-thousand people to polling locations, which surpassed the first day of early voting four years ago by more than 100-thousand. Few problems were reported at voting sites. Voter turnout on the first day nearly tripled in Buncombe County.

State Hits High For New COVID-19 Cases

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina's COVID-19 trends appear to be heading in the wrong direction. The Health and Human Services Department reported a single-day record of more than 25-hundred new cases yesterday, which eclipses a previous high from July. Governor Roy Cooper said North Carolinians must be more vigilant than ever to prevent the spread of the virus. The positivity rate was around six-and-a-half-percent Thursday.

First Flu Death Reported In NC

(Raleigh, NC) -- The first flu death of the season is being reported in North Carolina. Public health officials say a person over the age of 65 recently died in the central part of the state. There were 186 flu-related deaths reported in the last flu season from late 2019 to early 2020. The CDC recommends anyone over the age of six months to get a flu shot as soon as possible.

Kamala Harris Visit To WNC Canceled

(Asheville, NC) -- Senator Kamala Harris's visit to western North Carolina was over before it started. The Democratic vice presidential candidate's planned stop in Asheville yesterday was called off at the last minute over COVID-19 concerns. Her campaign's communications director and a member of a flight crew tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Harris was not in close contact with either one, but her travel plans have been canceled through Sunday.

Buncombe Deputy Cleared In Fatal Crash

(Buncombe County, NC) -- A Buncombe County deputy won't be charged in a deadly crash on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A Swannanoa woman died on July 5th after wrecking during a short chase. District Attorney Todd Williams ruled yesterday that the deputy should be cleared and there was no violation of law.

Ridgecrest To Be Sold To Foundation

(Ridgecrest, NC) -- A longtime Christian camp in Buncombe County is about to fall under new ownership. WLOS-TV says LifeWay Christian Resources is selling The Ridgecrest Conference Center to a new independent, nonprofit ministry called the Ridgecrest Foundation. LifeWay's board decided earlier this year to sell the property over rising costs and uncertainty due to the pandemic.

Two Injured In Shooting Near UNCC

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is investigating a shooting near the campus of UNC Charlotte. Two people were rushed to the hospital with serious injuries after a shooting in Margie Ann Drive yesterday. It's unclear if officers are looking for any suspects.

Kamala Harris Trip To Charlotte Canceled

(Charlotte, NC) -- Senator Kamala Harris's visit to Charlotte was over before it started. The Democratic vice presidential candidate's planned stop in the Queen City yesterday was called off at the last minute over COVID-19 concerns. Her campaign's communications director and a member of a flight crew tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Harris was not in close contact with either one, but her travel plans have been canceled through Sunday.

One Dead In Charlotte House Fire

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Mecklenburg County firefighters are looking for the cause of a deadly blaze. Fire destroyed a home on Sandringham Place in the northeastern part of the county early Thursday morning. One person was found dead inside the home. A firefighter was treated for injuries that were considered to be minor.

Charlotte Murder Suspect Arrested

(Charlotte, NC) -- A suspect is in jail for a murder in northeast Charlotte. The CMPD says a 17-year-old was shot to death near North Tryon Street and East Arrowhead Road in late September. The suspect in the shooting was arrested after being pulled over during a traffic stop yesterday.

History Making Turnout On First Day Of Early Voting In North Carolina

(Raleigh, NC) -- Long lines were the order of the day Thursday as more than 230-thousand North Carolinians showed up at polling sites across the state to cast ballots on the first day of early in-person voting. According to the North Carolina Board of Elections, yesterday's first-day turnout far eclipsed the number for 2016, when 166-thousand voted early. Some voters reported having to wait in line as long as five hours before being allowed to cast ballots.

Harris Forced To Suspend Campaign Travel After Two Staff Members Tests Positive For COVID-19

(Raleigh, NC) -- Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris Thursday, suspended all campaign travel at least until Monday after two of her staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. Harris had planned stops in Asheville and Charlotte. So far, Harris has tested negative for COVID-19.

Newly Appointed President Of St. Augustine University Suddenly Passes Away

(Raleigh, NC) -- After being on the job for just three months, the president of Saint Augustine University in Raleigh has died. Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail took over on July 15th as the Historically Black College's 12th president. The University did not release the cause of death. A native of New York City, Dr. McPhail had set goals of increasing enrollment at the school. He had also expressed a desire to launch an institute on the study of racial disparities that would be based at Saint Augustine.

Cooper Introduces New Rent And Utility Assistance Program

(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper Thursday, announced the launching of a new initiative designed to help struggling families with rent and utility payments. The program, called the North Carolina Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions, will provide financial assistance to eligible low-to-moderate income residents experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19. In order to qualify, a household must be at least one month overdue on their rent or utility payments at the time of application.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth Co. Schools Supe Resigns

(Forsyth Co., NC) -- The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools superintendent is announcing her resignation. Dr. Angela Hairston handed in her notice yesterday. She said she's accepted a position as superintendent of Danville Public Schools in Virginia. Dr. Hairston has been with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools since September 2019. The district says it will still move forward with its reopening plan.

Preschool Worker Accused Of Abusing Children

(King, NC) -- A preschool employee is accused of abusing children at a church in King. Nineteen-year-old Elizabeth Mills was arrested on October 8th on suspicion of pinching and assaulting children at Calvary Baptist Church. She's charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault on a child under the age of 12, and three counts of misdemeanor child abuse. An investigation is ongoing.

Early Voting Underway In North Carolina

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Early voting is underway in North Carolina. Residents can vote, register to vote or change their address at several polling places around the Triad. Mail-in ballots can be requested through October 27th, and early voting runs through October 31st. Election Day is November 3rd.

Vehicle Fire Believed To Be Related To Homicide In High Point

(High Point, NC) -- High Point police believe a vehicle fire is related to a deadly shooting earlier in the week. A 2018 Nissan Altima was found burning outside of an abandoned building on West Green Drive early Wednesday morning. Officials say the car was reported stolen on Monday and matched the description of a vehicle tied to a homicide on East Martin Luther King Boulevard. They say it appears to have been set on fire on purpose. Anyone who can help in the investigation is urged to call High Point P-D.

Gov. Cooper Announces Applications For HOPE Program

(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper says renters who've been financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic can now apply for assistance through the North Carolina Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions program. The HOPE program will provide 117-million dollars in assistance to folks who might be behind on their rent and utilities. Renters must have a current household income that is 80-percent of the area median or lower in order to qualify. Applications can be found at NC-211-dot-org.

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