Restrictions Could Be Eased, Stabbing Suspect Arrested, New Hotel Regs Pass


Restrictions Could Ease With Cooper's COVID Update

(Raleigh, NC) -- The state is assessing ways to ease restrictions as COVID-19 case numbers drop. North Carolina's top health official told a legislative committee yesterday the governor is considering what to do, as trends move in the right direction. The current modified stay-at-home order is set to expire this Sunday. Governor Cooper may be updating the order this afternoon when he speaks at two.

City Council Sends Tax Transit Bill To State

(Asheville, NC) -- Voters may be deciding on a transit referendum in Asheville. The city council threw its support last night behind a proposal to allow people to vote on a quarter-cent sales tax, which would likely be placed on a 2022 ballot. The General Assembly must first give its okay. The tax is expected to pull in around ten-million-dollars.

Asheville Stabbing Suspect Caught

(Asheville, NC) -- The search for an Asheville stabbing suspect is over. Deputies chased Dominique Fore from Transylvania County to Brevard Road in Buncombe County last night. Investigators say Fore hit three deputy cruisers during the chase, but no major injuries were reported. Fore is accused of stabbing someone at the Holiday Inn on Smokey Mountain Parkway last weekend.

Blue Ridge Parkway Is Most Visited National Park

(Undated) -- The most visited National Park in 2020 is right here in western North Carolina. The National Park Service says more than 14-million people visited the Blue Ridge Parkway last year. That total may be down a bit from the year before, but it still outnumbered the over 12-million people who visited the Golden Gate Recreation Area in San Francisco. Visitor centers and restrooms were closed along the parkway for a little bit last year as the coronavirus pandemic first took hold.

A-B Tech COVID Testing Site Closes

(Asheville, NC) -- Buncombe County is shutting down its COVID-19 testing site at A-B Tech. Health director Stacie Saunders said yesterday that county turnout for testing remains high, but numbers at A-B Tech have dropped. Around eight-thousand tests are still being administered countywide weekly. Drive-thru testing began at the Buncombe County Sports Park earlier this month.

New Asheville Hotel Regulations Pass

(Asheville, NC) -- New hotel regulations are in place in Asheville. The city council approved rules last night that instruct new hotels to meet public health benefits requirements, like paying employees a living wage. A review committee will be able to approve a hotel without the city council's approval if they meet the conditions. A moratorium on new hotel construction expired yesterday.

Over 200 Losing Jobs In CMS

(Charlotte, NC) -- More than 200 CMS employees are losing their jobs. The school board announced last night that many of its after-school program sites are shutting down temporarily because of lower enrollment, which has caused an 800-thousand-dollar monthly deficit. The move affects 224 employees and close to 480 students. Superintendent Earnest Winston said the system looks forward to restoring the program in the future.

Three Arrested For Gaston County Double Homicide

(Gaston County, NC) -- Three suspects are facing charges in a Gaston County double homicide. Officers found two men shot to death on Lowery Wood Road near Bessemer City last Thursday night. Two men from Taylorsville and a juvenile have since been arrested on two counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder. One other person was injured in the shooting.

Fort Mill Murder Suspect Surrenders

(Fort Mill, SC) -- A suspect accused in a deadly Fort Mill shooting is now in jail. Anquante Watts surrendered to police yesterday, four days after a man was shot to death at a Circle K on the U.S. Highway 21 Bypass. Investigators say it appears a man and woman fled the scene in a car. Watts was charged with murder.

Fire Sweeps Through Lenoir Shopping Center

(Lenoir, NC) -- Investigators are looking for the cause of a fire at a Lenoir shopping center. The blaze caused major damage at a thrift store and affected several surrounding businesses at the Fairway Shopping Center last night. No one was injured. A battalion chief told WBTV flames started in the roof.

Fortune Cookie Helps Man Win Big In Lottery

(Huntersville, NC) -- One man has a fortune cookie to thank for big lottery winnings in Huntersville. Ernesto Sorzano recently used his fortune cookie numbers when he bought a three-dollar Power Play ticket in the Powerball at a local Seven-Eleven. The ticket scored him half-a-million-dollars in winnings. Sorzano plans to use the money to help buy a new home in Huntersville.

Motorcycle Crash In Fayetteville Kills Rider

(Fayetteville, NC) -- Police in Fayetteville are investigating a motorcycle crash Tuesday night that resulted in the death of the driver. Officers responded to a call of a vehicle accident around 9:30 p.m. on Morganton Road near Evanston Street. Upon arrival, they discovered that the rider was the only person injured in the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The identity of the victim was withheld pending notification of relatives.

Two Men Shooting At Each Other In Durham Crash Car Into BP Station Pumps

(Durham, NC) -- A shootout between two men in Durham Tuesday ended when a car crashed into a pump at a gas station. It happened at the BP location on Avondale Drive and North Roxboro Street. Multiple shots were exchanged, and both suspects were wounded. At last report, one of the victims was listed in critical condition at a nearby hospital. The other's injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Head Of State Board Of Elections Wants Next Year's Elections Pushed Back

(Raleigh, NC) -- The executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections is asking state lawmakers to approve her request to delay all municipal elections until 2022. Karen Brinson-Bell is also asking that state primaries, scheduled for March of 2022, be pushed back to May of next year. Brinson-Bell cited delays in receiving census data from 2020 as the reason. The U.S. Census Bureau says because of the pandemic, those numbers, which were initially set to be delivered to states next month, will not be released until September.

Vaccine Shipments Delayed By Ice Storms Finally Starting To Arrive In North Carolina

(Raleigh, NC) -- State health officials say vaccine shipments that were delayed last week by winter storms started to arrive in North Carolina on Tuesday. Speaking to members of the General Assembly, state Health Officer Dr. Mandy Cohen said she expects the CDC to deliver two weeks' worth of vaccines this week. The more than 162-thousand doses allocated for the week of February 15th and the 200-thousand for this week, will represent an increase of 22-point-nine-percent.

Two Injured In Wilkes Co. Home Explosion

(Wilkes Co., NC) -- Two people are badly hurt after an explosion at a Wilkes County home. It happened yesterday morning on Yellow Banks Road in North Wilkesboro. Emergency responders say a 55-year-old woman and a 56-year-old man suffered burns in the explosion. They say it happened while someone was igniting a wood stove with Coleman fuel.

New Bill Would Allow 25 To 50 Percent Capacity At Sport Events

(Raleigh, NC) -- A new bill would allow between 25-and-50-percent capacity at indoor and outdoor sporting events. House Bill 128 would apply to events at UNC system schools, community colleges, and K-through-12 public and private schools. If passed, family members of athletes would not be counted toward the spectator limit. A similar bill was filed in the state Senate last week that would only apply to outdoor facilities at K-through-12 schools.

Body Found Hanging From Rockingham Co. Bridge

(Rockingham Co., NC) -- Rockingham County sheriff's officials are investigating after a body was found hanging from a bridge. A bystander called deputies around 7:30 yesterday morning to report a person hanging from the Mizpah Church Road Bridge over U.S. 29. The victim's identity won't be released until their family is contacted.

Off-Campus Party Under Investigation At Duke

(Undated) -- Dozens of party-goers at Duke University are accused of violating the school's COVID-19 safety policy. Attendees are accused of not wearing masks. Over 100 people are under quarantine as a precaution. Duke currently has three-dozen positive coronavirus cases among students and staff.