BunCo. Schools Move to Plan A, WCU Opens Vax Clinic, N.C. Bars Open Tonight

Buncombe Elementary Schools Going To Plan A

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Elementary school students can soon stay in the classroom full-time in Buncombe County. The school board voted yesterday to begin a transition to North Carolina's Plan A next month. Kindergarteners through 3rd grade will be able to attend school five-days-a-week starting March 8th. Remaining elementary schoolers can begin full-time on the 15th. Governor Roy Cooper has not yet recommended Plan A for upper grades.

State To Release Thousands Of Prisoners Early

(Raleigh, NC) -- The state is agreeing to released thousands of prisoners early. As part of a settlement over inmate conditions during the pandemic, North Carolina will let 35-hundred out early over a span of six-months. Some of the affected inmates will have their sentence reduced to the mandatory minimum to make that happen. The lawsuit filed by the NAACP, ACLU and more cited overcrowding and spreading of the virus during prison transfers.

NC Bars Can Open Indoors Tonight

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina bars are able to open their indoor spaces for the first time in a while tonight. Governor Roy Cooper's latest health directives begin at five this afternoon, which allows bars to open inside at 30-percent capacity. Restaurants can also sell alcohol until 11 p.m., two hours longer than before. The state continues to urge residents to wear a mask and stay six-feet apart.

Asheville Police Seek Bank Robbery Suspect

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville police are on the lookout for a bank robbery suspect. Investigators say a man pulled out a gun inside the BB&T on Hendersonville Road yesterday afternoon. Surveillance footage shows the man pointing the gun past the counter towards employees. He drove off from the scene in a car.

APD Releases Footage Of Shooting Suspect

(Asheville, NC) -- Investigators need the public's help in trying to find an Asheville shooting suspect. Yesterday, the police department released photos of a man captured on surveillance footage. He's suspected of shooting the victim in a South French Broad River apartment complex parking lot last week. Officers say the victim then drove to the Pack Square area, where emergency responders took him to the hospital. There's no update on his condition.

WCU's Vaccine Clinic Opens

(Cullowhee, NC) -- Western Carolina University is helping the health department go through its vaccine waiting list. The vaccination clinic at the Cullowhee school just opened up as teachers became eligible in the state. Moderna sent WCU an initial shipment of 500 doses, which should be gone soon.

Suspect Sought In Gaston Triple Shooting

(Gaston County, NC) -- Gaston County police are looking for the suspect in a deadly triple shooting. Two people died and another was injured when gunfire erupted in the Crowders Mountain community on Monday night. Nineteen-year-old Jordan Moses is wanted for murder, attempted murder and robbery. He's considered armed and dangerous.

Mass Vaccine Clinic Opens At Stadium

(Charlotte, NC) -- Another mass COVID vaccination clinic is beginning today at Bank of America Stadium. Around 20-thousand people are expected to receive doses between now and Sunday. It's the second large event at the stadium this year, with the help of Atrium Health, Honeywell, and Tepper Sports. WBTV reports the average wait time should be around 30 minutes.

CMPD Investigates East Charlotte Stabbing

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is investigating a stabbing. Investigators say a person suffered life-threatening injuries in an attack on Central Avenue in east Charlotte last night. There's no word if any suspects have been identified or arrested.

Meck's COVID Directive Ends

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- The COVID-19 directive in Mecklenburg County is ending today. That means normal hours will resume for all outdoor Parks and Rec facilities. Reservations can also be made for athletic fields and shelters. Public health director Gibbie Harris said metrics have improved, but the three W's must still be practiced: wear a mask, wait six feet apart and wash your hands.

Driver Arrested After Deadly Hit-And-Run

(Catawba County, NC) -- A 65-year-old man is being charged in a deadly hit-and-run in Catawba County. Investigators say a pick-up truck failed to yield when the driver turned onto Highway 16 in Newton Wednesday night. A motorcyclist died when he hit the truck. The truck driver left the scene, but was arrested a short time later for DWI and felony death-by-vehicle.

College Basketball Tournament Comes To Charlotte

(Charlotte, NC) -- Women's postseason college basketball is coming to Charlotte. Bojangles' Coliseum will serve as one of four host sites for regional action next month in the Women's National Invitational Tournament. Eight teams will take part in single elimination games over three rounds in Charlotte. The NIT will handle COVID testing for players and staff.

Bars And Restaurants Impacted By Pandemic To Get Reprieve On Paying Alcohol Fees

(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Cooper signed a new bill into law Thursday that would allow bar and restaurant owners to delay paying ABC permit fees until they can resume full operations. The new law will also allow businesses in this category to apply for a refund for ABC fees paid during the pandemic. House Bill 4 was passed by a unanimous vote of the North Carolina General Assembly.

Over Three Thousand Prison Inmates To Be Released Because Of COVID-19

(Raleigh, NC) -- Some 35-hundred North Carolina prison inmates will be released early in an effort to slow the further spread of COVID-19. In a statement released Thursday, the North Carolina Department of Corrections announced the action is the result of an out of court settlement with the NAACP and the ACLU, which filed a lawsuit in 2020 against the state, claiming unsafe living conditions. The releases will take place over the next six months.

Key COVID-19 Metric At Lowest Level Since Beginning Of Pandemic

(Raleigh, NC) -- Data released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services showed the state's test positive rate on Thursday was at the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. The four-point-five-percent figure was less than the previous record made on September 24th of last year. Hospitalizations fell by 32 yesterday to one-thousand-498. And, there was a slight uptick in new infections Thursday, the three-thousand-351 number was just five more than the day before.

U.K Variant Of Virus Discovered In Durham County

(Raleigh, NC) -- A total of 37 cases of the U.K. variant of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the state of North Carolina. The latest was reported Thursday by health officials in Durham County. Doctors say the individual diagnosed with the B-117 variant is now under quarantine, and all known close contacts have been traced. While the U.K. variant is believed to be more contagious, so far there has been no evidence of a higher mortality rate.

Cone Health To Close COVID-19 Only Facility

(Greensboro, NC) -- Cone Health is closing its COVID-19-only facility. The 116-bed hospital opened up on April 13th in the former Women's Health building at the Green Valley campus. It's been the epicenter of Cone Health's coronavirus response for nearly a year. The facility will close on March 5th, and patients will be transferred to four other hospital campuses.

Decomposed Body Found In Winston-Salem

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Winston-Salem police are investigating after a heavily-decomposed body was found yesterday on West Sprague Street, behind Paul's Cycling and Fitness. Crews were out assessing water damage when they found the bones. Police do not believe the victim died of natural causes. An autopsy is scheduled for this morning.

Walgreens To Sell Over-The-Counter COVID-19 Testing Kits

(Burlington, NC) -- Walgreens is teaming up with Burlington-based Lab-Corp to sell over-the-counter COVID-19 test kits. The Pixel testing kits will be available in up to six-thousand stores this spring and will not require a prescription. Customers will swab their own noses and then send the sample to Lab-Corp to be tested. The test has been approved for emergency use by the F-D-A.

Silver Alert Issued For Missing Winston-Salem Man

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A Silver Alert is in place for a missing endangered man from Winston-Salem. Police say 33-year-old Mitchel Jacob Davis is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment. He is about six-foot, two-inches tall and weighs about 190 pounds. He was last seen in Winston-Salem wearing thick black glasses, a gray long-sleeved shirt, khaki pants and blue Under Armour shoes. If you have any information on Davis' whereabouts, you are asked to call Winston-Salem Police.

Alleghany Co. Rocked By Small Quake

(Alleghany Co., NC) -- No injuries or damages are reported after a small earthquake in Alleghany County. The magnitude-2.2 quake was recorded around 2:40 yesterday afternoon, about two miles south of Sparta. More than 350 people reported feeling the quake. It's one of many small earthquakes and tremors since the magnitude 5.1 quake hit the area on August 9th, resulting in widespread damage.

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