J & J Vaccine Headed to NC,Copper Vetoes School Bill,Hospital Numbers Drop


New COVID Vaccine Coming To NC

(Raleigh, NC) -- A new COVID-19 vaccine is on its way to North Carolina. The FDA just gave emergency approval for Johnson & Johnson's single dose vaccine, which is shipping out nationwide this week. North Carolina is expected to receive anywhere from 30-to-60-thousand doses initially. More than a-million-and-a-half vaccines have been distributed statewide so far.

General Assembly Taking On School Bill After Veto

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina's General Assembly is taking up the school re-opening bill again this week. Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a plan Friday which will require the state's public school systems to offer some type of in-person learning. Cooper said he feels the plan falls short of following proper safety guidelines to re-open. There's already expected to be enough support to override the veto.

SoCo Basketball Tournament Coming To Asheville

(Asheville, NC) -- A limited number of people are allowed to attend a college basketball tournament in Asheville this week. Harrah's Cherokee Center is set to host the men's and women's Southern Conference basketball championship between Thursday and Sunday. The Southern Conference says 544 people will be allowed to attend each session. The tournament also coincides with the annual Hoops Against Hunger campaign, which will benefit local students and their families affected by the pandemic.

Buncombe Teachers Receive COVID Vaccine

(Buncombe County, NC) -- COVID-19 vaccinations are now being given to Buncombe County teachers. WLOS-TV reports more than 500 were scheduled to receive doses at A-B Tech in Asheville on Saturday, just a few days after school staff became eligible in North Carolina. The Buncombe County Health Department says it may take a few weeks to vaccinate the four-thousand staffers who have already signed up. Those who have direct student contact are being given first priority.

Suspected Sex Offender Found Dead In Rutherford County

(Rutherford County, NC) -- A suspected sex offender is dead in Rutherford County. The sheriff's office first alerted the public last week that Gregory Heidler was wanted for crimes involving children. WLOS-TV reports deputies responded to a home on Saturday, where Heidler was found dead from an apparent suicide.

COVID Hospitalizations Continue Drop

(Raleigh, NC) -- Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continue to drop in North Carolina. Public health officials reported over the weekend that just over 14-hundred people were being treated in the hospital, which is a low not seen since mid-November. The positivity rate is hovering just above five-percent, also signifying a large decrease from its peak earlier this year.

Thousands Of The New Johnson & Johnson Vaccines On Their Way To North Carolina

(Raleigh, NC) -- Now that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has received CDC approval, North Carolina health officials are expecting between 30-and-60 thousand initial doses to be delivered this week. Of that amount, Wake County has been promised 52-hundred doses. UNC Health is expecting around 41-hundred doses. Johnson & Johnson says it will be shipping out as many as four-million doses nationwide starting today.

Cooper Vetoes First Version Of In-Person Classroom Instruction Bill

(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed an education bill that would have required school districts to develop an option for in-person classroom instruction. However, the option would not have been mandatory for parents. In announcing the decision Friday, Cooper says the part of the bill that allows middle and high school students to return to in-person classes is a violation of state health department standards. Cooper also said the bill in its current form would hinder local and state officials from protecting students and teachers in the event of an emergency.

One Suspected Gun Store Robber Jailed, Two Others Still At Large

(Durham County, NC) -- One suspect is in custody and two others are still on the run in connection with a gun store robbery that took place on February 4th. Authorities say the group used a stolen vehicle to smash into Drye's Gun Shop on Bahama Road and grab at least two guns. The Durham County Sheriff's Office says 27-year old Jeffrey Allen Valez is facing multiple charges. The other two, identified as 20-year old Victor Odoms and 19-year old Ayhiana Kelley are wanted for a number of charges including, larceny of firearms, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and accessory.

First African American In History Elected Chair Of North Carolina Democratic Party

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina Democrats have elected the first African American as Chair of the State party in history. Bobbie Richardson, a former state representative and educator, was elected during balloting that took place over the weekend, defeating three other candidates. Richardson will succeed Wayne Godwin, who did not seek reelection. Richardson had served as first chair of the N.C. Democratic Party since 2018.

Glenwood South Bars And Restaurants Packed After Cooper Eases Restrictions

(Raleigh, NC) -- After new modified social distancing restrictions went into effect on Friday, hundreds of customers packed bars and nightclubs in the popular Glenwood South district in Raleigh for the first time in almost a year. Patrons also enjoyed later curfews and alcohol sales. Under the new executive order, bars can now increase their indoor capacity to 30-percent and restaurants up to 50-percent. Large sporting venues are allowed to have 15-percent capacity.

NC A&T Student Shot, Killed

(Greensboro, NC) -- A North Carolina A&T State University student is identified as the victim of a deadly shooting in Greensboro. It happened last night at a home near Hewitt Street and Merritt Drive. Police were called to the area about an assault. They arrived to find Michael Bowie shot. He was taken to a local hospital where he died. There's no word on whether any arrests have been made.

Man Suffers Fall At Hanging Rock

(Stokes Co., NC) -- A man is recovering after he slipped and fell at Hanging Rock State Park in Stokes County. Officials say the man was hiking when he lost balance and fell near the lower cascades. They say he slid down about 70 feet. The hiker was taken to a local hospital in serious condition but is expected to survive.

FEMA To Open Vaccination Clinic In Greensboro

(Raleigh, NC) -- FEMA is set to open a mass vaccination clinic in Greensboro. It's part of the agency's plan to open or expand more than 440 community vaccination centers nationwide. The Greensboro clinic will be located at the Four Seasons Center and will vaccinate three-thousand people per day. It's set to open on March 10th.

Smith Reynolds Airport Receives Federal Grant

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem is one of ten airports statewide that have been awarded state and federal grants. The North Carolina Department of Transportation has approved close to ten-million dollars in funding to help increase airport capacity, attract new jobs and improve safety for passengers and pilots. Locally, the airport will complete its design and environmental phase for the existing parallel taxiway relocation.

Artists Invited To Take Part In Greensboro Chalk Walk Event

(Greensboro, NC) -- Artists are invited to take part in Greensboro's upcoming Chalk Walk event. The all-ages art competition will take place March 13th and 14th at the Greensboro Arboretum. Folks who are interested in participating need to register by Friday.