Murder Suspect Still On The Run, Tillis/Burr a "No" Vote on COVID Bill

Asheville Murder Suspect Still On Run

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville police are continuing the manhunt for the suspect in a November murder. The police department told the Citizen-Times that no one has stepped forward with information on the possible location of 19-year-old Dionate Whitson, who is accused of shooting a teenager to death near a Montford park community center. U.S. Marshals announced a five-thousand-dollar reward in the case at the beginning of the month. Whitson reportedly has connections in Charlotte and upstate South Carolina.

NC Near Tops For Removing Confederate Symbols

(Raleigh, NC) -- More Confederate symbols are being taken down in North Carolina than most places in the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center says 24 symbols were removed from public spaces across the state last year, which is second to 71 removed in Virginia for 2020. One symbol up for debate in Asheville is the Vance Monument, which has been recommended for removal.

NC Senators Vote Against Relief Package

(Washington, DC) -- The federal government's new COVID-19 relief package is moving to the U.S. House despite "no" votes from North Carolina's Senators. The one-point-nine-trillion-dollar plan passed along party lines over the weekend. Republicans Richard Burr and Thom Tillis were against the bill. Tillis said Democrats pushed it through and put an end to the previous bipartisan spirit in COVID relief.

Dog Found Safe After Asheville Carjacking

(Asheville, NC) -- An Asheville family's dog is safe after surviving several days in a stolen SUV. The mixed-breed dog, Lenny, was inside the vehicle when it was taken from the Ingles parking lot on Tunnel Road last Thursday. The family told WLOS-TV yesterday the SUV was found in west Asheville. Lenny was there too, and is now back in safe hands.

Vigil Held For Burnsville Woman

(Burnsville, NC) -- The Burnsville community is remembering a mother who was found dead inside her home. WLOS-TV says a memorial walk and domestic violence event was held yesterday in honor of Monica Rathburn. A man who reportedly dated Rathburn was arrested for her death after she was discovered on February 28th. Rathburn was a mother of three.

DOT Heading Annual Litter Clean-Up

(Raleigh, NC) -- The North Carolina Department of Transportation is seeking volunteers for its semi-annual litter clean-up campaign. This spring's Adopt-A-Highway Litter Sweep lasts from April 10th through 24th. The agency says contractors and volunteers have already helped pick up more than one-million pounds of trash in January and February. Volunteers will be asked to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines, like wearing a mask and staying socially distant.

Murder, Kidnapping Suspect Arrested In Pineville

(Pineville, NC) -- A man caught during a police chase in Mecklenburg County is accused of killing his mother. An AMBER Alert was issued on Saturday after Jacob Jones was accused of taking his taking his four children without permission from a Winston-Salem home. Investigators say Jones also allegedly stabbed his 68-year-old mother to death. He was arrested at a gas station in Pineville early Sunday morning. The children are safe.

Car Crashes Through Charlotte Martial Arts Studio

(Charlotte, NC) -- A martial arts studio in Steele Creek is cleaning up a big mess from a wreck. The CMPD says a driver recklessly lost control of a car that crashed into Leadership Martial Arts on Saturday afternoon. There was a class being held at the time, but luckily no one was injured. The studio will be closed for at least the next few days as repairs are being made.

Vaccinations Continue In Charlotte

(Charlotte, NC) -- Thousands more people are vaccinated against COVID-19 in Charlotte. Novant Health told NBC Charlotte that four-thousand people received doses at the Spectrum Center on Saturday, with half of those being administered the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Another mass vaccination event is being held at Bank of America Stadium this Tuesday through Thursday. Around 14-thousand people have appointments.

Charlotte MLB Prospect Heads Up Homeless Initiative

(Charlotte, NC) -- A Charlotte native and MLB prospect is helping the homeless. Arizona Diamondbacks draft pick Lucas Martino spearheaded a baseball camp for kids in Charlotte yesterday, where 25-dollar donations were collected to assist the homeless community. Helping him out was another local, Luke Little, who is also a prospect for the Chicago Cubs.

Winthrop Heading Back To NCAA Tourney

(Rock Hill, SC) -- Winthrop University is heading back to the NCAA basketball tournament. The Eagles secured an automatic bid into the big dance by trouncing Campbell 80-to-53 in the Big South championship yesterday. It was the Rock Hill school's second straight conference tournament championship. Winthrop only has one loss in 24 games this season.

Nearly Three Million Coronavirus Vaccines Distributed In North Carolina

(Raleigh, NC) -- The latest Health Department data shows that as of Saturday, a total of two-point-seven million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in North Carolina. One million people have received both doses. This, as the State also reported two-thousand-27 people were in the hospital, down from two-thousand-93 the day before. North Carolina's test positive rate was at four-point-two percent on Thursday, the last day for which data was made available. And, there were 56-additional deaths over the weekend, which brought the total to more than 11-thousand since the start of the pandemic.

Wake County Group 4 Vaccine Registrations To Start Today

(Wake County, NC) -- Health officials in Wake County will expand vaccination eligibility to people in Group 4 starting today. Group 4 includes anyone ages 16-to-64 with a high risk medical condition, that increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. However, people in Group 4 will only be able to register to receive vaccinations at this time. The actual administration of vaccines to the Group 4 category is not expected to begin until March 24th.

UNC Chapel Hill Students Celebrate Win Over Duke

(Chapel Hill, NC) -- For the second time this year, students at UNC Chapel Hill stormed Franklin and Columbia Streets to celebrate a big win over archrival Duke Saturday night. This, in defiance of University and State COVID-19 safety restrictions limiting the number of people allowed at outdoor social gatherings. UNC released a statement Sunday that said 'Student Rushers' would be investigated. The statement also promised that the University would follow its disciplinary process for any students found to be in violation of COVID-19 community standards.

Driver Of Gasoline Tanker Dies In Crash On I-95

(Johnston County, NC) -- Authorities in Johnston County are investigating a deadly crash of an 18-wheeler fuel tanker truck on I-95 that resulted in the death of the driver. It happened early Sunday morning near Exit 93 and Brogden Road. Sheriff's Deputies say the driver apparently lost control of the truck and went off the road, striking a guardrail and overturning. An estimated four-thousand gallons of gasoline was spilled, causing the southbound lanes of traffic to be closed for most of the day. The driver, identified as 25-year old Bryan Cook of Erwin, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Body Found Riddled With Bullets Outside Hotel In Durham Sunday

(Durham, NC) -- Police are calling the discovery of a body outside a hotel in Durham a homicide investigation. Officers responded to a call of a deceased person in the 5-thousand block of Highway 55-early Sunday morning. The victim had been shot multiple times. Investigators did not release the identity of the victim. Records show this is the second time the body of a shooting victim has been found at the location in less than a month.

Man Accused Of Killing Mother, Kidnapping Children

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- The suspect in an AMBER Alert out of Winston-Salem is under arrest, accused of murdering his mom and then stealing his four kids. Thirty-three-year-old Jacob Jones was taken into custody early yesterday morning in Mecklenburg County. He's accused of stabbing his mother, 68-year-old Rosalyn Howard, to death and then taking his four biological children who he does not have custody of. They were found safe and released to their parental guardians. Jones is behind bars without bail.

Appointments Open Up At Greensboro FEMA Vaccination Center

(Greensboro, NC) -- Appointments can be made starting today at the Greensboro FEMA Community COVID-19 Vaccination Center. They're available to people in Groups 1, 2 and 3. That includes people who are older than 65, health care and child care employees, educators, and front-line workers. Appointments can be made at Guilford-County-NC-dot-gov.

Controlled Burns Planned This week At Stone Mtn. State Park

(Roaring Gap, NC) -- Controlled burns are taking place this week at Stone Mountain State Park. The prescribed burns start today and last through Wednesday. They'll take place at different areas of the park. Trails will not be accessible to rock climbers, hunters, runners, or horseback riders today. By tomorrow, some areas could open back up.

Forsyth, Wake Forest, Novant To Host Mass Vaccination Event

(Forsyth Co., NC) -- The Forsyth County Department of Public Health is teaming up with Wake Forest Baptist and Novant Health to host a mass vaccination event. It takes place March 12th through the 14th at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Education Building. Folks in Groups 1, 2, and 3 are eligible. They can head to the Forsyth County Department of Public Health's website to register.

Family's Pet Rabbit Ties World Record For Most Babies In Single Litter

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A family pet in Winston-Salem is hopping into the record books. A rabbit named Vader gave birth to a litter of 24 bunnies. That unofficially ties a Guinness World Record for the largest rabbit litter set in New Zealand. It's also a shock to the family since they were told papa rabbit was fixed. He's now staying with a friend to avoid another pregnancy.

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