COVID Metrics Drop, Suspect Arrested for Shooting Teen, Two Dead in Crash

Group Recommends Removal Of Vance Monument Soon

(Asheville, NC) -- Another group is pushing for the removal of a Confederate monument in Asheville. WLOS-TV reports the city's Human Relations Commission voted yesterday to recommend the removal of the Vance Monument in downtown within 90 days. The city council is expected to discuss the recommendation at its meeting next week. A task force specifically created to help decide the memorial's future has already recommended moving the statue.

Lawmakers Propose Absentee Ballot Changes

(Raleigh, NC) -- State lawmakers are proposing changes to rules surrounding absentee ballots. The News and Observer reports three Republican state senators filed legislation yesterday called the Elections Integrity Act, which seeks to regulate the timing on the return of absentee ballots. The legislation would allow absentee ballots to be collected only until 5 p.m. on Election Day, with the exception of military or overseas votes. Current law allows absentees to be accepted several days later.

Suspect Arrested In Teen's Shooting

(Arden, NC) -- A suspect is facing charges for the shooting of a teen in Arden. The 17-year-old was injured in the Ingles grocery store parking lot on Long Shoals Road last Sunday. Asheville police arrested a man this week for assault, drug and gun charges. Officers allegedly found four firearms in the man's possession.

Resident Of Rescue Ministries Stabbed

(Asheville, NC) -- A woman is accused of stabbing a resident at an Asheville organization serving the homeless. Officers told WLOS-TV the resident was stabbed in the neck at the Western Carolina Rescue Ministries early Thursday morning. The suspect was allegedly still armed with the knife when Asheville police arrived. There's no word on the status of the victim.

Two Dead In Jackson County Wreck

(Jackson County, NC) -- A deadly wreck is being investigated in Jackson County. State highway patrol troopers say a driver crossed a median on U.S. 74 yesterday, causing a head-on collision. The accident killed the drivers of both vehicles. The highway was shut down near Smokey Cove Road for just over three hours.

Sports Betting Venue Opens At Harrah's

(Cherokee, NC) -- The state's first sports betting venue is open. Officials held a ribbon-cutting yesterday at The Book in Harrah's Cherokee Casino in western North Carolina. A general manager said it couldn't have happened on a better day, as the NCAA college basketball tournament was beginning. Anyone hanging out at The Book will still need to wear face masks and keep social distancing in mind.

Shelby Man Accused In Capitol Riots

(Shelby, NC) -- A Shelby man is facing charges connected to the U.S. Capitol riots. FBI agents are accusing Johnny Harris of entering the Capitol building on January 6th, and also recording videos while inside. An anonymous tipster reportedly alerted investigators to Harris' identification after he posted images on Facebook. He's been arrested for entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct and disrupting Congress.

Drug Manufacturer Opening Holly Springs Facility

(Holly Springs, NC) -- Hundreds of new jobs are coming to Holly Springs. The drug manufacturer, Fujifilm Diosynth, announced yesterday it will invest at least one-and-a-half-billion-dollars in a new space, making it the world's largest monoclonal antibody manufacturing facility. The announcement came on the same day the state announced Google is adding one-thousand jobs in Durham. More than 700 jobs will be added in Holly Springs over the next few years.

Lawmakers Introduce Absentee Voting Bill

(Raleigh, NC) -- State lawmakers are proposing changes to rules surrounding absentee ballots. The News and Observer reports three Republican state senators filed legislation yesterday called the Elections Integrity Act, which seeks to regulate the timing on the return of absentee ballots. The legislation would allow absentee ballots to be collected until 5 p.m. on Election Day, with the exception of military or overseas votes. Current law allows absentees to be accepted several days later.

All Students Allowed Full-Time Weeks In Iredell-Statesville

(Iredell County, NC) -- Another Charlotte-area school district is sending more kids back to class full-time. Iredell-Statesville Schools announced yesterday that 6th through 12th graders are allowed to attend in-person instruction for five-days-a-week beginning April 7th. Parents still have the option to keep students in virtual learning, but no hybrid model will be available. Elementary school students have been going full-time for most of the school year.

UNCC Opening For Normal Fall

(Charlotte, NC) -- UNC Charlotte is preparing for a normal fall. The university told students yesterday that plans are in the works to offer face-to-face classes, just the same as pre-pandemic levels. Regular capacity is expected in residence halls and all other buildings. The decision is being credited to dropping COVID-19 numbers and the increasing eligibility of vaccines.

Rowan County Woman Wins Big In Lotto

(Rowan County, NC) -- A Rowan County woman is bringing home big bucks from the lottery. April Woodberry just won a million-dollar prize after purchasing a Millionaire Maker ticket at a Circle K in Spencer. She claimed a lump sum of nearly 425-thousand-dollars after taxes earlier this week. Woodberry said she's planning to continue working her job as a sewing machine operator.

Only Areas Around Northern Orange County Reporting Damage From Thursday's Storms

(Raleigh, NC) -- The day after a powerful storm system rumbled across parts of North Carolina, state EMA officials are amazed that most of the damage was concentrated to areas around Orange County. High winds knocked down trees and powerlines Thursday and also caused structural damage to at least two homes along Pentecost Road in the Cedar Grove area. The National Weather Service will visit the site today to try and determine if the damage was caused by a tornado or straight line winds. There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries.

Thursday's Percent Positive Rate Among Lowest On Record

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina's COVID-19 key metrics recorded some record breaking statistics on Thursday. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the state's percent positive rate dropped to just below four-percent, well under the state's goal of five-percent. There were also 995 people in the hospital. The Department reported two-thousand-four new cases of the coronavirus yesterday, an increase of just five over the day before. And there were 26 additional deaths, which brought the total to 11-thousand-783.

Cape Fear Valley Health Marks 100-Thousand Vaccines Distributed

(Fayetteville, NC) -- As the nation prepares to mark 100-million vaccines being distributed today, the Cape Fear Valley Health Center in Fayetteville passed a major milestone on Thursday. The Hospital reported yesterday that it had administered the COVID-19 vaccine to at least 100-thousand people by the end of the day. Cape Fear credited a well organized vaccine rollout protocol and a committed professional staff for its swift distributions. The Hospital plans to expands its eligibility to Group 5 next week.

Former Chief Justice Beasley Will Seek North Carolina U.S. Senate Seat

(Raleigh, NC) -- Former North Carolina Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court Cherrie Beasley is now planning to run for the U.S. Senate. This after the Democrat narrowly lost a re-election bid to Republican challenger Paul Newby in the November 2020 general election. Beasley joins a growing list of other candidates vying for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Richard Burr, who will retire after his current term expires in 2022.

Fuji Films And Google Cloud Announce Plans To Expand Into Triangle

(Raleigh, NC) -- Two global technology firms announced plans to expand their operations to the Triangle area of North Carolina Thursday. Fuji Films Diosynth Biotechnologies announced plans to invest at least one-point-five-billion dollars to build a new vaccine manufacturing plant in Holly Springs. And Google Cloud announced it will also build a new 'Cloud Computing' hub in Durham. By expanding to North Carolina, both companies will hire a combined total of over 17-hundred jobs.

NC Hit Hard By First Storm Of Season

(High Point, NC) -- The threat of severe weather continues in the Piedmont Triad this morning. A wild storm yesterday afternoon triggered tornado watches and warnings, as well as strong winds, rain and hail. High Point appeared to be the hardest hit area, with downed trees, power outages, crushed buildings and shattered windows. Significant damage was also reported in Burlington. No deaths or serious injuries were immediately reported. Forecasters are predicting bad weather until about 7 a.m.

Gov. Cooper Signs State Of Emergency

(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper is declaring a State of Emergency as North Carolina deals with the aftermath of severe weather. The emergency declaration means the government can implement certain policies for the safety and protection of its citizens. It also means the state can seek federal aid for disaster-related costs if it needs to.

Google To Create Hub In Durham Co., FUJIFILM In Wake Co.

(Durham, NC) -- A few major companies are opening up shop in the Triangle area. Google announced plans yesterday to create a hub for its Cloud products in Durham County. It's expected to create roughly a thousand jobs by 2023. FUJIFILM also revealed plans yesterday to build a manufacturing plant in Wake County. Governor Roy Cooper says that move will create 725 jobs locally.

Lexington Man Killed In Single-Vehicle Wreck In Davie Co.

(Davie Co., NC) -- A Lexington man is dead after a single-vehicle wreck in Davie County. State troopers say 56-year-old Roger Hall lost control of his Honda SUV, hit a mailbox and culvert, and then went down an embankment. Hall's SUV slammed into some trees, and he died at the scene. Troopers say speed was a factor in the crash.

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