COVID Case Numbers Up, Teen Charged with Murder, New Mission Restrictions

Substantial COVID Spread In More NC Counties

(Raleigh, NC) -- The risk of COVID spread is increasing in more counties across the state. The Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday that 13 counties are now showing substantial spread, including three in western North Carolina. Graham County currently has the highest number of cases per 100-thousand-people during the last two weeks at 284. Nearly all new cases of COVID-19 are among people who aren't vaccinated.

Teen Arrested For Candler Homicide

(Candler, NC) -- A teen is behind bars for a murder in Candler. Buncombe County investigators say 18-year-old Alexus Buckner was arrested after a 27-year-old man was shot to death late Sunday night. There are still more people of interest in the case. WLOS-TV reports the suspect and victim were reportedly involved in a relationship.

Mission Health Changes Visitor Restrictions

(Asheville, NC) -- Mission Health hospitals are re-instating some visitor restrictions among rising COVID cases. Effective immediately, patients are allowed only one visitor per day. A Mission Health spokesperson said they're taking every precaution to protect those in care and the hospital's colleagues.

Drowning Reported In French Broad River

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Investigators are piecing together details in a Buncombe County drowning. Asheville fire crews were called out to an area near Craven Street yesterday after two people reported seeing someone in the water. Rain caused a short delay, but responders found the body of a male last night.

Hearing Scheduled For Clay County Man Facing DC Charges

(Clay County, NC) -- A hearing is set for a Clay County man facing charges connected to the U.S. Capitol riot. Cleveland Grover Meredith, Junior was allegedly on his way to D.C. on January 6th, but car trouble kept him from arriving until the next day. Investigators say he was caught with several guns and more than 25-hundred rounds of ammunition. A potential plea agreement could happen at his upcoming August 11th hearing.

Madison County Schools Make Masks Optional

(Madison County, NC) -- Face masks are optional for students in Madison County Schools. The board of education made the decision yesterday, with the understanding the measure could change based on guidance from the health department. The county's health director said tracing efforts will continue to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The state's face mask mandate for public schools ends this Friday.

Mecklenburg Public Health Employees Need Vaccinations

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Public health workers in Mecklenburg County are required to get a COVID vaccination. The department revealed yesterday all employees will need to show proof of a vaccine by September 7th. All Novant and Atrium Health employees will need to be vaccinated by this fall as well.

Dozens Of Dogs, Two Monkeys Seized From York Home

(York County, SC) -- A York County man is under investigation for allegedly keeping dozens of animals in horrible conditions. The sheriff's office says 80 dogs and two monkeys were recently rescued from a home on West Liberty Hill Road in York. Investigators reported cages were stacked on top of each other, while the smell was unbearable to some responders. Charges are pending for the suspect.

Teen Accused Of Shooting Brother

(Charlotte, NC) -- A teen is accused of accidentally shooting his brother in Charlotte. The CMPD says a 14-year-old shot his 12-year-old sibling in the leg last weekend on Flint Street near uptown. The child is expected to recover. Three people were injured in a separate shooting last night at the Fish House North restaurant in northeast Charlotte.

Anson County Schools Requiring Face Masks

(Anson County, NC) -- A Charlotte-area school district is requiring face masks. The school board in Anson County voted to approve the mandate yesterday. Most surrounding systems have already announced face masks will be optional for the 2021-2022 school year. The CMS board is expected to discuss the matter later this week.

Gaston County Eyeing Rise In COVID Cases

(Gaston County, NC) -- Gaston County health officials are encouraging more vaccines as COVID cases rise locally. WBTV reports the positivity rate is above five-percent for the first time in close to three months. Public health director Steve Eaton said it's now a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Around 36-percent of Gaston's entire population is fully vaccinated.

Taekwondo Studio Closes Doors Amid COVID Cases

(Huntersville, NC) -- A Huntersville martial arts studio is closing its building amid a COVID outbreak. The owner of King Tiger Taekwondo told WSOC-TV more than two-dozen out of 450 kids and adults were sickened after the July 4th holiday weekend. Classes were moved online this week.

Dogs Involved In Attack Will Be Put Down

(Raleigh, NC) -- Two dogs who attacked a child in Raleigh will be put down. The Rottweilers bit a ten-year-old boy and three others this weekend on Summerland Drive. This is the third biting incident involving the dogs, and their owner is facing charges. Wake County Animal Services says the dogs will be euthanized within ten days.

Dog Attack Victim Still In Hospital

(Raleigh, NC) -- A dog-bite victim is showing signs of progress. Robert Neyland was attacked by two Rottweilers this weekend in North Raleigh, and the 70-year-old was still in the hospital yesterday, but his son, Bobby Smith, says Neyland is getting better. Smith says he ran outside when he heard his dad screaming, and he remembers his dad looking terrified like he was going to die. Smith tells CBS 17 he felt bad having to punch and kick the dogs to get them off his dad because he used to be an animal guy.

Former Raleigh Prison Official Sentenced For Embezzlement

(Raleigh, NC) -- A former prison official is now an inmate. Michael Ragan was sentenced recently to over four years in prison for embezzlement. The 50-year-old stole over 250-thousand dollars from the state while he was a business officer at Central Prison in Raleigh. Between 2012 and 2020, he used three procurement cards to buy personal items.

Orange County Teen Draws Inspiration From Transgender Olympians

(Hillsborough, NC) -- An Orange County teenager is drawing inspiration from some history-making Olympians. The Tokyo Games include the first two transgender athletes in Olympic history. That makes 14-year-old Madison, who's transgender, feel hopeful. She tells ABC 11 if they can make a change in the Olympics, they can make a change in our state.

Wolfpack Swimmer Finishes Sixth In Olympic Event

(Tokyo, JPN) -- An NC State athlete can celebrate a historic achievement. Sophie Hansson yesterday became the first swimmer in school history to appear in the finals of the 100-meter breaststroke. She finished sixth representing her native Sweden. She's one of a record 12 Olympians with Wolfpack ties competing in the Games.

High Point Woman Charged After Child Shoots Himself

(High Point, NC) -- An investigation is underway in High Point after a four-year-old boy found a gun under a couch cushion and shot himself in the head. Police say the accident happened at a home on Worth Street late Sunday night while several adults were playing cards, drinking and smoking weed. Two additional firearms, ammunition and cocaine were also found inside the residence. The homeowner, Cindy Gibson-Harris, and the child's mother, Jasmine Fagan, are both facing charges.

UPDATE: Couple ID'd In High Point Murder-Suicide

(High Point, NC) -- We're learning the names of the couple killed in a murder-suicide in High Point. Police have confirmed the victims were 22-year-old Justin Sirianni and his 23-year-old wife, Rainey Sirianni. They were found dead Friday night at their home on East Martin Luther King Junior Drive. It's believed the husband shot his wife before pulling the trigger on himself. An investigation is ongoing.

Daily COVID-19 Cases Surpass 2,000 In NC

(Undated) -- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is revealing more concerning coronavirus numbers. More than two-thousand new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Saturday. That's the first time the state has seen numbers that high in three months. Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann says 70-percent of all of the new cases are the highly contagious Delta variant.

Guilford Co. School Leaders To Weigh Mask Mandate

(Guilford Co., NC) -- Guilford County Schools is expected to adopt mask requirements at its meeting tonight. Governor Roy Cooper announced last week he's no longer requiring masks in schools. That means it's up to districts to adopt their own requirements. The state is, however, recommending masks for students in kindergarten through eighth grades. Superintendent Sharon Contreras is also expected to recommend that mask requirements be reviewed after each quarter.

Rev. Graham's Grandson Critical With COVID

(Clemmons, NC) -- Late Christian evangelist Billy Graham's grandson is in a tough fight with COVID-19. Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, announced over the weekend that her son and Reverend Graham's grandson, Jonathan Lotz, is in critical condition. Jonathan grew up in North Carolina, where his mom founded AnGeL Ministries. She's asking for prayers as Jonathan receives treatment in the ICU.

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