AVL Gov Buildings to Rquire Masks, COVID Cases on the Rise in WNC

Masks Required In Asheville City Buildings

(Asheville, NC) -- A face mask mandate goes into effect for city of Asheville buildings today. The decision was made in light of a surge in COVID-19 cases, which also forced Buncombe County into making the same decision. City employees will be asked to provide proof of vaccination status as well. Anyone unvaccinated will have to undergo weekly COVID testing every week.

Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against HCA Healthcare

(Asheville, NC) -- HCA Healthcare is facing a class-action lawsuit over costs and alleged declining quality. Lawyers filed a suit in Buncombe County yesterday claiming the corporation has used a monopoly to raise healthcare prices. The plaintiffs are looking for refunds for overcharged services, among other things. Two years ago, HCA purchased the Mission Health System, which serves most of western North Carolina.

COVID Numbers Continue Worsening

(Raleigh, NC) -- COVID numbers are worsening across North Carolina. Health and Human Services reported an increase of 55 ICU patients yesterday, which marked the largest 24-hour increase during the pandemic. There were more than 220 additional hospitalizations in total. Nearly three-thousand new cases were reported statewide.

Catalytic Converter Thefts Reported In Haywood County

(Haywood County, NC) -- Catalytic converter thefts are still popping up in western North Carolina. The Haywood County Sheriff's Office says more than twelve have been stolen around the Regional High-Tech Center this week. A handful of suspects were arrested around a month ago for a rash of catalytic converter thefts in Henderson County. Thieves target the parts because they contain precious metals.

Swain County School Board Reverses Face Mask Decision

(Swain County, NC) -- Another mountain school district is reversing course on its face mask guidelines. Swain County's school board decided this week to require masks in schools once class begins next Monday. It was less than two weeks ago when the board initially voted to make them optional. Henderson County Schools also reversed its policy this week to require face masks.

Asheville Condo Wins HGTV Competition

(Asheville, NC) -- A condo in Asheville's business district is a big winner in a television competition. HGTV's House Hunt 2021 sought to find finalists in eight categories, like beachfront homes and outdoor escapes. The public voted for a condo at 75 Broadway Street to be the top winner in the downtown dwellings category. WLOS-TV reports the building was designed by the Biltmore House architect.

Child, Father Injured In Charlotte Shooting

(Charlotte, NC) -- A father and child are being treated for injuries suffered in an apparent accidental south Charlotte shooting. The CMPD told WSOC-TV that a two-year-old jumped on a bed inside a home on Bevington Woods Lane, which caused a gun to fire last night. The shot injured a seven-year-old and a man. Last word was that the victims were stable.

Closure At Mecklenburg County Courthouse Extended

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- The closure of the Mecklenburg County courthouse is being extended. Offices were initially shut down after five employees tested positive last week. Court officials announced yesterday courtrooms will continue to be closed through the week as they evaluate the outbreak. Sessions of district and superior court will be re-scheduled.

CMS Not Requiring Staff To Be Vaccinated

(Charlotte, NC) -- There are no plans to require COVID vaccinations for CMS staff. Superintendent Earnest Winston said at the school board's meeting last night that a mandate isn't being discussed now. The district is gearing up for yet another school year affected by COVID by stocking personal protective equipment. A COVID testing program is also being developed.

Lancaster County Murder Suspect Surrenders

(Lancaster County, SC) -- The suspect behind a Lancaster County murder is in custody. Timothy McCain turned himself in yesterday, nine days after a man was shot to death. Deputies initially found the 46-year-old shot multiple times outside a car near the town of Kershaw.

Charlotte Murder Suspect Arrested

(Charlotte, NC) -- The suspect in an early summer Charlotte murder is behind bars. The CMPD says a man was arrested yesterday in connection with a shooting at Mooney's Lounge on North Graham Street in early June. The victim crashed at a nearby fire station while trying to drive away from the scene.

Rock Hill College Announces Free Tuition

(Rock Hill, SC) -- A historically Black college in Rock Hill has good news for students. Clinton College announced yesterday that all students will receive free tuition for the upcoming year. The school plans to use federal CARES Act funding to cover the costs.

Heat Index In Central North Carolina Could Reach 107 Today

(Raleigh, NC) -- Weather forecasters have issued a Heat Advisory for parts of central North Carolina today, as temperatures in the low 90's could actually feel like it's over 100-degrees. The heat index across the Triangle is expected to be between 104-and-107 degrees. Counties under the Advisory include Alamance, Orange, Durham, Wake, Chatham, Lee, Harnett, Johnston and Cumberland.

Johnston, Orange County Schools Decide In Favor Of Mandatory Mask Mandates

(Central North Carolina, NC) -- Two more Triangle-area school districts have announced they will begin the new school year with mandatory face covering policies. On Tuesday, Johnston County announced it had reversed an earlier optional policy in favor of a mask requirement for school buildings and buses. Orange County's mask mandate will go into effect today. On Tuesday, Governor Roy Cooper urged mask wearing in counties with high or substantial community spread.

Police Warn Of Burglars Breaking Into Homes While Occupants Away

(Central North Carolina, NC) -- Several law enforcement agencies are warning residents to be on the lookout for a band of thieves who have been breaking into houses when no one is at home. Investigators say the suspects appear to be targeting homes that are unlocked. Break-ins have been reported in Chapel Hill, Durham and Orange County. Authorities have posted an image on social media showing the suspected lead burglar wearing a yellow-colored road construction reflective vest.

Man Wanted For Killing Popular Raleigh Drum Major Caught In Massachusetts

(Raleigh, NC) -- Massachusetts State Police have announced the capture of a man wanted in the shooting death of a Raleigh drum major last month. Authorities say 29-year-old Marcus Walton was taken into custody last Friday, after he tried to escape from the fifth floor of an apartment building in the town of Revere outside of Boston. Walton is accused of fatally shooting 31-year-old Charlie Cook Debnam on July 29th. Debnam was the drum major for the popular Helping Hand Mission's Marching Band in Raleigh.

New Numbers Indicate Downtown Raleigh Businesses Making A Comeback

(Raleigh, NC) -- A new report published by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance gives a strong indication that businesses are making a robust post pandemic comeback. Figures released on the second quarter of 2021 show 37 new businesses have opened in downtown since the start of the new year, food and beverage sales were up 56-percent during the first quarter, and the demand for hotel rooms has increased nearly 400-percent since June of 2020. The report also said residential buildings in the city center are at 96-percent occupancy.

Tropical Storm Fred May Impact NC Next Week

(Undated) -- A tropical disturbance in the Caribbean could impact North Carolina next week. The system is moving toward the west coast of Florida this weekend and possibly through North Carolina early next week. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and parts of the of the Dominican Republic.

Biden Urges Vaccinations In Hurricane-Prone States

(Washington, DC) -- President Biden is urging people in hurricane-prone states, like North Carolina, to get vaccinated. During a meeting with emergency management officials yesterday, Biden said getting the shots are a "vital part" of being ready for storms. The President noted "everything is more complicated" if you haven't gotten the vaccine, and a natural disaster strikes. He explained it's likely serious hurricanes are going to hit this month and pushed residents to make a plan.

Guilford Co. Commissioners Vote To Require Masks Indoors

(Guilford Co., NC) -- Masks will soon be required indoors in Guilford County. The Board of Commissioners voted yesterday in favor of the mandate. It takes effect Friday at 5 p.m. Everyone has to wear a mask indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. The requirement comes after a dramatic increase in coronavirus cases.

Patients Asked Not To Seek COVID Test At ER

(Guilford Co., NC) -- With the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, local emergency room employees are urging folks not to show up to the ER for a test. Medical Director of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Emergency Department Dr. Meagan Hunt says the ER is not the best place to go for a test if the patient is feeling reasonably well. She recommends seeing someone virtually first. Coronavirus tests can also be scheduled with a doctor ahead of time.

Tree Falls On Apt. Building In Jonesville

(Yadkin Co., NC) -- Two people are hospitalized after a tree fell on top of their apartment in Yadkin County. It happened yesterday afternoon at Timberwood Apartments in Jonesville. Two people were hurt and had to be taken to the hospital, but their current conditions are unknown. Five units had to be evacuated. The accident is believed to be weather-related.

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