House Passes Budget, Shooting Man Shot 10 Times in AVL, Masks Coming Back

Face Mask Mandate Likely Coming To Asheville, Buncombe

(Asheville, NC) -- Face masks are about to be required indoors in both Buncombe County and the city of Asheville. County commissioner Brownie Newman told WLOS-TV the board is planning to approve a mandate on Tuesday, while the city is on board as well. The decisions come as COVID cases and hospitalizations continue their increase. Buncombe County's school board is also meeting this morning to discuss COVID protocols.

Census Shows North Carolina's Diversity Growth

(Asheville, NC) -- The latest census numbers for North Carolina are out. The nearly ten-percent population growth seen in the state was most centered around the Triangle and the Charlotte metro area. Ten counties in western North Carolina show some growth, with Buncombe County rising by 13-percent since 2010. The rate for both the Black and white population shrank statewide.

State House Passes Budget Plan

(Raleigh, NC) -- The North Carolina House approved its spending plan yesterday, which follows the passage of the Senate's version earlier this summer. Both passed with a veto-proof majority. Protesters interrupted yesterday's House discussion with loud chants from outside over safety and higher raises.

Man Shot Ten Times In Asheville

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville Police are investigating a shooting that seriously injured one person. Investigators say the victim survived after being shot ten times on the front porch of a Shiloh Road home Wednesday night. There is a person of interest in the case. The victim was last said to be in stable condition.

Madison Sheriff Done With Facebook

(Madison County, NC) -- Madison County's sheriff is done with Facebook. The social media company recently suspended the sheriff's office page for 30 days after a post about the American flag. Sheriff Buddy Harwood told the Citizen-Times the account was cut off for no reason, so he's done using Facebook. The post in question was one the sheriff's office shared from Madison Pharmacy and Gifts, which defended the flag after someone complained about it.

McDowell County Offering Vaccine Incentives

(McDowell County, NC) -- McDowell County is offering a vaccine incentive to its government employees. Commissioners decided this week to use American Rescue Plan funds to give county workers 500-dollars to be fully vaccinated. Those who are unvaccinated will have until October 1st to show proof in order to get the money.

Masks Required In Charlotte Government Buildings

(Charlotte, NC) -- A face mask policy goes into effect in Charlotte today. Coverings are now required inside city government buildings, like the police department and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. The public is only allowed inside the government center for city council, county commission and board of education meetings.

Mecklenburg Falls To Second In Population

(Charlotte, NC) -- Mecklenburg County is no longer the most populous in North Carolina. Census data released yesterday shows Wake County had slightly more growth over the past decade to edge ahead of Mecklenburg's one-point-eleven-million people. The largest areas of growth have been in the Charlotte metro area and the Triangle. Cabarrus and Mecklenburg are among the top six fastest-growing counties.

COVID Outbreak At Atrium Health

(Pineville, NC) -- A COVID outbreak is being reported at a Charlotte-area hospital. Health officials say 50 employees and nine patients at Atrium Health-Pineville recently tested positive. More than half of the cases are linked to the delta variant. COVID cases have risen 50-percent statewide over the last week, while hospitalizations have doubled in two weeks.

Two Men Sentenced In Hickory Triple Homicide

(Hickory, NC) -- Two Hickory men are heading to prison for a triple murder. Three people died and another was injured in a 2017 shooting outside McCroskey's Irish Pub and Grill in Hickory. A judge sentenced two men to 64-to-82 years yesterday after they pleaded guilty to second-degree murder counts in Catawba County court.

Some Concerts Requiring Vaccinations Or Negative Test

(Charlotte, NC) -- Some new COVID guidelines are in place for some upcoming concerts in Charlotte. Both Maroon Five and Dead & Company are requiring either vaccinations or a negative test for their fall shows at PNC Pavilion. Live Nation, which operates the venue, says any health guidelines are put in place by the artist.

Census Bureau Says North Carolina's Population Grew During Last Decade

(Raleigh, NC) -- Newly released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show North Carolina's population grew by nine-and-a half-percent over the past decade to 10-point-four-million people. The agency also reported the largest areas of growth were in the state's urban areas, with Charlotte-Mecklenburg and counties in the Triangle leading the way. North Carolina is now the 16th fastest-growing state in the country. The dramatic growth in population will also result in North Carolina having to add another Congressional seat.

Health Department Says More North Carolinians Now Getting COVID Vaccines

(Raleigh, NC) -- The latest COVID-19 key metrics in North Carolina are showing more people heeding the call to get vaccinated. Data released Thursday recorded more than 21-thousand people receiving their first shots within a 24-hour period. As of yesterday, 62-percent of adults in the state were at least partially vaccinated, while 58-percent have been fully vaccinated.

Wake County Mayors Could Decide To Impose Mandatory Mask Mandates Today

(Raleigh, NC) -- Mayors in Wake County are scheduled to meet today to discuss the possibility of implementing masks mandates in all 10 cities. This comes as the County has only imposed mask requirements for government buildings, such as courthouses, libraries and EMS facilities. The meeting will take place at 10 a.m. Raleigh Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin said if a mandate is approved, it could go into effect by the end of business today.

Some 35-Hundred Ft. Bragg Troops Heading To Kuwait For Afghanistan Withdrawal

(Ft. Bragg, NC) -- More than three-thousand troops from Ft. Bragg are being deployed to Kuwait to assist with the withdrawal of the remaining troops in Afghanistan, as well as U.S. Embassy employees in the capitol city of Kabul. Security is rapidly deteriorating with Taliban forces taking over more territories in the embattled nation. A Pentagon spokesperson said Thursday that both Army and Marine personnel are expected to move into Afghanistan within the next two days.

Cleanup Underway After Thursday Night Storm

(Forsyth Co., NC) -- Crews are clearing trees and other debris from roads in Forsyth County after a powerful storm. Last night's storm took down trees and power lines. At one point, nearly 18-hundred customers were in the dark. In Winston-Salem, firefighters responded to several weather-related incidents. Thunderstorms remain in the forecast through the early part of next week.

NC House OKs Budget, Raises For Teachers

(Raleigh, NC) -- The North Carolina House is passing its version of a state budget bill. The third and final vote yesterday followed hours of debate. The multi-billion-dollar spending plan includes teacher and state employee raises, tax cuts, infrastructure expansion and more. The Senate passed its budget in June. A final version could make it to the governor's desk by Labor Day.

Lexington Man Charged In Child Sex Abuse Case

(Lexington, NC) -- A Lexington man is facing child sex abuse charges. James Kirkus Junior was arrested earlier this month on a single count of indecent liberties with a minor, but officers say they have identified several other victims. Their investigation began in July. Police say the original victim is a relative. Kirkus was booked on a 50-thousand-dollar bond.

Man Sentenced In 2019 Shootout With Police

(Greensboro, NC) -- A man is sentenced to nearly ten years behind bars after a shootout with Greensboro police in 2019. Julius Williams was sentenced in federal court on Wednesday. He led police on a chase on northbound Business 85 before crashing near the Randleman Road exit. When the deputy approached him, he opened fire. The officer fired back, hitting Williams several times. No officers were hurt.

Shooting Under Investigation In Greensboro

(Greensboro, NC) -- A shooting is under invitation in Greensboro. It happened around 2:30 yesterday afternoon at Bracyridge Road and Beechcroft Drive. The victim was found in the intersection, suffering from a gunshot wound. Gunfire also hit an occupied vehicle, but no one inside was hurt. Anyone who may have witnessed the shooting is urged to come forward.

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