AVL Approves Money for Homeless, 911 Center May Merge, Cooper Comes to WNC

Asheville To Receive Homeless Aid

(Asheville, NC) -- Millions-of-dollars in funding is coming to the city of Asheville to help the homeless. The city council voted yesterday to accept nearly five-million-dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act. Asheville's community development program director called it a significant opportunity to service the needs of the community's most vulnerable population. City officials are looking for public input to decide exactly how to spend the money.

City Council Votes To Merge 911 Center In Asheville, Buncombe

(Asheville, NC) -- The 9-1-1 system could be consolidated in Asheville and Buncombe County. The city council okayed the move yesterday, and will now await a decision from Buncombe County commissioners next week. Asheville's assistant city manager said it will help provide appropriate responses to different types of emergencies. Close to 20 city employees are expected to be moved under county management.

Watchdog Group Sues City Of Asheville

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville is being sued by a watchdog group. WLOS-TV reports the Citizens for Equality is challenging a city donation of close to half-a-million-dollars made to a social change organization group called CoThinkk. One of the organization's founding members is reportedly Asheville's vice mayor. The group also made a large donation to the Asheville City Schools Foundation, which is also being challenged.

Governor Visits WNC Childcare Center

(Asheville, NC) -- North Carolina's governor is showing support for a child care center in western North Carolina. Yesterday, Roy Cooper stopped by the Irene Worth Center, which serves children from six-weeks of age through preschool. It's been just over a month since Cooper announced early care and learning programs statewide would be assisted by over 800-million-dollars in federal relief funding. Officials at the center want minimum pay there to be raised to 15-dollars-an-hour.

Woman Found Trafficking Fentanyl

(Asheville, NC) -- A Kentucky woman is accused of trying to traffic drugs through Buncombe County. Deputies seized close to a third-of-a-pound of fentanyl from her in late October. She's in Buncombe County jail on two trafficking counts and one charge of possession. Fentanyl can be up to 100-times more powerful than morphine.

Asheville Schools Seeking To Fill Positions

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville city school leaders are looking for a way to fill several dozen open positions. A job fair was held yesterday while around 60 positions are open. The board of education approved bonuses of up to 35-hundred-dollars as part of recruitment efforts this week.

CMS Principal, Assistant Principal Suspended

(Charlotte, NC) -- Two top leaders at a Charlotte school are on suspension. CMS officials placed the principal and assistant principal for Hawthorne Academy of Health on paid leave yesterday. There's been no word as to why the decision was made. Superintendent Earnest Winston said last week that a task force is actively investigating the handling of misconduct allegations district-wide.

Meck's COVID Positivity Rate Dips Under Five-Percent

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- The positivity rate for COVID cases is now below five-percent in Mecklenburg County. That's a threshold that could mean an end to the indoor mask mandate put in place by commissioners. The requirement is expected to be lifted if the rate maintains a number under five-percent for a week. A face mask requirement is also still in place for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.

Teen Killed In Shelby Drive-By Shooting

(Shelby, NC) -- Officers are investigating a deadly drive-by shooting in Shelby. A 16-year-old girl was killed last night when shots were fired into her Roberts Street home. No one else was injured. Investigators are searching for witnesses who may have a description of the suspect or a potential car involved.

School Board Addresses Guns On Campus

(Charlotte, NC) -- An increase in guns at schools is being addressed by CMS officials. New programs called "Dads on Duty" and "Moms on a Mission" at Hopewell High School were mentioned at the school board meeting last night. Adult volunteers would serve as monitors at Hopewell, where two guns were found last week. Fifteen have been discovered this school year overall across the district.

Three Charlotte Area Bank Of America Locations Closing

(Charlotte, NC) -- Several Bank of America branches are closing in the Charlotte region. The Charlotte Business Journal reports three locations in Charlotte, Statesville and Mooresville are shuttering. Four other North Carolina branches are expected to be closed as well.

Panthers QB Expected To Miss A Few Games

(Charlotte, NC) -- The Panthers' starting quarterback is out with an injury. NBC Charlotte reports it may be a few weeks before Sam Darnold is ready to suit up again after injuring his throwing shoulder on Sunday. He was forced to leave the Falcons' game in the prior week due to an arm injury as well. Carolina hits the road to play Arizona this Sunday.

Suspects Wanted In Connection With 14-Armed Robberies In Raleigh Area Caught by police

(Raleigh, NC) -- Raleigh police are holding two suspects in custody who are believed to have been behind at least 14-armed robberies in the city since Saturday. The holdups include an attempted robbery of a female student Monday night at NC State near the McKimmon Center. The arrests were made Tuesday following a six mile high speed chase that ended in a crash near an off campus student housing complex. Fortunately, there were no injuries. Police did not released the identities of the suspects.

Cumberland County School Bus Driver Strike Could Last Another Week

(Cumberland County, NC) -- Some 123-Cumberland County school bus drivers did not show up for work Tuesday. It was all part of an organized strike against the school system to protest low wages and working conditions. However, 318-drivers did transport students to and from their regular destinations. School district officials warned parents that the strike could continue into next week.

Tens Of Thousands Of North Carolina 5-11 Age Children Want To Get Vaccinated

(Raleigh, NC) -- Demand remains high in North Carolina for the new Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported that as of Tuesday, nearly 15-thousand kids in that age group had received their first dose of the vaccine. At least 400-thousand doses are now available at county health clinics, pharmacies and pediatric health care offices.

Raleigh Based Research Lab Looking For Volunteers To Test New COVID Vaccine Nasal Spray

(Raleigh, NC) -- Triangle based Wake Research is looking for volunteers to participate in a clinical trial study of a new COVID-19 vaccine in the form of a nasal spray. Organizers of the trial say they would like to enroll between 20-and-30 people for the initial phase, which will examine the overall safety of the vaccine. Participants in the trial must not have received another COVID-19 vaccine, or previously been infected with the virus.

HOA Decides To Reverse Policy Banning Renters

(Raleigh, NC) -- More than 200-renters who live at a Raleigh housing development, will get to remain in their homes. This, after the Home Owners Association at Renaissance Park, decided to reverse an earlier policy and allow current tenants to remain. Last month, the Renaissance HOA sent out letters informing the renters that they would have to either purchase their properties or leave. Homeowners will not be allowed to rent out their properties after the first of the year.

Officials Identify Woman's Body Found Last Week on U.S. Highway 52

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Police have identified a woman found dead early last Thursday morning along U.S. Highway 52 in Winston-Salem. Officials say the body of Melissa Kay Strickland was determined to have been being struck by an unknown car while she walked on the highway. The southbound lanes were shut down for about six hours after the body was discovered that morning. Police say the case is still considered an active investigation but they're asking for the public's help in determining exactly what happened.

Teen Found Dead on Payne Road

(Rural Hall, NC) -- Police are working to determine what happened to cause the death of a teen whose body was found Friday morning north of Rural Hall. Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough Jr. said in a news release that the 17-year-old did not have a driver's license on him, so, he hasn't been identified. They're also still waiting on autopsy results. A collaboration of four police agencies are working the case as an active investigation, but anyone with possible information about the case is asked to call the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.

No One Hurt as Greensboro Gas Station Robbed Overnight

(Greensboro, NC) -- Greensboro Police are looking for a man who held up the Great Stops gas station early Wednesday. They were called to the scene at 1100 Summit Avenue about 12:30 a.m. The man who demanded money and ran off had a slim build and was about 43 years old. He was last seen wearing a brown coat with fur on the hood, black pants and a blue disposable mask. No one was hurt in the robbery, police continue to investigate.

Mobile Gun Lab Unit Helps Analyze Shell Cases, Other Violent Crimes Data

(Alamance County, NC) -- Over the last 12 months more than 65-hundred shell cases from guns found at crime scenes have been entered in the ATF computer system in Greensboro. Now, a mobile unit is making the system more accessible to counties that wouldn't normally have access. The Mobile National Integrated Ballistic Information Network Unit, one of only two in the United States, has been stationed throughout the Carolinas for the last several weeks to assist in test fires and ballistics evaluations. More than 20 law enforcement agencies from around North Carolina used the mobile NIBIN unit.

Tanger Center's Reopening is Also Good For Surrounding Businesses

(Greensboro, NC) -- As Broadway-quality shows come back to the new Tanger [[ TANG-ur ]] Center, businesses around downtown Greensboro are also seeing the benefit of increased traffic. Downtown Greensboro, Inc. says two restaurants have opened recently and three more are planned to open soon. On Tuesday, "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" began its nearly week-long run at the Tanger following the success of "Wicked." That show reportedly brought in 11-million dollars in economic impact to the Triad area.

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