Massive Drug Bust in Bunc. Co, Wildfire Contained, COVID Cases Rise

Another Wildfire Contained In WNC

(Rutherford County, NC) -- The threat from a Rutherford County fire appears to be over. WLOS-TV reports a downed power line sparked flames in the Shumont Mountain area Tuesday morning. The fire spread over three-plus acres before crews were able to fully contain it. More than 20 agencies helped in the response.

Buncombe's Largest Fentanyl Bust Reported

(Buncombe County, NC) -- A suspect is facing charges in what's being considered the largest fentanyl bust in Buncombe County history. Deputies seized nearly three-pounds of the drug and several more pounds of cocaine in a recent raid on a Lamb Avenue home. The undercover investigation had been going on for half-a-year. Nine charges were filed against the suspect.

Asheville Board Hears From Parents Over School Relocation Proposal

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville's school board is weighing options on what to do about one of its schools. Members heard from the public in a two-hour long hearing last night. Options for Asheville Primary School are to stay in the current location, move to a different school or close down altogether. A decision could come as early as a meeting on Monday.

Another Housing Option On Table For Asheville Ramada Inn

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville city leaders will discuss options for housing at a local Ramada Inn. A nonprofit has been helping house some homeless people at the old hotel since April thanks to funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The city revealed last week that plans to turn the Ramada into a high-access emergency shelter are being nixed to instead consider permanent supportive housing as an option. A virtual public meeting is scheduled from four-to-six this afternoon.

COVID Numbers Up In Buncombe County

(Buncombe County, NC) -- COVID case numbers are back on the rise post-Thanksgiving in Buncombe County. Public health director Stacie Saunders says number have risen by more than 50-percent in the last week. The case rate is now more than 200-per-100-thousand-people. Saunders is reminding residents to get vaccinated, wear a mask and wash hands so the upcoming holidays are as healthy as possible.

Buncombe Commissioners Decide How To Divide COVID Relief

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Another round of COVID relief funding in Asheville is going to three organizations. Buncombe County commissioners approved last night to split one-point-six-million-dollars between the Self Help Ventures Fund, Eagle Market Streets Development Corp and the Asheville Area Arts Council. The money will then be distributed to different businesses and art projects.

Mecklenburg Commissioners Okay Tax Breaks For Innovation District

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Mecklenburg County is agreeing to tax breaks for Atrium Health as a new Innovation District moves forward. The project includes a four-year medical school surrounded by research towers, commercial space, offices and residential units. County commissioners voted last night to reimburse 90-percent of property taxes for the district in the next 15-years. That's estimated to be roughly 38-million-dollars.

Union County School Board Joins COVID Guidelines Resolution

(Union County, NC) -- Union County's school board is joining a COVID guidelines resolution passed by the county commission. Members passed a resolution yesterday which urges the state Department of Health and Human Services to stop the regulations revolving around tracing and quarantining. The request is to end the measures by January 19th. Two opposing groups of parents rallied outside the meeting.

Catawba's Register Of Deeds Indicted For Embezzlement

(Catawba County, NC) -- Catawba County's Register of Deeds is facing embezzlement charges. Court documents accuse Donna Spencer of fraudulently reporting overtime and comp hours during her time in office. Investigators claim she's embezzled 100-thousand-dollars. Spencer was arrested earlier this week after a grand jury indicted her on four charges.

Man Found Shot After Homicide In North Charlotte

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is piecing together details from two scenes after a deadly shooting. A man was found shot to death outside a north Charlotte apartment complex moments after a car sped off early Tuesday morning. Officers chased the car until it wrecked into a utility pole, which knocked out power to around three-thousand people. A man inside that car was rushed to the hospital after it was found he had been shot several times also.

Gastonia Police Officer Arrested For Off-Duty DWI

(Gastonia, NC) -- A Gastonia police officer is on leave due to a DWI arrest. The state highway patrol says Nickolas Stone was arrested during a traffic stop in Belmont Monday night. He was off-duty and in his personal car at the time.

Panthers Nominate Moore For Man Of Year Award

(Charlotte, NC) -- A Panthers' wide receiver is being honored for excellence in community service and on the field. The organization nominated D.J. Moore this week for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Coincidentally, Moore held a shopping spree for at-risk youth yesterday thanks to help from Academy Sports. Former Panthers' linebacker Thomas Davis won the award in 2014.

Wake County School Board Approves New Pay Raises For All Employees

(Wake County, NC) -- The Wake County Board of Education has decided to give all of its employees a pay raise. In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, Board members approved comprehensive pay increases that will include a minimum wage of 15-dollars an hour for non-certified workers. Other employees, such as bus drivers and instructional assistants will get 17-dollars an hour. The pay raises will cost the District nearly 39-million dollars.

State Employees To Receive One-Time Bonuses A Few Days Before Christmas

(Raleigh, NC) -- Additional bonuses are on the way for North Carolina state employees just in time for Christmas. According to the Office of State Human Resources, most state workers will get a bonus of 1-thousand dollars on December 21st. Employees earning less than 75-thousand dollars a year, will get an extra 500-dollar bonus.

Former Trump Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows Is Again Refusing To Cooperate With Congressional Investigative Panel

(Washington, D.C) -- Former White House Chief of Staff and North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the House committee investigating the January 6th riot. In a letter submitted by his attorney Tuesday, Meadows indicated the decision not to cooperate stemmed from a disagreement over whether certain questions would be protected by executive privilege. After being threatened with contempt of Congress charges several weeks ago, Meadows had begun cooperating with the panel by turning over thousands of documents and agreeing to a subpoena to appear.

New COVID-19 Figures Continue To Show Post Thanksgiving Holiday Spike

(Raleigh, NC) -- State health officials reported more than 2-thousand new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. This, as doctors continue to nervously anticipate the arrival of the omicron variant. In addition, HHS said there were 13-hundred-76 COVID-19 patients being treated at hospitals across the state. And the state's test positive rate jumped to 9-point-1 percent.

Two Robeson County Firefighters Charged With DUI

(Robeson County, NC) -- Two Robeson County firefighters have been charged with DUI after their emergency vehicle crashed while they were en route to a fire. The incident happened on November 27th. According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the firefighters, identified as Orrum Township Assistant Fire Chief Kenneth Caulder Jr. and Fairmont Deputy Fire Chief Melquan Williams were driving separate vehicles when Caulder ran off the road on Highway 41 and overturned in a ditch. Williams, who was following close behind, tried to help his friend who had been thrown from the car. Both men were charged with DUI after failing a breathalyzer.

Homicide Investigation Launched In Greensboro After Fatal Tuesday Shooting

(Greensboro, NC) -- The Greensboro Police Department has launched a homicide investigation following a fatal shooting Tuesday night. According to a department news release, officers responded to a call for a gun shots in the 900 block of Cone Boulevard a little after 6:30 p.m. When they got to the scene, officers attempted life-saving measures, but the victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. Greensboro police say that they are not currently looking for a suspect since they were able to identify all parties involved. The circumstances that led up to the shooting have not been released.

Statewide Burn Ban Still in Effect - Especially for Forsyth County

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Forsyth County Fire Marshal Gary Styers says his departments have seen a big increase in reports of outdoor burning. That's despite a statewide burn ban still being in effect. While none of those outdoor fires reported have caused serious damage or injury, he says the risk of a controlled burn getting out of hand is has been increased. According to the National Weather Service, just oh-point-3 [[ 0.3 ]] inches of rain fell in Forsyth County in November, followed by a trace of precipitation so far in December. The statewide burn band was issued just days after a campfire ignited what grew into a more than a thousand-acre wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park.

Teen Convictions to be Expunged

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- The District Attorney in Forsyth County has announced he'll expunge the convictions for some 30-thousand people who were minors when they committed non-violent crimes. D.A. Jim O'Neill says expunging the records would correct those people being treated as adults when they committed their crimes. The state law mandated that at the time. He says the situation can be rectified with the help of the state's new Second Chance Act. The court orders for the expungements were signed last week.

Police Looking for More Information in Kernersville Woman's Shooting

(Kernersville, NC) -- Kernersville Police are asking for the public's help in supplying tips about a woman who was shot the evening of December 4th. She came to the Kernersville Medical Center for treatment after she told police she was shot in the 200 block of Friar Woods Court. She was released from treatment that same evening. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kernersville Police Department's Criminal Investigative Division.

Guilford County Teachers Rally for More Bonuses, School Pay

(Greensboro, NC) -- A large gathering of parents, students, staff and Guilford County Association of Educators members have come together for a rally to launch a petition that would bring more money and bonuses to school staff members. The rally took place Tuesday evening in front of the Guilford County Schools Administrative building. The petition is to call attention to what they say is a school staffing crisis due to a lack of school workers such as bus drivers, nutritionists and custodians. The group hopes the board of education will decide next week to use money from federal emergency education funds to give four-thousand-dollar bonuses to all staff.

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