Mountain Numbers Set Records, Code Purple Issued, School Choice Week Starts


Visitor Numbers Hit Record In Great Smoky Mountains

(Undated) -- More people are visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park than ever before. A record 14-million people spent time at the park in 2021, which also had eight monthly visitation records. Numbers have shot up dramatically over the past decade. The national park straddles the North Carolina and Tennessee border.

COVID Testing Clinic Opens In UNC Asheville

(Asheville, NC) -- UNC Asheville is now hosting a new COVID testing clinic. The Highsmith Student Union opened up over the weekend to both students and residents. The clinic will remain open from Friday through Sunday until late February. Some Buncombe County and Asheville City Schools are also serving as vaccine sites.

Code Purple Issued In Asheville

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville's shelters are extending capacity over the next couple of nights. A Code Purple status is in effect through Wednesday morning due to freezing conditions in western North Carolina. The Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry is opening doors to everyone, with shuttles available from downtown. The Salvation Army is extending help to women and children.

Asheville Receives Grant Money For Sidewalks

(Asheville, NC) -- Big sidewalk projects are beginning soon in Asheville. WLOS-TV reports the Department of Transportation awarded the city with close to three-million-dollars, which will be used for 45-hundred feet of sidewalks in west Asheville. The goal is to improve pedestrian access along Johnston Boulevard from Patton Avenue to an area near Roger Farmer Memorial Park. It's expected to be done later this year.

Governor Proclaims School Choice Week

(Raleigh, NC) -- It's North Carolina School Choice Week. Governor Roy Cooper issued the proclamation for the first time during his tenure, which came as a surprise to some. The executive director for the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools called the proclamation an olive branch, since the last time the week was declared was in 2016. Cooper has previously voiced concerns over charter school expansion.

Asheville McDonald's Manager Receives Top Award

(Asheville, NC) -- The manager of an Asheville McDonald's is receiving top recognition for her work. WLOS-TV says Ashleigh Berry was recently awarded the Ray Kroc Award, which goes to only 345 managers worldwide. The recognition goes to employees who show hard work, dedication and commitment. Berry manages a location on Fairview Road.

Lawsuit Filed Against CMPD Officers For Wrongful Death

(Charlotte, NC) -- Some CMPD officers and the city of Charlotte are facing a wrongful death lawsuit. NBC Charlotte reports a woman filed legal action last week, which comes around two-years after her brother died after being in police custody. She claims officers did nothing while 41-year-old Harold Easter called out for help while having a seizure. Investigators say Easter was in possession of drugs at the time of his arrest.

Two Arrested For Rock Hill Murder

(Rock Hill, SC) -- Two suspects are behind bars for a Rock Hill murder. Officers found a man shot to death at an apartment complex on Calanese Road late Saturday night. A 19- and 21-year-old man were arrested for murder and drug charges. A bond hearing is set for today.

UNC Charlotte Resumes Classroom Instruction

(Charlotte, NC) -- In-person classes begin again at UNC Charlotte today. Students have been learning virtually since the start of the spring semester on January 10th due to rising COVID cases. Vaccination proof or a negative test is required from staff and students to attend classes in-person. Vaccinations are offered every Thursday and Friday on-campus.

American Airlines Cuts Charlotte Flights

(Charlotte, NC) -- American Airlines is reducing its flight loads in Charlotte this spring. The Charlotte Business Journal reports the airline is cutting out roughly 800 flights in March at C-L-T, as well as thousands more at three other major cities. The cuts were made to align with demand.

Governor Proclaims School Choice Week

(Raleigh, NC) -- It's North Carolina School Choice Week. Governor Roy Cooper issued the proclamation for the first time during his tenure, which came as a surprise to some. The executive director for the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools called the proclamation an olive branch, since the last time the week was declared was in 2016. Cooper has previously voiced concerns over charter school expansion.

School Districts Still Affected By Weather

(Caldwell County, NC) -- Some school districts around the Charlotte metro area are still being affected by icy road conditions. Caldwell, Chesterfield and Stanly County Schools are some of those operating on a two-hour delay today. Anson and Richmond counties are closed. Temperatures are expected to reach at least 50-degrees in the region today.

Overnight Re-Freezing May Result In Black Ice On Many North Carolina Roadways This Morning

(Raleigh, NC) -- County EMA officials across the central North Carolina region are advising motorists to be on the lookout for black ice this morning, as plunging overnight temperatures have caused some roads to re-freeze. This, as much of the remaining snow from the winter storm started to melt yesterday. But water from the melted snow may have turned to ice on lesser traveled and shaded roads, creating potentially hazardous driving conditions.

Road Conditions Causing School Districts To Close Or Operate On Delayed Schedules Today

(Wake County, NC) -- As a safety precaution, several Triangle area school districts have announced closings or delays today because of road conditions. They include Wake and Johnston counties, which will be closed, while Cumberland, Lee and Person county schools will operate on a two hour delay. Classes will be remote today for students at Durham, Franklin and Edgecombe counties.

Testing And Vaccination Sites Across Central North Carolina To Operate On Delayed Schedule

(Wake County, NC) -- Because testing and vaccination sites were closed over the weekend because of the weather, larger crowds will be expected at the healthcare facilities today. Wake County residents planning on returning for make-up appointments are being advised that testing sites at the County's South, North and East regional centers will open at 10:00-am instead of the usual 7:00-am. All of the sites will close at 7:00-pm. The State of North Carolina will operate testing sites at Wake Med Soccer Park, Five County Stadium and PNC Arena starting at 7:00-am. Another state-run site at Word of God Assembly Church off Rock Quarry Road, will be open from 10:00-am until 6:00-pm.

17-Year Old Boy Shot To Death Sunday In Rocky Mount

(Rocky Mount, NC) -- Authorities in Rocky Mount are investigating the fatal shooting of a 17-year old boy over the weekend. It happened around 3:00-am Sunday morning along the 2300 block of Hurt Drive. Paramedics arrived to find the teen lying on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to nearby UNC Nash Health Care for treatment, but was later pronounced dead. Investigators have not yet released the name of the victim. So far, no suspects have been arrested in this case.

Pedestrian Hospitalized After Being Struck By Passing Vehicle In North Raleigh

(Raleigh, NC) -- A pedestrian is recovering at a hospital today after being struck and wounded by a vehicle Sunday night in North Raleigh. The incident happened near the intersection of East Millbrook and Old Wake Forest Roads around 6:45-pm. Police say the adult male was hit by a passing motorist as he was attempting to cross the road. The driver remained at the scene until first responders arrived. He was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. No word on his condition.

Some Schools Call For A Late Start Monday Due To Continued Icy Conditions

(Greensboro, NC) -- A few school districts in area are pushing back the start of classes Monday. Guilford County Schools, Lexington City Public Schools, Thomasville City Schools, Caswell County Schools and Montgomery County Schools have all announced a 2-hour delay Monday, Jan. 24. Randolph County Schools will operate on a 3-hour delay. Guilford County Schools said the district made the decision "due to the potential for ongoing icy road conditions in the early morning."

Forsyth Sheriff's Deputy Dismissed After Alleged Assault

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- The Forsyth County sheriff's office has dismissed a deputy after he's been arrested for assaulting a woman. Wesley Jovan Summers, who is 32 years old, was arrested and charged with assault Sunday morning after officers responded to a disturbance call at a county home. Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough issued a statement saying that his office has "zero tolerance" for domestic violence. Summers had worked for the sheriff's office for about seven years.

Fire Officials Say Family Displaced After Blaze In Winston-Salem

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A fire commander with the Winston-Salem Fire Department said that two adults, two children and one dog have been able to escape their burning home but will have to seek temporary housing. Firefighters arrived on the scene in the 1800 block of Green Cedar Lane a little before noon and were able to get the fire contained in about 15 minutes. However, they described the damage as "significant."

Forsyth County Commissioners Approve Controversial Truck Stop

(Greensboro, NC) -- Despite comments at a public hearing citing worries about traffic, crime, pollution and noise, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners has approved a rezoning that will allow a Love's Travel Stop to go up on a 20-acre site south of U.S. 52. The vote on the county board last Thursday was 5-2 in favor of the rezoning, with commissioners Tonya McDaniel and Don Martin casting the only votes in opposition. Company spokesman William Gleeson says Love's would hire at least 60 full time workers for the new store, which is planned for Shore Road, south of U.S. 52 at the Westinghouse Road exit.

NC A&T State University Marching Band Named 2021 HBCU Sports Band Of The Year

(Greensboro, NC) -- North Carolina A&T State University's Marching Band has been selected as the 2021 HBCU Sports Band of the Year. They were selected in a public poll conducted by historically Black colleges and universities at a website dedicated to sports at HBCUs. This year, the winning band program also received a 25-hundred-dollar donation. It's the third time that North Carolina A&T State University, has been recognized with the honor.


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