Winter Weather on the Way, Lodging Numbers Rise in WNC, WCU Numbers Down

More Winter Weather Heading For WNC

(Asheville, NC) -- Western North Carolina is bracing for more winter weather this weekend. The National Weather Service is calling for snow to fall across the mountains this afternoon and into the overnight hours. Accumulations will range anywhere from an inch or so around Asheville up to over six-inches in higher elevations. Wind chills could make temperatures feel below zero tomorrow morning.

Thousands Of Masks Being Distributed In Mountain Counties

(Henderson County, NC) -- Thousands of new face masks are now available in several mountain counties. WLOS-TV says the government sent Henderson County 22-thousand N95 masks this week. Transylvania County received more than six-thousand. They've been distributed and are available at a number of agencies and organizations throughout both counties.

Hotel, Lodging Numbers Still Rising In Asheville

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Hotel and lodging numbers are continuing to look better in Asheville. The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority reported a 50-percent jump in lodging sales for November when compared to the same month one-year before. Hotel occupancy levels nearly reached those reported in November 2019, before the pandemic began. Occupancy of short-term rentals is up from that same month.

Western Carolina University Enrollment Drops

(Cullowhee, NC) -- Fewer students are attending Western Carolina University this semester. School officials revealed yesterday the enrollment dropped close to three-percent from the Spring 2021 semester. The decrease is being blamed on COVID and its financial impacts. Though, there was a jump in new graduate students.

Foundation Problems Reported At South Slope Development

(Asheville, NC) -- An Asheville South Slope development is on hold due to foundation issues. WLOS-TV reports engineering firms are inspecting the property this week. Around 500 apartments are included in the 86-thousand-square-foot project, which includes commercial and retail space as well.

Fast-Growing Cookie Company Opening In Asheville

(Asheville, NC) -- A fast-growing cookie company is opening up shop in Asheville. The Citizen-Times reports a grand opening is planned today for Crumbl [[ crumble ]] at the Westgate Plaza. Crumbl offers over 120 cookie flavors with a rotating menu every week. There are now over 300 stores across the country after the company started in 2017.

Snow Possible Around Charlotte

(Charlotte, NC) -- The Charlotte area could be in for more snow later today. The National Weather Service says there may be light accumulation in Charlotte accompanying a system that is expected to drop heavy snow in the mountains. It will be windy as well, with gusts reaching 25-miles-an-hour. Roads could be icy tomorrow morning since temperatures should be several degrees below freezing.

Human Remains Found In Huntersville

(Huntersville, NC) -- Police are investigating the discovery of human remains in Huntersville. Officers say the remains were found off Comanche Road Wednesday, while they were looking into a potential homicide. There is one person in custody. There's no word yet on any charges.

Former Panther Helps Bring Behavioral Health Center To Charlotte

(Charlotte, NC) -- A Panthers legend is helping provide a big mental health initiative locally. Steve Smith announced yesterday that his foundation is partnering with the county to open an urgent care location that specializes in mental health and substance abuse care. It's going to be the first behavioral health urgent care center in Charlotte. The clinic will be on Colonnade Drive in east Charlotte.

Man Sentenced For Deadly Home Invasion

(York County, NC) -- A man is heading to prison for his role in a deadly home invasion in York County. A 72-year-old woman died several weeks after she was assaulting during a Christmas Day robbery at her home just over a year ago. Her husband was also attacked during the home invasion. A judge sentenced the suspect to 40-years yesterday.

Omicron Subvariant Found In Charlotte

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- An omicron subvariant is popping up in Mecklenburg County. The public health director revealed this week that two cases appeared in samples taken last week. He says there's no indication of any other surge at this point. Novant Health's Chief Clinical Officer added that hospitalizations may have peaked just under two-weeks ago.

Mecklenburg Public Health Giving Out COVID Test Kits

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Mecklenburg County Public Health will be giving out free at-home COVID tests. Workers will be on-hand to distribute the kits at J.M. Alexander Middle School in Huntersville and the Harper campus of Central Piedmont Community College from ten-to-one tomorrow. They're available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Significant Snowfall Amounts Expected Again In Central North Carolina This Weekend

(Raleigh NC) -- For the third weekend in a row, people across the Triangle region are being advised to brace for snow. Weather forecasters are predicting rain will start moving into the central part of the state late this evening. Then, as an arctic air mass rolls in dropping temperatures into the 20's, the rain will begin to turn into snow. The heaviest part of the storm will occur between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.. Snow accumulations are predicted to be between one-to-two-inches in areas north of I-85. The Triangle could get between one-to-two-inches as well. Motorists are warned to watch out for black ice on the roads early Saturday morning.

Wake County Orders All Outdoor Testing Sites Closed Until Monday

(Wake County, NC) -- The Wake County health department has announced that all of its drive-thru testing sites will be closed on Saturday due to the winter weather. Those who've already made appointments can visit the locations any day next week, or come by today between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m..

COVID-19 Key Metrics In North Carolina Still Trending Upward

(Raleigh, NC) -- Data released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services showed there were five-thousand-158 people being treated for Omicron/ COVID related illnesses in hospitals Thursday, highest total since the start of the pandemic. There were also 808-patients in intensive care. The Department reported there were over 28-thousand new infections yesterday, an increase of 84-hundred over the day before. The state's test positive rate was at 30-point-one-percent. And, there were 77-additional deaths. Only about 60-percent of the state's total population has been vaccinated.

Durham Police Issue Felony Warrants For Hit And Run Suspects

(Durham, NC) -- Felony warrants have been issued for two people wanted in connection with a hit and run incident that injured an 18-year old pregnant woman. It happened on January 8th along South Briggs Avenue in Durham. According to Durham police, the woman, identified as Heven Rooks, was driving on the roadway when she was rammed by a 2002 Cadillac Escalade which kept going. The victim, who was eight months pregnant, was rushed to the hospital and treated for life-threatening injuries. The two suspects have been identified as 26-year old Devon Edwards and 33-year old Teresa Hooker. Anyone with information is asked to contact Durham police.

Pawn Shop Employee Dies In Benson After Being Accidentally Shot

(Benson, NC) -- Authorities in the Johnston County town of Benson are investigating a reported accidental shooting inside a pawn shop, that resulted in the death of an employee. It happened around 11 a.m. Thursday at Kennedy's Paradise Pawn on West Main Street. Witnesses told police the gun accidentally discharged, striking the victim, identified as 44-year old Trampas Penny once in the chest. Penny, who worked as a gunsmith, was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no other injuries and so-far, no charges have been filed.

Winter Storm Predicted For Third Straight Weekend

(Greensboro, NC) -- For the third straight weekend, the Piedmont-Triad area is expected to experience a winter storm. Areas around Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point may get upwards of 3 inches of snow. Rain will start in the evening hours Friday and transition into snow between midnight and 7 a.m.

Silver-Lining Seen For Staying Home From School During Snow Days

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A local infectious disease expert says students staying home during snow days might not be a bad thing. Doctor Christopher Ohl with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist says a mini-break from school during a time when the omicron variant of COVID-19 is surging could be beneficial. He says even though schools are relatively low risk, there's still a benefit to not having large groups of people gather in one place. He tells WXII TV there also could be a benefit to adults staying home for a few extra days this week due to the storm for the same reasons.

EMS Workers Receive Ballistic Vests For On-the-Job Use

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Forsyth County EMS workers have just received 80 ballistic vests that will offer crews protection against gunfire and knives. Chief of emergency services for Forsyth County EMS Daren Ziglar says a national survey of EMS workers shows over two thirds of respondents say they've been physically assaulted while on the job. The vests cost about 47-thousand dollars and were paid for by the Piedmont Regional Trauma System and through funding by Forsyth County Commissioners.

High Point Police Investigating Homicide Of Local Transient Man

(High Point, NC) -- The High Point Police Department has launched a homicide investigation after the body of a 49-year-old man was discovered near Lakewood Drive and Futrelle Drive Wednesday morning. John Boone, of High Point, was deaf and nonverbal, and officers said he was known to be transient. Police say he could often be seen panhandling and investigators believe he may have had contact with members of the community in the hours before his death. Authorities are asking anyone with information about Boone's whereabouts between 7 p.m. on January 25th and when officers found his body.

Food Lion Donates $1M To Second Harvest Food Bank

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Second Harvest Food Bank has marked the start of its 40th year of service with a one-million-dollar donation. Food Lion Feeds, the retailer's hunger relief initiative has contributed that amount to the Food Bank's Hunger for Change Capital Campaign. The gift represents the largest corporate gift to the campaign and will go toward building a new headquarters home for Second Harvest at Whitaker Park in Winston-Salem. The funding will support the new Providence Culinary Training and Nutrition Education Center nourished by Food Lion Feeds, which will be housed within the new building.

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