WNC Covid Cases Rise, Ed Sec to Visit Charlotte, Door to Door Vax in Meck

COVID Cases On Uptick

(Asheville, NC) -- Concern is growing over an uptick in COVID-19 cases around western North Carolina. A doctor with AdventHealth told WLOS-TV she believes cases will continue to go up because the newer Delta variant is 200-percent more transmissible. The statewide positivity still remains a little below the five-percent target rate to slow the spread. The doctor added that vaccines do protect against the strain.

Rep. Cawthorn Removes Tweet With Swastika

(Hendersonville, NC) -- A confusing post from western North Carolina's Congressman is now off of Twitter. Republican Madison Cawthorn initially tweeted a link to a New York Post article Friday night, which discussed a Black Lives Matter chapter's claim that flying the American flag is racist. The picture for the link showed a boy wearing a T-shirt with the Nazi swastika symbol. The Citizen-Times reports the tweet was just pulled from the social media site last night.

Downtown Asheville Hotel Expanding

(Asheville, NC) -- A hotel in downtown Asheville is preparing for a large expansion. The city's design review committee gave its approval yesterday to a half-million-square-foot addition to the Four Points by Sheraton hotel, which will include a mix of residential units, retail space and a supermarket. A rep with the architectural firm said it would be the largest downtown development in years.

APD Officers Render Aid To Recent Shooting Victims

(Asheville, NC) -- Some Asheville police officers are using their first aid training on the job. WLOS-TV reports a July 3rd shooting on Atkinson Street where two officers helped stopped the bleeding of one victim before EMS arrived. It was a similar scenario last week when two more officers applied aid to a shooting victim inside a Walmart bathroom until medical personnel responded. Both victims survived.

Hendersonville School Resource Officer Named Best In State

(Henderson County, NC) -- A school resource officer from Hendersonville is being recognized as the top in the state. Joreeca Dinnall was awarded the SRO of the Year award at the North Carolina Association of School Resource Officers conference in Wilmington, which is on-going this week. She currently serves at Hendersonville High School. In a release, the city pointed out a situation last year when Dinnall helped a juvenile experiencing a mental health crisis.

More Retirements In Macon County Schools Possibly Linked To Pandemic

(Macon County, NC) -- The pandemic may be reason for an unusual amount of retirements in the Macon County school system. The superintendent told WLOS-TV this week the district had more than 40 retirements this past school year, after processing just over a dozen the year before. He said school officials are sorting through exit interviews to find out exactly why the retirees chose now, although they were all eligible to retire. Teachers have faced a number of different challenges since COVID-19 hit.

Meck Health Officials Give Vaccines Door-To-Door

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- A new COVID vaccination effort is underway in Mecklenburg County. Health officials are joining volunteers with NC Action to go door-to-door with shots that can be given on site. They're concentrating efforts in areas with lower vaccination rates. A representative with NC Action told WBTV they're not confrontational, they just want to dispel rumors.

Education Secretary Visits Charlotte

(Charlotte, NC) -- The U.S. Secretary of Education spent part of his Monday in Charlotte. Miguel Cardona was joined by Congresswoman Alma Adams in a visit to Johnson C. Smith University and Paw Creek Elementary, where they toured the Camp CMS program. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is scheduled to be in the area today. He'll make a stop at a vaccination site at Northwest Cabarrus High School.

One Injured In Shooting Outside Caldwell County Courthouse

(Caldwell County, NC) -- A suspect is facing charges for a shooting outside the Caldwell County courthouse. Lenoir police say a 48-year-old man shot someone during an argument while parked in downtown yesterday. The victim was listed in serious condition with life-threatening injuries. Officers arrested the suspect for assault.

One Killed In Rowan County Skydiving Accident

(Rowan County, NC) -- One person is dead in a Charlotte-area skydiving accident. The Rowan County Sheriff's Office confirmed the death yesterday. Emergency crews responded to Mid-Carolina Regional Airport in Salisbury, where Piedmont Skydiving is located. More details are expected after the investigation.

New Hospital Coming To Lake Norman

(Cornelius, NC) -- Plans are moving forward for a new hospital in the Lake Norman area. WSOC-TV reports a certificate of need request from Atrium Health was just approved by North Carolina. The location at Westmoreland Road and Highway 21 in Cornelius will feature 30-beds, two operating rooms and eight emergency department bays. An opening is scheduled for 2024.

No Swimming At Lake Cove After Sewage Spill

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Swimmers are being warned to stay out of one section of Lake Norman. County officials issued a no-swimming-advisory yesterday after 200 gallons of untreated sewage spilled into a cove. It happened when a private contractor damaged a pipe at a home on Paradise Cove Court. It's been less than two weeks since an advisory was issued at the same spot.

Four Wolf-Hybrid Dogs Loose In Orange County

(Orange County, NC) -- Orange County authorities have issued a warning for the public to be on the lookout for four possible wolf-hybrid German Shepherd dogs that are on the loose. Authorities say initially, 12 of the hybrids escaped from an enclosure in a rural part of the county a few days ago. Eight of them were re-captured, but four remain at large. So-far, there have been no reports of the animals hurting or attacking people or livestock. But, they could display aggressive tendencies when confronted by humans. Anyone who sees the dogs is asked to contact Orange County Animal Control.

Police In Holly Springs Looking For Man Who Smeared Feces On Black Lives Matter Sign

(Holly Springs, NC) -- Police in the Wake County town of Holly Springs are looking for a man who smeared feces on a Black Lives Matter sign and then left it on the front porch of a family's home last week. A doorbell cam video of the incident has been posted on the Holly Spring Police Department's website. The incident occurred during the early morning hours of July 8th along the 500-block of Wellspring Drive in the Bridgewater subdivision. The suspect is described as a white male in his 30's weighing about 270 pounds. Investigators are calling it a hate crime.

North Carolina Republicans Planning Veto Override Vote On Controversial Abortion Bill

(Raleigh, NC) -- Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly are gearing up to try and override Governor Roy Cooper's veto of restricting certain kinds of abortions from being performed in the state. At issue is a bill that would ban abortions in North Carolina based on a fetus' race or the diagnosis of Downs Syndrome. The first override vote is scheduled in the House on July 21st. Before Cooper's veto, six Democrats joined with Republicans to vote in favor of the bill. However, in the Senate, no Democrats supported the legislation.

Raleigh-Durham Area Ranked Second Best Place To Live In U.S. In New Survey

(Raleigh, NC) -- U.S. News & World Report has ranked the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina number two on its annual list of 'Best Places to Live' in the U.S. That's up from number 11 in last year's rankings. The national publication based its rankings on a number of factors including housing affordability, crime rate, quality of health care and quality of education. A total of seven North Carolina locations are mentioned on the list of 150 places across the U.S. Boulder, Colorado was ranked number one for the second year in a row.

Entertainment Co. Sues Winston-Salem Over Canceled Festival

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- An entertainment company is suing Winston-Salem after the city canceled a music festival, allegedly costing the company hundreds-of-thousands of dollars. Starr Entertainment says the city canceled the Carolina Summers Music Fest, after signing a contract to host the event, over concerns about some of the artists set to perform. Pooh Shiesty, Big Latto and Moneybagg Yo were scheduled to take the stage at the fairgrounds on July 31st. The city feared possible gang activity and violence would erupt. The suit says Starr Entertainment could lose about a-quarter-of-a-million dollars from the cancelation. Both the city of Winston-Salem and the police department declined to comment.

Former HPU Athletic Director Dies At 82

(High Point, NC) -- High Point University is mourning the death of former basketball coach and athletic director Jerry Steele. The university announced his death early Monday. Steele was the winningest coach in HPU history with 495 wins. He also led the university to six conference tournament titles in NAIA and NCAA Division II. Steele passed away on Sunday at the age of 82.

Winston-Salem Girl Injured By Gunfire

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A 12-year-old Winston-Salem girl is recovering after she was struck by gunfire at her home on Pleasant Street. Police say the girl was in her bedroom when the gunman opened fire with an assault rifle Sunday evening. They say several family members in the home were targeted. The girl was shot in the leg, but she's expected to be okay. The suspect is still at large.

Elderly Man Caught In Crossfire Of Winston-Salem Shooting

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- An elderly man is recovering after he was caught in the crossfire of a shooting between two groups. The scene unfolded Monday afternoon near 25th and Ansonia streets. The 84-year-old victim tells police he was sitting on his porch when he saw several people shooting at each other. The man was shot in the arm but refused treatment from EMS. Police are investigating whether the shooting is related to another one earlier in the day in the same area.

NC Vaccination Rate Below National Average

(Greensboro, NC) -- State health officials say the COVID-19 vaccination rate in North Carolina is below the national average. In Alamance, Guilford and Forsyth counties, just under half the population is fully-vaccinated. In Davidson County, that number is even lower at 35-percent. The C-D-C is urging people to get the shot, saying the Delta variant of the coronavirus is more contagious than the initial strain.

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