State Takes on Race Theory, Overdose Deaths Spike in NC, Vax Lotto Drawing

North Carolina Lawmakers Looking At Critical Race Theory Ban

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina lawmakers are tackling the subject of critical race theory. State Senate leader Phil Berger said yesterday the chamber is set to advance a ban on teachings of the theory, which focuses on the impact of race and racism in society. Last month, the state Board of Education issued guidelines on teaching discrimination in schools. Berger added that students should learn about the state's racial past, but they can't be forced to be part of something that promotes present discrimination.

Drug Overdoses Rise In NC

(Raleigh, NC) -- Drug overdoses are on the rise in North Carolina. The CDC reported yesterday the number jumped 35-percent from 2019 to last year. That's a larger average than the U.S. as a whole. More than 32-hundred overdose deaths were reported in North Carolina out of over 93-thousand nationwide.

Planning Commission To Vote Soon On Urban Initiative

(Asheville, NC) -- Urbanism is on the agenda this month for Asheville leaders. The Citizen-Times reports the planning commission pushed back a decision until next month to rezone 40 land parcels to an Urban Place Form district. The idea is supposed to encourage more pedestrian-friendly developments. The city is first focusing along areas on Asheville's transit corridor.

Confrontation At Hendersonville Gym Goes Viral

(Hendersonville, NC) -- A Hendersonville gym is facing backlash after refusing service to a Hispanic family. The Hendersonville Times-News says the family was gathered at the pool for the Flex Fitness and Recreation Center when the owner disconnected Mexican music they were playing before asking them to leave. The sheriff's office reports the group initially refused to leave, but was cooperating when deputies came out on Monday. Video from the scene has gone viral on several social media platforms.

Rutherfordton Shooting Suspect Goes Viral

(Rutherford County, NC) -- The suspect in a Rutherfordton shooting is still at-large. The Rutherford County sheriff's office says a man was shot at a home on Misty Lane Monday night during an argument over a girl. Injuries aren't considered to be life-threatening. The suspect is charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Asheville Ranked On List Of Best Places To Live

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville is on a new list of best places to live. The U.S. News and World Report placed Asheville at number-48 among the 150 most populous metro areas across the country. The publication noted the city has an excellent food scene, breweries, attractive outdoor areas and an independent spirit. Asheville is also listed as the eighth-best place to retire.

CMS Drops GPA Requirement For Extracurricular Activities

(Charlotte, NC) -- Grade requirements are being relaxed for CMS students who take part in extracurricular activities. The school board voted last night to remove the required two-point-oh grade point average for the fall semester. Board member Rhonda Cheek said it's been tough on kids to be academically successful during the pandemic. School officials are holding off on making a decision for the spring.

CMPD: Overall Crime Down In Charlotte

(Charlotte, NC) -- Overall crime is down slightly in Charlotte. The CMPD revealed yesterday there's been a six-percent drop over the first half of the year when compared to 2020. In the same time frame, violent crime jumped five-percent, including significant increases in aggravated assaults and sexual assaults. Police Chief Johnny Jennings said officers seem to be more comfortable dealing with issues and are working well with the community.

Youth Supervision Policy To Begin At Concord Mills

(Concord, NC) -- A new youth supervision policy is about to begin at a Charlotte-area shopping center. Signs are now up at Concord Mills which announced that all children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult over 21-years-of age after 3 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The decision comes after a number of recent disturbances involving teens, including a deadly shooting. The policy takes place July 30th.

High School Officially Renamed After Julius Chambers

(Charlotte, NC) -- Charlotte's Vance High School officially has a new name. The board of education voted last year to call the school Julius Chambers High, after a local civil rights leader and attorney. CMS ushered in the new name with a ceremony yesterday. Zebulon Vance served as North Carolina governor and an officer for the Confederate army.

Charlotte Families Needed To Care For Border Children

(Charlotte, NC) -- A social services agency is looking for Charlotte families to help foster unaccompanied migrant children. Terri Bowles with Bethany Christian Services told NBC Charlotte this week the organization has a U.S. government contract to open a transitional program that will typically last 45-to-60 days. Customs officials came across more than 65-thousand unaccompanied kids at the southwest border from January to May.

NC House Passes Bill Overhauling Regulatory Standards For Energy Companies In State

(Raleigh, NC) -- Members of the North Carolina House have voted to approve a major bill that would revise regulatory standards for utility companies operating in the state, particularly Duke Energy. In a rare late night session Wednesday, the House voted 59-47 to pass the Republican-supported energy bill that critics say weakens the government's authority to regulate utility rate hikes, conversion from coal-fired electric plants to natural gas and clean energy. The bill is almost certain to be vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper.

UNC Faculty Members Announce Support For Chancellor Guskiewicz Before Board Meeting

(Chapel Hill, NC) -- Ahead of what's anticipated to be a meeting of the Board of Governors over the future of UNC System Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, the UNC Faculty Council Wednesday passed a resolution affirming its support of the Chancellor. The emergency meeting was called by Faculty Chair Mimi Chapman, who told members there have been rumors circulating throughout the system about Guskiewicz's possible removal. Guskiewicz has come under fire recently for his leadership during the controversial debate over the issue of granting tenue for journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. The Board of Governor's meeting is set to take place this morning.

Recent COVID-19 Surge Blamed On Delta Variant, Low Vaccinations In North Carolina

(Raleigh, NC) -- Newly released Health Department data showed there were 995 new cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina on Wednesday, an increase of 455 over the day before. At least 487 patients were being treated at hospitals. And, the state's percent positive rate was also up to 5-and a half-percent. Doctors continue to blame the recent surge on the Delta variant and the number of people in the state still not vaccinated.

$30M Lawsuit Filed Over Police Killing Of Andrew Brown Jr.

(Elizabeth City, NC) -- Attorneys representing the family of Andrew Brown Jr. are filing a civil lawsuit in connection to the police killing in Pasquotank County. Brown's family is asking for 30-million dollars in punitive and compensatory damages after the 42-year-old Black man was shot to death by sheriff's deputies back in April. The lawsuit names the sheriff and several deputies as defendants. The suit will also seek to have the full dash and police body-cam video of the incident released.

COVID-19 Lottery Winner To Be Announced

(Undated) -- North Carolina officials will announce the winners of the state's second COVID-19 vaccine lottery today. The drawing took place on July 7th, but officials had to verify eligibility and get permission before announcing the winners. The winner of the first one-million-dollar prize was a mother from Winston-Salem. A scholarship contest is also held for children who are vaccinated. Anyone who has received at least one shot is eligible.

Two Arrests Announced In Deadly High Point Shooting

(High Point, NC) -- High Point police are announcing a pair of arrests in connection to a deadly shooting at a Speedway gas station. Thirty-nine-year-old Justin Williams is charged with first-degree murder, and 39-year-old Jenitta Grace is charged with obstruction of justice. Police say Williams shot and killed 38-year-old Walter Pouncy at the Speedway on West Fairfield Road on July 3rd. He's being held at the Guilford County Jail under no bond, and Grace is booked under a 25-thousand-dollar bond.

Reward Offered In Greensboro Killing

(Greensboro, NC) -- An eight-thousand-dollar reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in a one-year-old Greensboro murder. Jonathan Brockett was found shot in his car on July 14th, 2020. He died two days later. The victim's family is pleading for anyone with information to come forward. An anonymous donor has partnered with Crime Stoppers to offer the reward.

Greensboro Science Center Hosts Shark Week

(Greensboro, NC) -- The Greensboro Science Center is hosting Shark Week to help educate kids and teach them about conservation. The event coincides with the Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week celebration. The science center says this year's theme is "Shark Olympics." Several activities are planned for kids and families of all ages. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Saturday

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