Council Votes to Remove Vance Monument, APD Budget at Risk, Rain for WNC

City Votes To Remove Vance Monument

(Asheville, NC) -- The future of Asheville's Vance Monument is in the hands of the Buncombe County Commission. The Asheville City Council passed a resolution last night to have any Confederate monuments at the courthouse and in Pack Square Park removed. A task force created by both the city and county would make recommendations on removal or re-purposing. Zebulon Vance served as an officer for the Confederate Army and as North Carolina's governor during the Civil War. The county commission will now consider the resolution.

Governor Creates Racial Equity Task Force

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina's governor is putting a committee in place to battle discrimination in law enforcement. Governor Roy Cooper signed an order yesterday that establishes the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice. The group will recommend policy solutions to state lawmakers and municipalities by December. State Attorney General Josh Stein is one of the leaders of the task force. He says the group will implement strategies to bring real change to the justice system.

Asheville Council To Review Police Spending

(Asheville, NC) -- The Asheville City Council is taking another hard look at the budget for the police department. The current spending plan calls for a small increase in APD spending for next fiscal year, while the city's overall budget is dropping. Mayor Esther Manheimer said a scheduled budget hearing last night was canceled so the council can go back and review. Speculation is the members may flatten the police department's budget, along with other departments as well.

Historic African-American Library Vandalized

(Polk County, NC) -- The Polk County Sheriff's Office is investigating vandalism at a historic African-American library. WLOS-TV reports books were scattered across the floor after someone busted a window and kicked in the door at the Stony Knoll Library in Mill Spring last week. An investigator says it doesn't appear to be racially motivated, but rather someone pillaging. The 80-year-old library hasn't been used in a few decades.

Suspect Arrested In Asheville Stabbing

(Asheville, NC) -- A suspect is facing charges in an Asheville stabbing. A man was injured with multiple stab wounds at the Pisgah View Apartments on Monday night. Anthony Spear of Asheville was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. The victim is still recovering in the hospital.

State Lays Out School Plans

(Raleigh, NC) -- The state is laying out recommended plans for next school year. Governor Cooper unveiled three options this week to re-open, which include minimal social distancing, moderate social distancing and remote learning only. He says he wants schools to open, but won't be reckless with a decision. State officials will choose which option they want to steer towards at the beginning of July.

BLM Mural Painted On Uptown Street

(Charlotte, NC) -- Uptown is the home of a new Black Lives Matter mural. A handful of artists painted different designs for each letter of the phrase on Tryon between Third and Fourth streets yesterday. Supporters kneeled at the mural last night as the artists were finishing up work. The art is a collaboration with the City of Charlotte and three other local organizations. It comes a few days after a similar mural was unveiled on a street in Washington, DC.

CMPD Looking For Five People From Police Scuffle

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is looking for five people who may have been involved in a scuffle with a police officer. A video appears to show a protester shoving Captain Brad Koch outside the Government Center on Monday afternoon. Koch shoved back before several others jumped in and joined the struggle. One person was arrested for assault on a government official. It was the second day in a row protesters engaged physically with Koch, who had reportedly joined demonstrators in marches for several days before.

Coronavirus Hospitalizations Rising

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Coronavirus hospitalizations are increasing in Mecklenburg County. There have been close to 100 patients on average hospitalized over the last week in the county, which is a jump from the prior two-week period. The number of hospitalizations for the state is also at a high, with more than 770. There have been more than 37-thousand total COVID-19 cases in the state.

Charlotte Protesters Urged To Get COVID-19 Test

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Protesters are being urged to find a COVID-19 testing site in Mecklenburg County. Health director Gibbie Harris says protesters can get a free test at CVS or through a hospital system. Participants are encouraged to do so even if they don't show symptoms. Commission Chair George Dunlap says it's important because the county is trending in the wrong direction.

Pig Heads Left On Side Of Interstate

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is investigating a gruesome discovery along I-277. Someone called police after spotting pig heads along the retaining wall of the outer loop on Monday night. It's unclear how many there were, but one remained on the wall last night.

Police Officers In Raleigh No Longer Will Use Choke Holds

(Raleigh, NC) -- Swift policy changes announced Tuesday across North Carolina in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the mass protests against racial injustice that followed. At a virtual City Council meeting last night, Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown informed members that police officers in her department will no longer use strangleholds or chokeholds as a method of subduing suspects during arrests or crowd control. Brown said her department is also re-evaluating several other police policies and de-escalation tactics.

Cheif Justice And AG To Lead New Task Force On Racial Injustice

(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper has announced the creation of a new task force that has been charged with reviewing and re-examining law enforcement policies as well as prosecutor and judicial conduct in North Carolina. The panel, known as the North Carolina Task Force For Racial Equity In Criminal Justice, will be headed up by State Supreme Court Chief Justice Anita Earls and State Attorney General Josh Stein. Cooper said the goal of the task force will be to eliminate racial injustice and inequality anywhere it currently exists in the criminal justice system.

UNC System Establishes New Task Force To Address Racism

(Chapel Hill, NC) -- The University of North Carolina System has announced the establishment of an Equity Task Force. In a memo sent out Tuesday, the system's Board of Governors said North Carolina's public universities are in pursuit of greater racial equity and understanding. The statement went on to say it is the school's obligation and responsibility to do the hard work needed to address the inequities within the UNC system for the benefit of students, faculty, staff and all North Carolinians. The tasks force will be made up of six members.

Senate Republicans Approve Bill To Reopen Gyms And Bars

(Raleigh, NC) -- Members of the North Carolina Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would allow gyms, health clubs and fitness centers to open at 50-percent capacity. The legislation would also allow bars and restaurants to reopen. The proposal also gives Governor Cooper the authority to close those businesses if there is a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases. The bill now moves to the House for further consideration.

Gov. Roy Cooper Orders ACE Speedway Closed

(Alamance Co., NC) - Governor Roy Cooper is ordering ACE Speedway in Alamance County to shut down immediately. This after the speedway opened to large crowds over the weekend, ignoring the state's ban on outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people. The governor issued an order Monday night, saying the speedway could reopen as long as it presented a plan on how it will follow state guidelines. The plan must be approved by the Department of Health and Human Services before it can reopen.

Alamance Co. Sheriff Responds To Governor's Order To Shut-Down Speedway

(Alamance Co., NC) - Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson is responding to Governor Roy Cooper's order shutting down ACE Speedway. The sheriff announced his decision earlier this week not to cite the owner of the speedway for having a large crowd over the weekend. He said it puts him in a tough position as sheriff to enforce an order that, in his opinion, violates the constitution. Johnson told FOX 8 he's not sure why the governor is singling ACE Speedway out when it's not the only speedway open in the state.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth Co. Schools To Address Systemic Racism

(Winston-Salem, NC) - Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and other educators are coming up with a plan to address systemic racism. President of the Forsyth County Association of Educators, Val Young, admits there are areas of systemic racism in the district and said they're "going to be solution-minded." Young and other teachers within the organization plan to present their solutions to the school board later this month.

Winston-Salem City Council Could Move $1M From Police To Other Programs

(Winston-Salem, NC) - The Winston-Salem City Council is talking about moving one-million dollars from the Police Department's budget and putting it toward other programs. The proposal includes freezing between 15 and 40 open police officer positions for one year. The money saved would go toward programs to reduce poverty and address criminal reoffenders. The plan will be considered by the full council on June 15th.

NASCAR's Bubba Wallace To Race 'Black Lives Matter' Car At Martinsville

(Ridgeway, NC) - NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace will be supporting "Black Lives Matter" when he gets behind the wheel for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville tonight. The African-American driver has been vocal in his support for equality amid nationwide protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd. The car is painted black with slogans around the car along with a black and white hand embracing on the hood.

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