Vaccines Begin to Flow in WNC, AVL Driver Stabbed, Murder Suspect in Jail


More Counties Beginning New Vaccine Phase

(Henderson County, NC) -- More COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out in western North Carolina this week. Haywood County health officials are beginning to register residents aged 75-and-older for appointments. Registration opened up for older residents in Henderson County as well, where more than 500 appointments were booked up yesterday. There's currently only one-thousand doses available in Henderson.

Buncombe County Man Charged With Murder

(Buncombe County, NC) -- A Buncombe County 74-year-old is in jail for murder. Ronald Haynes is accused of shooting his housemate to death on White Oak Gap Road yesterday. He was taken to the Buncombe County Detention Facility, and is being held without bond.

Security Increased At Haywood Democratic Headquarters After Threat

(Haywood County, NC) -- Security is increasing at the Haywood County Democratic Party headquarters due to a threat. The party's chair told WLOS-TV a volunteer answered a call earlier this week, when someone made threats connected to condemnation of GOP Congressman Madison Cawthorn. Democrats from the 11th district recently sent a letter to the House Speaker, urging the expulsion of Cawthorn for statements he made before last week's violence at the U.S. Capitol. Waynesville Police have increased their presence.

Driver Stabbed While Trying To Help Man

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville police are investigating a stabbing during an attempted armed robbery. It happened after a driver tried to help an unresponsive man on an I-40 exit ramp on Monday night. The man allegedly demanded the driver's wallet before stabbing him in the leg. The victim is expected to be okay, while the suspect ran off into the woods.

Asheville Waiving Some Business Fees

(Asheville, NC) -- Some fees for Asheville businesses are being waived to help out in struggling financial times. The city council approved an ordinance yesterday that will suspend costs for things like temporary uses and outdoor dining for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency. It amounts to around 13-thousand-dollars-a-month the city will absorb.

Meck Health Director Issues Three-Week COVID Directives

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Mecklenburg County's health director is urging residents to step up efforts to fight COVID-19. Gibbie Harris issued directives yesterday for the next three weeks, which include staying at home except for essential activities and utilizing full-virtual options for work and school. Residents aged 65-and-older are being urged to avoid leaving home at all. The announcement comes as local coronavirus cases have skyrocketed to around 900-per-day on average.

CMPD Sending Officers To Inauguration

(Charlotte, NC) -- A team of CMPD officers is heading to help with security for next week's inauguration. A department spokesperson didn't confirm how many officers are going to Washington, D.C., but said there would be no local service interruptions. The mobilization comes after violence erupted at the U.S. Capitol one week ago. The FBI is warning of armed protests in state capitals across the U.S. ahead of the inauguration.

Rowan Health Department Evacuated Due To Suspicious Packages

(Rowan County, NC) -- The Rowan County Health Department is open as normal today following an investigation into suspicious packages. A bomb squad was called to the East Innes Street location yesterday after a man put down two packages he said were important and valuable, before running off through the parking lot. The building was evacuated as investigators secured the scene. The packages only contained clothing and toiletries.

Panthers Narrow GM Search

(Charlotte, NC) -- The Carolina Panthers' search for a new general manager is winding down. A hiring announcement could be made as early as this week, while the organization moves into a second round of interviews. NFL Insider Ian Rappaport says the Panthers are concentrating on player personnel directors Monti Ossenfort of the Titans and Adam Peters of the 49ers. The replacement will take over for Marty Hurney, who was fired last month.

More Vaccines On The Way

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina is awaiting more COVID-19 vaccines as the federal government appears to be moving towards a massive rollout. U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar said yesterday that all available doses are being sent out soon. The state has administered roughly a quarter of the 800-thousand-plus doses it has received so far, which ranks towards the bottom of the nation. Azar added states are being urged to offer vaccines to all residents aged 65-and-over.

Salisbury's Cheerwine Festival Changes Dates

(Salisbury, NC) -- A celebration of the region's most-famed cherry soda is being postponed. Organizers are moving the annual Cheerwine Festival in Salisbury from May to mid-September, in hopes that people will be able to attend as the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out. The event was held virtually last year. The Salisbury-based soft drink has been around for more than a century.

New Plan Introduced For Getting More North Carolinians Vaccinated

(Raleigh, NC) -- In an effort to speed up the rollout of coronavirus vaccines across the state, North Carolina health officials have unveiled a new plan designed to inoculate up to 45-thousand people a week. The logistics of the plan involves a partnership between HHS and 14-healthcare systems statewide, county health departments and community centers in 13-counties. Hundreds of state employees will be re-deployed to those locations to assist health care workers with administering the vaccines.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations And Other Key Metrics Continuing To Increase

(Raleigh, NC) -- COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Carolina reached the second highest level since the start of the pandemic on Tuesday. Figures released by the Department of Health and Human Services showed there were three thousand-940 people in the hospital, an increase of 97-over the day before. The Department also reported a single-day increase of six thousand-851 new cases of the virus yesterday. The state's positivity rate was at 14-point-7 percent. And there were 97-additional deaths.

COVID-19 Quarantines Have Not Impacted Durham Fire Department Response Times

(Durham, NC) -- Despite nearly two dozen Durham Fire Department personnel being forced to quarantine because of COVID-19, administrators insist response times to 911-calls have not been impacted. A spokesperson said Tuesday, that the Fire Department has also implemented a number of new policies to reduce the spread of the virus, including three times a day wellness checks, more frequent station cleaning, social distancing and use of PPE.

North Carolina Law Enforcement Prepared For Armed Protesters Next Week

(Raleigh, NC) -- Although there have been no specific threats, North Carolina public safety officials say a contingency plan is in place around the Capitol complex in Raleigh in anticipation of the arrival of armed protesters next week. This after the FBI sent out a memo to all 50-states warning of the potential for violence from January 16th through at least January 20th, the day that Joe Biden is to be sworn in as President. The 2021-session of the North Carolina General Assembly begins at noon today.

Peaceful Protesters Voice Opposition To Fayetteville's Removal Of 'Black Lives Do Matter' Mural

(Fayetteville, NC) -- A small group of protesters gathered outside the Market House in Fayetteville Tuesday to protest the City's decision to remove the Black Lives Do Matter mural after a little more than six months. The street art mural was first painted back in June following the death of George Floyd. According to Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin, the mural was never meant to be permanent. Colvin said the plan was to replace the slogan with another future art project at the beginning of 2021.

Murder Suspect Turns Himself In

(Reidsville, NC) -- An 18-year-old murder suspect is behind bars after turning himself in to deputies. Tevion Flippen surrendered to the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office yesterday. He's facing first-degree murder and other charges in connection to the shooting death of Felix Vanstory on December 30th. A 17-year-old suspect is also in custody in connection to the crime.

Man Arrested In Deadly Hit-And-Run In Greensboro

(Greensboro, NC) -- A man is under arrest for a deadly hit-and-run in Greensboro. Forty-one-year-old Donald Bruton is accused of driving recklessly out of the parking lot of Choppers Bar early Saturday morning and running over a pedestrian. Angela Haith died from her injuries. Bruton is being held in the Guilford County Jail with no bond.

Funeral For Former N.C. A&T Chancellor To Be Streamed

(Pensacola, FL) -- Former N.C. A&T Chancellor James Renick will be laid to rest tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. Services will be held at Joe Morris & Son Funeral Home in Pensacola, Florida. It will be streamed live at Joe-Morris-F-H-dot-com and on their Facebook page. Renick served as A&T chancellor from 1999 to 2006 before holding vice presidencies at the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C., and Jackson State University in Mississippi. He died on January 3rd at the age of 72 after a battle with A-L-S.

Wilkes Heath To Host Drive-Thru Vaccination Clinic

(Wilkes Co., NC) -- Wilkes Health is hosting a drive-thru vaccination clinic tomorrow. It will be held at Rivers Edge Park, starting at 10 a.m. Health care workers, longterm care staff and anyone 75 years and older are welcome. The vaccines will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Large-Scale COVID-19 Clinic Next Week

(Guilford Co., NC) -- The Guilford County Division of Public Health is teaming up with Cone Health to host a large-scale vaccination clinic. It's next Tuesday, January 19th, at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center. Vaccinations are available to folks 75 years and older and are by appointment only.