Winter Storm Warnings for WNC, CDC: Weather Could Delay Vaccine Delivery,


Buncombe County Sets Vaccine Amount For Teachers

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Close to one-thousand weekly doses of COVID-19 vaccines are going to Buncombe County school staff. Health director Stacie Saunders told county commissioners yesterday that the state has been sending Buncombe nearly two-thousand vaccines weekly, and around half should go to teachers. The remaining will be distributed to the county's current waitlist. Commission chair Brownie Newman and others endorsed the recommendation.

Icy Weather Threatening Mountains

(Asheville, NC) -- Dangerous weather conditions are heading towards the mountains. The National Weather Service has placed western North Carolina under a winter weather watch from tonight through Thursday evening. A mix of sleet and snow is expected to turn over into freezing rain, which could cause power outages and tree damage. Ice accumulations might reach a quarter of an inch in some parts.

Possible Vaccine Delays Due To Weather

(Raleigh, NC) -- COVID-19 vaccine shipments could be delayed in North Carolina this week because of weather. The CDC warned the state's health officials yesterday that cold and wintry weather is playing a large factor in different parts of the country. North Carolina is also now allowing local health departments to turn away those looking for a vaccine if they reside out of state. Around three-percent of vaccines given in the state have gone to out-of-state patients.

Millions Supplied To WNC For Broadband Expansion

(Asheville, NC) -- Federal money is being distributed to help expand high-speed internet service in western North Carolina. WLOS-TV is reporting mountain counties will receive around 45-million-dollars from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. State Senator Kevin Corbin said it will particularly help farmers in rural areas. It will also be helpful for students who have been learning remotely.

Protesters Against Woodfin Development

(Woodfin, NC) -- A proposed development is causing concern for some residents in a Buncombe County town. Several dozen people protested outside the town hall in Woodfin yesterday over an 80-acre tract that may be used for 15-hundred rental units. The developer has removed previous plans for a hotel and retail space. Protesters told WLOS-TV they're worried about traffic and environmental impacts.

Sinkhole Under Repair In Asheville's River Arts District

(Asheville, NC) -- A sinkhole is causing some problems in Asheville's River Arts District. A construction director told the Citizen Times the sinkhole opened earlier this month when a sewer pipe busted along the French Broad River East Bank Greenway. The ground cover has been replaced, but barricades still remain at the site. The adjacent walking path and bike lane are open.

Novant Health To Open Mass Vaccine Clinic

(Charlotte, NC) -- A new mass vaccine clinic is opening in Charlotte. Novant Health is planning to start giving out doses at a soon-to-be-named location along East Independence Boulevard as early as Monday. The hospital system's chief nursing director told NBC Charlotte they have the potential to give out five-thousand COVID-19 vaccines per day once that much becomes available. Novant has been on a mission to find a place more accessible for underserved communities of Charlotte.

Mother Dead In Accidental Shooting

(Cornelius, NC) -- Police in Cornelius are investigating the accidental shooting death of a mother. Officers say it appears a young child found a loaded gun in the 25-year-old woman's purse Monday night and somehow fired the weapon. Five children were inside their home at the Catawba Village Apartments during the shooting. One child was also hit by gunfire but should be okay.

County Orders Tent City Residents To Leave

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- A homeless camp in Charlotte is being cleared out due to a rat problem. Mecklenburg County issued an abatement order yesterday for property on 12th Street known as Tent City. Health director Gibbie Harris says a growing rodent infestation is posing risks of disease and infection. The county is working to find shelter for the residents, who have 72 hours to leave.

City Council Considers Election Postponement

(Charlotte, NC) -- There's a possibility city council elections in Charlotte could be delayed a year. City officials are concerned that holding elections in 2021 may be illegal because census data needed to re-district the council seats won't be available until the fall. The same reasoning has also been discussed by the CMS board of education. Charlotte's city attorney said yesterday the General Assembly may make the decision for them.

Icy Weather Threatens Charlotte Area

(Charlotte, NC) -- Icy conditions may soon play a factor on roads around the Charlotte area. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for several dozen counties, including Mecklenburg, from tonight through Thursday evening. The current forecast calls for rain in Charlotte, but northern suburbs are facing a higher threat. Statesville and Salisbury could see two-tenths of an inch of ice due to freezing rain.

Forecasters Predicting A Quarter Of An Inch Of Ice To Fall On State Tonight And Tomorrow Morning

(Raleigh, NC) -- Another powerful winter storm system is headed for North Carolina bringing with it, the possibility of more freezing rain. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect through tomorrow night for much of the Triangle and areas north of Interstate 85. The system is also expected to dump around a quarter inch of freezing precipitation between late tonight and early tomorrow morning. Department of Transportation work crews are scheduled to start brining operations this morning.

Some COVID-19 Key Metrics Are At Their Lowest Level In Over Three Months

(Raleigh, NC) -- Data released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday showed the number of new COVID-19 cases were the lowest they've been since mid-November. The one-thousand-988 infections were also 470-fewer than the day before. The state's test positive rate also dropped to seven-point-four percent. And, the number of people in the hospital yesterday was 19-hundred-58.

New Republican Backed Legislation Would Offer Summer School

(Raleigh, NC) -- Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly are pushing a new bill that would offer six weeks of summer school for students who've had difficulties with remote learning during the pandemic. Under the provisions of House Bill 82, students in grades K-8 would focus primarily on reading and math. High school students who have fallen behind would be offered courses needed for graduation.

Ground Beef Made At Rocky Mount Food Lion Recalled

(Rocky Mount, NC) -- A Food Lion grocery store in Rocky Mount has issued a recall for four types of ground beef. Store officials are alerting customers who may have shopped at the store location on Hunterhill Road, that the beef prepared at the store on February 16th with a Sell By Date of February 18th, the meat may contain "foreign material." Customers are advised not to consume the meat and to return it to any Food Lion for a full refund.

Cooper Chooses New Head Of Department Of Environmental Quality

(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper has announced the selection of Dionne Deli-Gatti as the state's next Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. Deli-Gratti will replace Michael Regan, who is undergoing Senate confirmation after being nominated by President Joe Biden to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The full Senate is expected to vote on the nomination next week. Deli-Gratti most recently served as Director of Southeast Climate and Energy for the non-profit advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund.

Winter Storm Watch To Take Effect

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Forsyth and Guilford counties are bracing for another round of bad weather. The National Weather Service says freezing rain is forecast tonight through tomorrow morning. The ice accumulation could cause downed trees and power lines, potentially leading to widespread power outages. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from late night through tomorrow evening.

County Official: 'Long-Term Recovery' After Tornado Slams North Carolina

(Brunswick Co., NC) -- Officials in Brunswick County are switching gears from search and rescue to clean-up after a deadly tornado. Emergency Services Director Ed Conrow confirmed three people are dead and ten are hurt after the twister devastated the area on Monday. Conrow anticipates clean-up and rebuilding to take a very long time. Officials say the area had minimal warnings about the storm, and National Weather Service officials were surprised with "how quickly it intensified."

Lawmaker Proposes Summer School Program

(Raleigh, NC) -- A North Carolina lawmaker is proposing summer school to help the kids who've fallen behind during virtual learning. House Speaker Tim Moore unveiled the proposal yesterday. It would require each district to offer an in-person "school extension learning recovery and enrichment program." The program would last six weeks. Moore said he expects a compromise agreement to be voted on in his chamber as early as today.

Under 2K COVID-19 Cases Reported

(Undated) -- North Carolina health officials are reporting the fewest number of new COVID-19 cases since mid-November. One-thousand-988 cases were reported yesterday. That's just 30 more than the amount of people being treated for the coronavirus in hospitals. Sixty-one more virus-related deaths were also reported yesterday.