Buncombe Puts $35K for Monument Removal, Vaccine for All, COVID Cases Down


Vaccine Eligibility Expands To All NC Adults

(Raleigh, NC) -- COVID vaccine eligibility is opening up to all adults across North Carolina today. Some counties have already expanded vaccines to include residents aged 16-and-older. The state is ahead of President Biden's goal of moving all American adults into eligibility later this month. The News and Observer reports North Carolina received close to 400-thousand new doses last week.

Buncombe Helps Fund Monument Removal

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Buncombe County is putting in its fair share to help remove an Asheville Confederate monument. Commissioners agreed yesterday to pay 35-thousand-dollars to find a consultant, who will be hired to repurpose the site at Vance Monument. The memorial is being demolished. The city of Asheville will also be putting in 35-thousand-dollars as well.

North Carolina Receives Funding To Boost Vaccine Efforts

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina's plan to boost vaccine efforts locally is getting big support. The CDC announced yesterday it was handing the state close to 100-million-dollars to help expand access. Most of the funds must be used to help racial and ethnic minority communities, who have had higher barriers with access to vaccines. More than a quarter of all adults in North Carolina have been fully vaccinated.

Hendersonville Man Sentenced For Child Sex Crimes

(Asheville, NC) -- A Hendersonville man is heading to prison for child sex crimes. Jeffrey Wilson was sentenced to serve at least 20 years yesterday after he pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with a child and statutory sex offense. Investigators say two juveniles claim Wilson touched them inappropriately. He must also register as a sex offender.

Inmate Accused Of Assaulting Detention Officers

(McDowell County, NC) -- A western North Carolina inmate is accused of assaulting detention officers. The McDowell County Sheriff's Office told WLOS-TV the inmate allegedly attacked the officers after he became combative last month. Additional charges for the inmate now include two counts of assault on a government official.

Federal Grant To Help Early Child Services

(Buncombe County, NC) -- A federal grant will help provide early childhood services in western North Carolina. Western Carolina Community Action announced this week it will receive a 14-million-dollar grant to help nearly 100 families in Henderson, Transylvania, Polk and Rutherford counties. The organization also expects to add on 50 support staff thanks to the grant.

Largest Group To Date Now Eligible To Receive Vaccines

(Raleigh, NC) -- Millions more North Carolinians are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, as today the rollout plan expands to Group 5. With all adults age 16-and older eligible for inoculations, the challenge will be getting an appointment. State health officials advise registering with multiple providers and responding to the first one that contacts you. The latest health department figures show nearly 39-percent of the state's adult population has been partially vaccinated and an estimated 26-percent have been fully vaccinated.

Available Vaccine Doses May Soon Not Be A Problem In North Carolina

(Raleigh, NC) -- With the state of North Carolina receiving hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses this week alone, state health officials are predicting the supply may soon outweigh demand. At a news conference Tuesday, State Health Officer Dr. Mandy Cohen said there are already certain pockets of the state where there are more appointments available than there are people to fill them. Health officials in Halifax County recently reported having to turn away a large allocation of vaccine doses due to lack of demand.

State Auditor Finds Financial Discrepancies In A Number Of State Agencies

(Raleigh, NC) -- A new auditor's report on state agencies in North Carolina has found that several of them have financial discrepancies. According to State Auditor Beth Wood, they include the State Department of Health and Human Services, which is being investigated for a number of errors related to Medicaid, adoption services and the Children's Health Insurance program. The audit also cited the Department of Public Safety for failing to monitor federal funding for crime victims.

State Senate Now Considering Making ACC Basketball Tournament Friday's A Holiday

(Raleigh, NC) -- A bill has been introduced in the North Carolina Senate that would designate the Friday's on which the ACC Men's and Women's basketball tournaments are held, a statewide holiday. Sponsors of the proposed legislation say it would help cut down on workers calling in sick on those tournament days. If approved, SB-567-would add to the state's current list of 19-public holidays.

Downtown Raleigh Residents And Business To Receive Advance Alerts Of Planned Protests And Demonstrations

(Raleigh, NC) -- The Raleigh City Council Tuesday, unanimously voted to approve a resolution authorizing a trial test run of a new text alert system for downtown. This comes in response to the mass demonstrations last summer in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. Under the new system, residents and businesses would receive a text alert if an event is going to be held that would impact their business or possibly threaten their safety. The system would also be dependent on those who file for a permit to hold a public demonstration.

Hundreds-Of-Thousands Of COVID-19 Doses Headed To NC

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina is expecting hundreds-of-thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses this week. Over 200-thousand Moderna and Pfizer doses, and close to 150-thousand doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, are expected to arrive. Starting today, anyone 16 and older is eligible for the vaccine in North Carolina.

COVID-19 Cases Down, Percent Positive Rate Up

(Undated) -- New coronavirus cases in North Carolina are down. State health officials reported 870 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. While the caseload is down overall, the percent positive rate is at seven percent. That's slightly above the state's five percent goal. So far, the state has administered over five-point-two-million doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

NCDOT Hosts Litter Sweep

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- The North Carolina Department of Transportation is hosting a Spring Litter Sweep to help keep state highways clean. The event takes place April 10th through the 24th and coincides with Earth Day on April 22nd. The department says some three-million pounds of trash have been collected so far this year.

Shooting Under Investigation In Winston-Salem

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Winston-Salem police are investigating a shooting that left a man injured. It happened overnight Monday at a house on Fourth Street. Police say the victim and another man got in an argument, and shots were fired. The victim was hit in the leg. He's expected to be okay. So far, no arrests have been announced.

CDC Awards NC Nearly $95M To Expand COVID Vaccine Efforts

(Undated) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding North Carolina nearly 95-million dollars to expand its coronavirus vaccination efforts. The award is part of a bigger program to bolster vaccine distribution and access across the country. It was made available thanks to the American Rescue Plan.