Cops Search for Gun Thief, BRP Closed in Several Areas, Map Decision Coming


Franklin Man Guilty Of Setting Forest Fire

(Franklin, NC) -- A Franklin man is guilty of setting fire in the Nantahala National Forest. The blaze burned over 70 acres of federal land and 20 acres of private property in April of 2020. It took firefighters several days to bring the flames under control. A jury in Asheville convicted the suspect of willfully setting fire to federal land last week.

Petition Seeks Stronger COVID Protocols In Transylvania Schools

(Transylvania County, NC) -- Pressure is mounting to tighten COVID-19 protocols in Transylvania County Schools. WLOS-TV reports nearly 300 parents have signed a petition calling on the school board to hold an emergency meeting to pass stricter guidelines. The parents are in favor of staying in school, but feel that a face mask requirement needs to be put in place to keep it going. Health officials identified two COVID clusters at schools last week.

Suspect At-Large After Stealing 30-Plus Guns

(Asheville, NC) -- Asheville police are continuing the search for a gun thief. Officers say more than 30 guns were stolen from Carolina Guns and Gear on Sweeten Creek Road early Friday morning. Investigators are combing through surveillance footage, which shows the suspect toss the weapons inside a duffel bag before leaving in a silver car.

WCU Starts Classes With Face Mask Requirement

(Cullowhee, NC) -- In-person classes are starting again today at Western Carolina University. The school is requiring face masks to be worn by all students and staff due to COVID case surges. Anyone who hasn't been fully-vaccinated will once again be subject to random COVID tests. UNC-Asheville is beginning its semester virtually.

Most Of BRP Remains Closed

(Undated) -- Drivers should take note that most of the Blue Ridge Parkway remains closed due to weather conditions in North Carolina. Portions of the roadway re-opened around the Asheville area over the weekend. Mount Mitchell State Park has also been closed due to weather, and will update its opening on the park's website.

MANNA Names New CEO

(Asheville, NC) -- Another CEO is taking over at an Asheville-based nonprofit. MANNA FoodBank announced last week that Claire Neal will serve in the role beginning January 31st. The organization helps relieve food insecurities for people in 16 counties.

Three Injured In Charlotte Shootings

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is busy investigating three Charlotte shootings. Medic officials told WBTV two people were seriously injured in related shootings on Tanager Park Drive and Old Statesville Road in north Charlotte late Sunday afternoon. Another person was hurt in a third shooting on South Tryon Drive around an hour later. It's unclear if any arrests have been made.

Man Safe After Climbing Electric Tower

(Charlotte, NC) -- A man is safe after climbing to the top of an electrical tower in west Charlotte. Duke Energy cut power to around 15-thousand customers Sunday afternoon when the man was spotted climbing the structure at West Woodlawn and Wallingford Street. It took around four-hours of negotiations by the CMPD to convince him to climb down. Power has since been restored.

Nonprofit Raise Money For Affordable Housing Project

(Charlotte, NC) -- A Charlotte nonprofit has plans to turn a hotel into affordable housing. NBC Charlotte reports Heal Charlotte is trying to raise ten-million-dollars to transform the Baymont Suites Hotel on Reagan Drive into apartments and transitional housing. The organization is currently leasing the property for homeless families.

York County Deputy Injured In Attack

(York County, SC) -- A York County deputy is expected to recover from injuries suffered in an attack. The sheriff's office says suspect head a deputy in the head multiple times during a response to a disorderly conduct call in Clover Saturday night. Back-up police were forced to use a taser on the suspect to take him into custody. The deputy was checked out at the hospital.

Harris Teeter Closing Earlier

(Charlotte, NC) -- Charlotte-based Harris Teeter is making changes to hours for many stores. Many locations are closing at nine starting tonight to restock shelves, organize and clean for the next day. It appears the change should affect all Charlotte-area stores.

Panthers Lose Season Finale

(Tampa, FL) -- The Panthers are heading into the offseason with another loss. Tampa Bay defeated Carolina 41-to-17 in the regular season finale Sunday. It marked the Panthers' seventh-loss in a row to drop the team to five-and-12. ESPN reports Matt Rhule is expected to stay on as Carolina's head coach next season.

Angry Protesters Demanding Answers In Latest Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting Of A Black Man In Cumberland County

(Fayetteville, NC) -- Dozens of protesters took to the streets of downtown Fayetteville Sunday to demand transparency in the investigation of an officer involved shooting of a 37-year old black man. The incident happened Saturday afternoon along Bingham Drive and Shenandoah Drive. A preliminary police report says the victim, identified as Jason Walker, was shot by an off-duty Cumberland County Sheriff's Deputy, after Walker ran into traffic and jumped onto his truck. But, there are other reports that claim the Deputy first struck Walker with his vehicle, which led to the deadly confrontation. The case has been taken over by the State Bureau of Investigation.

Health Officials Warning North Carolinians To Take Omicron Variant Seriously

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina health officials are urging even fully vaccinated and boosted people not to let their guards down against the spread of COVID-19. HHS reporting the Omicron variant infused virus is at its most contagious level since the start of the pandemic. On Friday, there were over 28-thousand new infections reported, which helped to spike the state's test positive rate to 31-point-2 percent. Doctors also say now more than at any time in the past, the public should get vaccinated and continue wearing mask and social distancing.

Most Harris Teeter Stores To Start Operating Under New Hours Today

(Raleigh, N.C.) -- North Carolina based Harris Teeter grocery stores has announced that starting today, most of its locations will begin closing at 9:pm. In a statement released Sunday, the company said the action is being taken in order to have time to restock and organize shelves, as well as thoroughly clean and sanitize stores. However, four Harris-Teeter locations in the Triangle area, Oberland Road and Edwards Mill Road in Raleigh, Hillsborough Road in Durham and Estes Drive in Chapel Hill, will not be affected by the change in store hours.

State Superior Court To Render A Decision On Redistricting Lawsuit Tomorrow

(Raleigh, NC) -- A three judge panel of the North Carolina state Superior Court is expected to issue a ruling tomorrow, on a lawsuit that challenged the recently re-drawn Congressional and legislative district maps. Civil rights groups argued the maps, drawn by the Republican controlled General Assembly, were purposely gerrymandered to weaken black voter strength. Lawyers representing GOP lawmakers insists the lawsuit was simply brought to get more Democrats elected.

Fight At High School Basketball Game Involving At Least 50, Forces Evacuation Of Gymnasium

(Carrboro, NC) -- Authorities in Carrboro are investigating a fight involving at least 50-people at a high school basketball game over the weekend. It happened Friday night inside a gymnasium during a competition between Carrboro High School and a team from Oxford. Police say the fight, which was initiated between a few people, erupted and spread throughout the crowd, forcing the facility to be evacuated and the game suspended. There were no reports of injuries and so-far, no arrests have been made.


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