western north carolina

Updated 10:05 a.m. Thursday

Two deputies were killed and three other people including a suspected gunman were found dead after a lengthy standoff in North Carolina, a sheriff's office said Thursday.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the state will “cautiously ease” some COVID-19 safety restrictions on Friday, including a requirement that people wear face masks outdoors. They’ll still be required in most indoor public settings.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper will give his third State of the State address Monday evening in Raleigh, followed by the Republican response.

WNC COVID-19 Updates: Week Of April 26

Apr 26, 2021
Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Do you have a question about the COVID vaccine?  We want to hear from you!  Record your question as a voice memo on your cell phone and email us at voices@bpr.org or use the "talk to us" feature on the free BPR mobile app.

Paul Barker

A day after announcing most COVID-19 restrictions could be lifted June 1st if two-thirds of state residents are partially vaccinated by that date, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged residents to get their shot during a visit to a vaccine clinic in Asheville. 

A federal lawsuit filed by a Georgia woman claims officers from Rowan County near Charlotte used excessive force during a traffic stop in 2019 when they pulled her from the car by her hair and tore her rotator cuff.

Megan Cain / Blue Ridge Public Radio

 

While Asheville police were preparing for marches following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, downtown was mostly quiet Tuesday night. 

Vice President Kamala Harris came to central North Carolina on Monday to pitch the Biden administration's $2.3 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan, calling it a “once-in-a-lifetime, once-in-a-generation” investment in America's future.

The North Carolina Senate will not vote on a controversial bill that would prohibit transgender people under 21 from receiving medical care related to gender transition, according to a spokesperson for GOP Senate leader Phil Berger.

WNC COVID-19 Updates: Week Of April 19

Apr 19, 2021
Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Do you have a question about the COVID vaccine?  We want to hear from you!  Record your question as a voice memo on your cell phone and email us at voices@bpr.org or use the "talk to us" feature on the free BPR mobile app

Looking for information about where to get vaccinated near you?  North Carolina Health News has a comprehensive listing of county vaccines sites, which will be updated often. Find it here.

Need a ride?  NCDOT and NCDHHS have distributed funding to help pay for transportation. Check with your local transit agency for more details.  You can find your agency online  NC_public_transit.pdfOpen PDF

A federal judge on Friday rejected a legal challenge by the operator of North Carolina's two casinos, saying that the tribe had no grounds to oppose a competitor's plans for a third gambling operation in the state.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are telling members of the LGBTQ community to "exercise extreme caution" after two transgender women have been killed under similar circumstances in the Charlotte area in the last 11 days.

CMPD is not sure if the homicides are connected, but said both victims were transgender women operating as sex workers, and both were found shot to death in hotel rooms.

Union Academy Charter School

Union Academy Charter School held a special board meeting Thursday to explain how it’s handling security and background checks after a teacher died in a shootout that law officers say involved a stash-house robbery.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council held its annual retreat earlier this month at Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville.  The whole event was open to the public, but only after a lawsuit that was filed by five media outlets - Mountain Xpress, Asheville Citizen-Times, Blue Ridge Public Radio, Carolina Public Press, and AVL Watchdog. 

A bill introduced in the North Carolina Senate would give in-state tuition at public universities to North Carolina college students covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.

RALEIGH — Calls for fairness predominated at a North Carolina legislative hearing Wednesday on a bill that would prevent transgender girls and women from competing in organized school sports designated for biologically female athletes.

RALEIGH — Many North Carolina legislators say it's still the right time to seek making daylight saving time permanent in the state, advancing a House measure Tuesday to move clocks up an hour for good if Congress allows it.

North Carolina and South Carolina health officials said on Tuesday that the states will pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. This comes as the U.S.

WNC COVID-19 Updates: Week Of April 12

Apr 12, 2021
Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Do you have a question about the COVID vaccine?  We want to hear from you!  Record your question as a voice memo on your cell phone and email us at voices@bpr.org or use the "talk to us" feature on the free BPR mobile app

Looking for information about where to get vaccinated near you?  North Carolina Health News has a comprehensive listing of county vaccines sites, which will be updated often. Find it here.

Need a ride?  NCDOT and NCDHHS have distributed funding to help pay for transportation. Check with your local transit agency for more details.  You can find your agency online  NC_public_transit.pdfOpen PDF

North Carolina health officials said Thursday they want to make rapid testing for COVID-19 a part of the safety plan for public and private schools, and they say they’ve got money to make it happen.

RALEIGH — Three North Carolina Republican lawmakers introduced a bill Monday that would prevent doctors from performing gender reassignment surgery for transgender people younger than 21.

The legislation follows a nationwide trend of GOP-controlled state legislatures looking to limit treatments for transgender adolescents. Unlike other states, however, North Carolina would classify adults between the ages of 18 and 21 as minors under the “Youth Health Protection Act.”

Lilly Knoepp / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Do you have a question about the COVID vaccine?  We want to hear from you!  Record your question as a voice memo on your cell phone and email us at voices@bpr.org or use the "talk to us" feature on the free BPR mobile app

Looking for information about where to get vaccinated near you?  North Carolina Health News has a comprehensive listing of county vaccines sites, which will be updated often. Find it here.

Need a ride?  NCDOT and NCDHHS have distributed funding to help pay for transportation. Check with your local transit agency for more details.  You can find your agency online  NC_public_transit.pdfOpen PDF

Local governments across North Carolina have mostly weathered the economic downturn that came with the coronavirus pandemic. Stimulus programs and a rebounding economy mean property tax collections and sales tax revenues are getting back to normal. But some other areas remain weak, like travel and tourism tax revenues.

Two major education bills are headed to Gov. Roy Cooper’s office after winning bipartisan support in the North Carolina General Assembly on Thursday.

The idea of vaccine passports is "a ridiculous concept," North Carolina's top Republican state senator said via a spokesperson Thursday, in response Gov. Roy Cooper's comments that he is in discussions about creating a standardized record for people to prove they have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

A Latino advocacy organization based in Raleigh says it's raised about $425,000 in the last year for immigrants who missed out on stimulus checks because they are in the country illegally.

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday his administration is having “discussions” about creating “vaccine passports” — a standardized record for people to show they have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

Every year at school budget time, UNC Charlotte education professor Walter Hart hears a similar question: "Why do you need more money? You’ve got the lottery."

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s constitution still includes an unenforceable relic of the Jim Crow era — a voter literacy test. Some state lawmakers are trying, again, to do away with it.

The extension of a federal ban on evictions during the pandemic has North Carolina tenant advocates cheering. But landlords worry that more lost income will hurt their businesses.

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