VIRUS OUTBREAK-FIELD HOSPITAL
North Carolina field hospital helps fight coronavirus surge
LENOIR, N.C. (AP) — A temporary field hospital in North Carolina is easing the burden on medical facilities overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. The tents were erected earlier this month in the parking lot of Caldwell Memorial Hospital in the city of Lenoir. The 30-bed field hospital comprises four medical wards and a pharmacy for patients who have been discharged from the hospital’s intensive care unit and do not need ventilators. Four other hospitals besides Caldwell are sending patients here so they can use their regular beds for more serious cases. The tents and medical care givers have been provided by the international Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse, which is based in North Carolina.
NFL player honors NC woman killed by police in 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A Black woman who was fatally shot by a police officer nearly six years ago in North Carolina has been honored by an NFL player. The NFL on Friday tweeted a picture of Janisha Fonville with the hashtag #SayTheirStories. The post included a photo of Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley II wearing a helmet with her name. She’s one of nearly 90 people honored through an NFL program that recognizes victims of systemic racism and police violence. The Charlotte Observer reports Fonville was shot by an officer who responded to a call at a Charlotte apartment on Feb. 18, 2015. Police say she had a knife and lunged at officers, but her then-partner disputes this.
North Carolina, Catawba tribe, ink casino revenue agreement
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has signed a revenue-sharing agreement with the Catawba Indian Nation that clears the way for Las Vegas-style gaming at a planned resort in Kings Mountain. Federal approval is still needed for the type of gambling envisioned, but the South Carolina-based tribe says the agreement means construction can start on a site about half an hour west of Charlotte. North Carolina currently has two casinos operated by the Eastern Band of the Cherokees in the southwestern corner of the state. The Cherokees are suing in federal court to try to stop the Catawba casino.
Plane returns to gate after being hit by bird during takeoff
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A North Carolina-bound flight had to return to the gate in Florida after it was struck by a bird during takeoff. Delta flight 2084 from Tampa to Raleigh returned to the gate Sunday after being struck by the bird at Tampa International Airport. Delta said in a statement that the Airbus A319 had 40 customers and five crew members on board. Because of damage to the plane’s engine, the passengers and crew had to transfer to another plane to continue the flight.
ROBBERY SUSPECTS-TRAIN CRASH
Juvenile robbery suspects captured after crashing into train
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina authorities say two juvenile robbery suspects have been captures after crashing a car into an Amtrak train while trying to flee police. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said officers received a call just before 10 p.m. Friday about a robbery on Mont Carmel Lane. Officers found the suspect vehicle and tried to pull it over, but the driver did not stop. A vehicle pursuit ended when the car hit the train. Amtrak officials said no one on the train was injured. The two juveniles are charged with armed robbery, felony conspiracy and possession of a firearm by a minor.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
New coronavirus variant shows up in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — State officials are reporting the first case in North Carolina of a more contagious strain of coronavirus that was first detected in the United Kingdom in December. Officials say the B.1.1.7 variant was identified in a sample from an adult in Mecklenburg County. No other details about the person were released. As of Friday almost 200 cases of B.1.1.7 had been reported in 21 states. Health officials have said that early data suggest that the variant may be more contagious than other variants of the virus, but that the current COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be effective against it.
Lafayette airport adds flights to Charlotte in April
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Starting in April people will be able to fly to Charlotte, North Carolina on American Airlines via the Lafayette airport. The Daily Advertiser reported Monday that the direct flights will begin on April 2 but tickets are on sale now. American already has a direct flight from Lafayette to Dallas. Delta and United also service the airport. The Charlotte route will have two flights daily on a plane that seats 63 people. Steven Picou, the executive director of the Lafayette airport, says they had been looking for another destination on the East Coast for “quite some time” and that Charlotte was a prime candidate.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina health officials say 1,280 COVID doses wasted
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services says the state has seen 1,280 of its coronavirus vaccine doses get discarded. This pales in comparison to the roughly 1.1 million doses it says has entered the state thus far. The department says it has not received reports of significant batches being lost. Doses could be tossed out due to a vaccine being stored too long in a freezer or not being administered in a timely manner once it has been taken out of a freezer. Some providers are using working to maximize their supplies by extracting extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
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