VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA TOURISM
Orlando launches first tourism ad campaign since pandemic
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tourism officials in Orlando are launching their first full-scale marketing campaign since the start of the pandemic. It’s aimed at tourists located within driving distance in the southeast U.S. The $2.2 million advertising campaign launched this month is targeted for spring and summer travel to potential visitors living in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The campaign, called “The Wonder Remains,” includes TV ads, YouTube, digital ads, social media ads, e-newsletters and website content. Along with highlighting Orlando’s theme parks and restaurants, the campaign emphasizes the safety measures that have been taken at its tourist attractions to protect tourists from the new coronavirus.
Police: 2 charged in killing of woman and her unborn child
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say they’ve charged two people in the killing of a woman and her unborn child. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Wednesday that Thomas Clayton Johnson and Emmalei Grace Trevathan were arrested following a traffic stop in Raleigh. The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said the body Brittany Smith was in a bag found near the Neuse River Trail. Detectives said the initial cause of death appears to be strangulation. Authorities said that many aspects of the case remain under investigation. They include a possible motive and whether Smith knew Johnson and Trevathan. Smith was reported missing last week. Authorities said that she and her boyfriend had been living in a tent in someone’s backyard.
OFFICERS SHOT-NORTH CAROLINA
Police ID woman, release new details in deadly standoff
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — Police have identified a woman found dead inside a North Carolina home where a standoff took place last week. Police finally killed the gunman after four officers were wounded in an 11-hour standoff. Officers found the body of Blanca Cadavid inside the home, along with two children who were not physically injured. A medical examiner’s report estimates that Cadavid was killed about the time police heard a gunshot in the area. A standoff between police and Josue Drumond-Cruz ended in an exchange of gunfire. Three High Point officers and one Greensboro officer have survived gunshot wounds. Police have yet to describe a motive.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina to open vaccines for teachers on Feb. 24
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina K-12 teachers and child care staff will soon be eligible to get vaccinated. Other frontline essential workers could get their doses as early as March 10. The updated distribution guidance from Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration addresses concerns from teachers advocates that many workers do not yet feel safe to return to in-person instruction. A bill making its way through the legislature would compel the districts to swiftly reopen but give parents the option to have their child continue to learn remotely. Cooper estimates 240,000 educators and staff can begin getting the vaccine on Feb. 24. Supply remains short as the state works to vaccine elderly residents.
XGR-VIRUS OUTBREAK-RELIEF BILL
Cooper signs COVID relief bill distributing federal money
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has signed a bill from state lawmakers that will distribute money approved by Congress for reopening schools, improving vaccine distribution and helping people pay their rent. Many parts of the proposal mirror that of a supplemental request of Cooper. Still up for discussion is an effort by Cooper to provide direct one-time checks to teachers, principals and staff members. The COVID relief package Cooper signed includes another opportunity for parents to get $335 checks to help offset costs they’ve incurred associated with childcare and remote learning.
FBI offers $10,000 for information on homemade bombs
GIBSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina are asking the public for help in an investigation that involves homemade explosive devices in Gibsonville. The FBI said in a press release on Tuesday that at least five homemade explosive devices have been found in the town outside of Burlington. The agency said that residents have also reported hearing explosions for the last several months. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who are responsible. Robert R. Wells, special agent in charge of FBI Charlotte, said he hopes the community will help the FBI resolve this “dangerous situation.”
Efforts continue to vaccinate hospital employees
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Hospitals in North Carolina are still trying to get employees vaccinated against the coronavirus. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Tuesday that the state does not yet know what portion of nearly half a million eligible health care workers have been inoculated. That’s according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Hospital leaders are encouraging employees to get vaccinated. And they say they’re pleased with the results so far. That’s even though as many as one in four eligible workers remain unvaccinated. For instance, WakeMed estimates that 70% of nearly 18,000 employees and independent health care workers have received their initial dose.
Trust buys Virginia land to honor Black Civil War soldiers
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A nonprofit which preserves U.S. battlegrounds has paid $260,000 to purchase land in Virginia where Black soldiers fought in the Civil War. American Battlefield Trust announced Wednesday that the money will help preserve New Market Heights, which is just outside of Richmond. The trust assembled the funds through donations and a matching grant from the state. The battle on Sept. 29, 1864, was key to securing a Union position and eventually helped lead to the Confederate surrender of their capital. That day, 14 soldiers of the U.S. Colored Troops earned the Medal of Honor, more than half the number of Black soldiers who were honored for their valor during the entire war.
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