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Another wave of N. Carolina residents now under home orders

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's capital county is adding another 1.1 million state residents to those now or soon under stay-at-home orders to dampen the coronavirus spread. All of Wake County will be under an order announced Thursday and taking effect Friday afternoon. Several major population centers in the state already have issued similar orders to shut down work at non-essential business. Those mandates are more restrictive than what Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered so far statewide. The state now counts more than 630 positive COVID-cases and two deaths. More than 5,000 hospital beds are empty, awaiting a surge of patients.


Slain North Carolina college student awarded Medal of Honor

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A college student who died tackling a gunman at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte has been posthumously awarded one of the nation's highest civilian honors. Riley Howell was honored with a Congressional Medal of Honor Society Citizen Award at wreath-laying ceremony live-streamed from the Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday. The 21-year-old was shot eight times while taking down the gunman last year. His parents said it's unfair that he had to risk his life. Natalie Howell told The Charlotte Observer that she feels “conflicted” but decided to accept the honor on behalf of all ”the people who have also needlessly lost their lives to gun violence.”


North Carolina health officials report 11 more flu deaths

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina health officials are reporting 11 additional deaths from complications of the flu. The N.C. Division of Public Health reports five people died during the week ending March 21, and noted six more deaths from previous weeks. Of the latest deaths, seven were ages 65 and older and four were ages 50 to 64. For the year, the death toll for the 2019-2020 flu season is at 149. The state Department of Health and Human Services has extended the reporting period for this flu season’ to the week ending May 16. The typical flu season ends on March 31.


Census: Wake County is now North Carolina's largest county

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — U..S. Census Bureau estimates show Wake County is now North Carolina's largest county. The census's annual population estimates show the county containing Raleigh surpassing Mecklenburg County. Both of them had about 1.1 million people as of July 1. Historical data shows Wake County last was the state's population leader during the 1890 census, but more robust recent out-of-state migration helped close the gap with Mecklenburg. The other largest counties haven't changed with Guilford ranked third, followed by Forsyth and Cumberland. The census estimates show the population in 31 counties decreasing over the year.


Police: Car chase ends with deadly use of force by deputies

LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say that sheriff's deputies have shot and killed one person and injured another following a car chase across three counties and four cities. The Winston-Salem Journal reported that the chase began around 3 a.m. Thursday in Forsyth County when police said they spotted a stolen Mercedes SUV. Police said the chase ended in Davidson County after the driver of the vehicle attempted to run over sheriff's deputies. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office said that two of its deputies shot at the SUV and killed one of the occupants and injured another. The wounded person went to a hospital. A third person was taken into custody.


North Carolina deputies discover newborn baby alive in bag

MARSHVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A sheriff's office in North Carolina says deputies discovered a newborn baby alive inside of a plastic bag that was hidden under leaves. The Union County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that deputies responded to a home near Marshville around 2 p.m. Wednesday after receiving a call from a hospital that a baby may be near the location. Investigators said they heard faint crying sounds and found the baby boy inside of a bag near a fence. The child appeared to have been recently born, and was taken to a hospital for care. The sheriff's office says names of suspects have not been released as criminal charges are pending.


First NC virus deaths reported; more home orders issued

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's governor has reported the state's first two deaths from coronavirus. Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that a person from Cabarrus County died Tuesday and another person from Virginia who was traveling through the state also died from COVID-19 complications. More local governments issued stay-at-home orders for residents on Wednesday. North Carolina has gradually reduced allowable gathering sizes and ordered some nonessential businesses to close. Cooper says additional state guidance and orders will be coming. Health officials have reported more than 500 cases of the virus statewide.


North Carolina Treasurer Folwell tests positive for virus

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell says he's been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. Folwell said on Wednesday that he learned late Tuesday that he had tested positive. Folwell said he noticed a perennial cough had worsened, contacted a physician and got tested earlier this week. He said he and his son had returned recently from a long-planned trip but didn't say where they went. Folwell is a Repubilcan who was elected treasurer in 2016 and is seeking reelection this fall. He manages state pension funds and oversees the health insurance plan for state employees and teachers.