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Mission COVID cases near record: In a surge surprise, 22 coronavirus cases reported in 1st week of classes at Asheville City Schools
Saturday, 04 September 2021 16:14

From Staff Reports 

Mission Hospital in Asheville reported that is had 104 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Aug. 26, a recent surge that, if it continues, could top Mission’s record of 140 coronavirus patients on Jan. 5, which, heretofore, was considered the height of the pandemic, according to Mission Health officials.

HCA Healthcare, serving Western North Carolina, reported that, system-wide, it had 160 COVID-19 inpatients as of Aug. 25, which would be six fewer than the record day Jan. 5. That figure included 115 inpatients at Mission Hospital in Asheville.

“The delta variant is much more contagious and therefore the pace at which our inpatient COVID population has increased has been rapid,” Mission Health spokeswoman Nancy Lindel told the Asheville Citizen Times on Aug. 27. “We currently have ample intensive care unit beds and the ability to expand if needed; currently about 4 percent of our ICU beds are in use by COVID positive inpatients.”

Ironically, slightly more than a month ago, Mission — as it closes in on a record for highest number of hospitalized coronarivus patients — tallied its fewest number of COVID-19 patients in a single day during the pandemic on July 9, when seven people were hospitalized with the virus.

“Lindell said the ‘vast majority’ of people being hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, the ACT reported.

Meanwhile, Asheville City Schools reported 22 cases of coronavirus after four days into the new school year, according to an Aug. 26 COVID update. Reportedly, 18 students and four staff members have the virus and 13 of those were on campus while they were contagious for COVID-19. Asheville Middle Schoo recorded the highest number of cases, with seven people testing positive for the virus. “Of the 22 positives, only two were not in active quarantine Aug. 26, the ACT noted.

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DA to scrutinize tasing of black man by white cop: Policies followed, no wrongdoing, FOP chief says, but fears DA facing election may stiff police to win votes
Saturday, 04 September 2021 16:11
By JOHN NORTH
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WOODFIN — A black man is facing more than a half-dozen charges following an altercation with white Woodfin police officers, Asheville television station WLOS (News 13) reported on Aug. 26.

The Aug. 24 incident occurred outside Grainger Industrial Supply off Riverside Drive. The Woodfin Police Department said the call came in as a possible overdose after an unconscious man was observed sitting partly inside a vehicle.

The WPD added that, when officers arrived at the scene,  Jonathan Barker, 45, of Swain County refused officers’ orders to get out of the car and a physical altercation ensued. Barker reportedly was tased twice. 

In the aftermath, the incident is being investigated by the WPD internally — and by the Buncombe County district attorney’s office externally.

Barker is facing three assault charges as well as simple assault, resisting arrest, open container and possession of drug parapher and an out-of-county probation violation. He is being held on a $66,500 bond.

Regarding the district attorney’s involvement in the case, Rondell Lance, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, told the Daily Planet in an Aug. 28 interview, “There’s nothing here. For anyone to take this... This is an open and shut case. They’d tried to resolve it peacefully, but he (Barker) wouldn’t let them...

“When you’ve got a DA who is anti-police and far-left like this one is, they shouldn’t be doing this,” referring to the action of turning the case over for his review, said Lance, who, as the FOP chief, represents about 250 local area law enforcement officers. He is retired, but the Buncombe County native worked in law enforcement for 26-1/2 years.

The Daily Planet tried to call Buncombe District Attorney Todd Williams’ office twice early on Aug. 30 to seek his viewpoint, but was disconnected each time.

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