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2/7/22 PM News Break

By: Holly Hodges

In local news, according to reports from the Watauga Democrat, the U.S. Forest Service is planning five prescribed burns on the Grandfather Ranger District this Spring to reduce the risk of wildfires. One of the fires will burn about 200 acres in Boyd Gap, close to Blowing Rock in Caldwell County. Dates for the burns have not yet been determined and will depend on weather conditions. Prescribed burns are an important aspect of forest management that can mimic natural fire disturbances and reduce flammable vegetation which is key to limiting wildfire growth.

In North Carolina news, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the state’s new political district maps are unconstitutional. According to the News & Observer, the maps that Republican lawmakers drew up would give GOP candidates a sizable advantage over their opponents through the next decade. Republican lawmakers argued in court that redistributing is a political process that the courts shouldn’t get involved in by banning partisan gerrymandering. The justices ruled that the maps were skewed so far to the right that they violated the state’s constitution. New political districts will be drawn which is expected to happen before the year’s elections.

In international news, on Sunday, Queen Elizabeth the second celebrated her 70th anniversary of her ruling by acknowledging the future of the monarchy. The Queen is now the longest-serving monarch in England and the only one most Britons have ever known. According to the Associated Press, she expressed her desire for Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla, to be known as Queen Consort when her son eventually succeeds her. On Sunday, the Queen renewed the pledge she made on her twenty-first birthday to devote her entire life to the service of the U.K. and the Commonwealth. While the Queen’s celebrations on Sunday were mild, there are plans for more elaborate celebrations this June.

Today’s weather is brought to you by Ray’s Weather Center at Unfortunately, you won’t be seeing a whole lot of sun today as it’s supposed to be mostly cloudy. Today’s high will be 43 and the low will be 23. It is supposed to be windy today, so be sure to dress warm.

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