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Afternoon News Update, 2/18/21

By Sophia Lyons

In local news, the Watauga Medical Center will build a two-story central energy plant and a hospital expansion with four floors after the Watauga County Board of Commissioners approved up to 120 million dollars in bonds for the project. The Watauga Democrat reports the new energy plant will replace a unit more than 50 years old, and the funds will also go toward medical equipment.

From the state, basketball legend and Wilmington native Michael Jordan is donating $10 million to launch two medical clinics in New Hanover County. The Raleigh News & Observer reports Novant Health announced the clinics in Wilmington, which are projected to open in 2022. Previously, clinics Jordan funded in Charlotte opened in fall 2019 and fall 2020, and have already seen thousands of patients and administered COVID vaccines.

Nationally, New York state’s attorney general is suing Amazon in the state Supreme Court over its COVID safety practices in two facilities in the state. Attorney general Letitia James argues Amazon lapsed on cleaning and contact tracing, and retaliated against workers’ complaints. The New York Times reports the company preemptively sued James in federal court, arguing workplace safety has to do with federal law, rather than state.

Your Boone weather comes from Watauga County is under a winter storm warning all day Thursday. A morning wintry mix becomes freezing rain over the course of the day with a high in the mid 30s, and freezing rain with possible snow flurries for an overnight low in the upper 20s.


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