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The essentials...

Actionable + hyperlocal news to know:

COVID-19 cases in Wake County are still high by CDC benchmarks, but a key metric met goal this week.

Analyzing the numbers: The number of cases per 100,000 people in Wake County is now 10% of what it was five weeks ago. It’s the seventh week that case rates have decreased locally.

The percentage of tests that are positive is back at goal level in Wake County for the first time since Omicron, about 11 weeks ago.

The CDC’s 7-day rate in Wake County decreased again to about 131 cases per 100,000 people. This was 183 cases/100,000 people last week. [more on community transmission levels]
The state numbers for Wake County’s 14-day case rate decreased, is now at 203 cases per 100,000 people. Last week the case rate was 353 cases per 100,000 people.

The percentage of tests that are positive in Wake County decreased to 5.1% this week from 7.3% last week, a 14-day metric.

More numbers, links + analysis: []

Raleigh Convergence has analyzed local-level data for Wake County for the last 96 weeks. [become a member to support hyperlocal journalism like this!]
What else to know + do:

💰Share your budget priorities: Give input in an online survey on what areas are most important to you for the next fiscal year for the City of Raleigh. [survey]

🗳️Who's running for Wake County elections: The deadline passed for some local races, which means we now know who the candidates are for Wake County Board of Commissioners, Cary Town Council, county sheriff and other races. [News & Observer
  • Save the date: The Cary Town Council election and the primary election for Wake County offices is May 17. Early voting begins April 28. [BOE]
  • Register to vote: By April 22 for May 17 Election Day voting. Same day registration is available during early voting. [info]
✍🏻Raleigh's City Council approved newly drawn districts, a process that happens every 10 years with new population data.
  • But: INDY Week reports community members spoke out about the maps, with concerns that Black and Latinx voters would have less of a voice. [INDY Week]
  • The City of Raleigh municipal election will be Nov. 8. 
🎙️Raleigh Convergence Members: The next storytelling podcast series begins next week! This is a members-only format and benefit. These four stories will be from our live storytelling event on Tradition. [more on membership
Community news + ideas, quick:

🛫Air travel taking off: A new Northeast-focused airline and eight new direct flights are coming to RDU.
  • The context: Airline travel is increasing again, with RDU seeing a 112% increase comparing January of this year to January 2021, typically the lowest travel month of the year, the airport authority said
  • A new airline, Avelo, will become RDU's 13th airline and begin flights to Tweed-New Haven airport in Connecticut beginning May 26.
  • Frontier is adding eight new direct flights in April and May: 
    ✈️Beginning April 28: Islip and Syracuse, N.Y., Providence, RI;
    ✈️Beginning May 26: Cincinnati, Detroit and Indianapolis;
    ✈️Beginning May 27: Newburgh, N.Y. and New Orleans.
🎙️The LaboraSTORY: Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School is home to a new unique production studio for students, thanks to a new partnership with WUNC. 
  • How it works: In a project that runs through this summer, participants will create public service announcements around important topics and social issues.
  • Students will receive audio and digital journalism training. WUNC and Southeast Raleigh Promise are partnering on a "student-driven curriculum."
  • Quoted: Nora Casper, WUNC’s Acting President and General Manager: “We hope The LaboraSTORY will help facilitate important discussions and give students the opportunity to build strong journalism and media production skills.” [more info]
🎨Tonight at 7 p.m.: Tune into the Big Night In for the Arts. The event benefits local arts councils. Performances include Ben Folds and Poet Laureate of North Carolina Jaki Shelton Green. [WRAL]

🌭 A Korean Corn Dog food truck is new to the Raleigh food scene and a few foodies have taken notice (see @sujungchronicles' take here). Golden K Dog will be at the Exxon at Glenwood Avenue and Oberlin Road 4-8 p.m. today and at Lee Brothers Martial Arts in North Raleigh 4-8 p.m. Friday. 
Raleigh jobs: 

Post a job for $30 on our jobs board + for inclusion in this section. [post]

Submissions must be received by 8 a.m. Monday to run the following Thursday. 
Thanks for reading this edition of the Raleigh Convergence!

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This is a maternity leave edition, publishing weekly on Thursdays. Read more in a previous column: []
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