Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Duke basketball player Derryck Thornton.
Gerry Broome / Associated Press

In men's college basketball, last night's Carolina-Duke game lived up to all the pre-game hype. 

After leading for most of the game, the Tar Heels lost to the Blue Devils in the final minutes, 74-to-73. 

Carolina Panthers Logo
Carolina Panthers

In pro-football, the Carolina Panthers captured the NFC's Number 1 seed for the first time in their history with a 38-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Quarterback Cam Newton says the Panthers are just two home game wins from reaching the Super Bowl.

"We find our edge in playing in front of our home crowd," Newton said.

"Everything just feels just right. We don't have to necessarily travel to a hostile environment, you know, when this is our house and hostile for our opponents to come through."

Carolina Panthers Logo
Carolina Panthers

Quarterback Cam Newton led the Carolina Panthers to their 18th-straight regular season victory Sunday. They beat the New York Giants 38-35.  Newton threw for five touchdowns to build up a 28-point lead before New York stormed back to tie it with less than two minutes remaining.

Carolina Panthers Logo
Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers claimed the NFC South with a 41-38 victory over the New Orleans Saints yesterday.

Carolina Panthers Logo
Carolina Panthers

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers beat the Tennessee Titans 27-10 yesterday. Now, they remain the National Football Conference's only unbeaten team.
 

Cam Newton
Keith Allison / flickr.com/photos/keithallison/15362046036/in/set-72157647731565810

The Carolina Panthers are unbeaten after rallying in the fourth quarter yesterday. They defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 27-23.

Quarterback Cam Newton led the Panthers on a pair of 80-yard touchdown drives in the final period. He threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen with 32 seconds left.

Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said Newton's performance was stellar.

"He was phenomenal. He did the things he needed to do. He threw some really good balls. Delivered a very catchable ball on several occasions," said Rivera. "The guys made some really great plays, too."

A picture of a puddle.
Wars / Wikipedia

Several storms, including Hurricane Joaquin, have brought heavy rains, strong winds, and high tides to North Carolina. It's causing flooding, saturated ground, slick roads and falling trees.

Speculation on motive surrounds the killings of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha.
Our Three Winners' Facebook page / Facebook.com

Autopsies indicate that a man charged with killing three Muslim college students held his gun to the heads of two victims when he pulled the trigger after shooting the first in the doorway.
Autopsies released Wednesday say 21-year-old Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and her sister, 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, died of contact wounds to the head, indicating the gun was very close to or against their scalps.

The older woman was shot in the top of the head. Her sister was shot in the back of the head.

A pedestrian bridge under construction collapsed on Wake Tech campus.
WRAL via Twitter

Officials say one worker has been killed and four others were hurt when a pedestrian bridge under construction on Wake Tech Community College's northern campus collapsed. Wake County EMS officials say the four men suffered injuries Thursday that were serious enough to send them to a hospital trauma unit.

Jeff Hammerstein with Wake EMS says he thinks the highest point on the bridge was 40 feet above the ground. 

Peanut, world's ugliest dog
Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds

It's that time of year again when dogs with unusually large heads, hairless bodies and other oddities compete to be the World's Ugliest Dog. 

This year's winner? A 2-year-old mutt named Peanut, whose wild white and brown hair, bulging eyes and protruding teeth belie his sweet, energetic personality.

Although Peanut is healthy now, his owner, Holly Chandler of Greenville, NC, says he was seriously burned as a puppy, resulting in bald patches all over his body.

Chandler hopes Peanut's victory will help raise awareness about animal abuse.

Mary Willingham
Chris Griffin / Daily Tar Heel

The reading specialist who questioned the literacy level of athletes who were admitted to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says she's resigning at the end of the semester. 

Mary Willingham confirmed her decision to WUNC after a closed-door meeting with UNC Chancellor Carol Folt.

Army General Fined, Reprimanded In Sex Case

Mar 20, 2014
A 2008 photo of Jeffrey Sinclair giving remarks during the transfer of authority ceremony at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq.
James Wagner, Joint Combat Camera Center Iraq

  

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - An army general avoided jail time and was reprimanded and fined a total of $20,000 for inappropriate relationships with three subordinates in a closely watched court case.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair smiled and hugged his two lawyers in the courtroom Thursday morning after the judge's sentencing.

The final sentence could not exceed terms in a sealed agreement between defense lawyers and military attorneys. The agreement was unsealed Thursday and said Sinclair could have served no more than 18 months in jail.

The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.

"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.

A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall, police said.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Police said 28 others affected by carbon monoxide were taken to area hospitals.

The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Boeing hailed Friday's vote, which proponents said solidifies the aerospace giant's presence in the Seattle area.

"Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world," Inslee declared.

ECUPirates.com

Vinatavious Cooper rushed for a career-best 198 yards, setting a Beef `O' Brady's Bowl record and leading East Carolina to a 37-20 victory over Ohio on Monday. The Pirates (10-3) grabbed the lead for good on the first of Cooper's two touchdowns runs in the fourth quarter, a 31-yard burst with just under 10 minutes remaining.

Bonner Bridge
jennyk325 via Flickr Creative Commons

The Bonner Bridge reopened to traffic yesterday afternoon.

Structural safety concerns caused officials to close the bridge on N.C. 12 earlier this month.  However, the North Carolina Department of Transportation engineers deemed the bridge safe for traffic after several sonar scans, driving two test pilings, and multiple inspections over the past week.

The emergency repair work to add more support to the bridge continues.

Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died Saturday in a car crash that killed one other person north of Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 40.

Walker died Saturday afternoon, Ame Van Iden told the Associated Press.

A statement on the actor's Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend's car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

"We ... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news," the statement said.

Rep. Howard Coble (R) is retiring next year. The race to replace him is already underway.
Jeff Tiberii

U.S. Rep. Howard Coble says his 15th term in Congress will be his last.

The 82-year-old Republican announced Thursday in Greensboro he won't seek re-election in 2014, opening the seat for the first time in three decades.  Coble said he's mentally sharp, but recent back problems and skin cancer worry him about whether he can keep up with a 2014 campaign.

"I just fear that I would be limited physically and serve no good purpose," Coble said at a news conference Thursday at Guilford County GOP headquarters, where an audience of about 200 gave him a standing ovation.

Technical Park International

Authorities have issued arrest warrants for the owner of a ride at the North Carolina State Fair that investigators say injured five people after safety equipment was tampered with.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office said the warrants for 32-year-old Joshua Gene Macaroni were issued Wednesday. The statement said Macaroni is charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, and a third felony charge of assaulting a juvenile.

Americans Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller won the Nobel prize for economics on Monday for developing new methods to study trends in asset markets.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three had laid the foundation of the current understanding of asset prices.

While it's hard to predict whether stock or bond prices will go up or down in the short term, it's possible to foresee movements over periods of three years or longer, the academy said.