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U.S. Figure Skating

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships begin this weekend in Greensboro. This same event came to the city four years ago.

Bob Dunlop, Senior Director of Events for US Figure Skating, says that now is a good time for the skaters and fans to come back to North Carolina:

"[It's the] start of a new Olympic cycle for us. New faces - some of the people who competed in '11 are gone from the sport. So, a great re-start for us."

Competitors will skate in singles, pairs and ice dancing divisions.

A handful of people were arrested in Arlington, Texas prior to college football's national championship game. They were arrested for unauthorized sale of  items with college logos.

Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) is a partner organization of Winston-Salem based IMG College. They are responsible for helping schools to protect and enforce against unauthorized use of their valuable trademarks.

Ralston Turner takes a shot.
NC State

There was a major upset in men's college basketball on Sunday, when unranked NC State beat the previously undefeated Duke, 87-75.

The Wolfpack's Trevor Lacey scored 21 points, and Ralston Turner added 16. The team overall shot 55 percent.

NC State Coach Mark Gottfried says his team knocked down some tough shots, and kept heavy pressure on Duke's preseason All-American Jahlil Okafor.

Update January 7, 2015:

In the summer of 2014, we heard about a vintage photo that was found tucked away in one of the books at the Chapel Hill Public Library. No one knew how long the picture had been there, but the photo caught our imagination. Who was this Duke Blue Devil?

For a time, the mystery appeared to be solved.  The son of a Duke alum, Donald Brandon, wrote to say, "It looks like Bill Werber."

OpenDurham.org via the Duke Archives

This week marks the 75th anniversary of Cameron Indoor Stadium, home to Duke University Basketball. In that time, the Blue Devils have won 4 national championships, and made 38 NCAA Tournament appearances. But the building itself has as much history as the teams that have passed through it.

At its founding, the stadium was the largest south of Philadelphia. It flaunted some of the most modern conveniences of any venue.

Longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died of cancer Sunday morning. He was 49 years old. Scott was known for his on-camera presence, and the catch-phrases he coined. 

"Boo-Yah!" 

"He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin' him to school."

The broadcaster was beloved in the Carolina community. He went to high school in Winston-Salem, and later attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he worked at the campus radio station, WXYC.  After graduation, he worked at stations around the country, and then was hired to help launch ESPN 2.

A group photo of the Panthers.
Panthers.com

The Carolina Panthers and their fans celebrated the team's first playoff victory in nine years over the weekend.  They beat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-16, in the first round of the NFC Playoffs Saturday.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says the team had stretches of good play against the Cardinals, but they have to step up their game.

“This one was great for a lot of reasons,” Newton says. “Yet, we didn't come here just to end it.  We have to have a great week of practice.  The things we didn't do great we have to come back and get coached up and ready to go.”

A locker room picture of the Panthers.
panthers.com

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers celebrated a 34-to-3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons to win the NFC South yesterday.

The Panthers will host a wild-card playoff game next week. Coach Ron Rivera called his team resilient.

“The beautiful thing is, the record doesn't matter. That's the best part. It's about the fact that we've won the South two years in a row. We're the first team to do it, from the South. That's something for us to build on as we go forward as a football team.”

Spencer Herlong / GoHeels.com

UNC can cap off a turbulent season with a bowl victory in Detroit. The Tar Heels will take on Rutgers in the Quick Lane Bowl after going 6-6 in the regular season. Head Coach Larry Fedora says the opportunity is as much about 2015 as it is about those seniors who are leaving.

"Just like getting extra practices for Spring Ball," said Fedora. "We're trying to get as many reps with those guys who are going to be with us and we feel like can help us in the future."
 

A picture of Jonathan Stewart.
Panthers.com

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers defeated the Cleveland Browns 17-13.

Quarterback Cam Newton returned to the gridiron 12 days after a car accident fractures parts of his lower back.

Newton threw for one touchdown and ran for another.

A picture of Derek Anderson.
Panthers.com

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-17 yesterday.

Quarterback Derek Anderson started in place of Cam Newton. Newton was sidelined while recovering from a car accident Tuesday that left him with two fractures in his lower back.

Anderson threw for 277 yards and a touchdown, and Graham Gano kicked four field goals.

via NBC Charlotte / Twitter

Update 3:48 p.m.:

 @FozzyWhitt's 26-yard touchdown
Carolina Panthers via Twitter

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers beat the New Orleans Saints yesterday, 41-10. 

Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said he was pleased to end a six-game losing streak.

“It's been a while since we've really felt good about what we felt we could do in terms of the guys that we had playing, getting used to the guys that we're playing,” Rivera says. “I think everything just kind of fell into place and came together.”

Katherine Perry
UNC Women's Golf

Katherine Perry never won a tournament when she was on scholarship for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's women's golf team. But she's made it through the first two phases of the LPGA Qualifying School. Today is the start of the third and final phase. If Perry is one of the top 20 women, she will earn a spot on the LPGA Tour.

 Panthers lose to Minnesota and fall to 3-8-1 on the season.
Carolina Panthers via Twitter

Charlotte native Charlie Sifford was the first African-American to earn a PGA tour card. On Monday, President Obama honored Sifford with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Obama said Sifford is one of the country’s “trailblazers who bent the arc of our nation toward justice.”

action shot of carolina panthers
Carolina Panthers via Twitter

The Carolina Panthers' losing streak has reached five games with yesterday's 19-to-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Panthers kicker Graham Gano missed one field goal and had another blocked in the final seconds to preserve the victory for Atlanta. Carolina head coach Ron Rivera says he told the team that the season isn't over for them yet:

"I don't know. Maybe somebody's trying to tell us something, because New Orleans lost... So, who knows?  I talked to the players about it, and said we're still in the middle of this, believe it or not."

A picture of Cam Newton passing.
Matt Rourke/AP Photo / Panthers.com

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers lost 45-to-21 to the Philadelphia Eagles last night. That that puts the team on a four-game losing streak. 

The Eagles' defense sacked Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton nine times.  

 

Carolina Coach Ron Rivera says he is standing behind Newton, instead of replacing him with a backup quarterback.  Rivera says he wants to give Newton more time to find his rhythm.

Alana Hadley after setting a course record in the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Twitter

A 17-year-old Charlotte girl is continuing her march towards the U.S. Olympic Trials in marathon running.

Alana Hadley set a course record this past weekend at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. At 2:38:34, Hadley solidified her time as the second youngest female to ever qualify for the U.S. Trials.

Carolina Panthers Logo
Carolina Panthers

In NFL action, the Carolina Panthers lost again last night, 28-to-10, to the New Orleans Saints.

The Saints' defense sacked Carolina Quarterback Cam Newton four times and forced two turnovers. Newton spent much of the night under heavy pressure playing behind an offensive line without three of its regular starters. He was limited to 151 yards passing.

After the game, Newton responded to questions about whether he was pressing, or trying to do too much.

Madison Bumgarner in his 9/8/2009 Major League debut.
Art Siegel via Flickr/Creative Commons / www.flickr.com/photos/artolog/15389351106/

In Major League Baseball,  the San Francisco Giants could clinch their third World Series title in five years with a victory over the Kansas City Royals tonight.  Leading the way for the Giants has been Madison Bumgarner. The pitcher grew up and learned the game in Hickory, North Carolina.

Jeff Parham is head coach at South Caldwell High School and he was one of the first to coach the future Giants' ace.  He first saw Bumgarner throw when the young man was in middle school. Bumgarner had come to a baseball summer camp.

How good was he?

A picture of the Seahawks facing off against the Panthers.
Panthers.com

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers lost 13-to-9 last night to the Seattle Seahawks.

Carolina's defense had allowed at least 37 points in four of its previous five games. But the Panthers held the Seahawks in check until Seattle Quarterback Russell Wilson led a nine-play, 80-yard drive for the game's only touchdown.

Panthers Linebacker Luke Kuechley pointed out that they played the Seahawks with a similar outcome for the past three years.

A picture of Luke Kuechly struggling with referee.
Associated Press

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers didn't put up much of a fight yesterday. They lost, 38-to-17, to the Green Bay Packers.

Green Bay racked up a 21-to-0 lead in the first quarter.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera says the team gave up the scoreboard early on and never got in the game.

“I don't think the defense gave us an opportunity to win in the first quarter, and I'm disappointed,” Rivera says.

Photos from the #Panthers tie vs. Cincinnati:
Carolina Panthers via Twitter

A picture of Greg Olsen.
Carolina Panthers

In NFL action, it was a big night for Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen. He had been traded by the Chicago Bears in 2011, and he made them pay for it yesterday.

Olsen caught a pair of touchdown passes, as Carolina came back from a two-touchdown deficit. They won 31-to-24 over the Bears.

Olsen said he didn't play out of spite, but the victory did help ease the pain of the Panthers' last two losses.

The Carolina Panthers lost to the Baltimore Ravens.
Carolina Panthers via Twitter

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers lost to the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, 38-10.

Coach Ron Rivera was vocal about his disappointment.

The Panthers' offense was weakened to begin with. Two running backs were sidelined with injuries before the game, and DeAngelo Williams injured his ankle during a rush in the first half.

Rivera said that's no excuse.

“It doesn't matter who the running back is; we've still got to block,” Rivera said. “And we're going to be looking to do some things differently and do things the right way.”

Historic Speedway Group

The pioneers of stock car racing reunite this weekend in Hillsborough, where drivers zoomed around the Occoneechee Speedway in the early days of NASCAR.

The mile-long dirt track hosted more than 30 races between 1949 and 1968. More than 100 of those cars will be on display along with some of the legendary drivers who raced them.

The current Wallace Wade Stadium
GoDuke,com

Duke University announced today three new projects for modernizing it's football facility, the 85-year-old Wallace Wade Stadium.

#Panthers lose. Final Score: Pittsburgh 37, Carolina 19. #KeepPounding
Carolina Panthers via Twitter

In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers last night, 37-19.

Carolina Panthers Logo
Carolina Panthers

In their NFL season opener yesterday, the Carolina Panthers swabbed the deck with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Panthers Quarterback Derek Anderson threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns. He was standing in for Cam Newton, who was benched with a pre-season rib injury.

But the 20-to-14 victory didn't come easy. The Panthers shut Tampa out for the first three quarters. But when Coach Ron Rivera addressed his team in the locker room after the game, he scolded them for letting the Bucs sneak in two late touchdowns.

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