Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
The Carolinas News Editor is Tim Rogers. The breaking news staffer is Skip Foreman. For technical support, please call the AP's Services and Technology Department in Raleigh at 919-881-9974.
COAL ASH SPILL-PROTEST
RALEIGH — Environmental groups and their partners, including the state NAACP, hold a protest and news conference about the Duke Energy coal ash spill. By Martha Waggoner. UPCOMING: 500 words by 7 p.m.
NC SHERIFF-RACIAL PROFILING
RALEIGH — Federal prosecutors say deputies of a North Carolina sheriff accused of illegally targeting Latino drivers shared links to a bloody video game where players shoot people entering the country illegally, including children and pregnant women. Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department filed new documents this week in their complaint against Alamance County Sheriff Terry S. Johnson, who is accused of violating the rights of citizens and legal residents by detaining and arresting Latinos without probable cause. By Michael Biesecker. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 700 words by 7 p.m.
CHAPEL HILL — The heads of North Carolina's higher education systems have a message for Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders — don't forget about us on educator pay. University of North Carolina System President Tom Ross and state Community College System President Scott Ralls told McCrory at Wednesday's state Education Cabinet meeting that employee pay stood among their top priorities during the General Assembly session this spring. By Gary D. Robertson. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: 600 words by 7 p.m.
ARMY GENERAL-SEX CHARGES
FORT BRAGG — A jury of five two-star generals was seated Wednesday for the court-martial of an Army general believed to be the highest ranking officer to face sexual assault charges. But the closely watched trial will unfold with lingering questions about the accuser's credibility and without the prosecutor who led the case for nearly two years. By Michael Biesecker. SENT: 1,040 words, AP Photos NCFAY103, NCFAY102, NCFAY101, TOK101.
RALEIGH — State Budget Director Art Pope says the University of North Carolina is asking for too much money next year and told its governing board to come up with a more realistic plan. Pope wrote the UNC Board of Governors about a proposal by the combined 17 campuses and seeks 11 percent more than the current state budget plan this year. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Tuesday (http://bit.ly/1ctZSm5 ) that Pope told the board it basically ignored his office instructions to limit budget expansion requests to no more than 2 percent. SENT: 500 words.
BESSEMER CITY — Some parents and others in Bessemer City are complaining about a YouTube video that shows young people rapping while flashing cash and a handgun in a public park. The video with plenty of profanity also has drug references with young people smoking, although it is not clear what they are using. SENT: 170 words.
— QUADRIPLEGIC-FIRE DEATH, from ELM CITY — Wilson County officials say a quadriplegic is dead and two family members hospitalized after fire destroyed the man's home. SENT: 130 words.
— MANSLAUGHTER CONVICTION, from BOLIVIA — A Brunswick County woman has been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the 2012 death of her boyfriend. SENT: 120 words.
— COAL ASH SPILL-NORTH CAROLINA, from RALEIGH — North Carolina regulators are pressing Duke Energy to send robot cameras up drainage pipes at all of its coal ash dumps in the state following a big spill last month that left 70 miles of the Dan River coated in toxic sludge. By Michael Biesecker. SENT: 130 words.
— FATAL APARTMENT FIRE, from WINSTON-SALEM — Officials in Winston-Salem say a 74-year-old man has died in an apartment fire. SENT: 60 words.
— DOCTOR'S STOLEN IDENTITY, from FAYETTEVILLE — The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office has issued warrants for a Fayetteville man who they say stole a physician's identity and used it to write prescriptions and operate a fake clinic. SENT: 110 words.
— UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, from RALEIGH — It's unclear whether North Carolina's unemployment insurance office will meet its goal on clearing a backlog of initial claims that grew as office workers became more deliberative about whether someone qualifies for benefits. SENT: 120 words.
— FORT BRAGG TRANSPORT PLANES, from FAYETTEVILLE — The Air Force is considering retiring its aging fleet of C-130H transport planes. SENT: 90 words.
— MOOGFEST FUNDING, from ASHEVILLE — Buncombe County's board of commissioners has approved funding for the electronic music conference Moogfest. SENT: 110 words.
— WINTER WEATHER-NC, from RALEIGH — Still more winter weather for North Carolina. SENT: 70 words.
— STOLEN CEMETERY VASES, from LENOIR — Police in Lenoir are searching for suspects in the theft of more than $41,000 worth of bronze vases from a local cemetery. SENT: 50 words.
— PARTY SHOOTING, from CHARLOTTE — Officials with the state Alcohol Beverage Control Commission have suspended the license of a Charlotte hotel where two people were wounded in a shooting after the recent CIAA basketball tournament. SENT: 130 words.
— PRESCRIBED BURN, from ASHEVILLE — The USDA Forest Service is planning a prescribed burn for part of the Bent Creek Experimental Forest. SENT: 80 words.
WINSTON-SALEM — No. 4 Duke looks to continue its dominance over Wake Forest and make a late push for the No. 2 seed in the ACC tournament when the Blue Devils visit the downtrodden Demon Deacons. By Sports Writer Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 700 words, AP photos from 7 p.m. start. With hometown lead.