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October 25, 2013 | By David Zucchino
Five people were injured, two seriously, on a carnival ride at the North Carolina State Fair on Thursday night, state authorities said. The ride, called "The Vortex," may have restarted suddenly as riders were getting off, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said at a news conference. Among those injured was the ride's operator, he said. The Vortex spins, flipping riders upward, then spins faster as riders are flipped downward.  Witnesses told local TV stations that people were thrown off the ride and some were knocked unconscious.
October 25, 2013 | Chris Dufresne
Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden were legends and friends and headed for train-wreck finishes. There was no easy way to extricate themselves from the Penn State and Florida State kingdoms they ruled, so both men decided to hold on until fate intervened. It did, and it was ugly. Bowden was 80 in 2009 when he got fired. He wanted one more year after another 7-6 season, but was forced out by school President T. K Wetherell, who had been coached by Bowden at Florida State. Paterno was a month shy of 85 in 2011 when he got fired under unimaginable circumstances.
October 25, 2013 | By David Zucchino, This post has been updated. See below for details.
A gunman surrendered to police inside a North Carolina pharmacy Friday morning after holding three employees hostages, firing on police and stealing drugs during an early morning robbery attempt, according to police in Belmont, N.C., just west of Charlotte. The 46-year-old gunman laid a SKS rifle on a store counter at about 7 a.m. and surrendered several hours after entering the store and taking two men and a woman hostage. The hostages were not harmed, police said. [Updated, 11:35 a.m. PST, Oct. 25: Edward Scott Russ, 46, of Gastonia, N.C., was charged Friday with kidnapping, assault on law enforcement officers, attempted first-degree murder, communicating threats and robbery with a dangerous weapon, police said.
October 25, 2013 | By Meredith Blake, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Don Yelton, a local GOP official in North Carolina, has been forced to resign following an appearance this week on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" in which he made a series of racially charged remarks. On Wednesday, correspondent Aasif Mandvi traveled to North Carolina to look at the effect of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. There he met with Yelton, a precinct chairman in Buncombe County and an advocate of the state's strict new voter ID laws which, according to some, disproportionately target minority voters.
October 20, 2013 | By David Zucchino
RALEIGH, N.C. - Roy Cooper is in a very lonely place. He's a Democratic state attorney general surrounded by conservative Republicans who control North Carolina state government. Now those Republicans have put Cooper in an awkward spot. He has publicly condemned GOP-sponsored laws on voter identification and gay marriage, yet must defend those same laws in court. Further complicating matters, Cooper plans to run for governor in 2016. That has prompted Republican charges that he's more interested in being governor than upholding North Carolina's laws.
October 15, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
Add North Carolina, part of the nation's traditional Bible Belt, to states trying to figure out how to deal with same-sex marriage following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that threw out portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Drew Reisinger, the Buncombe County register of deeds, has accepted marriage license requests from 10 same-sex couples, but will hold on to the documents until state Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper renders legal advice. North Carolina in 2012 approved an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriages.
September 30, 2013
For Solar Decathlon 2013, we put a virtual microphone in front of some teams and let the competitors explain their home design, in their own words. First up: the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which like the 19 other teams in the Department of Energy competition, is racing to finish construction by Wednesday, so it could open to the public Tuesday at the Orange County Great Park. Team leader Clarke Snell, a master's student in architecture, explained why the UNC Charlotte house has walls made of geopolymer concrete with "capillary tubes" and why the team had to play a little catch-up in Irvine.
September 30, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
The Obama administration is suing North Carolina over the state's new restrictive voting rules, the latest federal effort to protect minority voters after the Supreme Court recently struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act. The suit, announced Monday morning, had been expected after North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, in August signed the measure that imposes tough voter identification requirements, including photo identification....
September 24, 2013 | By David Zucchino
ASHEBORO, N.C. - If a county could blush, Randolph County just might. The school board in this largely rural county, to the embarrassment of many residents, voted last week to ban Ralph Ellison's iconic novel of African American angst, "Invisible Man. " In a 5-2 vote, the board barred the book from all school libraries in the county after the mother of an 11th-grader complained that the novel was "too much for teenagers. " But confronted by an angry backlash and concerns that the ban had shamed the county, the board backed down and scheduled a special meeting Wednesday in order to reconsider the book's status.
September 19, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Ralph Ellison's novel "Invisible Man" has been banned from school libraries in Randolph County, N.C. The book is considered by many to be an masterful novel dealing with race in America. “I didn't find any literary value,” said school board member Gary Mason before the board voted 5-2 to ban the book.  Ellison's "Invisible Man" won the National Book Award in 1953. In 1965, a national poll of book critics deemed it the greatest American novel written since World War II. The book was brought before the board by a parent who lodged a 12-page complaint, Asheboro's Courier-Tribune reports . She found the book's contents inappropriate for her child, an 11th grader, citing its lack of innocence, its language and sexual content.
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