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December 19, 2013
Steve Alford opened his first news conference as UCLA basketball coach by saying taking the job was easy. "It goes back to four letters, U-C-L-A," Alford said. "I think if it is anywhere else, this is not a decision that would have been made. " Yet, what those four letters mean is open for interpretation as the NCAA championship banners in the Pauley Pavilion rafters continue to fade with age. UCLA was once prime real estate in the college basketball world. The Bruins have 11 national titles, 10 won by Coach John Wooden between 1964 and 1975.
December 17, 2013 | By Saba Hamedy
Thirteen passengers were injured Tuesday morning after a North Carolina ferry hit a sandbar and ran aground, officials said. Shortly after 9 a.m., the Adventure hit a sandbar near Battery Island as it was heading toward Bald Head Island from Southport, Joyce Fulton, director of communication for Bald Head Island Limited, told the Los Angeles Times. At the time of the accident, the 64-foot ferry was carrying 53 passengers and three crew members. None of the passengers' injuries were "life-threatening," she said.
November 28, 2013 | Sam Farmer
Tyrann Mathieu was a third-round gamble. Nobody wanted Vontaze Burfict. Josh McCown's career as a journeyman NFL quarterback was ostensibly over, and he was coaching high school football in North Carolina. And Danny Woodhead? He's been overlooked forever. They are the unlikely reliables, under-the-radar overachievers who are helping keep playoff dreams alive for their teams. The household names will always be key, but for clubs that reach the postseason, it's often the unexpected players who bubble to the surface with major contributions.
November 18, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Miley Cyrus must be proud. The former Disney Channel child star who makes attempting to shock the world a part of her daily routine played an indirect role -- OK, an extremely indirect role -- in Belmont's stunning 83-80 upset of No. 12 North Carolina in men's basketball on Sunday. Midway through the first half as the Tar Heels' James McAdoo was taking a foul shot, a clever and/or narcissistic and/or inebriated Bruins fan started singing Cyrus' hit song "Wrecking Ball" at the top of his lungs.
November 12, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - The undercover FBI informant warned Pakistani immigrant Basit Javed Sheikh that it was not too late to back out. "You don't have to do it," he told Sheikh in a private Facebook message Oct. 17. But Sheikh, 29, a permanent U.S. resident living in central North Carolina, was adamant, according to a federal affidavit, telling the informant: "I'm serious" and "Akhi Wallahi!" - Arabic for "Brother, I swear to God!" Now Sheikh is under arrest on allegations of attempting to reach Syria to provide material support to Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in Iraq that the U.S. deems a terrorist organization.
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 | 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 | 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 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.
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