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Six Die In Mobile Home Fire

Six people died early Saturday in a mobile home fire in the Sampson County town of Garland, east of Fayetteville. Sampson County deputies said the fire was reported around 1 a.m.   Authorities are investigating, but a captain with the sheriff’s department said it appears the fire was an accident.

ALCOHOL SUSPECTED IN DEADLY HUNTERSVILLE WRECK

Police say alcohol may have been a factor in a deadly wreck early Saturday in Huntersville. One man died and another was hurt when their car rolled over just before 2 am on McCoy Road. Our news partner CorneliusNews.net reports that a passenger was found dead inside the vehicle while the driver was walking around when rescue personnel arrived. McCoy Road was closed for several hours after the wreck as Huntersville police investigated.

WORK TO CLOSE I-85 IN GASTON SUNDAY

I-85 in Gaston County will close for a while this morning as workers continue building a new weigh station in the northbound lanes. The North Carolina Department of Transportation says no traffic will be allowed on I-85 between Exits 10 and 13 beginning around 9:30 a.m. so construction crews can use explosives.   The DOT says a blast is scheduled for 10 a.m., and crews will work as quickly as possible to make sure the highway is not closed long.

LUTZ UP FOR CHARLESTON JOB

The former basketball coach at UNC Charlotte Bobby Lutz is a leading candidate for the head coaching job at the College of Charleston. The Charlotte Observer reports Lutz had a second interview on Friday. Lutz is currently associate head coach at NC State.   Two other candidates last week withdrew their names from consideration. The Charleston job is open after the college earlier this month fired Doug Wojcik.

PANTHERS TRIM ROSTER

The Carolina Panthers trimmed 21 players from their roster Saturday to reach the regular season limit of 53. Guard Chris Scott, wide receiver Tavarres King and safety Robert Lester were among those cut. Scott had played 10 games for the  Panthers last year, but missed the last six games with a knee injury.  Lester  played in 12 games, including four starts, last season as an undrafted rookie. See the final 53-man roster on Panthers.com.

CHIQUITA CLASSIC IS HERE

And a week of activities surrounding the 2nd annual Chiquita Classic golf tournament gets underway tomorrow at River Run Country Club in Davidson. World-class golfers will converge on the River Run links next week to compete for a $1 million purse and a spot on next year’s PGA Tour.   Organizers told our news partner DavidsonNews.net they’re hoping for a 50 percent increase in attendance compared to the first tournament last year.

KILLING RAPTORS BRINGS FINE

A hunting preserve in Jasper County South Carolina is paying $250,000 in restitution after three employees pleaded guilty to illegally trapping and killing hawks and owls. The men were trying to improve quail hunting on the property.  U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles announced Friday that Mackay Point Plantation's general manager, hunting dog trainer and heavy equipment handler have been sentenced to six months of probation, community service, and a one-year ban on trapping.

STEWART BACK ON NASCAR TRACK

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup is in Atlanta this weekend for the Oral B 500.  Many of the pre-race headlines have focused on driver Tony Stewart, who is returning to the No. 14 car after missing three races. Stewart was involved in an accident Aug. 9 at a dirt track in western New York that killed driver Kevin Ward. On Friday, Stewart said the tragedy has been a low point in his career.

"This is something that will definitely affect my life forever,” Stewart said. “This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one ever has to experience. That being said, I know the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward’s family and friends are experiencing is something I can’t possibly imagine.”

It was Stewart’s first public appearance since the incident. He is a co-owner of Stewart-Haas racing in Kannapolis and a former Sprint Cup series champ.

Kevin Harvick has the pole position for tonight’s race, which begins at 7:30.