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News Roundup: Exonerees Seek Pardon, Family Dollar Sale, Cam Newton And More

Two North Carolina men who were freed this week after more than 30 years in prison are planning to ask Governor Pat McCory for pardons. An attorney for Henry McCollum and his half brother Leon Brown plan to file petitions for a pardon of innocence within the next few weeks. In 1983, McCollum and Brown were convicted in the rape and murder of a child based on confessions they later said were coerced. McCollum was on death row, while Brown had a life sentence. This week, new DNA evidence implicated another man who police overlooked, and a judge overturned McCollum and Brown's convictions. Governor McCrory said in a statement he's happy their convictions were vacated, and he's prepared to review their pardon request. If he grants it, the men could seek compensation from the state.   

For the second time, Family Dollar has rejected a takeover bid from rival Dollar General. Matthews-based Family Dollar announced this morning it's rejected a second, bigger offer from Dollar General. CEO Howard Levine says his company is still sticking with its earlier agreement with Dollar Tree. It's a smaller deal than what Dollar General is offering, but it does not include plans to close Family Dollar stores. It also preserves an executive role for Levine. Family Dollar says antitrust concerns are the main reason it's rejecting the Dollar General takeover bids. Some antitrust lawyers question how legitimate those concerns are.

The Carolina Panthers open the NFL season in Tampa Bay on Sunday, and head coach Ron Rivera says today's practice will determine whether star quarterback Cam Newton will play. Newton is recovering from cracked ribs. If he doesn’t play, the Charlotte Observer reports, it'll be the first time he's missed a game since high school because of an injury. The Panthers are coming off a 12 and 4 season last year, when they won their division but lost in the playoffs.

A Charlotte ballet dancer will join Al Green, Tom Hanks and Sting in receiving one of the America's highest arts honors this December. Patricia McBride was selected as a Kennedy Center Honoree. McBride spent 28 years with the New York City ballet. She and her husband then came to Charlotte to run the North Carolina Dance Theater, the state's oldest professional dance company. It changed its name to the Charlotte Ballet in April.