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Here are some of the other stories catching our attention.

Senate Candidates Stump In Cornelius

North Carolina’s US Senate candidates are counting down the hours to Election day Tuesday. Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis both brought their campaigns to Cornelius Saturday in hopes of getting out the vote.

Our news partner CorneliusNews.net reports that on the final day of early voting, Tillis and his wife cast their ballots in front of a wall of news cameras at Cornelius Town Hall. Tillis is the current House speaker and the state representative from Cornelius.  Hagan ventured onto Tillis’s home turf, visiting party workers at a Cornelius campaign office, as Democrats began final canvassing before the vote.

The ballot also includes a third candidate, Libertarian Sean Haugh. And independent John Rhodes of Huntersville is promoting a write-in campaign, backed by conservative opponents of toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte.

Polls show the Senate race is close one, though Hagan has held a steady lead over Tillis in recent months.

LEGISLATIVE SEATS UP FOR VOTE

On Election Day, all 170 seats in the North Carolina General Assembly are up for re-election. But fewer than 20 House and Senate races are considered truly competitive. Dozens more have already been decided because candidates are unopposed.  Republicans have comfortable majorities in both chambers and that’s not likely to change. But Democrats are battling hard in several districts to defeat Republican incumbents, hoping to end the party’s veto-proof majorities.   Key races are in and around Asheville and Raleigh, as well as the Outer Banks. Outside groups backing Democratic candidates are spending lots of money on mailers and TV ads. That’s a reversal from 2010 and 2012, when Republicans benefited from similar groups.

SNOW, SUB-FREEZING WEATHER

The weather is one of the big stories this weekend – from snow in the mountains and upstate South Carolina to a freeze warning in Charlotte and high winds across the state today.  A winter storm warning was in effect for parts of the mountains for high winds and heavy snow. The National Weather Service reports that 8 inches of snow fell in parts of the mountains. Asheville got 3 to 5 inches and the Boone area had 2 to 3 inches. 

To the east, a strong cold front moved through coastal areas Saturday, bringing northwest winds and rough seas. A coastal flood advisory and a wind advisory were issued for the Outer Banks. The National Weather Service says minor sound side flooding is likely. The weather service also issued freeze warnings and wind advisories in western North Carolina. 

Look for a cool windy day today, with highs around 52. Wind gusts could reach 30 miles per hour. Clear, cold and breezy overnight, low 29. Monday, Sunny and 62.   

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CHAPTERS MERGE

The Lake Norman and Iredell County chapters of Habitat for Humanity are merging. Leaders say the move will cut expenses, improve leadership and strengthen the organization. Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, based in Cornelius, will acquire the smaller Habitat for Humanity of Iredell County. Our news partner DavidsonNews.net reports that Jeff Porter, previously executive director of the Iredell chapter and a former Baptist minister, will lead the combined organization, which will be based in Cornelius. The newly merged Habitat affiliate will have three ReStores and operate in Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville and throughout Iredell County, including Statesville.

RAZOR BLADE FOUND IN CANDY BAR

Police in Maiden say a parent brought them a small candy bar with a razor blade stuck in it that a child got while trick-or-treating on Halloween.  Police said they’re taking the report seriously and are trying to figure out where the child was given the candy.   Investigators say the child's parents told them they found the blade inside the wrapped of a small candy bar Friday night. No one was injured.  Police say the report is a reminder to parents to check their children's trick-or-treat candy before they eat it.