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Headline Roundup: Cannon Goes To Prison And More

Cannon Enters Prison

Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon is in federal prison in Morgantown, West Virginia. He reported to prison shortly before noon to start a 44-month sentence for public corruption. Cannon was on house arrest for more than a week leading up to his sentence for violating his bond when he voted in this month’s election, something his felony conviction prohibits him from doing.  His vote was later canceled. 

Ousted Chiquita CEO Could Receive Over $15 Million

Chiquita CEO Ed Lonergan could get more than $15 million if he’s terminated after two Brazilian firms buy the Charlotte-based banana company. The Charlotte Observer reports that if Cutrale and the Safra group choose not to keep him on, Lonergan’s stock options would yield a $9.8 million payout. He would also be entitled to $1.9 million cash. According to a securities filing, Lonergan would have to be terminated after the $681 million deal closes to be eligible for the full $15.4 million golden parachute.

Wofford To Rename Arena After Panthers' Owner

Wofford College is naming its new arena for alumnus and Carolina Panthers' owner Jerry Richardson.  The Spartanburg school says the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium will house a new basketball and volleyball arena as well as locker rooms and other facilities. Richardson is a member of the Wofford board of trustees and he donated the money to build the arena. UNC Charlotte also named its new football stadium for Richardson. 

York County To Get New Courthouse

York County Commissioners last night voted to renovate the current courthouse rather than build a new building in a different location. The Rock Hill Herald reports the commission last night awarded the contract to Cumming Construction Management. Cumming determined the renovation could be done for close to $2 million less than original estimates, which were $11.2 million. The county needs to raise an addition $4 million to complete the courthouse renovation.

Raleigh Man Charged With Kidnapping, Rape

A North Carolina man is facing multiple charges in the disappearance of a 12-year-old Maryland girl who was found last week. Officials say 32-year-old Victor Arroyo of Raleigh was arrested over the weekend and charged with kidnapping and first-degree rape. The girl was last seen last Tuesday morning when she left for school. Arroyo was arrested by Alcohol Law Enforcement. He’s also been charged with a probation violation in connection with a 2007 conviction for assault on a female.

NC Zoo Polar Bears Dies

The North Carolina Zoo say Patches, its 26-year-old female polar bear, has died after several weeks of declining health.  Zoo officials say an autopsy shows Patches had an extensive lung mass suggestive of lung cancer.  Zoo director David Jones said polar bears usually have a life span of between 15 to 18 years and that Patches exceeded wildlife expectations. She came to the North Carolina Zoo a year ago from Pennsylvania.

NC Medicaid Office Predicts Budget Surplus

North Carolina's Medicaid office predicts a small budget surplus this fiscal year. The outside contractor hired as Medicaid’s finance director estimates the state will take in $68 million more than expected on its $3.7 billion budget - that’s despite higher than expected spending on prescription drugs and continued enrollment growth for the state's health insurance program for poor people. The state cautions that surplus could evaporate due to many factors, such as a bad flu season or more costs associated with Ebola.