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3 more area charters seek approval

More charter schools are in the planning stages in North Carolina. The Charlotte Observer reports the state received 11 more applications for charters next year, including three in the Charlotte area.   The expected growth comes as the latest crop of new schools falls short of enrollment projections. The newspaper reports that two Charlotte area charters have closed over the past two years in their first years,  because of low enrollment and other troubles. The state Board of Education will vote on approval of the new charters on January 8th.

POLICE SAY ARGUMENT LED TO SHOOTING

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say a family argument led to the shooting death of a 49-year-old man on Friday. Officers responded to a report of an assault around 6am inside a Carmel Road home in south Charlotte. They found Robert Norman Craddock Jr., who died at the scene.  Officers say an argument between two family members escalated to a shooting. Family members, including the shooter, have been interviewed. Prosecutors will review the case and decide whether to file charges.

LANCASTER WRECK KILLS 2

Two people died in a wreck Saturday morning on Riverside Drive in Lancaster, South Carolina. A man and his fiancée, both from Fort Lawn, were killed in the crash, while a toddler in a backseat car seat survived.  A witness told TV Station WSOC that she saw the car flip. Police said the 20-year-old woman lost control of the car and ran off the right side of the road into a ditch.

BEACH FILLS WITH STARFISH ON CHRISTMAS

Beachgoers on Fripp Island,  South Carolina, found an unexpected sight on Christmas Day – thousands of starfish washed up on the beach.    A South Carolina marine veterinarian says stormy weather is a likely explanation for the starfish stranding. Al Segars of the state Department of Natural Resources said strong winds on Wednesday could have caused the creatures, also known as sea stars, to wash ashore. He said it’s not that unusual – starfish can't fight the current if the waves are strong.   George Sedberry with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries says fishing could be another explanation. He says the sea stars may have been unintentionally caught and discarded by shrimp trawlers. Segars says that's possible, but he's seen similar events when no trawling was occurring.

MOTHER AND FATHER CHARGED IN TODDLER'S DEATH

The mother of a toddler reported missing on Christmas Eve in Raleigh faces several charges in his suspected death. 25-year-old Briana Dangerfield was charged with attempting to conceal the death of her 2-year-old son Tristan Blue, altering or destroying evidence, accessory after the fact of murder, failing to notify authorities and child neglect.   Police called off the search for Tristan on Christmas Day and charged his father, 31-year-old Steven Blue, with murder.

UNDERCOVER TROOPERS TARGET TEXTING

North Carolina lawmakers banned texting and driving in 2009.  Since then, the Highway Patrol has issued thousands of tickets. But troopers always looking for new and creative ways to get drivers to comply with the law – especially teenagers and young adults. In the Highway patrol’s Greensboro district, troopers recently went undercover to enforce law.  For a week in early December, plain-clothes troopers drove yellow state transportation department pickup trucks, looking for drivers who were texting behind the wheel.  Troopers say the effort ws all about enforcing the law and saving lives.

USC WINS, DUKE LOSES IN BOWLS

Dylan Thompson threw for 294 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score as South Carolina beat Miami, 24-21, Saturday in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.

In the Sun Bowl on Saturday, Kalen Ballage returned a kickoff 95 yards to set up the winning score in No. 15 Arizona State's 36-31 victory over Duke.

PANTHERS NEED A WIN

It’s do or die day for the Carolina Panthers. They’ll be in Atlanta this afternoon for a must-win matchup against the Falcons. The winner takes home the NFC South Division title and a spot in the playoffs. The game is at 4:25 pm, on CBS

BELK BOWL HERE TUESDAY

Tuesday night, a crowd will be in downtown Charlotte for the Belk Bowl, at Bank of America stadium. The annual battle of the No. 2 teams from the SEC and ACC will pit the Louisville Cardinals against Georgia's Bulldogs.  Game time is 6:30pm.