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Headline Roundup: SC Flu Cases On Rise; City Council To Hear Plan To Forgive NASCAR HOF Loan; More

Officials in South Carolina hoped the holiday break would slow down the number of flu cases in the state. But The State newspaper reports 10,000 new cases of the flu were reported by December 27. That's up from 3,700 reported cases on December 13.    

Lee County Commissioners Expected To Block Coal Ash
The Sanford Herald reports Lee County commissioners are expected to pass a resolution today to try to stop 8 million tons of coal ash from coming to the county. The coal ash would be used as landfill at unused open pit clay mines in the area. Its part of a Duke Energy plan to remove or cap its coal ash ponds by 2029 as mandated by state law. 

NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Take Oath Today 
The top judge on North Carolina's highest court will shortly take his oath of office for a new eight-year term.  Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin was elected Chief Justice in November but has served in the role the past four months. Governor McCrory elevated Martin – a Republican -  to replace Sarah Parker, a Democrat who reached the mandatory retirement age of 72.  

City Council To Hear Plan To Forgive NASCAR HOF Loan
Tonight the Charlotte City Council will hear details of a plan to forgive all or part of a $20 million bank loan to the NASCAR hall of fame. The money covered part of the construction cost of the uptown facility – and was to be paid for by the profits from merchandise and ticket sales. The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in 2010 and has yet to make a profit or reach the number of visitors originally projected. It lost $1.4 million in its last fiscal year – and logged just shy of 170,000 visitors. The council will vote on the measure next Monday.

Panthers Travel To Seattle For NFC Divisional Playoff
The Carolina Panthers will try to play the part of Cinderella when they travel to  Seattle on Saturday for the NFC Divisional playoff against the Seahawks. The Panthers beat the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday 27 to 16 in Carolina’s first post-season win in almost a decade. The Panthers have lost to the Seahawks the last three matchups.