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Sun. Headlines: Fire Destroys Claremont Landmark

Fire destroyed a 50-year-old hardware store in Catawba County Saturday afternoon.  Firefighters from 10 area departments responded to the blaze at Claremont Hardware and Farm Supply, which started around 3:20 p.m. The Hickory Daily Record reported smoke was visible from I-40, about five miles away.  Fire officials are trying to determine the cause.


The North Carolina General Assembly reconvenes Wednesday following a two-week hiatus from opening day ceremonies.  It’s the third straight session Republicans have led both the House and Senate. As they prepare to consider new legislation over the next two years, Legislative leaders sound content with measured governing rather than making a splash with legislation as they did in 2011 and 2013.  Tax collections will be closely watched as usual. The state had a revenue shortfall of 200 million dollars through the first half of the fiscal year. The question is whether the 2013 tax overhaul law means tax filers will make more payments or receive fewer refunds to close the gap. Lawmakers also are expected to consider overhauling Medicaid, increasing teacher pay and Gov. Pat McCrory's request for help economic incentives.


South Carolina lawmakers are unlikely to respond this year to the state Supreme Court's order to fix an education system justices say fails South Carolina's poor, rural children. The Republican-controlled Legislature and Governor Nikki Haley want a rehearing. Legislators argue the state's high court overstepped its authority in telling them to do anything and that the justices need to give instruction on what to do.


The Gaston County chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has removed a sign featuring the Confederate battle flag from a roadside after determining it was in the highway's right of way. The group's sign greeted motorists driving into North Carolina on U.S. 321 for the past several years. The group had believed the sign was on private property.


A property owner in Rockingham County, north of Greensboro, has canceled plans to host a shooting contest that would let hunters target 8,000 pigeons.  The News & Record of Greensboro reports that Arthur Dick, owner of the 2,000-acre Willow Oaks Plantation near Eden, planned to release the birds. Last week, the Humane Society of the United States filed a complaint with the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, which investigated.  The sheriff requested a temporary restraining order, but Dick canceled the event before that request could be heard in court. Since 2004, state Wildlife Resources regulations have protected pigeons against animal cruelty.


Officials at Fort Bragg say a squadron commander has been relieved of her position after an investigation into a soldier’s death at Pope Field in July. The Fayetteville Observer reports Air Force Col. Elizabeth Shaw was removed from command of the 43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron on Thursday.  Officials said they lost confidence in Shaw after an investigation into the death of Staff Sgt. Timothy Wright of Pensacola, Florida.   Wright's hands and mouth were bound while he played the part of a hostage during a training exercise when a Humvee accidentally ran over him.


Davidson College is playing in a new conference this year, the Atlantic 10, and the competition is tougher.  Saturday night at George Mason, the Wildcats pulled out an 80 to 73 win in overtime

Coach Bob McKillop said afterward in an interview on DavidsonWildcats.com  every win makes his team stronger.

“Well, when you win, it’s a great thing. … The sense of confidence we’ve gotten now,” McKillop said. “This A-10 stuff is tough … You’re going Wednesday to Saturday against teams trying to knock you off, really with a lot of talent.”

The Wildcats were picked to finish 12th out of 14 in the league in a pre-season poll.  A few weeks into the season, that prediction isn’t panning out. Davidson is fourth in the league, with five wins and two losses, and 14 wins and 4 losses overall.


In college basketball, No. 15 ranked North Carolina beat Florida State 78 to 74.   Charlotte lost at Middle Tennessee 72 to 69.