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Sun. Headlines: Tillis Says Keep Guantanamo

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis thinks the prison at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should stay open. Tillis visited the base this week with four other freshmen Republican senators. For 13 years, the base has been a detention camp to hold terrorism suspects after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Tillis says Guantanamo holds some of the most heinous and evil criminals of our time and still plays a key role in protecting America from terrorism. Tillis vowed to make sure the base stays open.   President Barack Obama promised to close the base's prison when he ran for office. Only about 125 detainees remain at the base.


Prosecutors are expanding their investigation into spending by the former executive director of the State Employees Association of North Carolina.  A lawyer for the association told The News & Observer of Raleigh that the group is taking back its severance payment for Dana Cope because he wasn't completely honest with them.    Cope resigned after the newspaper reported the association paid $109,000 for un-bid landscaping work to a company that also worked at Cope's home. The newspaper also detailed personal expenses paid with association credit cards.   Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman says investigators are looking at the possibility of more improper spending by Cope.


It was raining Saturday, but a crowd turned out anyway for Charlotte’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.  The procession of floats, bagpipers and marching bands, Irish organizations and public officials marched south on Tryon Street.


Out on the roads, State Police are in the midst of a St. Patrick's Day "Booze It & Lose It" campaign. The crackdown on drunken driving runs through the weekend and ends on St. Patrick’s Day Tuesday. 


   Myers Park High School’s girls won the state Division 4A championship on Saturday. The Mustangs beat Southeast Raleigh last night, 52 to 47. In the girls 3A final, Hickory beat Chapel Hill 71-53 for the championship.

   In college men’s basketball, the 19th ranked North Carolina Tarheels lost to Number 11 Notre Dame 90 to 82 yesterday in the Atlantic Coast Conference final in Greensboro.  And 24th ranked Davidson got knocked out by Virginia Commonwealth, 93-73, in the Atlantic 10 semifinal in Brooklyn, New York.  Now all the Wildcats can do is wait … to see whether they’ll earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

    Today’s NASCAR’s Sprint Cup race is in Phoenix, where Kevin Harvick of Stewart Haas Racing has the pole. Joey Logano of Team Penske is No. 2. The race starts at 3:30 Eastern time. In action last night, Logano routed the field in the Xfinity Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. He won after leading 176 of the 200 laps.  Matt Kenseth was second, followed by Harvick.