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Sun. Headlines: Duke Docks CEO's Pay

Duke Energy's CEO is paying a price for a massive coal ash spill that coated 70 miles of North Carolina’s Dan River in toxic sludge.   An annual statement released ahead of the Charlotte company's May shareholder meeting says Chief Executive Lynn Good's $8.3 million compensation in 20-14 was cut by about $600,000. Duke’s chief financial officer and three other executives saw similar 35 percent reductions in compensation tied to annual performance. Directors of the country's largest electric company said in the company proxy statement that the executives’ pay was docked because the spill will cost Duke more than $190 million in cleanup, legal fees, and fines.

MOPED DRIVER KILLED IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH

A 43-year-old moped driver died last night in a hit and run crash on South Boulevard in Charlotte.   Angel Cruz was stopped waiting to make a left into a shopping center parking lot just before 8:15pm when his moped was struck from behind by a 2010 Dodge Caliber driven by James Lesage.   Cruz’s moped was struck by a second vehicle and he died at the scene. Lesage fled, but was caught later thanks to a witness’s description. Lesage was charged with DWI, felony hit and run, felony death by vehicle and driving without a license. He’s in Mecklenburg County Jail with bail set at $62,000.

PROSECUTORS SAY CELL PHONE SCANS  LEGAL

Charlotte prosecutors say police didn't violate state laws when they used surveillance technology that allows authorities to scan an area for a cell phone used by a target suspect.  The Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office determined local police properly turned over evidence to defense attorneys in nearly 150 cases in which officers used a tracking device called a StingRay. The device tricks cell phones into thinking it is a transmission tower so data can be collected.  Charlotte police and local agencies across the country have been using the technology since at least 2006 to collect serial numbers, locations and other information about nearby phones, laptops and tablets connected to cellular networks.

SALES TAX PLAN SHOWS POLITICAL SPLIT

A legislative proposal that would shift millions of dollars in local sales tax revenues away from urban and coastal counties and to rural ones is highlighting two undercurrents in Raleigh - the increased clout of rural Republicans and their conflicts with Gov. Pat McCrory.   The state Senate last week proposed stripping away some of the revenues of vacation destinations like Dare County and richer communities like Charlotte, where McCrory was once mayor. The state has grappled for decades with the problem of most of the state lagging behind urban centers growing in size and wealth, and some senators want to shift some of the money from the haves to poorer, rural counties. But McCrory, who also is a Republican, thinks it's a bad idea. Mecklenburg County would be one of eight counties losing money while 91 other counties gain.

UNEMPLOYMENT STEADY IN NC, SC

North Carolina's unemployment rate fell slightly in February, coming at 5.3 percent for the month. The state Commerce Department reported Friday the jobless rate was unchanged from January's revised rate but below the national unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.  In South Carolina, unemployment stands at 6.6. percent, the third straight month at that level.

COAST GUARD LIMITS BOATING AT OREGON INLET

If you boat or fish at the Outer Banks, there are changes on the way. The Coast Guard is closing Oregon Inlet all but small recreational vessels because collected sand has made the channel too shallow.  Vessels with more than a two-foot draft would be banned from approaching Oregon Inlet. That's to prevent an accident damaging the Bonner Bridge, the only road access for residents of Hatteras Island.  Larger boats, including fishing charters, would have to stay away.  Violators can be fined up to $32,500.  Dredging could eventually reopen the channel, but it’s not known when that might be done.

CONTROLLED BURN AT PISGAH FOREST

The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a prescribed burn on 450 acres in the Pisgah National Forest to reduce the possibility of wildfire.  The Forest Service says the controlled fires will begin today in the Appalachian Ranger District, about 25 miles northwest of Asheville.  The burn is meant to reduce the amount of dead grasses and woody debris on the forest floor.

SPORTS CALENDAR

On the sports schedule today:

  • Joey Logano has the pole when NASCAR’s Sprint Cup race begins at 1 o’clock at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
  • and Gonzaga tips off against Duke at 5:05 p.m.in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The winner goes to the Final Four.

Also, Duke's women were knocked out of the NCAA tournament with a 65-55 loss to Maryland in a regional seminfinal.