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Sat. Headlines: Police Investigate Hit-and-Run Death Near Uptown

Police are looking for the drivers of two cars who may have been in the area of a hit and run accident that fatally injured a 26-year-old man early Friday near downtown Charlotte.

Another driver called 911 around 3:15am after seeing a body in the road as she got off inbound Independence Boulevard onto Charlottetowne Avenue.  Police found the Hispanic man with a severe head injury and said it appeared he had been hit by a car. 

UPDATE: On Saturday afternoon, police announced the man had died of his injuries at 10:17am. He was identified as Roque Cortes Salinas.  

Police are continuing to investigate, including studying security camera videos from the area. They're looking for two vehicles spotted near the scene around the time of the accident: a white two-door sedan with a sunroof and a burgundy Dodge Ram pickup with a bed cover. The vehicle would have been in the area of 7th/Charlottetowne Avenue between 2:30 and 3:10 in the morning.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.

FILMS HIGHLIGHT RISKS OF FRACKING

Environmentalists are touring North Carolina with a series of short cautionary films about hydraulic fracturing drilling – or fracking. The documentaries will be shown in Fayetteville today … and by the end of the tour in June, they will have visited a dozen communities from Wilmington to Asheville. The groups presenting the films include Clean Water for North Carolina, The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Appalachian Voices and Working Films.  North Carolina's Legislature and governor have cleared the way for fracking in the state, though a legal battle is keeping permits from being issued. Supporters say the method can be done safely and will boost jobs through cheaper energy.

MEMORIAL DAY DWI CAMPAIGN

And authorities are out on the roads and waterways for the Memorial Day weekend.  The NC Wildlife Resources Commission, State Highway Patrol and other organizations are promoting a safe holiday in a campaign dubbed “On the Road, on the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive.” They say accidents increase during the summer, in part because of drinking, and they’re promoting the idea of using a designated driver.  And the Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s “Click it or Ticket” campaign is doing seatbelt spot checks through the month’s end across the state. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police are joining in and have issued 164 citations for seatbelt or child seat violations at five operations over the past week. 

RACE WEEKEND IS HERE

Race fans are flocking to town for one of the year’s biggest NASCAR weekends in Charlotte.  Crowds have packed uptown Charlotte the past couple of nights for the Speed Street Festival, but the real action begins today on the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord.  NASCAR’s second-level XFinity series has the Hisense 300 today at 2:30 at the speedway. And then on Sunday, the Coca Cola 600 begins at 6 pm.  Matt Kenseth captured the pole position for Sunday’s race. 

And race cars are the gas-guzzling tools of NASCAR’s teams, but the sport is actually working to decrease its carbon footprint, from solar panels at tracks to tree planting. You can hear a special report on the trend by WFAE’s Michael Tomsic, online now at WFAE. org

JOBS COMING TO ROCKINGHAM COUNTY

Mohawk Industries says it’s expanding its operations in Eden, in Rockingham County.  The company plans to add 105 jobs over the next five years.    Mohawk currently employs more than 170 people at its carpet and rug plant in Eden.  The company has about 12-hundred employees in North Carolina. 

NCAA REPORTS ON VIOLATIONS AT UNC

The University of North Carolina has received the results of the NCAA’s latest investigation of academic fraud, but the findings remain sealed while the school reviews them. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that the NCAA issued its findings in what’s called a “Notice of Allegations” to the university.  School officials also say they needs to “redact” portions of the lengthy NCAA document in order to protect privacy rights.   The athletic association began its most recent probe as an outside investigator also looked into the scandal that involved  bogus classes taken by many athletes, in the African  and Afro-American studies department at Chapel Hill, as far back as 1993.   A 2010 investigation of UNC’s athletics program led to sanctions including a one-year ban on post-season play and three years’ probation.