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Sun. Headlines: 1 Game at a Time for Panthers; GOP Candidate Sought Leniency for Molester

ron rivera
Michael Tomsic

As the Carolina Panthers prepared for Sunday’s game at the New York Giants, Coach Ron Rivera said his team can’t worry about the big picture issues – an undefeated season, playoffs or a possible title. They have to take one game at a time.  Meanwhile, Robert Brawley, the former state legislator who is challenging Gov. Pat McCrory, is in hot water for requesting leniency for a friend serving a life sentence for child molestation.


Every game is big one right now for the Carolina Panthers, as they chase an undefeated season, a home field advantage in the playoffs, and the NFL title. The Panthers have 13 wins and no losses so far. They play at the New York Giants today. Coach Ron Rivera says his team can’t worry about the big picture.

“You can’t play scared,” Rivera said during a press conference last week. “The biggest thing we’re gonna do is approach it one game at a time. And we’ll take that game as it approaches and how things will apply. So we’ll see how it is. As far as we’re concerned this week is important. Again, we’d love to be able to have home field all the way through. And the only for us to do that is to approach it one game at a time and play to win each game.

Today’s kickoff is 1 o’clock at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

And no matter what happens, the Panthers have clinched a playoff spot. A limited number of tickets go on sale Tuesday for the first game, which will be the weekend of January 16-17, at Bank of America Stadium. You’ll be able to get up to six tickets, at prices from $58 to $200.


The former legislator who is challenging Gov. Pat McCrory in the Republican primary is in hot water over his effort to get leniency for a friend and teacher now serving a life sentence in prison for child molestation in the 1970s and 1980s. Robert Brawley of Mooresville said he doesn’t regret sending an email asking for leniency for the man, who is serving life plus 260 years after his conviction.  Brawley told The Charlotte Observer he wishes he knew more about the case before sending the September 2014 request. He said he at the time there was only one victim instead of 11.


Legislation up for debate in South Carolina next year seeks to close a loophole that law enforcement officials say allowed Dylann Roof to buy the gun used to kill nine black parishioners in Charleston last summer.  Roof's drug arrest last February should have prevented the sale, but data entry errors meant a background check didn't produce the pertinent details in time. Federal law gives the FBI three business days to tell a gun dealer if someone can't legally buy a firearm. Once that window expires, as in Roof's case, the sale can proceed. Proposals by Democratic Senator Gerald Malloy and Republican Representative Doug Brannon would extend to 28 days the allowed time for reviewing questionable criminal records. Their proposals don't require any wait if a background check comes back clean.


Police in High Point have arrested a suspect in the killing of a man found dead by firefighters as they fought an apartment fire. 26-year-old Ryne Stevens is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree arson in connection with the September 20 fire that killed 37-year-old Marshall Williams.


Appalachian State won the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama, yesterday. Zach Matics missed two field goals earlier in the game, but hit a 23 yarder in the final seconds to beat Ohio University 31 to 29… the Mountaineers ended the season with 11 wins and two losses.  

In Atlanta, North Carolina A&T topped Alcorn St. in Celebration Bowl 41-34.

In other sports news:

  • The Charlotte Checkers won again last night, a 4-1 victory over the Lake Erie Monsters. Daniel Altschuler stopped 36 of 37 shots in goal to lead the checkers.  The two teams  play again Sunday at 1 at Bojangles coliseum.
  • The Charlotte Hornets lost to the Washington Wizards, 109 to 101.
  • Duke basketball lost last night to Utah, 77 to 75 in overtime. The UNC Charlotte 49ers won at Appalachian State, 82-66. Braxton Ogbueze led the 49ers with 25 points.