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News In Brief

Party Rock Wildfire is Contained; Cooper's Lead Grows; And City Council Approves Gold Line Phase 2

Firefighters say the Party Rock Wildfire near Chimney Rock and Lake Lure has been fully contained, thanks in part to 0.4 inches of rain that fell Monday night through Tuesday. Firefighting crews have begun packing up and dismantling their fire camps Tuesday morning as they head for home. 

The North Carolina Forest Service says it will continue monitoring the controlled fire for the next several weeks. The nearby town of Lake Lure will hold an event Sunday, December 4th, to thank firefighters who worked around the clock -- including on Thanksgiving Day -- to reign in the fire.

Sixteen wildfires are still burning in other parts of the state.

Cooper's Campaign Intensifies Calls For McCrory To Concede

Democrat Roy Cooper's lead over Republican Governor Pat McCrory in the North Carolina governor's race has continued to grow as more votes are tallied. As of Tuesday morning, Cooper led McCrory by roughly 9,700 votes. If Cooper's lead grows to more than 10,000 votes, McCrory will be unable to request a recount.

The growing margin between Cooper and McCrory has bolstered the Cooper campaign, which has continued to declare victory and call on McCrory to step aside.

"The governor needs to concede," Cooper Strategist Morgan Jackson told WFAE's Charlotte Talks, "He needs to give up this Don Quixote-esque fight and stop trying to see ghosts behind every door, and do what's best for North Carolina."

A statement released Monday night from GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse said "it's clear that most aspects of the 2016 election are ready to be concluded," adding, "During the past month, we have seen the incredible strength of our voting system in North Carolina, as well as some serious shortcomings that must be addressed."

The state Board of Elections will hold a hearing Wednesday on a formal election protest filed in Durham County. On Friday, a court will hear arguments on whether the state should be prevented from certifying winners until the addresses of all same-day registrants during early voting are verified.

City Council Approves Gold Line Phase 2, Business Grant For Synder's Lance

Charlotte City Council has approved the next phase of at the streetcar known as the Gold Line. Phase 2 will extend the project by 2.5 miles. It's expected to be completed in 2020. Council also authorized the city manager to negotiate and execute a contract with Siemens Transportation for six modern hybrid streetcar vehicles and spare parts.

At the same meeting Monday night, City Council also voted to approve an economic development business investment grant for Snyder's Lance Inc. for its $38 million investment in the expansion of its manufacturing operations and headquarters in Charlotte, including the addition of a new brand operation.