BC-NC–North Carolina News Digest, NC


Hello! The Carolinas News Editor is Tim Rogers. The supervisor is Skip Foreman.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with updates.

TOP STORIES:

TOBACCO MERGER

LONDON — British American Tobacco Plc has agreed to fully take over Reynolds American Inc. in a deal that will create the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company. The $49 billion takeover was agreed on improved terms compared with an initial bid made last year. It would combine BAT’s presence in developing countries, where anti-smoking campaigns are not as strong as in the U.S. and Europe, with Reynolds’ almost exclusive focus on the U.S. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 340 words. AP Photo LON101.

CHARTER SCHOOLS-LIBEL LAWSUIT

RALEIGH — A North Carolina appeals court says a company running a string of taxpayer-funded charter schools and its founder cannot sue a former local school superintendent who criticized plans for a competing school. The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that former Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Edward Pruden was protected against the libel lawsuit because his opposition was part of his official position as local public schools chief. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: 400 words by 4 p.m.

OBIT-SCARFO

PHILADELPHIA — Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo, whose reign over the Philadelphia Mafia in the 1980s was one of the bloodiest in its history, has died at a federal medical center in North Carolina, a prison spokeswoman said Tuesday. He was 87. Scarfo died Saturday while in custody at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, said Nancy Ayers, a Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman. No cause of death was released. SENT: 770 words, AP Photo NY113.

IN BRIEF:

— SOUTHERN WILDFIRES-SMOKIES, from GATLINBURG, Tenn. — A fire review team in Tennessee is going to investigate the fires that tore through Gatlinburg and killed 14 people. SENT: 130 words.

— INAUGURATION-TRUMP-NC HOUSE DEMOCRATS, from RALEIGH — Two of North Carolina’s Democratic representatives in Congress are joining more than 40 House Democrats who plan to boycott the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. SENT: 120 words.

— FRANKLIN HIT AND RUN, from ROLESVILLE — A 7-year-old boy has died after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Franklin County. SENT: 60 words.

— BACKUP CRASH, from WILSON — The North Carolina Highway Patrol says a Greenville woman has died after she backed her car into oncoming traffic on Interstate 95 near Wilson. SENT: 110 words.

— ZOO ATTENDANCE, from ASHEBORO — Nearly 800,000 people visited the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro last year. SENT: 130 words.

— SHRIMP TRAWLING, from NEW BERN — The public will have a chance to speak during a meeting in New Bern that could lead to commercial shrimp trawling restrictions in North Carolina. SENT: 130 words.

SPORTS:

BKN–HORNETS STRUGGLING

CHARLOTTE — Despite the efforts of potential All-Star Kemba Walker, the Hornets have lost five straight and have dipped below .500. Coach Steve Clifford discusses why. By Sports Writer Steve Reed. UPCOMING: 450 words by 5 p.m.

___

If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to apraleigh@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, (statephotos@ap.org) or call 888-273-6867. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

The AP, Raleigh

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