The N.C. Department of Transportation is all about moving cars as quickly as possible over state roads. But now it’s also in the midst of drafting a statewide walking and biking plan. The DOT is seeking public comments on the first draft of its Walk Bike NC plan, which will guide how the state invests in walking and bicycling. The state wants to create a blueprint to improve walking and bicycling in communities, by investing in sidewalks, bike lanes and greenways. Residents are invited to review the plan online and submit comments until April 30. You can find out more at WalkBikeNC.com
TANKER WRECK CLOSES BROOKSHIRE FWY.
Eastbound lanes of the Brookshire Freeway in Charlotte were closed for more than seven hours Saturday after a gasoline tanker rolled over. The driver was injured in the crash, which happened around 10 am near the Beatties Ford Road exit from the road. Fire officials said the truck was carrying 8,500 gallons of fuel, but only a small amount spilled. The road reopened around 5:30pm.
SUSPENDED IN S.C.? GET YOUR LICENSE BACK
Some South Carolina drivers whose licenses are suspended will have a chance to get their licenses back this coming week. The state Department of Motor Vehicles says it will lift or shorten suspensions for drivers who meet all of the conditions of their punishments, pay all fees and have the proper insurance. The program applies to underage drivers with too many points, those suspended for operating unlicensed taxis or vehicles and some suspended for operating without insurance. Find out more at http://www.scdmvonline.com/
TRUCKER SENTENCED IN 2010 CRASH
A Wisconsin truck driver could spend up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to ramming his rig into stopped traffic on I-26 in North Carolina and killing five people in 2010. Roumen Todorov Velkov of Beloit, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty on Friday to five counts of involuntary manslaughter in the crash. Three victims were from the Hendersonville area and two from Lexington, South Carolina. The 50-year-old Bulgarian immigrant was sentenced was sentenced to 48 to 60 months in prison. Authorities said Velkov was headed east on I-26 at 70 miles per hour when he plowed into a line of cars stopped by another accident.
SMALL BUSINESSES BRACE FOR MILITARY BASE CUTS
Small business owners who rely on the nation's military posts for their business say they are already bracing for a hit from automatic federal budget cuts that took effect March 1. That includes those around Fort Bragg, in Fayetteville. Soldiers' salaries are exempt from the cuts, which total roughly $85 billion across the entire military. But civilian employees who work on bases are expecting furloughs that could significantly slash their paychecks. Mike Thomas is the general manager of Auto Express in Fayetteville. He says smaller paychecks mean fewer sales at his shop, which specializes in selling Jeeps, chrome wheels and sound systems. Business owners near other bases throughout the South are expecting a similar hit. They say people could wind up spending less on everything from haircuts to furniture.
MARCH MADNESS ON THE WAY
It’s March and that means lots of college basketball the next few weekends.
On Saturday, Duke beat North Carolina, 69-53, after a hot start to the game. Seth Curry hit his first seven shots to help the Blue Devils build up an unsurmountable lead. He ended up with 20 points. Mason Plumlee had 23 points.
Charlotte beat St. Josephs 52-40. It was the 49ers 20th victory – the first time they’ve done that since 2007-2008. The win also gave the 49ers a spot in next week's Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Davidson College’s men and women’s basketball teams both advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Conference tournament in Asheville. The men easily beat Georgia Southern, 86-59, and will face Appalachian State tonight at 6. The Wildcat women beat UNC Greensboro 70-47. They’ll play Elon at 2:30 this afternoon. Brackets: SoConSports.com
And North Carolina and Duke will play in this afternoon's ACC women's basketball championship game. The Tarheels advanced with a 72-65 victory Saturday over 10th ranked Maryland. No. 6 Duke beat Florida State, 72-66, to move on. Bracket: theacc.com