Sun. Headlines: NC Teacher Pay Improves

Mar 22, 2015

The latest public school teacher pay rankings show North Carolina still below the national average, but making improvement after raises were approved last summer. 

The new National Education Association report showed North Carolina ranked 47th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia during the 2013-14 school year in average teacher pay, at almost $45,000. The NEA's average pay estimate this year for North Carolina is about $47,800, compared to the national average of about $57,400.

Sun. Headlines: CIAA Comes To Town

Feb 22, 2015

The CIAA college basketball tournament will bring thousands of fans to Charlotte this week for parties, career networking, concerts and basketball. Play begins at Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday and continues through Saturday, when the men’s and women’s titles will be decided.

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On December 1, 1963, Wendell Scott became the first African-American to win a race in NASCAR's top division. More than 50 years later, the number of African-American drivers who've accomplished that feat hasn't changed. Scott's recent induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte was a chance to celebrate a pioneering achievement, but also an opportunity to examine why NASCAR still struggles with diversity.

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NASCAR goes into its next season with a giant new TV contract and a revamped playoff system that led to wrecks, fights and some higher ratings last year. The sport's executives say the changes made last season one of the most thrilling in the past decade, and that even casual fans took notice. But the sport is still nowhere near as well-viewed or attended as it was before the recession.

Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon will retire after the upcoming season. Gordon's clean-cut style helped NASCAR connect with a new generation of racing fans.

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The NASCAR Hall of Fame has been given approval to erase more than $20 million of debt off its books. In a 10-1 vote Monday night, the Charlotte City Council approved the plan for Bank of America, Wells Fargo and NASCAR to eliminate the debt in exchange for $5 million in payments from the city.


NASCAR's championship race is this weekend. It's the first time the sport will crown its champion using a new playoff system that concludes with a winner-take-all final race.

The new format makes NASCAR's playoffs much more like other pro sports – the emphasis is now on winning rather than just racing consistently. The change has led to more excitement on and off the track, with wrecks, fights and higher TV ratings.

The North Carolina state fair is known for its ferris wheels, fried food and racing pigs. Now a group called Grass Roots North Carolina wants it to add concealed handguns, too.  A judge on Monday will hold a hearing on the gun-rights group’s argument that a recent change in state law makes it illegal for the fair to ban concealed-carry permit holders from bringing guns.

Tasnim Shamma

The second-biggest series in NASCAR – the Nationwide Series  – will now be called the NASCAR XFINITY series. NASCAR announced Wednesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame that Comcast Cable's XFINITY internet service will be the title sponsor for the series for the next 10 years.

A North Carolina judge has overturned the convictions of two men who have served 30 years in prison for the rape and murder of an 11-year old Robeson County girl. Fifty-year-old Henry McCollum and 46-year-old Leon Brown were convicted in the 1893 killing of Sabrina Buie. DNA evidence from a cigarette butt recovered at the crime scene points to another man in the crime.