The 15 Most Instagrammable Spots In Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina is one of the top-ranked U.S. destinations to visit right now. But despite all its recognition as a trendy place to go, this mountain city is still a mellow artists’ community at heart. Between buzzy breweries and biscuit shops, you’ll find historic landmarks and businesses that have served travelers for generations. And don’t even get us started on the glorious natural wonders all around.

We digitally perused Asheville’s bounty for places with the best settings, lighting, views and vibes for the ideal Instagram vacation photo. Here are 15 spots to hit on your visit.

Do you love to take photos in Asheville? Tell us what we missed! Tag your favorite Instagram posts with #ListenToAmerica, and we’ll add some in to this post.

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Utah father who fled sentencing for daughter’s death captured in North Carolina

SALT LAKE CITY — A Monroe, Sevier County, father suspected of fleeing the state before he could be sentenced for his infant daughter’s death has been arrested in North Carolina, according to police.

David Lewis Anderson, 38, was scheduled to be sentenced in 6th District Court in Richfield on Sept. 5, but he didn’t appear, prompting a judge to issue a warrant for his arrest.

"He didn’t show up and we had received some hearsay that he had told someone he wasn’t going to show up to court anyway," said Sevier County Sheriff Nate Curtis. "We haven’t been able to make contact with him since."

Anderson was arrested Wednesday in Wilmington, North Carolina, after attempting to check into a homeless shelter, Curtis said.

An employee working at the shelter searched for Anderson’s name on Facebook. The search turned up a story by the Richfield Reaper about Anderson’s missed court date that had been shared by several residents in the area, according to Curtis.

The homeless shelter contacted police and Anderson was arrested without incident. Anderson is not facing any new charges in North Carolina, Curtis said, and police and prosecutors are now working to coordinate his extradition back to Utah.

Meanwhile, a woman Anderson has been living with and who traveled with him from Utah was questioned and released, Curtis said. Family members had asked police for a welfare check for the woman after they had been unable to reach her.

Anderson pleaded guilty in June to child abuse homicide, a second-degree felony, in the death of his infant daughter, Siri Alexis Anderson. A medical examiner said the girl died of dehydration and neglect on June 7, 2016, just one day short of her first birthday.

Anderson, who was Siri’s sole guardian in the weeks before her death, was arrested more than two months later.

Before dying of "dehydration due to neglect," a baby girl lived in filthy conditions under the care of her father, according to charges filed against the man Monday.

According to the charges, Anderson had stopped giving his daughter fluids, claiming he was transitioning her off of fluids to solid foods. The deprivation was combined with high June temperatures in the week leading up to her death, further dehydrating the girl, charges state.

Court documents describe Anderson’s home, 1080 N. Meadow Lark Lane, as unsanitary and neglected.

"The home (reeked) of the smell of urine and of cigarette smoke. … It was dirty and unkept," the charges state. "Unwashed dishes with food remnants and flies occupied the kitchen. A child’s card table was located in the dining area and still had the dried remnants of meals past stuck to it."

Siri’s crib, which was collected for evidence, was described in the same way.

The temperature in the home was also between 90 and 95 degrees.

Curtis said Friday that the shocking case has been painful for the community and everyone who investigated it.

"It’s been tough on everybody, there are no winners in this thing. It will be nice to get some closure and get it over with," the sheriff said.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on Irma (all times local):

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on Irma (all times local):

As South Carolina’s governor was issuing warnings about Tropical Storm Irma for the state’s residents, the the progress of Tropical Storm Irma, the storm toppled a massive oak tree on an apartment building he owns.

Gov. Henry McMaster says a massive oak tree fell on an apartment building he owns in Columbia around noon Monday.

McMaster says the college students living at the apartments are safe. The governor says "no one suspected it might fall," but the tree destroyed two apartments in the two-story building.

The Columbia Fire Department says the fallen tree has left up to eight people without a home, but no one was injured.

One displaced resident told WIS-TV the tree crashed through her apartment to the one below, taking furniture with it.

3:30 p.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he flew over the Keys and saw a lot of flood damage and boats that had washed ashore.

He says there is "devastation" and he hopes everyone who stayed behind survived Irma. He said almost every mobile home park in the Keys had overturned homes.

Scott also flew over the west coast of Florida on Monday and said the damage was not as bad as he thought it would be.

3:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s homeland security adviser says Irma is still a dangerous storm despite being downgraded to a tropical depression.

Tom Bossert says while Irma’s category of strength may have been reduced, its combined effects might replicate that of a more powerful storm. Irma was once rated at Category 5 storm, the most powerful on record.

Bossert notes that Jacksonville, Florida, is experiencing some of the worst flooding it has seen in 100 years.

He says Tennessee and Kentucky, both targets as Irma moves to the U.S. interior, could experience inland flooding.

Bossert says his message to the millions of Floridians who evacuated before the storm hit is not to rush back home because conditions are still dangerous.

3:20 p.m.

Georgia officials say at least one person has been killed by Tropical Storm Irma.

Georgia Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Catherine Howden said Monday that one storm-related death has been confirmed in Worth County, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) south of Atlanta. She had no further details.

The county is located in southwest Georgia, where Irma’s center was churning northwestward toward Alabama on Monday afternoon. With tropical storm winds extending more than 400 miles (640 kilometers) from its center, Irma has caused damage across the state from trees falling on inland homes to flooding in neighborhoods on the Georgia coast.

The storm has also been blamed for one death in Florida. At least 36 people died in the storm’s wake across the Caribbean.

3 p.m.

Communities along the Georgia coast are seeing extensive flooding from Tropical Storm Irma.

Irma’s storm surge pushed water ashore at the high tide Monday afternoon, and heavy rainfall made the flooding even worse. On Tybee Island east of Savannah, Hollard Zellers saw waist-deep water in the street as he went to fetch a kayak.

About 3,000 people live on Tybee Island, which is Georgia’s largest public beach. City manager Shawn Gillen said the waters seemed to be receding quickly, but most of the island appeared to have some level of flooding and water was in many homes.

Storm surge also sent floodwaters into downtown St. Marys just north of the Georgia-Florida line. St. Marys police Lt. Shannon Brock said piers and boat docks were heavily damaged and many boats sunk.

3 p.m.

A massive sinkhole opened up at the edge of an apartment building in Orange County, Florida, swallowing air-conditioning units and bushes and a concrete slab. The sinkhole destabilized the building so seriously that firefighters evacuated dozens of residents amid the hurricane’s winds and pouring rain.

Ronnie Ufie heard a loud bang and her 6-year-old grandson saw sparks shoot up behind the building, then their power flickered out.

The fire alarm started screaming.

Ernest Almonor, who lives next door to Ufie, ran outside but saw no fire and went back inside.

But firefighters arrived and told them they had to leave the building. Ufie, who cares for her two young grandsons, grabbed some coloring books and crayons and headed through the rain for a neighbor’s house.

But most residents, around 25 people, ended up scrambling through the storm to hunker for the night in the complex’s clubhouse.

3 p.m.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander has flown to St. Maarten to see firsthand the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Irma on the tiny Caribbean territory and express gratitude to relief workers struggling to deliver aid and start the process of rebuilding shattered communities.

Images broadcast by Dutch news outlets showed the king, wearing sunglasses and a khaki shirt with the sleeves rolled up, touring the badly damaged Princess Juliana International Airport . The airport, named for his grandmother, has become a vital hub for flights bringing in relief supplies as well as a gathering point for tourists and residents waiting to leave the island in the aftermath of last week’s devastating direct hit by Irma.

Later Monday, the king was scheduled to visit the hospital in the capital, Philipsburg, and a school that is being used as a coordination center for distributing aid. Willem-Alexander also was expected to meet police and troops who have been struggling to maintain order on St. Maarten, where widespread looting broke out after Irma had passed.

St. Maarten is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but has had broad autonomy since 2010.

After spending the night in St. Maarten, the king is flying Tuesday to two nearby Dutch islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, which also were hit by Irma, but suffered less damage.

2:30 p.m.

State and federal environmental regulators have issued a blanket waiver for Florida electricity companies to violate clean air and water standards for the next two weeks.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the decision in a letter issued Monday as Hurricane Irma blew through the state. The agency said the so-called No Action Assurance granted through Sept. 26 will provide Florida utility generators needed flexibility to maintain and restore electricity supplies.

The assurance letter will allow utilities to operate outside restrictions mandated by their permits, including potentially using dirtier fuels, running for longer hours or electively bypassing pollution-control equipment.

The Associated Press reported last week that air pollution levels spiked in the Houston area after a similar enforcement waiver was granted to petrochemical facilities ahead of Hurricane Harvey.

2 p.m.

Tropical Storm Irma has now knocked out power to around 190,000 customers in South Carolina.

Most of the outages Monday afternoon were reported by the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina and South Carolina Electric and Gas.

Charleston County had about 60,000 power outages, while Beaufort County reported about 39,000 customers without electricity.

The rest of the outages are scattered across South Carolina as the winds from Irma spread across the state.

2 p.m.

Tropical Storm Harvey continues to weaken, now down to 60 mph (95 kilometers per hour) and three more coastal warnings have been discontinued.

The storm is 50 miles (80 kilometers) south-southeast of Albany, Georgia, and is moving at 17 mph (28 kilometers per hour).

Forecasters expect it to become a tropical depression on Tuesday.

2 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash-flood emergency for Charleston as heavy rains begin to move into areas already flooding by ocean surge from Tropical Storm Irma.

Forecasters say the flooding from the ocean about a mile (1.6 kilometers) inland to Calhoun Street is becoming life-threatening. No injuries have been reported yet.

The ocean level reached nearly 10 feet (3 meters) Monday, 4 feet (1 meter) above normal and the third highest reading in the past 80 years, only behind Hurricane Hugo and a 1940 hurricane.

Authorities say with the rain it could be several hours before the water recedes.

Several tornado warnings have also been issued around Charleston, but no major damage has been reported.

2 p.m.

The mayor of a South Carolina beach town under mandatory evacuation orders says seven people have been rescued from rising floodwaters.

Edisto Beach Mayor Jane Darby says a family of four was rescued from their car about noon Monday from a curve near the beach’s pier. She says the family had "decided all of a sudden" they needed to leave.

They are among an estimated 70 people still in the town of 530 people, despite Gov. Henry McMaster’s evacuation order Friday night.

Darby says emergency officials also rescued three news media employees.

Darby says Edisto Beach is "under water," with power lines and trees down. He says the town has suspended all emergency calls because "it’s too dangerous."

2 p.m.

As the remnants of Hurricane Irma move out of Florida, work is underway to resupply the state with gasoline. Hurricane Irma caused a huge spike in gasoline demand as residents evacuated, topped of their tanks, and/or filled gas cans to power generators. This led to outages at various gas stations throughout Florida and neighboring states, and it could take a week for supply conditions to return to normal.

Suppliers face an uphill battle in the coming days, trying to keep gas stations supplied, as Florida evacuees return home in large numbers after the storm. Gas stations not located along major highways should have an easier time keeping supplies, as residents are no longer "panic pumping", since the storm is no longer a threat. Refueling gas stations along major evacuation routes will be a top priority, as it was before the storm. Motorists are still likely to find long lines, which could lead to temporary outages, due to the surge in demand.

"Florida evacuees should plan their return home very carefully," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. "First, ensure you know there are no major hazards at home or along your travel route. Expect congestion on the roadways, as the first few days after the storm will be the busiest. Pay close attention to traffic reports. Ensure you have a full tank of gas before you hit the road. Do not let your fuel gauge fall below a quarter tank before you start looking for a place to refuel. Bring a gas can in case you run out of fuel. It is not safe to drive with a full gas can inside an enclosed vehicle."

1:15 p.m.

The Navy is sending an aircraft carrier to Key West to provide emergency services.

An update from Monroe County describes "an astounding recovery effort" taking place in the Florida Keys.

The USS Lincoln aircraft carrier will be anchored off Key West to provide emergency services, and three other Navy vessels are en route.

Officials said the National Guard has arrived in the island chain, and state transportation officials have cleared six of 42 bridges as safe for travel. However, roads remain closed because of debris, and fuel is still a concern. There is no water, power or cell service in the Keys.

1:05 p.m.

Schools and businesses were closed across Alabama as Tropical Storm Irma moved inland.

The National Weather Service placed most of the eastern half of the state under a tropical storm warning. The remainder of the state was under a wind advisory.

The Alabama Emergency Management Agency said strong winds and gusts up to 50 mph were expected through early Tuesday.

The center of the storm was expected to cross from Florida into Georgia Monday afternoon.

Hotels across Alabama also filled up with evacuees from Florida.

The Alabama governor’s office on Monday estimated that 250,000 evacuees made their way into the state. The Red Cross opened two shelters in the state, one in Montgomery and one in Baldwin County.

1:00 p.m.

Ocean water pushed onshore from Tropical Storm Irma is coming over the Battery in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

Dozens of streets near the water in Charleston were flooded and water levels at the gauge downtown were 9.4 feet (2.9 meters) at high tide around 12:30 p.m. Monday.

That is nearly at the same level as Hurricane Matthew last October.

Forecasters say the ocean may rise a little more, but they don’t expect a surge anywhere near the 12.5 feet (3.8 meters) recorded when Hurricane Hugo came ashore just north of Charleston in 1989.

Street flooding isn’t unusual in Charleston, which also sees flooding during Nor’easters and other storms.

The next high tide is early Tuesday morning, when forecasters expect water levels from Irma to be much lower.

12:55 p.m.

In the Palm Beach County suburb of Riviera Beach, the line was about 25 people deep at a Marathon gas station’s convenience store

It was one of the few in the area that had power by noon Monday.

The store’s doors and windows had been smashed during the storm by would-be looters trying unsuccessfully to punch through the safety glass. Some people had already parked their cars at the station’s pumps in case a tanker arrived to fill its empty storage tanks, while the customers inside were grabbing cold drinks, snacks and cigarettes.

Eric Truppy, a truck driver who had moved to the area 10 days ago from New Jersey, was carrying bags of cereal and protein drinks to his car. He said Irma’s impact on the Palm Beach area was nothing compared to what happened in New Jersey after 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

"I didn’t think it was that bad," Truppy said. "Sandy was worse, both for flooding and wind."

12:30 p.m.

Nearly 7.2 million homes and businesses are without power in multiple states as Tropical Storm Irma moves through the Southeast.

The vast majority were in Florida. The state’s emergency management officials said the storm cut power to more than 6.5 million account holders across the state as of Monday afternoon.

Eric Silagy, the CEO of Florida Power & Light, said Irma caused the most widespread damage in the company’s history. It affected all 35 counties in the utility’s territory which is most of the state’s Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast south of Tampa. The most extensive damage was likely in the Naples area, but a full assessment was ongoing. He said 19,500 electric workers have been deployed in the restoration effort.

Still, he said, it will take days for many people to be restored and, in some cases where the damage was extensive, weeks.

Meanwhile, Duke Energy reported Monday morning that more than 860,000 of the homes and businesses it serves in Florida were without power.

Georgia reported more than 570,000 homes and businesses without electricity, and there were 80,000 in South Carolina.

11:55 a.m.

A resident riding out Tropical Storm Irma on Georgia’s largest public beach says some homes have been damaged but the destruction isn’t as bad as he feared.

Chip Clayton was driving the roads Monday as Irma’s winds and rainfall lashed Tybee Island, home to more than 3,000 people east of Savannah. Clayton said at least three homes had parts of their roofs or porches torn away and some roads were flooded. Ocean waters had begun washing away chunks of the protective dunes along the beach.

But Clayton said "for the most part, everything’s fine. …We thought it would be a lot worse."

Chatham County emergency management director Dennis Jones, whose area includes Savannah and Tybee Island, said Monday that Irma’s impacts should ease up by Monday evening.

11:50 a.m.

Kelly McClenthen and boyfriend Daniel Harrison put on waders to enter her neighborhood in Bonita Springs after Irma, and they needed them.

About 5 feet of river water stood under her home, which is on stilts. The main living area was fine, she said, but everything on the ground level was destroyed. She said her washer and dryer were floating in her utility room.

The same area flooded during a storm about two weeks ago, Harrison said, and that cleanup was still a work in progress. Now they’ll start over, but Harrison said they’ll get through it.

11:40 a.m.

Jacksonville, Florida, authorities are telling residents near the St. Johns river to leave quickly as floodwaters rise.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office warned people in evacuation zones A and B along the St. Johns River to "Get out NOW."

They say river is at historic flood levels and likely to get worse at high tide around 2 p.m.

On its Facebook page, the sheriff’s office told those who need help evacuating to "put a white flag in front of your house. A t-shirt, anything white."

Rescue teams were ready to deploy.

11:35 a.m.

A Miami-area grocery store drew a crowd when it said it was reopening, but it disappointed a line of people it lacked key staples: bottled water and ice.

Workers at a Publix supermarket in Miami Lakes said the store would be opening Monday morning and that it would be "close to fully operational."

A line formed outside the store before its planned 10:30 a.m. opening. The delay in opening, officials said, was because of the time needed to get enough workers in place to run the store.

But when a manager came out and said there was no ice and no bottled water, 19 people standing in line left.

11:30 a.m.

A longtime resident of Florida’s Marco Island said Hurricane Irma was the strongest storm he’s seen in three decades of living there.

Rick Freedman and his wife rode the storm out the island where Hurricane Irma made its second landfall Sunday afternoon as a Category 3 storm. They were uninjured, but he said the damage around them was striking.

A couple doors down from his house, much of a neighbor’s roof blew off. He said the island was covered with debris Monday morning.

He and his wife spent Sunday in a neighbor’s house with sturdy concrete block construction, and that house suffered little damage. He said his own wood-frame house on stilts appears to have little if any interior damage, but the storm ripped off an exterior stairway to the front door and blew off some roof shingles.

At the storm’s height he described "tremendously, tremendously powerful winds."

11:20 a.m.

Tropical Storm Irma is gradually losing its strength as it sloshes through northern Florida with the National Hurricane Center discontinuing four storm surge and tropical storm warnings.

Irma’s maximum sustained winds were down to 65 mph (100 kph) as the storm was about 70 miles (115 km) east of Tallahassee late Monday morning. It’s moving north northwest at 17 mph (28 kph).

Forecasters expect Irma’s center to move into southwestern Georgia later Monday and then into Alabama Tuesday morning and eventually western Tennessee.

Northern Florida and southern Georgia should keep getting soaked, with rain totals eventually accumulating to 8 to 15 inches. Isolated parts of central Georgia, eastern Alabama and southern South Carolina may get up to 10 inches of rain.

10:55 a.m.

Officials say at least one tornado has been reported in coastal Georgia as strong winds and drenching rains from Tropical Storm Irma hammer the state.

Glynn County emergency officials had no immediate reports of tornado damage. They said in news release Monday that residents who didn’t evacuate need to shelter in place. They said causeways linking St. Simons Island and Sea Island to the mainland are closed because of flooding, and other roads are flooded as well.

Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for all of Georgia. Irma’s center was forecast to cross the Georgia-Florida line Monday afternoon but tropical storm winds were extending more than 400 miles (640 kilometers).

The National Weather Service placed most of Georgia under a tropical storm warning.

10:20 a.m.

Tropical storm Irma is drenching the Georgia coast, and forecasters say flooding is a serious threat.

Downtown Savannah was getting soaked Monday morning, with winds just strong enough to rustle treetops and shake small branches onto the roads. Impacts from the storm were expected throughout the day.

The National Weather Service said the threat of storm surge had decreased Monday along Georgia’s 100 miles (160 kilometers) of coast, but flooding rains could still cause swollen rivers, streams and creeks to overflow.

Irma was forecast to cross the Georgia-Florida line Monday afternoon. Though downgraded to a tropical storm, its winds reached up to 415 miles (668 kilometers) from the center.

Georgia Power said more than 125,000 customers were without powers across Georgia’s six coastal counties.

10:00 a.m.

Firefighters on one of South Carolina’s largest barrier islands are now staying inside until the worst weather from Tropical Storm Irma passes.

Hilton Head Island said on Twitter that it suspended emergency operations at 9 a.m. Monday until the winds and storm surge subside. They say they will only go on calls if a supervisor allows them because conditions are too dangerous.

The island of 42,000 people is under an evacuation order. Forecasters warn wind gusts around 60 mph (95 kph) and storm surge of up to 6 feet (2 meters) are possible later Monday.

Similar storm surge and winds gusts are possible up to coast to Charleston too.

9:45 a.m.

Actress Kristen Bell says she’s "singing in a hurricane" while riding out Irma in Florida.

The "Frozen" star is in Orlando filming a movie and staying at a hotel at the Walt Disney World resort. She stopped by an Orlando middle school that was serving as a shelter and belted out songs from "Frozen."

Back at the hotel, Bell posted pictures on Instagram of her singing with one guest and dining with a group of seniors.

Bell also helped out the parents of "Frozen" co-star Josh Gad by securing them a room at the hotel.

Bell tells Sacramento, California, station KMAX-TV – where her father is news director – that the experience is her version of one of her favorite movies, "Singin’ in the Rain."

9:30 a.m.

People are being rescued from flooded homes Monday morning south of Jacksonville, Florida, as Tropical Storm Irma pounds the state with rain and wind.

John Ward, the emergency operations manager of Clay County, says crews have pulled 46 people from flooded homes by early Monday and an undetermined number are still stranded as the area’s creeks and ponds are getting record flooding.

Ward says between 400 and 500 homes received severe flood damage but there have been no serious injuries or deaths.

Irma weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning, a day after hitting the state as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.

9:05 a.m.

An Atlanta airport official says there’ve been around 800 cancellations due to the threat of Irma, which weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil says the airport will still be operational Monday and will monitor storm conditions.

Gobeil says the airport created an overflow parking plan to allow planes unable to land in areas such as Florida to park at the airport in Atlanta.

Also in Atlanta, the city’s transit system has suspended all bus and rail service ahead of the weather conditions caused by Irma.

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority spokesman Erik Burton says both systems will be closed for Monday. He says officials will continue to coordinate with state and local officials along with emergency personnel to determine MARTA’s service schedule for Tuesday.

9:05 a.m.

Much of central Florida, including Orlando, suffered significant damage as Irma blew through Sunday night and into Monday morning.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said Monday morning that there’s been widespread damage and significant power loss throughout the area.

Jacobs said approximately 300,000 residents in Orlando are without power. She also said 60 percent of the fire stations are operating on backup generators and dispatchers received 1,381 calls between Sunday at midnight and 5:45 a.m. Monday morning.

Residents are being asked to minimize usage such as flushing toilets, bathing, along with washing dishes and laundry.

8:30 a.m.

Irma is causing record-setting flooding in Jacksonville, Florida, as it moves over the state Monday on its way to southern Georgia.

The National Weather Service in Jacksonville says storm surge flooding exceeds the record set in 1965 during Hurricane Dora.

The city on Florida’s northeastern Atlantic coast remains under a flash flood warning until 12:45 p.m. Monday.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s officials warned residents not to drive through standing water, adding that in addition to flooding, there are trees and power lines down across the area.

Irma weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning, a day after hitting the state as a Category 4 hurricane.

8:30 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says there’s damage across the state caused by Hurricane Irma and it’s still too dangerous for residents to go outside or return from evacuation.

Scott said Monday on Fox News that he’s concerned about flooding now unfolding in Jacksonville and the amount of damage in the Florida Keys. The governor will be flying out of Mobile, Alabama, on a U.S. Coast Guard plane down to the Keys where he plans to inspect the extent of the damage there.

Local officials in the Keys on Sunday warned of a humanitarian crisis due to Irma’s winds and storm surge.

Scott asked Floridians to be patient and warned that roads are impassable and that there are downed power lines.

8:30 a.m.

Two children evacuated from Florida as Hurricane Irma approached have been killed in separate car crashes in Georgia.

News outlets report Woodstock police say 3-month-old Riley Hunt of Port St. Lucie, Florida, was struck by an SUV driven by a 17-year-old girl Saturday night and was later pronounced dead. DeKalb County police say an 11-year-old boy who was also traveling from Florida to Georgia was hit and killed by a car early Monday in Stone Mountain.

The identity of the boy hasn’t been released, and the cause of the crash is currently unknown.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office says Hunt’s mother, 28-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt, and 61-year-old Kathy Deming were also hit and are listed in critical condition. The incident remains under investigation. No charges had been filed.

8 a.m.

Irma has weakened to a tropical storm as it moves over Florida toward southern Georgia.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds decreased Monday morning to near 70 mph (110 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says it’s expected to weaken to a tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon.

Irma is centered about 105 miles (170 kilometers) north-northwest of Tampa, Florida, and is moving north-northwest near 18 mph (30 kph).

Irma hit southern Florida on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.

7:45 a.m.

The National Guard and local fire rescue teams evacuated more than 120 flooding homes in Orange County, just outside Orlando, as Hurricane Irma moves over Florida.

Trees and power lines were down across town and floods cut off roads to a neighborhood.

As the sun rose in Orlando, many tried to go outside to survey the damage, but authorities warn that conditions remain dangerous and ask that people to abide by the curfew that lasts throughout most of the day.

7:45 a.m.

Winds and rain from Hurricane Irma have moved into South Carolina and officials are warning residents to be very careful throughout the day.

A hurricane watch is in effect Monday from Edisto Beach into Florida. A storm surge warning and a tropical storm warning are in effect from near Georgetown into Florida.

A flash flood warning is in effect along the southern coast of South Carolina, where more than 40,000 were ordered to evacuate barrier islands.

The storm surge could reach 6 feet (2 meters), especially from late morning to mid-afternoon. Up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain is also possible.

Wind gusts of up to 60 mph (97 kph) are expected along the South Carolina coast. Forecasters say tornadoes are also possible.

South Carolina Electric & Gas reported more than 13,000 customers without service Monday morning.

7:45 a.m.

The European Union says it has released 2 million euros ($2.4 million) to help the Caribbean islands hit hardest by Hurricane Irma.

EU’s humanitarian aid commissioner, Christos Stylianides, announced the assistance Monday, saying the money will go to key sectors such as health, water and sanitation and waste management.

The EU has already been involved in the emergency relief effort, and Stylianides said the bloc stands ready to provide longer-term assistance as well. He called it "our moral duty to help those in need whose lives and homes are being destroyed or severely threatened."

7:10 a.m.

Nearly 4.5 million homes and businesses across Florida have lost power as Hurricane Irma moves over the state.

And utility officials say it will take weeks to restore electricity to everyone. Farther north, more than 100,000 are in the dark in Georgia.

Much of eastern Alabama and coastal South Carolina are under tropical storm warnings as Irma pummels Florida, weakening on its march northward.

The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will cross Monday into southwest Georgia, where a hurricane warning was in effect for a large rural area including the cities of Albany and Valdosta.

Rain already is falling in parts of the state, including metro Atlanta, early Monday.

7 a.m.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn says that while the city hasn’t escaped Hurricane Irma’s wrath, the situation isn’t as bad as they had feared.

Speaking Monday morning on MSNBC, Buckhorn said "What we thought was going to be a punch in the face was a glancing blow."

Buckhorn did say there are a lot of downed power lines and debris.

He said Tampa’s officials have vehicles positioned "to be sure that when that surge comes in we can keep people out of the streets."

He said he expected power to be out for some sections of Tampa for at least a couple more days.

Hurricane Irma is getting weaker as it moves over the western Florida peninsula after hitting the state Sunday as a Category 4 storm.

6:45 a.m.

Police in Miami are investigating reports of people looting stores as Hurricane Irma hit the state.

On Sunday night, Miami police took two people into custody and detained two others.

Deputy Police Chief Luis Cabrera told the Miami Herald the officers went to the Shops at Midtown on Sunday afternoon as the winds of Hurricane Irma were at their strongest in South Florida. Cabrera says a group in a white truck hit multiple locations. Police have also received additional reports of looting in the city.

Police had issued a curfew Saturday night, partly to ward off looters by giving officers probable cause to stop anyone for being on the street during the storm.

Cabrera didn’t have specific details about the looting incidents.

6:45 a.m.

The British government is defending its response to Hurricane Irma amid claims it has been slow to help its overseas territories devastated by the storm.

The British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands were all pummeled by the hurricane last week, leaving thousands without electricity or shelter.

Opposition politicians have compared Britain’s response unfavorably to that of France, which has sent more than 1,000 troops, police and emergency workers to St. Martin and St. Barts.

Britain has dispatched a navy ship and nearly 500 troops, including medics and engineers.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Monday that Britain had responded strongly to an "unprecedented catastrophe." He says the government will soon increase the 32 million pounds ($42 million) it’s pledged to the relief effort.

6:30 a.m.

Police in Lakeland, Florida, say a family with small children was rescued from a car that was submerged in water as Hurricane Irma crossed the area.

Lakeland police said in a Facebook post that officers rescued the family of four early Monday as water reached the children’s car seats. No one was injured and police were able to get the family back to their home.

"When you become a police officer you hope to make a difference in the lives of others," the Facebook post said. "Tonight, there is no doubt these officers made a difference."

Lakeland is between Tampa and Orlando, off of Interstate 4.

Hurricane Irma is getting weaker as it moves over the western Florida peninsula after hitting the state Sunday as a Category 4 storm.

6:30 a.m.

A Florida sheriff’s sergeant and a paramedic were trapped in a sheriff’s vehicle when a live power pole fell on the cruiser as they were returning from dropping off an elderly patient as Hurricane Irma moved over the state.

Polk County spokesman Kevin Watler said in a news release that Sgt. Chris Lynn and Polk County Fire Rescue paramedic James Tanner Schaill were trapped for about two hours late Sunday.

Crews from Lakeland Electric crews disconnected the lines around 1:15 a.m. Monday. Both men have returned to their jobs to continue assisting hurricane recovery efforts.

6:10 a.m.

More than 120 homes are being evacuated in Orange County, just outside Orlando, as floodwaters from Hurricane Irma started to pour in.

The Orange County Emergency Operations Center said early Monday that the fire department and the National Guard are going door-to-door using boats to ferry families to safety. No injuries have been reported. The rescued families are being taken a shelter for safety.

A few miles away, 30 others had to be evacuated when a 60-foot sinkhole opened up under an apartment building. No injuries were reported in that incident.

Hurricane Irma is getting weaker as it moves over the western Florida peninsula after hitting the state Sunday as a Category 4 storm.

5 a.m.

Hurricane Irma is getting weaker as it moves over the western Florida peninsula early Monday.

Irma hit Florida on Sunday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, hammering much of the state with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.

By Monday morning, Irma had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with winds near 85 mph (135 kph). Additional weakening is forecast and Irma is expected to become a tropical storm over northern Florida or southern Georgia later in the day.

4:45 a.m.

Dutch search and rescue experts are heading to the shattered former colony of St. Maarten to support the humanitarian relief effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

A team of 59 urban search and rescue experts is flying Monday to the Dutch territory that’s home to some 40,000 people, where 70 percent of homes were badly damaged last week by a direct hit from the Category 5 storm. Four people were killed and dozens injured.

The Dutch government also is sending extra troops to maintain order following widespread looting and robberies. The government says there are already nearly 400 extra troops in St. Maarten and that number will rise to some 550 over the next two days.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander is expected to visit the island Monday to show his support for local residents and the emergency services working to restore infrastructure and begin the process of reconstruction.

2 a.m.

Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm as the massive hurricane zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.

The hurricane’s maximum sustained winds weakened to 85 mph (135 kph) with additional weakening expected.

As of 2 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Tampa and moving north-northwest near 15 mph (24 kph).

Irma continues its slog north along Florida’s western coast having blazed a path of unknown destruction. With communication cut to some of the Florida Keys, where Irma made landfall Sunday, and rough conditions persisting across the peninsula, many are holding their breath for what daylight might reveal.

An earlier version of this report, incorrectly said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s comments were made on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" show.

HURRICANE NEWSLETTER – Get the best of the AP’s all-formats reporting on Irma and Harvey in your inbox: http://apne.ws/ahYQGtb

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Hurricane Irma now a Category 5 storm: Will it hit North Carolina?

Will Irma Hit North Carolina? Well, it’s a complicated question. First, here is what we know. We know Irma is a powerful Category 5 storm. We know it’s moving west. We know Puerto Rico and many Caribbean islands could pay a heavy price as Irma passes over.

The latest:

* Irma strengthens into Category 5 with 175 mph winds
* Authorities warn the storm could dump up to 10 inches of rain
* States of emergency declared in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and all of Florida
* Hurricane warnings issued for 12 Caribbean island groups, including Antigua

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 175 mph Tuesday morning, and the U.S. National Hurricane Center said additional strengthening is expected.

Officials across the northeastern Caribbean canceled airline flights, shuttered schools and urged people to hunker down indoors as Hurricane Irma barreled toward the region as a powerful Category 5 storm expected to strengthen more before nearing land late Tuesday.

Here’s the latest path from the NHC.

Now, let’s talk about what we think. We think Miami, and the Keys of Florida, could see a hit from Irma this weekend.

Overnight, we saw the American model, the GFS, show the system working into Florida, and running right up the Florida length of the state.

But as my friend, Brad Panovich, says "Looking at 1 model & trying to forecast the weather? It’s like going to Home Depot & getting a hammer & thinking u can build a house."

If we look, our Spaghetti plot though, we do see a more westward shift in the modeling but we continue to see a GIGANTIC spread in the model solutions.

As a matter of fact, the Canadian model takes it to the west of Florida and into the Gulf.

Now these models certainly could shift back, and we are not in the clear by any means. Even if we don’t take a direct hit, heavy rains could still be a problem. The latest forecast from the WPC shows a massive amount of rainfall in southeast Florida.
It also shows a wide spread of rainfall across the Carolinas with anywhere from less than an inch of rain to four plus inches of rain by Tuesday.

Just like the hurricane forecast, a precipitation forecast five days out is just a guideline that is subject to (and probably will) change.
Click here for ABC11 First Alert Doppler Hurricane Tracker

So to answer the question I started with: Will Irma hit North Carolina? The answer: I still don’t know about us yet, but I wouldn’t want to be in south Florida this weekend.

In the meantime, states of emergency have been declared in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and all of Florida while people on various Caribbean islands boarded up homes and rushed to find last-minute supplies.
Irma’s maximum sustained winds increased early Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It was centered about 320 miles (east of the Leeward Islands and moving west at 14 mph.

Authorities warned that the storm could dump up to 10 inches of rain, cause landslides and dangerous flash floods and generate waves of up to 23 feet.

In the Caribbean, hurricane warnings were issued for 12 island groups, including Antigua, where the governor urged people to evacuate the tiny island of Anegada if they could ahead of the storm.
Both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands expected 4 inches to 8 inches of rain and winds of 40-50 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph.

A hurricane warning was posted for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and St. Barts, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. and British Virgin islands. A tropical storm warning was in effect for Guadeloupe and Dominica.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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North Carolina brings new offensive look into opener vs. Cal

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina has always been able to count on a high-scoring offense under Larry Fedora. That might not be the case for Saturday’s home opener against California.

The Tar Heels enter the season aiming to replace quarterback Mitch Trubisky — who went from first-time college starter to No. 2 overall NFL draft pick in less than a year — as well as their top three receivers and their top two running backs. That leaves plenty of uncertainty about exactly how UNC’s attack will look against a power-conference opponent.

"Anytime you’ve got guys playing for the first time, or playing significant reps for the first time, you’re not really sure how they will handle the adversity and the things that are going to happen during a game," offensive coordinator Chris Kapilovic said. "That’s the unique thing of college football, right? In the NFL you get preseason games. In high school you get jamborees or whatever.

"So the first time we get to see what they’re all about is when they’re live out there."

Fedora hasn’t named a starting quarterback to lead his no-huddle attack, listing three players — LSU graduate transfer Brandon Harris, redshirt freshman Chazz Surratt and last year’s No. 2 Nathan Elliott — on the depth chart. Sophomore Jordon Brown and freshman Michael Carter top the depth chart at tailback, while senior Austin Proehl leads an inexperienced set of receivers for the Tar Heels (8-5).

"They’re going to do what has been successful for them, and Coach Fedora has done that for a number of years with different personnel," first-year Cal coach Justin Wilcox said. "I wouldn’t think that that would change their philosophy on offense but I can’t answer that."

The Golden Bears (5-7) have some changes of their own, too. They start with Wilcox, who is making his debut after spending the past 11 seasons as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, USC, Washington, Tennessee and Boise State.

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Some other things to know about Saturday’s matchup between the Golden Bears and Tar Heels:

PHILOSOPHY CHANGE: Cal figures to look completely different after the past four years of the prolific "Bear Raid" offense and porous defense. Longtime defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox was hired to take over from Sonny Dykes with the first task being to upgrade a defense that ranked 125th in total defense and 127th in scoring defense out of 128 FBS teams.

UNTESTED PASSER: Ross Bowers won the summer quarterback battle to start this one. After redshirting in 2015, Bowers spent last season as Davis Webb’s backup. He appeared in the season finale against UCLA and didn’t throw a single pass, though he’ll have a dynamic wideout to help him in sophomore Demetris Robertson. "I’ve always believed in myself and tried to put myself in this position," Bowers said. "One mission is complete, now on to the next one."

DEFENSIVE EXPERIENCE: The Tar Heels have a chance to be improved defensively by returning their top three tacklers (linebackers Cole Holcomb and Andre Smith, safety Donnie Miles) for the first time since 2010. "It’s big," Smith said of UNC’s defensive experience. "Really for the most part, every guy that will be playing a considerable amount of reps has a played a lot of football for us."

KICKING GAME: Cal will have a clear edge in the kicking game. Senior Matt Anderson tied a school record last year with 22 made field goals. The Tar Heels must replace Nick Weiler, and listed two players atop the depth chart (junior Freeman Jones and freshman Noah Ruggles) yet to make a college field goal.

FIELD CONDITIONS: The Tar Heels are practicing daily in Kenan Stadium while the school builds an indoor practice facility on the site of their practice fields. UNC has planned to resod the field before each home game if necessary, and workers did so after Wednesday afternoon’s practice. This will be the first test of how well that newly laid sod holds up.

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AP Sports Writer Josh Dubow in San Francisco contributed to this report.

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More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Gophers volleyball team sweeps North Carolina in season opener

The No. 4-ranked Gophers volleyball team opened its season Friday afternoon in impressive fashion, sweeping North Carolina 25-16, 25-7, 25-20 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Madison, Wis. The Tar Heels were No. 11 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s preseason poll.

Stephanie Samedy, a 6-2 freshman from Clermont, Fla., had 14 kills to lead Minnesota while sophomore Alexis Hart had nine. Senior middle blocker Molly Lohman had five kills and seven blocks. Junior setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson had 35 assists, five digs and three aces.

The Gophers hit .281 to UNC’s .009 and outblocked the ACC favorites 11.5 to 5.5. Minnesota improved to 9-1 all-time against the Tar Heels.

Minnesota will play Louisville at 4 p.m. Saturday on the second day of the tournament.

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North Carolina Senate releases legislative district rewrite

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Map-makers are proposing new districts for members of the North Carolina Senate, a move forced after a federal court ruled state Republicans illegally gave too much emphasis to race in the current version of legislative groupings.

The state Senate map was released ahead of a statewide public hearing scheduled Tuesday. State lawmakers are expected to finalize new House and Senate district lines next week.

The Senate map matches the House proposal by drawing four new districts with no current lawmakers living in them and four districts potentially pitting two incumbents against each other.

A fifth Senate seat will also be open next year after Republican Sen. Tommy Tucker said earlier this month he wasn’t seeking re-election in his Union County district.

While Republicans control both chambers and can draw the boundaries to their liking, the new legislative maps will be reviewed by a three-judge panel of federal judges. The judges ordered new maps drawn, approved and presented to the court by Sept. 1. They are not subject to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.

Republicans currently hold 74 of the 120 House seats and 35 of the 50 Senate seats. Not all districts had to be redrawn because of the 28 House and Senate districts found to have illegally weakened the political power of black voters.

The Senate’s redistricting chief, Republican Sen. Ralph Hise, on Monday cited decisions by lawmakers earlier this month to draw new districts that consider how areas voted in the past but exclude the racial makeup of those living within those boundaries.

"We believe drawing a map that follows these criteria will ensure we fully comply with the court’s order," Hise said in an emailed statement.

One senator announced almost simultaneously with the map’s release that he would not seek re-election next year. The map proposed placing Sen. Chad Barefoot in the same Wake County district as fellow Republican Sen. John Alexander.

Barefoot didn’t return an email seeking comment Monday. He said in a statement he wanted to spend more time with his family after six years in the Senate.

The map-makers also designed two districts potentially pitting incumbent Republicans against each other and a third pairing sitting senators from rival parties.

Republicans Sens. Joyce Krawiec of Forsyth County and Republican Dan Barrett of Davie County are placed in the same district. He was selected last week to fill the seat vacated earlier this summer by the resignation of Sen. Andrew Brock. Barrett is waiting for Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to finalize his appointment.

Democrats and their allies reacted by claiming the revised maps were drawn in order to protect a Republican super-majority in both chambers rather than representing North Carolina’s evenly divided political landscape.

"How can the public trust legislators elected from illegal districts to draw fair maps, especially when they use the same mapmaker and highly partisan goals?" the group Democracy North Carolina said in a statement. "The illegal maps have protected legislators from being held accountable by voters" by allowing the vast majority of incumbents to face little opposition.

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A full North Carolina vs. the NCAA primer

The long-running academic fraud scandal at North Carolina actually began with an investigation into football players, ties to agents and possible improper benefits seven years ago.

While the NCAA and school began looking into whether big-name players, including Marvin Austin, Greg Little and Robert Quinn, took thousands of dollars in gifts, investigators got their first hint at academic improprieties at the university.

Little did they know those improprieties would mushroom into the ugliest chapter in the school’s history. By the time the NCAA closed its first investigation in 2012 with heavy penalties for the football team, questions surrounding paper classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies were only beginning to grow.

As a result, the NCAA reopened its investigation into North Carolina in 2014 and now the football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball programs face possible sanctions. The men’s basketball national championships in 2005 and 2009 could be in jeopardy.

North Carolina will to go in front of the Committee on Infractions in Nashville on Wednesday to argue its case against any penalties, believing the NCAA has no jurisdiction over academic matters. The NCAA asked football coach Larry Fedora, men’s basketball coach Roy Williams and women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell to attend the hearing. Fedora, whose team is in the middle of fall football practice, told local reporters last week, "I’m there for support. I think me being there is important for not only the NCAA, but also the university. It shows that compliance is important to me and our program." In the meantime, it is worth taking a look back at how the university got here.

NCAA Investigation No. 1

In June 2010, the NCAA began investigating the North Carolina football program for impermissible benefits and academic fraud under then-coach Butch Davis. What it ultimately found was stunning in and of itself: seven players accepted more than $27,500 in impermissible benefits; an assistant on staff failed to disclose income he received from an agent; and an academic tutor wrote large portions of term papers for three players.

The NCAA handed North Carolina football a one-year postseason ban, stripped 15 scholarships over a three-year period and forced the program to vacate 16 wins in March 2012. During the course of the investigation, UNC had identified problems with the Department of African and Afro-American Studies and worked jointly with the NCAA to investigate, but no NCAA violations were found.

As a result of those problems, an internal faculty investigation began. Its report, issued in May 2012, found problems with 54 classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) taught from summer 2007 to summer 2011. Those problems included grade changes, forged faculty signatures and limited or no class time. It also found a majority of those enrolled in the classes were athletes.

North Carolina forwarded the results to the NCAA, which reaffirmed to university officials no NCAA rules were broken.

Another review was conducted shortly thereafter. Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin, tasked with putting together his own study involving AFAM and the athletic department, stated in his December 2012 report the sham classes went back even further, to 1997. In addition, there were about 200 confirmed or suspected fake classes. He did not assign blame to the athletics department, but did say certain academic advisors in the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes were aware certain classes in the AFAM department were "term paper courses."

The Wainstein report

After links between the athletic department and AFAM were detailed in media reports, UNC hired Kenneth Wainstein in February 2014 to put together an independent investigation into the growing scandal.

Before the report was released, former UNC basketball player Rashad McCants alleged academic fraud to ESPN’s "Outside the Lines" in June, saying he had papers written for him and that no-show classes helped keep him eligible. Roy Williams denied the charges, but the Raleigh News & Observer reported five members of the 2005 national championship team "accounted for a combined 39 enrollments in classes that have been identified as confirmed or suspected lecture classes that never met."

Later that month, the NCAA announced it would reopen its investigation into academic fraud at North Carolina, saying in a statement: "After determining that additional people with information and others who were previously uncooperative might be willing to speak with the enforcement staff, the NCAA has reopened its investigation. The enforcement staff is exploring this new information to ensure an exhaustive investigation is conducted based on all available information."

In October 2014, the Wainstein report was released as the most extensive investigation to date. It found that former African studies department chairman Julius Nyang’oro and former office administrator Deborah Crowder created bogus classes to help student-athletes stay eligible over a period that went from 1993 to 2011. Only one paper was required to be turned in to meet class requirements; most received A and B grades.

Further, the report found academic advisers in the athletic department colluded with Nyang’oro and Crowder to enroll student-athletes in those classes. In some cases, advisors told them what grades the student-athletes needed to stay eligible.

The classes were open to the student body and more than 3,000 participated. The report found student-athletes made up 48 percent of those who took the courses, an overwhelmingly disproportionate number to their total representation in the student body (roughly 4 percent). Football and men’s basketball players had the highest enrollments.

NCAA Investigation No. 2

In May 2015, the NCAA sent its first notice of allegations to North Carolina, charging the school with five major violations, including lack of institutional control and offering impermissible benefits to athletes. At issue: the NCAA classified the AFAM classes as possible improper benefits, stating athletes received access to those courses and other assistance generally unavailable to the rest of the student body. The

NCAA also charged UNC counselors with arranging these classes for student-athletes by working with AFAM faculty and staff over a nine-year period.

In addition, women’s basketball academic counselor Jan Boxill was charged with providing extra benefits in the form of impermissible academic assistance and special arrangements for women’s basketball players.

The notice would be amended two more times.

In April 2016, the NCAA sent an amended notice of allegations to North Carolina, though the school still faced the lack of institutional control charge. One key difference was football and men’s basketball were no longer mentioned, and the impermissible benefits charge was taken out.

North Carolina appeared before an infractions committee panel in a preliminary hearing in October, arguing the NCAA had no jurisdiction to handle academic matters. That argument was rejected; In November, committee chairman Greg Sankey (also SEC commissioner) asked the enforcement staff to revisit the charges.

In December, the NCAA sent a third notice of allegations that delivered a big blow. The impermissible benefit charge returned. In the notice, the NCAA described the school and athletic department leveraging its relationship with Crowder and Nyang’oro to obtain special arrangements for student-athletes in violation of extra-benefit legislation. They pointed to football and men’s basketball players as using these courses to maintain their eligibility, putting the two hoops championships in 2005 and 2009 in jeopardy. The lack of institutional control charge remains.

North Carolina responded in May, repeating again, the NCAA had no jurisdiction to intervene on academic matters, and denied student-athletes received impermissible benefits because the paper classes were offered to the entire student body. In a written response, the NCAA enforcement staff rejected those ideas, bluntly saying, "The issues at the heart of this case are clearly the NCAA’s business."

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Report: North Carolina ‘Bigfoot’ sighting was just Minneapolis man… dressed as Bigfoot

These photos are either of Bigfoot, Gawain MacGregor… or both.

"ROAR!" probably, right? Maybe "WOOF!" on those days when he just can’t be bothered.

Certainly not this: "I don’t want any trouble. But I also don’t want any misinformation out there."

And yet, that’s apparently what Gawain MacGregor, of Minneapolis, told authorities in North Carolina after a report circulated about Bigfoot sightings in that state, if you believe what gets printed in the New York Post. (Don’t.)

The Post reports MacGregor (or "Bigfoot," as he was then known) was spotted in the woods outside Asheville, N.C., last Friday, dressed in his "homemade suit of raccoon pelts," and managed to get a pack of Sasquatch hunters in the area very excited. The excitement soon spread online after photos and reports were shared with a Facebook page called "Bigfoot 911," which you will probably want to look up now that you’re aware of it.

News of the Bigfoot-spotter’s tale of seeing "details of the creature" — "eyes… farther apart than human eyes," he noted — lasted only a few days, before MacGregor stepped in to correct the record. The "Bigfoot" they’d seen was just him in a very furry suit. (The original witness doesn’t believe it, claiming his Carolina Sasquatch was eight feet tall.)

There’s no Bigfoot wandering around the woods of North Carolina, MacGregor explained. That’s silly. Bigfoot lives in the Upper Midwest.

According to MacGregor, who makes a living as a plumber in Minneapolis, he’s had "encounters" with the (allegedly) mythical beast in three states: Minnesota (City Pages can confirm), Wisconsin, and Michigan. He’s a big fan: MacGregor describes Bigfoot as an "angel of the forest," and says he’s "looked him in the eye."

MacGregor says he doesn’t think Sasquatch is a living wild animal, per se. He explains: "You have all these sightings and no one has been able to find a body. So, you either have these encounters that aren’t real or there’s a supernatural explanation."

[Editor’s note: Hmmm.]

In a message to City Pages, MacGregor said: "There is no question in my mind: If you solemnly engage in the rituals of Enkiduism, you will encounter a Sasquatch."

Consider this your official Bigfoot tourism briefing. If you’re looking for the big guy, no need to go south of the Mason-Dixon; try walking around the woods in Minnesota, engaging in … those rituals, and you’re bound to see … something. Check if it responds to the name "MacGregor."

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North Carolina Courage Back to First Place After Saturday Victory

Cary, NC – Following some losses where other teams had draws, the North Carolina Courage were slipping out of their top spot in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). But a decisive victory on Saturday, August 5, 2017 brought the home team back into their rightful place at number one.

Early Lead

Saturday’s game at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park saw the North Carolina Courage taking on Seattle Reign FC. The two teams have faced off at the Courage’s last home game and they won that contest as well. That game was won thanks to early offense from the Courage and that was the case in Saturday’s game as well.

In the 32nd minute, after several attempts on Seattle’s goal, North Carolina’s Makenzy Doniak got the ball into the left back and passed it to Lynn Williams. With Williams inside Seattle’s defenses, she was able to hit a low shot that made it just past the fingers of Seattle goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer.

This would remain the only goal for the rest of the match, as neither team was able to get a second shot past the goal. Seattle kept up a very strategic defense for the remainder of the game, putting pressure on the Courage’s attackers to force them to make risky and inaccurate kicks.

In the 64th minute, Seattle came close to a goal but a mistimed kick ended up getting caught amongst their own players, making it easier for the Courage’s goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland to save. The game ended with a 1-0 victory for the home team.

Assessing the Match

With this victory, the North Carolina Courage are back to being the top ranked team in the league, one point ahead of the Chicago Red Stars and two points ahead of Portland Thorns FC.

“I am really happy with the result,” said Courage Head Coach Paul Riley. “You have to win your home games in this league if you’re going to do damage in the league, and we won our home game, so I’m happy with the group. We didn’t give [Seattle] a lot of chances to be honest.”

The next home game is against the Washington Spirit on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 3:30 PM.

Story by staff reports. Photo by Andy Mead.

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