Accident scatters chicken parts across highway

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Chicken parts were scattered across a section of Interstate 77 in North Carolina after an accident. WSOC-TV reports ( that a truck carrying the chicken parts rear-ended a vehicle about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, spreading the truck's contents onto a quarter-mile stretch of the highway. Officials periodically closed northbound lanes of the highway as they cleaned up the spill. The road reopened before daybreak Wednesday.

NASCAR has huge hole to fill after Earnhardt retires

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- There was a moment during the Bristol Motor Speedway race that captured the essence of Dale Earnhardt Jr. He was walking briskly to the care center for a mandatory health check after a crash. Flanked by a television reporter on one side, a handler on the other, he was explaining why he wrecked while hustling to his destination.

The Latest: NASCAR CEO calls Earnhardt a proven leader

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Latest on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s announcement that he will retire from racing at the end of the season (all times local): 4:55 p.m. NASCAR's chairman and CEO is praising Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s passion for the sport, saying it will "leave an impact on NASCAR that will be felt over its entire history.

The Latest: 2 gang members sentenced for couple's slaying

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Latest on the sentencing of two gang members for the deaths of a South Carolina couple three years ago (all times local): 11:55a.m. Two North Carolina gang members have been sentenced to life in prison for the shooting deaths of a South Carolina couple who were to testify against other gang members in an attempted robbery case. Jamell Cureton and Malcolm Hartley were sentenced during separate hearings before U.S.

NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire after season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- It's never easy to be the son of a legend, especially when he is a tough-as-nails hero and the most feared man in his profession. Follow in his footsteps? Forget it. Just being able to drive cars was enough for Dale Earnhardt Jr., and if it made his daddy proud, well, hopefully somebody would tell him.

Inmate captured within 4 minutes after escape attempt

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A sheriff's office in North Carolina is investigating after an inmate made an escape attempt at the county jail. The Charlotte Observer reports ( ) that 38-year-old Darryl Young gained access to an unsecured maintenance office Sunday night that provided access to other floors, allowing him to escape from his section of the jail.

13-year-old arrested in connection with 2 sexual assaults

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A 13-year-boy has been arrested in connection with the sexual assaults of a 17-year-old girl and 24-year-old woman in separate attacks in January. The Charlotte Observer reports ( that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Lt. Melanie Peacock says a DNA match from a suspect in a robbery case helped identify the suspect in the assaults. The teen was arrested Friday.

2 gang members sentenced for deaths of prosecution witnesses

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn didn't mince his words in describing the 2014 shooting deaths of a South Carolina couple who had been scheduled to testify in a criminal case. "It's probably not the most brutal there ever was," Cogburn said, "but it was brutal. They were essentially executed.

The Latest: Rains cause problems across North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Latest on storms in North Carolina (all times local): 8:30 p.m. Two days of continuous rain is creating problems across North Carolina. Officials with the N.C. Department of Transportation are warning motorists to be wary of pooling water on roadways as rain kept falling on Monday. In Raleigh, a section of Glenwood Avenue between Brier Creek Parkway and T.W.

Man accused of trafficking minors for sex to help make bail

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A man conspired with his wife and mother to traffic three minors for sex in South Carolina to help him make bail, federal prosecutors said Monday. The U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release that Zerrell Fuentes, 22, his wife, Brianna Wright, 24, and his mother, Tanya Fuentes, 53, each face a number of sex trafficking charges. A federal grand jury issued an eight-count indictment on Friday.

Heavy storms leave thousands without power in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Storms moving across North Carolina have left thousands of customers without electricity. The storms dumped up to 4 inches of rain in the Charlotte area. Up to 6 inches could fall in parts of central North Carolina. Duke Energy reported more than 59,000 customers without electricity Monday. More than 48,000 of those customers were in Charlotte. Other significant outages were reported in neighboring Cabarrus County and in the Winston-Salem area.

American flight to N. Carolina returns to Las Vegas airport

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- An American Airlines flight headed to North Carolina returned to Las Vegas' airport because of possible engine trouble. McCarran International Airport spokesman Chris Jones says Flight 1871 was headed to Charlotte on Sunday morning when an indicator light turned on signaling an engine was out. Jones says it's unclear if the plane actually experienced an engine problem.

Carowinds announces early closure due to heavy rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A theme park and a baseball team are changing their schedules because of heavy rain moving through the Carolinas. Near Charlotte, Carowinds theme park along the state line between North and South Carolina announced on Twitter that it was closing at 1 p.m. Sunday due to the weather. The Charlotte Knights minor-league baseball team also postponed a game .

AP Sportlight

April 23 1903 -- The New York Highlanders, later renamed Yankees, win their first game as a major league team, 7-2 over the Washington Senators. 1946 -- Ed Head of the Brooklyn Dodgers pitches a no-hitter against the Boston Braves, 5-0 at Ebbets Field. 1950 -- The Detroit Red Wings edge the New York Rangers 4-3 in Game 7 to win the Stanley Cup.

North Carolina police board clears officer in fatal shooting

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A North Carolina police department review board has cleared an officer in a fatal shooting that sparked several days of protests and riots last year. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Shooting Review Board determined that Officer Brentley Vinson followed proper procedure in last September's shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott. The board met Monday.

Consultant to study altering I-77 toll lanes project

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina Department of Transportation has hired a consultancy firm to study potential improvements to the contract for the Interstate 77 toll lanes project. The Charlotte Observer reports ( ) Philadelphia-based Mercator Advisors will study the possible alterations to the 50-year, $655-million contract with Cintra subsidiary I-77 Mobility Partners, including outright termination.

2 Democrats ponder strategy in mayor race in North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Two Democrats seeking to unseat the incumbent in the mayor's race in North Carolina's largest city have agreed that one of them should drop out so the other would have a chance of capturing the party primary in September. State Sen. Joel Ford and Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles told The Charlotte Observer (http://bit.

Former North Carolina police officer found dead

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Police in North Carolina's largest city say a former officer has been found dead after his family reported him missing. A news release issued by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Thursday said police in the nearby town of Mooresville received a missing person call from the family of 40-year-old Michael Scott Bell.

Duke Energy reports errors, weather led to bill complaints

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Duke Energy says internal billing errors, misread power meters and a cold December led to customer complaints of high utility bills in Terre Haute and Greencastle. Duke Energy Indiana President Melody Birmingham-Byrd told the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on Wednesday in Indianapolis that it was "the perfect storm" and offered an apology to customers. The Tribune-Star reports ( ) the utility mobilized a customer response team following the complaints.

More guns reported at North Carolina's largest airports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Officials in North Carolina say they've seen an increase in the number of guns brought to the state's largest airport. The Charlotte Observer reported ( that airport police said there have been 17 cases of guns detected at security checkpoints at Charlotte Douglas airport this year. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Capt. Gregg Collins says the number of guns has increased for four years. Twenty-six guns were brought to the airport in 2013.