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President Obama answers questions from the media during his last scheduled news conference of 2014.

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BC-NC--North Carolina Coverage Advisory, NC

The Carolinas News Editor is Tim Rogers. The breaking news supervisor is Skip Foreman. For technical support, please call the AP's Services and Technology Department in Raleigh at 919-881-9974.

SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA

DAVIDSON — Republican rivals in one of the nation's most competitive Senate races are gathering for a debate Tuesday night in North Carolina, with establishment candidate Thom Tillis for the first time facing opponents who have questioned his conservatism and his integrity. Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina House, is the favorite of Washington Republicans to try to unseat first-term Sen. Kay Hagan, one of the most vulnerable Democrats seeking re-election. Also competing are obstetrician Greg Brannon, Baptist minister Mark Harris and former Army nurse Heather Grant. By Gary D. Robertson. SENT: 490 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 9:30 p.m.

PENSION PLAN-SEANC

RALEIGH — The union representing thousands of North Carolina state workers is complaining to federal securities regulators on how State Treasurer Janet Cowell is managing the $86 billion pension system. The State Employees Association of North Carolina went to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday after receiving a consultant's report of pension fund investment practices. By Business Writer Emery P. Dalesio. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 600 words by 7 p.m.

KIDNAP VICTIM RESCUED

CHARLOTTE — An indictment says a North Carolina prosecutor was the target of an elaborate kidnapping plot, but the kidnappers had the wrong address and abducted the prosecutor's father. The indictment was handed down Tuesday and charges nine people in the kidnapping of 63-year-old Frank Janssen. He is the father of Wake Forest assistant district attorney Colleen Janssen. By Mitch Weiss. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 700 words by 7 p.m.

COAL ASH SPILL-NORTH CAROLINA

RALEIGH — Duke Energy says that removing all of the company's coal ash away from North Carolina's rivers and lakes would take decades and cost up to $10 billion, with the state's electricity customers likely footing nearly all the bill. Duke's North Carolina president Paul Newton told state lawmakers Tuesday the company needs flexibility to consider more cost-efficient options that include leaving much of its 100 million tons of toxic ash in place after being covered with giant tarps and soil. State officials say all 33 of Duke's unlined dumps are contaminating groundwater. By Michael Biesecker. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 700 words by 7 p.m.

TREASURE DISPUTE

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — An expedition is setting out from South Carolina to recover the rest of the gold thought to be aboard the wreck of the S.S. Central America off the North Carolina coast. The wreck yielded more than $50 million in gold more than a quarter-century ago. By Bruce Smith. SENT: 130 words, UPCOMING: 500 words by 7 p.m.

MOORESVILLE-CINEMAX SERIES

MOORESVILLE — Downtown Mooresville will be booming next month. The Charlotte Observer reports (http://bit.ly/1rfu5Iz ) the Mooresville Board of Commissioners has unanimously agreed to allow the producers of the Cinemax series "Banshee" to conduct late-night simulated gunfire, explosions and fist fights in downtown Mooresville. It's scheduled from June 12 to July 11. SENT: 210 words.

DRUG TRAFFICKING ARREST

GREENVILLE — Authorities say a Raleigh man faces multiple drug charges following a traffic stop in Greenville. WCTI reports (http://bit.ly/1iGHjvh) the Greenville Police Department said 21-year-old Faisal Tyler Moghadass is being held in the Pitt County jail under a $1.3 million bond. It couldn't be determined if Moghadass has an attorney. SENT: 240 words.

STUDENTS-NUDE PHOTOS

RALEIGH — The State Bureau of Investigation obtained a search warrant for user information and content for 15 Instagram accounts in its probe of nude photos of students in Wake County. Court papers show the SBI also wants to find out who signed up as followers of the accounts. SENT: 160 words.

FORCING SOLDIERS OUT

FORT BRAGG — After the 9/11 attacks, tens of thousands of young men and women joined the military, heading for the rugged mountains of Afghanistan and dusty deserts of Iraq. Many of them now are officers in the Army with multiple combat deployments under their belts. But as the wars wind down and Pentagon budgets shrink, a lot of them are being told they have to leave. By Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 900 words, AP Photo WX104.

ALSO:

— XGR--HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL, from GREENSBORO — U.S. Sen. Richard Burr says North Carolina leaders were right both to decline expanding Medicaid and creating their own online insurance web site through the federal health care overhaul. SENT: 130 words.

— WINGATE PRESIDENT, from WINGATE — The president of Wingate University says he plans to retire from the job in May 2015. SENT: 120 words.

— DOG BURNED, from GREENSBORO — Veterinary technicians at the Guilford County Animal Shelter are treating a Lhasa Apso after it was found abandoned and burned in a yard. SENT: 120 words.

— COLUMBUS COUNTY-SHOOTING DEATH, from DELCO — Authorities in Columbus County are looking for a suspect after a Delco man was found shot to death. SENT: 80 words.

— FATAL FIRE, from CREEDMOOR — An elderly couple has died after an early-morning house fire in rural Granville County. SENT: 70 words.

— FOUR DEAD, from JACKSONVILLE — A toxicology report finds no evidence of drugs or alcohol in the system of a driver involved in a February crash that killed four people in Jacksonville. SENT: 100 words.

— MURDER SENTENCE, from CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after being convicted of killing a man nearly four years ago. SENT: 120 words.

— DROWNING DEATH, from EDENTON — A 49-year-old Edenton man has drowned in Edenton Bay. SENT: 50 words.

— MURDER SENTENCE, from CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after being convicted of killing a man nearly four years ago. SENT: 120 words.

— MISSING JOGGER-BODY, from LAKE PARK — Union County sheriff's deputies have found a body while they investigate a missing jogger. SENT: 100 words.

— I-40 CLOSED, from COVE CREEK — Authorities say one lane of Interstate 40 West in the North Carolina mountains has reopened after a tanker truck overturned near the Tennessee state line. SENT: 60 words.

— NUCLEAR PLANT SIRENS, from NEW HILL — Neighbors of a Duke Energy nuclear plant in suburban Raleigh will get a loud reminder of its presence. SENT: 100 words.

SPORTS:

BKN--BOBCATS-HEAT

MIAMI — LeBron James grabbed a basketball off a rack as he left the practice court Tuesday, then turned and took a 40-footer without so much as jumping. Swish. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 700 words, AP Photos AAA108, AAA121.

The AP-Raleigh

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