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ELECTION 2020-SENATE-DEBATES

North Carolina Sen. Tillis seeks 5 TV debates with Democrat

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis has proposed holding five televised debates with the Democratic nominee, starting this spring. Tillis' campaign said Wednesday that a cable channel already has agreed to host three debates in April, May and June, and he's seeking two more in September and October. One of the Democratic primary candidates, Cal Cunningham, says he's ready to debate Tillis but didn't specifically accept the incumbent's schedule. Five Democrats and four Republicans are competing in the March 3 primary. Cunningham also says he's participating in candidate forums in advance of the primary.

NORTH CAROLINA TRENCH COLLAPSE

Worker dies in trench collapse; 3 others make it out

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say that a worker trapped in a Durham construction site trench collapse has died. Durham Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Iannuzzi said in a news release that the worker's body was recovered from the trench late Wednesday afternoon. Iannuzzi told reporters that four workers were in the trench when it collapsed. Three were rescued or made it out. The identity of the worker who was killed wasn't immediately released. News helicopters showed footage of dozens of first responders working at the construction site for a gas station in Durham near Raleigh.

SOLDIER KILLED-FREEFALL TRAINING

Army says soldier killed in parachute training in Arizona

ELOY, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Army says a soldier was killed in a routine freefall parachute training exercise in southern Arizona. A spokesman for the Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, said the soldier was training Tuesday near Eloy, Arizona. U.S Army Special Forces officials on Wednesday identified the soldier killed as 36-year-old Master Sgt. Nathan Goodman of Hope Mills, North Carolina. Freefalling is when soldiers jump from an aircraft and delay opening their parachutes. Army officials say the death is under investigation.

MEDICAID EXPANSION

N Carolina Medicaid expansion advocates 'mad' as bill idles

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina remains among the dozen or so states that haven't agreed to expand Medicaid after a General Assembly session this week began and ended in one day without action on health care access. A bipartisan group pressing for expansion expressed frustration Wednesday with GOP legislative leaders for failing to act Tuesday. Lawmakers aren't scheduled back to Raleigh until late April. A House proposal to cover 300,000 additional people has been idling since September. Senate Republicans remain opposed to the idea, which got intertwined in the political fight with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's state budget veto last June.

STOLEN CAR-SCHOOL CRASH

Police: Stolen car crashes into two buses at middle school

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A car reported stolen by police crashed into two buses at a North Carolina middle school, prompting officials to place the school on lockdown. The Winston-=Salem Journal reports the car drove erratically through the parking lot at Northwest Middle School in Winston-Salem on Wednesday morning, hitting a school bus that was dropping off children before it veered off and hit a second bus head-on. According to police, three teenagers ran from the car but were apprehended. Four of the 21 students on the first bus were hurt, as was the driver on the second bus.

BC-NC-BEAR TRAP PETITION

Group petitions Amazon to stop selling trap that hurts bears

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — An advocacy group in North Carolina has started a petition to try to get Amazon to stop selling an animal trap that can injure bears. The Citizen Times reported Tuesday that the group Help Asheville Bears is appealing directly to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and has gathered 32,000 signatures. The petition asks the company to stop selling steel-jaw, leg-hold traps. Certain foothold traps are legal in North Carolina. But they're illegal to use on black bears. The traps are legal for animals such as foxes and coyotes. The group says that the devices also catch small bears.

PEDESTRIAN AND DOG KILLED

North Carolina man, dog killed by car while crossing street

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say a pedestrian and his dog were killed by a car when they crossed a busy road outside of a crosswalk. A police report from the Raleigh Police Department said the crash happened Tuesday night on Wake Forest Road in a commercial area north of Interstate 440. The report said the vehicle was traveling north when “the pedestrian darted across the road." Police say the man was walking with his dog outside of a designated crossing area. The report states that both the man and dog died as a result of their injuries in the crash.

SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY

North Carolina county approves Second Amendment resolution

LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Commissioners in a North Carolina county have unanimously passed a resolution supporting gun rights. News outlets report the vote took place in Davidson County on Tuesday night. There was a standing-room-only crowd as more than a dozen people urged the commission to approve the resolution. It says the county supports the right to keep and bear arms and will not use county resources to infringe upon those rights. Several other counties in North Carolina have approved similar measures. The resolution is largely symbolic. The supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution says federal law takes precedence over state or local laws.