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Trump returns to debate stage; Rubio to face onslaught
An aggrieved Donald Trump returns to the debate stage Saturday night hoping to find his way into the winner's circle in New Hampshire, while a rising Marco Rubio looks to fend off an onslaught of attacks from his rivals.

Twitter moves to actively seek out terrorist supporters
Twitter is now using spam-fighting technology to seek out accounts that might be promoting terrorist activity and is examining other accounts related to those flagged for possible removal, the company announced Friday.

7 dead, hundreds rescued and injured as quake rattles Taiwan
Rescuers raced to find additional survivors after a powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn Saturday and collapsed a high-rise residential complex, killing at least seven people and sending scores...

Assange sex case sinks in international quagmire
It started more than five years ago as what appeared to be a fairly simple sex crime case: two women in Sweden came forward to accuse Julian Assange of sexual misconduct.

3 people believed aboard 2 planes that collided off LA
Two small planes with three people believed to be aboard collided over the ocean just outside the port of Los Angeles, prompting a massive search by dozens of boats and divers. There was no sign of survivors after hours of...

Many see cause for optimism despite slower US job growth
Consider looking past January's so-so job growth.

Superheroes? 6 unexpected players who could make a big play Sunday
Here are six players – three from each team – who have the potential to fill that role in Sunday’s Super Bowl, either with a breakout performance or a big play

How much better could Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton get?
Newton is 26, but he’s younger in quarterback years: He played only one season of major-college football before the Carolina Panthers drafted him with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

Coaching in Super Bowl fulfills dream for Panthers assistant head coach Steve...
“I’m going to work over there someday,” Wilks recalls telling his friend and co-worker Steve Aycock.

DOT: In default, Independence work could resume at end of March
The DOT and Michigan-based DeVere Construction are fighting over money for the U.S. 74 widening.

Person shot near west Charlotte Walmart
The victim was found around 9 p.m. on the 3200 block of Wilkinson Boulevard, in the Walmart parking lot.

Salisbury based Food Lion out with 'Top 10 Super Fan Foods' for Super Bowl
When it's time for the biggest football game of the year, the snacking is just as important as the sacking. 

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Pep rally at the Epicentre
A flash mob of several hundred Carolina Panthers fans broke out at the Epicentre in Uptown on Friday evening.

Basketball Game for Teen Violence Awareness Month
Charlotte woman shares her story battling heart...
It's a disease that kills 1 in 3 women and the American Heart Association is raising awareness by using today as "wear red day" to spread awareness for the leading cause of death globally. Nearly 44 million women in America are living with the disease and for Amy Kochan going red is part of her daily life. "I'm always determined that I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for my son Jackson. We wouldn't have found it and my doctors always said you're a walking miracle," Amy said. After the bi

Gastonia jeweler creates Panthers themed ring
A hardcore Panthers fan in Gaston County is using his business to promote Panthers pride.

Super Bowl 50 wagers popping up between...
The Governor of North Carolina, Mayor of Charlotte and CMPD Animal Care &Control have all made Super Bowl wagers with Denver. Governor McCrory is offering to donate 50 cases of NC turkey burgers, 50 cases of NC turkey sausages to a Colorado food bank and will add a donation of dog food to an animal shelter if the Panthers lose. Governor Hickenlooper is offering to donate 50 cases of pueblo salsa, 500 boxes of crackers and 500 packages of sausages to be donated to a food bank in North Carolina.

Authorities: Bank robbery suspect killed after...
A bank robbery in Iredell County ended with a deadly shootout between deputies and the suspect.

Deputies with the Iredell County Sheriffs' Office were called out to Capital Bank on Memorial Highway in regards to a robbery.

The suspect exchanged fire with deputies on scene as they tried to arrest him Friday evening.

The suspect was shot and killed, according to officers.

CMPD Ready to Combat Drunk Driving, Other...
CMPD is getting ready for Super Bowl Sunday and a Panthers win! The department says it will be "appropriately staffed" in Center City Charlotte Sunday night to make sure everyone has a safe celebration.

Panthers D strengthened by bond between Thomas...
When Thomas Davis woke up following surgery on his broken arm last week, he looked around the room and saw his wife, Kelly, as expected.

Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, 6th man on moon, dies
Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who became the sixth man on the moon when he and Alan Shepard helped NASA recover from Apollo 13's "successful failure" and later devoted his life to exploring the mind, physics and unexplained phenomena such as psychics and aliens, has died in Florida. He was 85.

The more Panthers win, the more people call 911
There seems to be a connection between Panthers wins and a spike in emergency 911 calls.

Panther pride reaching an all time high
Panther pride is reaching an all time high in the Queen City. Everyone is showing their support for the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 by dressing in the team's colors and celebrating. Kids at Rainbow Station Nursery School in Charlotte held a Panthers parade. They marched around campus showing off their Panthers' spirit. Others are showing their support by doing their best Cam Newton dab impressions. Students from Primrose in Matthews took a group picture doing the dab before partaking

Fans of SB 50's losing team much more likely to...
Sports fans have some wild ways of showing their frustration after a big loss, but some fans also choose to go the expensive route.

Life in prison for Florida 'Facebook killer'
A Florida man was sentenced to life in prison Friday for fatally shooting his wife eight times during an argument, a slaying that gained international notoriety after he posted a photo of her bloody body on Facebook.

Woman shocks husband who ordered her murder
A woman in Australia reportedly crashed her own funeral after escaping from the hitmen that her husband hired to kill her.

Intoxicated Wis. parents ask 9-year-old to drive
A Wisconsin mom and her boyfriend are facing felony charges for making her nine-year-old daughter drive them home in their pickup truck after they appeared too drunk to drive.

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That ancient Greek statue does not have a laptop
The Greek marble carving "Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant" sits in the Getty Museum in Malibu, California. >> Read more trending stories The grave marker, dated 100 B.C., is intricate and features a woman opening what could be a shallow chest, according to its description at the museum. But The Daily Mail reported that internet conspiracy theorists thought the chest looked like something else: A laptop with USB ports. The theory first appeared in December and picked up steam in recent months. But some experts found the theory to be ridiculous. Classical archaeologist Dorothy Lobel King told Discovery News, “The claim is ridiculous as it is clearly a box." Janet Burnett Grossman, author of “Greek Funerary Sculpture: Catalogue of the Collections at the Getty Villa,” said the sculpture is of a woman reaching for "the lid of an open flat box or mirror, held by a girl standing in front of her." It seems like the experts don't buy internet conspiracists' theories. http://twitter.com/MailOnline/status/695122533796966400

Official: Man shot in groin, drives to Walmart parking lot in west Charlotte
A man was shot at Tuckaseegee Park Friday night during an altercation and tried to drive himself to the hospital but ended up in the parking lot of the Walmart on Wilkinson Boulevard, officials said. Paramedics and authorities responded to the Walmart and the victim was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries with a gunshot wound to the groin, officials said. No further information has been released. Watch Eyewitness News and return to this story for updates. Read more of our top trending stories on wsoctv.com:

Magnitude-6.4 earthquake hits Taiwan, collapses buildings
The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude-6.4 earthquake has hit southern Taiwan. CNN, citing the country's Disaster Response Center, says at least two people have been killed and at least 115 injured.  The USGS says the earthquake originated from a pretty shallow spot –– just 6 miles underground — making the damage a bit worse than normal for an earthquake this size. (Video via CNN / EBC)  An American teacher living in the country told the Los Angeles Times, "It was not a rolling, gentle earthquake, but a violent jerking motion. The walls were shaking and you could hear the building and windows moving. It lasted at least a minute, with swaying afterwards." It's been reported that at least one building has fallen in the city of Tainan, and according to CNN, 221 people had to be rescued from damaged buildings. (Video via CNN / EBC)  Taiwan is no stranger to earthquakes — it's located between two tectonic plates. In 1999, a magnitude-7.6 quake killed more than 2,300 people in the country. (Video via CNN)  [View the story "Strong quake hits Taiwan" on Storify]

Family gives away dog that saved them from fire
Snickers, a 1-year-old shar pei mix, saved her family last August. A fire broke out in their RV, and she woke up a family member, who then woke up the rest of the family. >> Read more trending stories But when the family moved and couldn't keep her, they gave her away. Glen Rose Animal Shelter shared photos of Snickers and told her story on their Facebook page. "She’s a brave girl that saved her family, and I don’t understand how nobody would want a dog like that," Animal Control Officer Loretta Adams told CBS11. "She could potentially save your life." Interest swelled, and by Friday afternoon, Snickers was adopted, according to an update by the animal shelter and KXAN. Had she not been adopted, she would have been euthanized.

Woman with Asperger's syndrome who released viral video is shot, killed by po...
A woman behind a viral video over the summer was shot and killed by police Thursday morning. Danielle Jacobs, 24, has Asperger's syndrome. The Mesa, Arizona woman posted a video that went viral last year of her dog calming her down while she was having what she called a self-harm meltdown. She trained her Rottweiler, Sampson, to pat her and lick her until she calmed down. Jacobs said she shared the video to show what it’s like to live with Asperger’s and raise awareness about the disorder, according to KPHO. Authorities say they received several phone calls Thursday saying that Jacobs was going to hurt herself.  “She had one knife that we know of, she had something else we’re not sure what it was, the officers said it was dark inside the room,” Detective Esteban Flores with the Mesa Police Department said. “When she made contact with them, she approached them with the knife, extended it out, and they felt threatened.” An investigation is on-going. KPHO reports Jacobs’ family is now caring for her dog. https://twitter.com/azfamily/status/695723891042316288

Michigan father dives into icy lake to save son, both die
A Michigan family is mourning the loss of two family members this week. WJBK reported that David Lyons and his son Jackson were fishing Monday morning on what they thought was a frozen solid lake. The icy water gave way and the father and son went under. >> Read more trending stories
 Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said he thinks the pair were walking back toward land when the ice broke around 10:30 a.m. Monday. "The ice was thinner near the shore and there's a lot of open water," Highland Township Fire Chief Richard Cole told People. "When you get water movement, you don't have good ice." A dive team pulled the pair up 20 minutes later and they were rushed to the hospital with critical injuries. David Lyons and his son Jackson died at the hospital hours later. "Their snowsuits were like a dead sponge and it just took them under in a very short time," Cole said. He also said they were not wearing life preservers. Jackson Lyon's' stepfather Steve Strasz said he spoke with a friend who was fishing with David Lyons. The friend, who was fishing a distance away from the father and son, said he saw David Lyons' head reemerge from the water for a brief period. Straz said the friend "knows that David could have escaped and save himself, but instead he dove back in to save his boy." Christina Podvin, Jackson Lyons' mother and David Lyons' fiance said, "David wouldn't leave our son and he went in for him." http://twitter.com/people/status/695608194115182592

Deputies: Robbery suspect dies after shots exchanged
Sheriff deputies in Iredell County used deadly force after they said a suspect in a bank robbery fired at them. Chopper 9 Skyzoom was over the area in northern Iredell County near Union Grove where the manhunt unfolded Friday night.  https://twitter.com/FahertyWSOC9/status/695768730924548102 Shortly after the call for “shots fired” rang out, first responders and law enforcement headed into a field not far from the Capital Bank around closing time. "(He) told the clerk he had a weapon, produced a note and padded his waistband," Sheriff Darren Campbell said. https://twitter.com/FahertyWSOC9/status/695768730924548102 Deputies used dogs to track the robber across fields, creeks and woods behind the bank.  
 
As it got dark, Highway Patrol and sheriff deputies spread out on several roads including the one near Scott Burr's house. Burr wasn't worried with so many police nearby. 

"He would be pretty dumb to come up here to one of these houses,” resident Scott Burr said. “Just because there is so many out here, all of them looking around."
 
Channel 9 learned the manhunt ended when deputies said the suspect fired at them forcing three offices to return fire striking and killing the man.
 
Sheriff Campbell said the suspect was in a creek bank when he opened fire first.   
 
They found a gun and the money taken from the bank nearby. 

"Deputies were verbally giving him commands, giving him repeated commands,” Campbell said. “At that time, at least one shot was fired (at the officers.)"

The three officers who were involved in all this were placed on paid administrative leave which is what they typically do after a situation like this.  The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate.  Read more of our top trending stories on wsoctv.com:

'Blind Side' mom's life mission is to help children in need of love
Leigh Anne Touhy can talk, which is good because her message needs to be heard

“Everyone in this whole world, this whole universe has a story, everyone does. You have a story. The guy on the bus has a story. Everyone does and ours is the one that God just plucked out and happened to tell,” Touhy said.

Her story is well-known and the basis for the 2009 Academy Award best picture nominee "The Blind Side" that follows a high-school-aged Michael Oher as he bounces from foster home to foster home before finally getting adopted by the Touhys.

There he flourished, earning a scholarship and a degree from Ole Miss before becoming a first round NFL draft pick in 2009 and winning a Super Bowl three years ago with the Baltimore Ravens. Oher is the starting left tackle for the Carolina Panthers.

https://twitter.com/wsoctv/status/695316270124703744 “What did you see in him that no one else saw?” WSOC-TV's sports anchor Phil Orban asked her. “That he just wanted to be loved. That he just wanted what everyone else has. That he just wanted stability. He wanted a family. He wanted the opportunity to have three meals a day and just to be like everyone else,” she said.

Touhy and her husband Sean remain champions of adoption starting the Making it Happen foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life of children who are invisible to most -- those in foster care in need of adoption.

“You can do something to change a kid’s life. It's just ridiculous that these kids go through life and that they're unloved and that society deems them worthless because that's just the furthest thing from the truth when given an opportunity,” Touhy said.

Even now, seven years later, the Touhys receive messages constantly, letters, emails, Twitter messages from people that connect personally with the movie.

“Whether it’s from a kid that’s been adopted that validates where he is in his life or its the kid that ages out of foster care that says, ‘No one wants me. I'm not worthy. I'm not valuable. No one loves me.’ That always makes me cry that they are valuable and that someone needs to step up for these kids. All they need is an opportunity and you can change their lives," Touhy said getting choked up.

And that's all she said she gave to Oher, love and an opportunity.

“We just allowed Michael to become the person he was supposed to be and the truth of the matter is there are Michael Ohers everywhere and they just need a chance,” she said.

And Oher needed another chance this offseason after signing a free agent deal with Tennessee. He battled injuries last year and was released by the Titans labeled a bust.

Not 12 months later he's the anchor of the NFC champion Panthers offensive line protecting Cam Newton’s blindside.

“The fact that he was labeled like he was last year just goes to show you don't ever give up on someone. Don’t ever think that you know they're finished and down and out and that they're done and it’s the end of the story because that’s not always the case. Just pull yourself up do the very best you can do be the best person you can be and look, look what happens,” Touhy said.

Child hit by falling tree limb has passed away
A 6-year-old has passed away after being hit in the head with a tree branch in her backyard south of Boston, the child's family told WFXT. Laurie, the child's aunt, said the girl and her father were playing in the backyard in the snow when the branch fell. Her father screamed for help and a neighbor called 911. When an ambulance arrived to the home, she was still unconscious. She had a pulse, but her aunt said it was "shallow." The girl was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton, Massachusetts where she later died. https://twitter.com/CantonMAPolice/status/695693792762941441 https://twitter.com/CantonMAPolice/status/695693878364545025 Heavy wet snow was causing tree limbs to break all over Massachusetts. Canton police asked that people stay inside away from falling trees, branches and power lines. They are especially urging parents to keep children away from trees. https://twitter.com/ChristineMFox25/status/695739883319619584

Man scuffles with teen accused of breaking into car, police say
When Glen Bonin woke up Tuesday morning, he didn’t expect to find trouble, but he did.  “My car alarm woke me up about 5 a.m.,” Bonin said. He looked out the window of his home near the Plaza and saw his driver’s side window smashed, and a young man with a backpack across the street, walking away. He got dressed and walked outside, while his wife called 911.  What followed, he never saw coming. “At the time, I really didn't think about it, it just kind of happened,” Bonin said.  When he heard another car window smashed, Bonin walked toward the sound and saw the same young man breaking into a neighbor’s car. After that, it was all instinct. “Sure enough, the guy was digging into his car. I just yelled, ‘What are you doing?’ He ran at me, and I ran at him, and we tackled at each other, and we were in a fight at that point,” Bonin said. He said the two tussled for what seemed like 20 minutes, but was probably closer to five until the first officers got there. “We arrived and the witness, the gentleman had the suspect detained on the ground,” said Lt. Luke Sell, who supervises the North Davidson area for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Sell said he would never suggest that neighbors do what Bonin did, but without him, they might still be looking for that suspect, Garamond Hixson-Rozear, 18. Hixson-Rozear is facing more than two dozen charges and could be looking at more charges in the next several days. As for Bonin, he is looking at some time off from work. During the scuffle, he broke a bone in his right hand. “I'll be out of work for the next six to eight weeks. It's a real bummer and certainly a loss of income for me and my family, but we'll make do. We'll adjust,” he said. Read more of our top trending stories on wsoctv.com:

Plaza Midwood restaurant owner plans for development
The Plaza Midwood neighborhood has gone through many changes recently. There are new apartment buildings that are going up along Central Avenue and construction equipment isn't hard to find.

There may be more development also coming to the corner of Heath Court and Central Avenue. The owner of the popular Kickstand Burger-n-Bar wants to build a parking area, storage space and retail shops behind his building.

The one-acre lot is currently a gravel parking lot and owner, Michael Adams said they need more space.

"We will require that this project has adequate parking to satisfy the future value and continued value of the building the restaurant sits in," Adams said.

The president of the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association told Eyewitness News he's glad that a different project is going into a space because residents have been concerned about the amount of large new apartments in the area.

Adams said the project will fit in with the character of the neighborhood and provide some much needed parking with 140 spaces.

"We have great ties to the community and we want to bring a great project to the area and neighborhood that fits everything that Plaza Midwood, Elizabeth and Belmont are all about," he said.

Adams has submitted his project for rezoning approval and if the request is granted, construction on the mixed-use development could be completed sometime in 2018. Read more of our top trending stories on wsoctv.com:     Read more of our top trending stories on wsoctv.com:

Mother confronts man accused of killing son: ?I?ll never forgive you?
Brenda Watson could not control her emotions in court as she faced the man who killed her youngest child Charles Thompson. "They didn't have to kill my baby,” she said. Anthony Sanders needed a cane to get into court. Last November, Sanders used a wheel chair. Thompson and Sanders were drinking with friends when Thompson slapped him. Read our past coverage: As Thompson walked away, Sanders followed in his wheelchair  and shot Thompson in the back. "If he is walking away from you why didn't you let him just walk?” Watson asked. Prosecutors said Sanders didn't help Thompson, who was dying in the street. A passerby called 911. Once police arrived, Sanders lied about what happened. "He actually point police in the wrong direction and says, 'oh the people who did it went the other way,’” prosecutor Beth Stockwell said. Thompson's mother came to court hoping for answers. “That's all I want to know is why. If you can't give me that answer. I have mother else to say to you,” Watson said. Sanders’ attorney said it was an accident, but Sanders never spoke. "I'll never forgive you,” Watson said. The family has one more chance to get answers in court. Travis Davis, the man accused of giving Sanders the gun and hiding it after the shooting, still has to be heard on charges of accessory after the fact. A trial date hasn't been set. Read more of our top trending stories on wsoctv.com: