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2 US Ebola victims to arrive at metro Atlanta base

ATLANTA (AP) - Federal officials say two American aid workers who contracted Ebola in Africa will be flown into a metro Atlanta military base.

The Pentagon's press secretary, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Friday that a private-chartered aircraft will be arriving at Dobbins Air Reserve Base with patients evacuated from Africa. The patients will then be taken to medical facilities.

Kirby says officials in the U.S. State Department asked the military to provide an airfield for the arrival.

Details about the patients' movements were not entirely clear Friday. Kirby said he did not know when the patients would arrive.

At least one of the Americans was expected to be treated at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital, which has a specialized isolation unit. Hospital officials have declined to identify which patient will be treated there.


NC House 1 vote away from passing $21B budget

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina House is closing in on approving a $21 billion budget full of cuts, policy shifts and a raise for public school teachers averaging 7 percent.

The spending plan for the year that started a month ago won preliminary approval from the House on Friday. The Senate passed it earlier Friday. A final vote is expected in the state House on Saturday. The document was negotiated among Republicans, who hold large legislative majorities.

The budget holds spending flat by committing $153 million of one-time money and tapping $620 million in savings from the previous year.

Class sizes in kindergarten and first grade will be reduced, but child care subsidies are being reduced and Medicaid provider payments cut.


Payments approved for Zeek Reward victims

HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) - A federal judge has approved the first payouts for victims of the Zeek Rewards pyramid scheme.

The High Point Enterprise reported that the attorney supervising efforts to return members to the victims said a judge on Thursday approved the payments.

Kenneth Bell said the first payments should be handed out late next month. Bell indicated earlier this year that the first payments could be for about 40 percent of what victims lost in the scheme.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shut down and seized the assets of Zeek Rewards in August 2012. Bell estimates that from January 2011 until August 2012, more than 700,000 people lost more than $700 million.

Zeek Rewards had said it was a multi-level marketing business operating in Lexington.


Prosecutor: Peanut plant faked salmonella results

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) - A federal prosecutor says a Georgia peanut plant linked to a deadly salmonella outbreak fabricated food-safety lab results sent to customers including food giant Kellogg's.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Dasher told jurors in an opening statement Friday that Peanut Corp. of America shipped chopped nuts and peanut paste without waiting for microbiological testing, and sometimes faked lab certificates given to customers.

Defense attorney Tom Bondurant said company owner Stewart Parnell struggled to keep up with day-to-day operations and was left "holding the bag" by managers and employees who failed him. Lawyers for two other defendants, food broker Michael Parnell and plant quality control manager Mary Wilkerson, deferred openings until later in the case.

Nine people died and more than 700 were sickened by the 2008-2009 outbreak.


Charter School Advisory Board members resign

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Two members of the North Carolina Charter School Advisory Board who had been the target of ethics complaints have resigned.

Baker Mitchell and Paul Norcross resigned Wednesday. In May, Public Charter Schools Association Executive Director Eddie Goodall said the two should not have voted on a new charter school.

Mitchell heads charter schools in Leland and said in his resignation letter that those are his first priority. Norcross is co-founder of a High Point charter school and wrote it was no longer worth fighting attacks that detract from his work with his school.

On Thursday, the Senate approved Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger's recommendations to fill their unexpired terms. Phyllis Gibbs of Guilford County and Sherry Reeves of Pamlico County were chosen.


Crews work to stop sunken ships leaking oil off NC

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Experts say there are at least 13 ships sunk off the North Carolina coast that could leak oil.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported those 13 ships are among hundreds of wrecks off the North Carolina coast.

But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the ships sunk during World War II are a pollution threat because of the oil still on the vessels.

A company hired by the Coast Guard has worked to stop the leak on one of the old tankers sunk by a German submarine in 1942.

But Lee Sykes with Atlantic Coast Marine Group says the work was probably just a temporary fix. Sykes says the hull is rusting and officials must decide whether to patch the holes or pump the oil out.


UNC panel makes recommendations on security

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - A University of North Carolina system report makes three dozen recommendations to improve campus security.

The report suggests ways to respond to sexual violence, increase law enforcement preparedness, and fight alcohol and drug abuse on campus.

The report comes after a year of study by a task force of university police chiefs, attorneys, medical professionals, student counselors and others who deal with crime, sexual assault and substance abuse.

The report estimates it would cost nearly $13 million to implement all 36 recommendations.

UNC Board of Governors Chairman John Fennebresque says the school will take the report seriously.

The recommendations include creation of a system policy on sexual harassment and sexual violence. It also suggests that trained investigators and panelists who are not students should hear sexual assault cases.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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