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Brasstown still having possum drop, but with changes

BRASSTOWN (AP) — A possum drop that attracts thousands of people to a tiny western North Carolina town each New Year’s Eve will go on this year, with some changes.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports Thursday that Brasstown will still have the event Dec. 31 but won’t be using a live animal.

During the drop, the possum is suspended in a see-through box covered with tinsel and lowered to the ground at midnight.

Last month, a judge ruled a state agency didn’t have authority to issue a permit for the drop. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had sued, calling the event illegal and cruel.

Clay Logan has been putting on the drop for nearly two decades. He says he’s considering using a stuffed animal or maybe road kill this year.

Coast Guard to drop off threatened sea turtles in Gulf Stream

ATLANTIC BEACH (AP) — Six sea turtles will begin their journey back to the wild by being loaded on the Coast Guard Cutter Block Island in Atlantic Beach.

The boat was to take the turtles dozens of miles off the North Carolina coast to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and release them into the ocean Thursday at the start of a patrol off the Southeast coast.

One turtle on board represents a milestone for the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program. A turtle named Gumby is the 100th sea turtle to be successfully rehabilitated and released by the program since it began in 2000.

Loggerhead sea turtles are a threatened species in the Southeast.

NC woman hospitalized after pit bull attack

CHARLOTTE (AP) — A Charlotte woman has been hospitalized for severe injuries from a pit bull bite.

WCNC-TV reported Thursday that the woman was taken to a hospital to be treated for a bite to her leg.

Authorities say the woman’s injuries are life threatening. Her name has not been released.

It wasn’t clear how many dogs bit the woman or why she was attacked. No charges have been filed, and authorities have not said if the woman owned any pit bulls.

Grandmother, mother killed in Matthews wreck

MATTHEWS (AP) — A Matthews man has been charged with driving while impaired after a wreck that killed a Charlotte grandmother and her daughter.

Authorities say 62-year-old Marie Crook and her daughter, 37-year-old Jennifer Hunt, were both killed in the wreck just before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Officials say Crook was driving a Honda CRV and was hit by a Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by 28-year-old Justin Jones.

Hunt’s two children were being treated for minor injuries. Jones was also taken to the hospital.

Police are still investigating the wreck. It wasn’t known if Jones had an attorney.

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