Duke To Duel With NC State, Penn State

Press Release courtesy of Duke Athletics

After kicking off the 2017-18 campaign by hosting a pair of ACC opponents last weekend, the Blue Devils will be back in action Friday, taking on NC State and Penn State at the Wolfpack’s Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center in Raleigh, N.C.

The double dual meet gets underway Friday at 5 p.m. Live results will be availablehere.

In the Rankings
Duke will face another strong field this weekend, with the NC State women and men both appearing in the top 10 of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America’s Division I preseason poll. The Wolfpack women came in at No. 5 and the men at No. 8, while the Blue Devil women were listed at No. 20.

A Look at Duke
The Blue Devil women split last weekend’s double dual meets in Taishoff, defeating No. 23 Florida State (192.5-160.5) and falling to Virginia Tech (214-139). The men featured a number of strong individual performances but came up short against the 20th-ranked Seminoles (208-145) and the 19th-ranked Hokies (209-144).

In the pool, senior Verity Abel swept the women’s distance events while sophomore Alyssa Marsh was a double winner with first-place showings in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 butterfly. Freshman Connie Dean impressed in her Duke debut with second-place finishes in three events. Junior Maddie Hessnotched an NCAA provisional cut in the 200 backstroke (1:58.43), as did Max St. George in the 100 backstroke (47.95). The Blue Devils also were successful in relay events, sweeping the 200 medley relays and adding a win in the men’s 400 medley relay.

On the boards, junior Evan Moretti won the men’s three-meter springboard competition with an ACC leading award of 390.65 and was second on the one-meter board.

St. George’s 47.95 mark in the 100 backstroke puts him first in the ACC and fifth in the nation heading into the weekend, while Abel’s 10:03.00 clocking in the 1,000 freestyle ranks her 16th in the country. Hess is also top 20 nationally in the 200 backstroke and the Blue Devils’ 400 medley relay of St. George, Judd Howard, Yusuke Legard and Miles Williams is fifth in the country (3:16.24).

Scouting the Wolfpack
Series History: Men-NC State leads, 65-13; Women-NC State leads, 33-3
Last Time We Met: Men-L, 177-115 (11/8/13, Raleigh, N.C.); Women-L, 177-123 (10/29/16, Durham, N.C.)
NC State 2017 ACC Finish: Men-1st; Women-1st
NC State 2017 NCAA Finish: Men-4th; Women-7th

NC State kicks off its season Friday night in Raleigh after sweeping the 2017 ACC titles and earning a pair of top-eight finishes at the 2017 NCAA Championships. The Wolfpack men return Ryan Held, a gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, as well as standouts Justin Ress, Andreas Vazaios, Anton Ipsen, Coleman Stewart and diver James Brady. The women’s team captured the ACC title for the first time since 1980 last spring, and returns veterans Hannah Moore, Elise Haan, Courtney Caldwell, Ky-lee Perry and Madeline Kline from that team.

Scouting the Nittany Lions
Series History: First Meeting
Penn State 2017 Big Ten Finish: Men-7th; Women-8th
Penn State 2017 NCAA Finish: Men-28th; Women-36th

The Penn State men were just edged by No. 22 Virginia, 151-149, in the Lions’ season opener last weekend in University Park. The women’s team also fell to the Cavaliers by a 184-104 margin. Kalean Freund claimed Big Ten Men’s Swimmer of the Week accolades after posting the nation’s top 100 breaststroke time so far this season at 54.20, while on the women’s side, Jane Donahue earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week recognition with three top-four finishes in her Penn State debut.

Meet Format
Friday’s events in Raleigh begin with the 200 medley relay, followed by the 1,000 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and 50 freestyle prior to the first diving break. Swimming events continue with the 100 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke, 500 freestyle and 100 butterfly, followed by another diving break, and then the 200 individual medley and 400 freestyle relay.

Colella’s Take
“NC State has really done a great job over the last several years, and they’re an incredibly well-balanced team,” said head coach Dan Colella. “Penn State absolutely has some folks who are highlighting events in mid-distance. Against NC State, our goal is to race them incredibly hard … Penn State, I think that’s a program that’s going to be very competitive with us.”

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Geoff Ables Selected as Keynote Speaker and Session Leader at SharePoint Engage 2017 in Raleigh, NC

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SharePoint Engage 2017 in Raleigh, NC will feature Geoff Ables as a keynote speaker and session leader. The event is scheduled for October 24-25, 2017.

SharePoint Engage Raleigh 2017 will be held at the Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham Airport/Brier Creek in Raleigh, NC on October 24-25, 2017. SharePoint Institute is hosting the conference. SharePoint Engage has been organized for SharePoint users to network, collaborate, and exchange with other SharePoint professionals, while gaining knowledge about SharePoint and its uses to increase business productivity. There are three learning tracks: SharePoint project management and business analysis, real-world SharePoint user application, and advanced topics and the future of SharePoint.

Geoff Ables, Managing Partner of C5 Insight, is delivering the Keynote Address, ?Reimagining Productivity: Finding Digital Workplace Success in an Unlikely Place. He will discuss how to prepare for the future of work, looking at how people, and not technology, will be a key factor in the next generation of working together. Everyone wants to be more efficient and effective in their daily work, and Ables will talk about the perfect storm thats brewing and how impending changes will transform not only the way people work, but the very work itself.

Ables will also lead the session, ?CPR for SharePoint: How to Improve SharePoint Adoption. In this session he will provide an in-depth look into why collaboration tools such as SharePoint fail to meet expectation and what organizations can do to get struggling intranet projects back on track, forge new connections, become more productive, increase employee engagement, and build a lasting culture of collaboration. Attendees will learn:

– 5 trends that are affecting collaboration today

– The mistakes being made by many organizations and how to avoid them

– 10 tips and practical ideas to apply that will get struggling projects back on track

Ables is the author of ?The LUCK Principle, Business Results at the Intersection of People & Profit. In the book he teaches how to harness the power of people, process, and technology to transform a business into a workplace that balances a people-first culture with bottom-line results. The book is available in both paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon at https://www.Amazon.com/dp/B01N0QW5H4.

Geoff Ables, C5 Insight Managing Partner, is a best selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He has over 20 years of consulting experience on topics including intranets, customer relationship management, social collaboration, and big data. As a thought leader on customer and employee engagement, his insights have been seen and heard in dozens of global venues. He founded C5 Insight in 2002, and has consulted with hundreds of companies in a broad range of industries. The firm has twice been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies.

For more information about Geoff Ables and C5 Insight, visit
https://www.C5Insight.com.

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Aqua NC works to find source of water outage in Raleigh neighborhoods

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Contractors for Aqua North Carolina spent Monday trying to find out what caused the water to stop flowing in two North Raleigh neighborhoods.

More than 800 customers had little to no water pressure for several days.

It didn’t take long for people to notice a problem.

“When it first started, the pressure was down that was the main problem that was 3 or 4 days ago,” said Keith Prillman who lives in one of the affected neighborhoods.

Homeowners were told to stop washing their cars and to boil their water.

“They gave everybody a 40 pack of water when they were worried about the water quality but they’ve since had it tested and let us know there’s no more bacteria so it’s good to drink,” Prillman said.

Aqua NC, who operates the wells in the neighborhoods, is still trying figure out why the problem happened.

“We started to mobilize geologist, engineers, and some of our Aqua professionals to better understand exactly what happened,” said Aqua NC President Shannon Becker. “We’re going to look at the wells, asses what the capacity allowance and hopefully find a way to increase the capacity to meet the demands on a normal basis out there.”

Becker says the lack of rain and amount of water being used didn’t help the situation.

But they have a temporary fix. They hooked up with the City of Raleigh’s water supply.

Aqua NC says it does not know when the problem will be fixed.

“We understand the frustration of our customers, we really are trying to do everything we can as quickly as we can to return them to service,” Becker said.

He says Aqua will be paying for the use of Raleigh city water.

Maintenance costs are lower over the life-cycle of the field and it also…

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Want To Live In Raleigh NC?

Before you make a choice to live in Raleigh NC, you may want to know what it takes to get a place to stay there. Here, you can find out about finding a home here and whether it is a place you’ll be able to find work in.

You’re going to want to look at the listings for homes in the area. If you want to buy one, it can help to work with a real estate agent. If you’re going to rent a home or an apartment, then you need to make sure you look for reviews on the property management companies that own these kinds of places. You don’t want to sign a lease and move into a place only to find out later that it’s not what it seems and is not worth the money.

If you are going to move to an area, you have to be able to make money there. That’s why you should make sure you have a job if you’re going to the area, because you need to be sure that you can cover your bills. You should look for a job while working your current one, and shouldn’t quit a job until you know for sure that you’re moving and have something else lined up. Check around online for different opportunities you’re interested in and keep working at it until you get something in place that is going to help you afford to stay in Raleigh NC.

Once you can find work in Raleigh NC and a home there, you can make it your new place to call home. You just have to be prepared to live in the new area. You’ll be happy with your choice when you get out there and start looking around at the city and what it has to offer.

NC offered Foxconn $570M, but firm took a much higher deal

A Foxconn facility

Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina promised tax breaks and other incentives worth more than $570 million to attract a Foxconn electronics plant that could employ 8,800 people, but the state lost out to Wisconsin’s five-times-larger offer, documents released Monday show.

Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan were also in the running for the Foxconn Technology Group’s plant, according to a June 12 memo included among state documents released to The Associated Press after a public records request.

The Taiwan-based manufacturer announced in late July it settled on a southern Wisconsin site for a $10 billion flat-screen factory that could employ 13,000 people. Wisconsin politicians last week completed their work on a $3 billion incentive package.

Foxconn officials visited North Carolina twice in May to scout prospects for a plant where 95 percent of the jobs would be on the production line and the overall average salary would exceed $50,000, records show. The factory producing materials used in large televisions, interactive whiteboards and other displays was expected to open in early 2020.

The company’s list of requested public subsidies isn’t clear. They appeared to be outlined in an almost entirely redacted 23-page letter from Foxconn’s site selection consultants. But avoiding taxes would be a key element in the company’s jobs decision, the May 15 letter indicated.

Foxconn wanted state and local authorities to "provide offsets to all taxes levied at the state and local level," the letter said.

On June 2, North Carolina submitted its official offer, with an incentives estimate totaling nearly $570 million. The total doesn’t include pending sweeteners, including additional local tax breaks, taxpayer-paid site preparation and extra money from an economic development foundation using the state’s settlement payments from cigarette companies, the state Commerce Department memo said.

The previous day, Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland wrote Foxconn officials suggesting that if North Carolina were selected as a finalist, state legislators might be coaxed into raising the current limit on a program that provides tax breaks as companies meet job-creating and investment targets over time.

Legislators have sought to encourage job creation without giving away the store and "addressing the many critical, high-priority needs of the state," Copeland wrote. But "the job creation proposed for these projects is so large that we may need to explore the feasibility or raising or eliminating the cap for a project of this magnitude."

The Foxconn records were released a month beyond the deadline required by state law. The Commerce Department initially refused, citing Foxconn statements that the Wisconsin factory could be the first of several U.S. locations.

Foxconn in 2013 promised to hire 500 workers and invest $30 million in Pennsylvania, but that plant was never built. The company also has pledged to build factories in Indonesia and India that haven’t materialized.

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Take a weekend getaway to Raleigh

North Carolina’s capital is as sweet as tea.
Photo courtesy of Sean Pavone Photo/AdobeStock

North Carolina’s capital city is an under-the-radar destination, but its time is now. Youthful entrepreneurs from the area’s prestigious colleges are moving there permanently, and Raleigh’s bountiful brain trust helps explain why Travel & Leisure named it one of America’s Geekiest Cities. Forward-thinking business owners infuse new energy into neighborhoods, and Raleigh’s neglected factories and warehouses are transformed into galleries, restaurants and boutiques. And did someone say craft beer? Raleigh has 25 local breweries and a bar with the world’s record for the most taps.

When my family hit the road to look at colleges, we headed to Raleigh, a city adjacent to three esteemed universities: Duke University, the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State. We knew Raleigh was the hometown of Washington Wizards star John Wall, but we didn’t know much else. So it was to our surprise to find that Raleigh is seriously cool.

Loren Gold is executive vice president of Visit Raleigh, the city’s convention and visitor’s bureau. Hailing from McLean and later Loudoun County, he likes to compare Raleigh to Northern Virginia several decades ago: “Raleigh is like Northern Virginia where I grew up, both from a topography standpoint and culturally. It’s a community and a state capital, so we have public sector workers, tech companies and lots of law firms here. Its location in Central Piedmont makes it similar, too—like Northern Virginia, we’re just two hours from the coast and three hours to the mountains.”

The city is in the top three for having the most undergraduate degrees, and there’s a strong appreciation for the arts and creative classes. Gold says, “The state has a strong agricultural history, but today the biggest industries are centered around the University system and STEM-related industries. It’s also an inclusive city with collaborative businesses and very celebratory. We have a lot of festivals.” Gold mentions how Raleigh becomes a roving party on First Fridays, and the Brewgaloo NC Craft Beer Festival (shoplocalraleigh.org/brewgaloo), held in mid-April, features 105 breweries and 50 food trucks, making it the largest craft beer festival in the South. The city’s ultimate event is the annual Wide Open Bluegrass Festival (wideopenbluegrass.com) in late September. “It’s the largest urban bluegrass festival in the U.S.,” Gold adds.

North Carolina Museum of Art / Photo by Renee Sklarew

After spending a few days visiting, I came away thinking, I could live here. Besides the glorious lack of traffic and fierce competition from dozens of standout museums, Raleigh Beer Garden (614 Glenwood Ave.) was the highlight for me. Built in a two-story Victorian residence with a giant oak tree planted in the middle of the patio, the Raleigh Beer Garden has 366 taps, tasty pub food and a twinkling view of the city skyline. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most beer taps in the world and is the perfect place to sample obscure international beers as well as North Carolina’s best brews.

Food is practically a religion in Raleigh. One of the city’s favorite barbecue restaurants is The Pit Authentic Barbecue (328 W. Davie St.) in a restored 1930s meatpacking warehouse. Owner Greg Hatem came to the area as a student at North Carolina State (locals call it State) and founded Empire Eats, where he helped drive the movement to revitalize downtown Raleigh. Carolina-style barbecue requires pit-cooking the whole hog and then infusing smoky pork butt with vinegar and pepper. Executive chef Melania Dunia’s ribs reigned victorious in a contest with Food Network star Bobby Flay. North Carolina has been a top producer of pork since the 1700s, according to Gold.

Along with iconic barbecue, a diverse population of immigrants has introduced cooking from their homelands, and Raleigh residents have embraced them. One of the most admired is Bida Manda (222 S. Blount St.), a restaurant founded by Van Nolintha, a Laotian immigrant who moved to North Carolina with his sister when they were kids. Nolintha opened his restaurant with a high degree of reverence for his family and hands-on help from local restaurateurs. “There’s a natural sense of optimism in Raleigh,” Nolintha says. “We are fortunate to live in a community where people care so much about each other and constantly lift each other up. Everybody is ready to rally around an idea that is authentic and genuine.”

After graduating from State with a design degree, Nolintha debuted recipes from his native land at Bida Manda. He then applied his culinary chops and design know-how to open Brewery Bhavana (218 S. Blount St.), a unique combination of bookstore, flower shop, Belgian-style brewery and dim sum house. The book collection arose from a request that Nolintha’s friends and mentors contribute a list of the five most important books of their lives. “People dropped them off in boxes with personal notes about why they’re sacred,” says Nolintha.

James Beard award winner and Iron Chef competitor Ashley Christensen is Raleigh’s most famous chef. She transformed a former bank/funeral home into a blockbuster restaurant she named Death & Taxes (105 W. Hargett St.) featuring wood-fired cooking with Southern ingredients. Her first restaurant, Poole’s Diner (426 S. McDowell St.), focuses on comfort food like cheddar pimento grilled cheese.

And I loved Samad Hachby’s festive food and lovely garden patio at Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar (309 N. Dawson St.).

North Carolina’s Three Presidents Monument in Raleigh’s Historic Capitol Square / Photo by Renee Sklarew

It’s not an exaggeration to say Raleigh’s museums are first-class. Don’t miss the North Carolina Museum of Art (2110 Blue Ridge Road), with its dramatic architecture and Rodin sculpture collection. Located in a 164-acre park with ponds full of water lilies, the museum has brilliantly curated artwork from every era and medium—Roman, Egyptian, African, Jewish, impressionist, modern and even Washington, D.C., artist Sam Gilliam. Lunch at the museum’s Iris Café features inventive cuisine in artistic presentations.

Those seeking cutting-edge art must tour CAM Raleigh (409 W. Martin St.). The gallery is a gathering place for students, guests and professionals to rub elbows and feed off each other’s creativity. CAM curators rotate installations that facilitate human interaction. They often mix genres—music, theater and sculpture—to further engage visitors.

Inside the soaring ceilings of Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts (2 E. South St.), patrons are impressed both by the building and the wide variety of live performances, including the North Carolina Opera, North Carolina Symphony and Carolina Ballet. Broadway’s biggest shows stop here, too. Before you go, take a look at what’s playing, as the center is easily walkable from downtown Raleigh.

The most fun I’ve had on two wheels was navigating a Triangle Glides Segway (323 Blake St.) through the center of the city. The modern Segway is so intuitive that riding up and down sidewalks and crossing urban streets is effortless. Then there’s Raleigh’s 100 miles of greenway. These protected parks have inspired both a huge cycling culture and a bike-share program in Raleigh.

Kids of every age will be enchanted by Marbles Kids Museum (201 E. Hargett St.), a fanciful structure containing interactive exhibits such as indoor hockey, a giant pirate ship, art loft and STEM station. You’ll have a hard time extracting the family, but they’ll also love William B. Umstead State Park’s (8801 Glenwood Ave.) 22 miles of hiking trails, nature center and canoe rentals on the lake.

Downtown Raleigh features a wide array of boutiques with eclectic gifts, stylish accessories and home decor; most are independently owned and operated. Holly Aiken’s Stitch (20 E. Hargett St.) displays handmade urban totes and messenger bags in fresh chromatic designs. Deco Raleigh (19 W. Hargett St.) is stuffed with darling merchandise guaranteed to enhance the whimsy factor of your home. Flourish Market (713 Tucker St.) sells fair-trade clothing and accessories made by artisans from around the world. North Carolinians have a proud tradition of manufacturing textiles, and Raleigh Denim Workshop (319 W. Martin St.) is producing handcrafted jeans using local materials and neighborhood workers.

Umstead Hotel and Spa / Photo by Renee Sklarew

Despite the forward-thinking movement driving development in Raleigh, it’s interesting to look back at North Carolina’s history. In the pre-16th century, nomadic Paleo-Indian tribes lived in the region until the Spanish arrived on their shores in 1566 looking for gold. Then, Sir Walter Raleigh (the city’s namesake) sent 117 pioneers to build a settlement on the North Carolina coast. The Lost Colony of English settlers arrived on Roanoke Island in 1587, and Virginia Dare was the first English child born on the shores of the New World. This community of colonists disappeared from North Carolina in the late 1500s, and few traces have been found. More settlers arrived, and in 1789 the region became the 13th American state. Though a small number of Civil War battles were fought in North Carolina, more than 42,000 died during the conflict. At the turn of the 20th century, Orville and Wilbur Wright chose the sand dunes of North Carolina to fly the first manned airplane. Three United States presidents were born and raised in North Carolina, and you can see their likenesses in a bronze statue in Raleigh’s Historic Capitol Square (rhdc.org). North Carolinians are proud of their history, and the best way to learn about it is to visit North Carolina Museum of History (5 E. Edenton St.), an affiliate of the Smithsonian. This free museum exhibits artifacts (including photographs of Blackbeard the pirate) from the state’s 14,000-year history and hosts regular events for families.

My daughters didn’t end up at colleges near Raleigh, but I still plan to return to investigate the many attractions and restaurants I missed. For a fun getaway weekend full of culture, hospitality and North Carolina barbecue, don’t wait to visit colleges to explore this American treasure.

Umstead Hotel and Spa / Photo by Renee Sklarew
Where To Stay
Umstead Hotel and Spa

This Forbes Five-Diamond resort is the height of luxury and elegance. Approximately 15 minutes from downtown Raleigh, the hotel is near scenic William B. Umstead State Park in the manicured suburbs of Cary. The hotel is surrounded by its own 12 acres of lushly wooded gardens, including a serene lake with meandering walking paths. Rooms and suites are luxuriously appointed, furnished in soft earth tones. Guest rooms have picturesque views, some with balconies overlooking the lake. Suites include a separate sitting room with views of the gardens and a spa-style bathroom. Umstead’s Spa combines treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, meditation gardens and co-ed current pool. Hotel guests enjoy Umstead’s relaxation lounges, fitness center and meditation gardens. Heron’s is a five-star restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a full-view kitchen showcasing the preparation of homegrown produce from the hotel’s nearby farm. The chic lobby features a captivating Chihuly sculpture along with vivid contemporary paintings. // 100 Woodland Pond Drive, Cary, NC; 919-447-4000; Rates for two nights start at $860

Located in the heart of downtown Raleigh, this convention hotel surprisingly maintains a feeling of intimacy and commitment to personal service. It’s just steps from the Capitol Square Historic District, so visitors can walk to Raleigh’s main attractions like the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, North Carolina History Museum, Governor’s Mansion, Moore Square and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The Capitol District also has lovely historic buildings, boutiques and restaurants. The Marriott’s modern rooms are spacious and bright, offering streaming of Netflix and Hulu. Marriott’s elegant lobby has a Starbucks, and the Rye Bar & Southern Kitchen serves barbecue ribs, chicken salad and other Southern comfort food. Set aside time to relax by the large indoor pool or work out in fully equipped fitness center. // 500 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, NC; 919-833-1120; marriott.com Rates for two nights start at $480

Hampton Inn and Suites Raleigh Downtown

Located in the vibrant Glenwood South neighborhood, this hotel plants you in the middle of Raleigh’s most popular restaurants, shops, bars and nightlife, including the award-winning Raleigh Beer Garden. Glenwood South is the hip and trendy part of town in what had been warehouses and art supply stores. From here, you can walk a mile to Raleigh’s museum district, Red Hat Amphitheater and historic downtown, or hop on the free R-Line bus. The hotel provides a complimentary breakfast buffet, and all the rooms include free Wi-Fi, coffee maker, microwave and refrigerator. All suites have a sofa sleeper. Be aware that the neighborhood is quite lively and loud at night, so request a quiet guest room on the northwest side of the building (away from Glenwood Avenue). The hotel has an indoor pool and fitness center. // 600 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC; 919-825-4770; Rates for two nights start at $360

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NC Gov. Roy Cooper says Irma poses greatest threat to mountains

(WSPA)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s emergency officials say the forecast keeps improving as Tropical Storm Irma churns to the north and west, but they say residents will still feel the storm’s effects.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday the threat remains the greatest in the mountains, with localized flooding and power outages possible.

Cooper says the threat for rockslides in western North Carolina is greater this year because of mountain wildfires last fall.

There could also be minor flooding at the coast. Heavy rain and high winds should begin in the state Monday afternoon and continue until early Tuesday.

North Carolina remains in a state of emergency, with staging areas for recovery operations in Greensboro, Charlotte and Asheville.

Duke Energy says they have 4,500 workers stationed in the Carolinas to respond to power outages.

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Mistake-prone NC State Fumbles Away Season Opener Against USC

(Photo: Jim Dedmon, USA TODAY Sports)

CHARLOTTE — It’s just one game. The entire season is still ahead of NC State despite a gut-wrenching 35-28 loss to South Carolina.

If the Wolfpack takes care of business in the Atlantic Division of the ACC, it can still come away with a memorable season. The ACC Championship Game is still a possibility and a double-digit win total is still attainable even with the loss on Saturday night.

This is all true.

But what’s also true is the fact that the Wolfpack continued to make too many mistakes to win games — plain and simple. In a season where NC State has seen the hype build all offseason, the Pack needed one less fumble, one less blown coverage or one tackle on the opening kickoff away from forcing overtime or winning the game.

But the Hail Mary never came for State on Saturday evening in Charlotte.

On the opening kickoff, Deebo Samuel ran 97 yards for a touchdown to silence Wolfpack fans. After a track meet on the next three drives that brought the score to 14-14, Stephen Louis fumbled the ball to allow South Carolina to start from the NC State 40-yard line. On the next drive for the Pack, Carson Wise hit the left upright from 29 yards out to keep the score at 21-14.

And that was all the first half.

Tack on a controversial fumble for Ryan Finley that allowed the Gamecocks to start from the NC State 13 and a one-handed catch from Deebo Samuel — his second of the game — and South Carolina already appeared to have the game in hand at 35-21. Jaylen Samuels scored on a touchdown from one yard out with 12:21 remaining in the game, but the Pack couldn’t muster up another scoring drive.

— Pack Pride (@PackPride) September 2, 2017

While the offense ultimately made some of the most costly mistakes, it’s hard to place all of the blame on Finley and co. The second-year quarterback finished the game with an NC State-record 45 completions — the previous record was by Philip Rivers (2003) and Russell Wilson (2010) with 38 — for 415 yards, two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.

On the receiving end of 15 of those passes — tying Torry Holt for an NC State record — was Jaylen Samuels. The H-Back lived up to his hype heading into the season with 94 total yards and a receiving touchdown, but it was Kelvin Harmon’s 10 catches for 114 yards that led the team in receiving yards.

Nyheim Hines ties the score at 14 in the 1st Quarter with a 2-yd rushing TD pic.twitter.com/ZxUISi5t9u

— Pack Pride (@PackPride) September 2, 2017

As for the running back position, Nyheim Hines proved he can be the program’s featured back despite some issues along the offensive line. He finished with 115 total yards on 19 touches and one touchdown, and led the Pack with 81 rushing yards, including some bruising runs at the beginning of the game with the South Carolina d-line applying tons of pressure.

Two redshirt freshmen saw a lot of action in the opening game on the offensive line with Justin Witt starting in place of Will Richardson and Joe Sculthorpe taking over for Terrone Prescod due to injury. We now know that Richardson will miss the first two games, but the status of Prescod is up in the air — Doeren didn’t comment on it following the game.

Even with the suspension and injuries, NC State’s offense bested South Carolina’s in nearly every category. The final tally was 504-246 in total yards, 29-12 on first downs and nearly doubled the Gamecocks with 99 plays compared to 50. But those numbers get washed away when 21 of USC’s 35 points were scored off turnovers and a kickoff return.

In the end, the Pack dropped the season opener by seven points. Had it not been for two fumbles in its own territory, NC State might be looking at a 28-21 win to start the season instead of hanging its heads on the long bus ride back to Raleigh. And with a game against Marshall at Carter-Finley Stadium next Saturday at 7 p.m., fixing those mistakes will have to be immediate.

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NC State University students lose $58,000 in scam

RALEIGH (WTVD) —

In less than two weeks, 10 NC State University students have lost $58,000 to a scam.

One of those students is Lily Cloud. Lily is a senior civil engineering student, and she got a call from who she thought was the NC State University Police Department.

"It’s the exact same number they have on their website," said Lily. "They knew my name, they knew my college, they knew all sorts of information about me, and they said there was an investigation on me."

Lily said she was told it was a fraud investigation involving the IRS.

She adds, "I was extremely terrified during this call. They said I could have gotten kicked out of the School of Engineering and that my credit score could be ruined, so they were making threats like that."

The caller demanded that she stay on the phone with him the entire time and not to tell anyone else what she was doing as the investigation was confidential, Lily said. She claims the caller told her that if she complied, things would work out in her favor when it came time to the fraud investigation.

Lily said she was told to drive from her apartment to the Best Buy on Capital Boulevard.

Once inside, she said the caller told her to buy $6,000 worth of Best Buy gift cards. After she bought the gift cards, she read the 16 digit activation codes to the scammer so he had control of the cards.

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Then the caller told her since she was complying, she could head to the Durham IRS office to meet with investigators.

When she was close to the Durham office, she said the scammer then told her there was a problem and the $6,000 didn’t cover it and that he needed more.

This time the caller told her to go to the Best Buy in Durham on Fayetteville Street and buy another $6,000 in gift cards.

"I’m stressing out the entire time, just freaking out that I wanted to get this done, wanting to come home," Lily said.

The scammer now had $12,000 worth of Lily’s money, but it still wasn’t enough.

The student said she was then told to drive to a Best Buy in Cary and buy a final $2,000 worth of gift cards, claiming that would get her out of trouble.

By this time, she was now more than four hours into the call with the scammers, and they got $14,000 worth of Best Buy gift cards thanks to Lily. She said the caller finally said that she did enough and that, "We will meet you at the IRS on Monday. We will give you a check and clear this all up."

Lily said she was told she had to destroy all of the gift cards and receipts, which she said she did.

Relieved it was over, Lily called her parents to fill them in only to learn this was all a scam.

Lily and her parents immediately called Best Buy to try and cancel the gift cards.

The problem? Since she no longer had the gift cards, it was tough to cancel them without activation codes. Eventually, Best Buy was able to put a stop to $2,000 out of the $14,000 worth of gift cards.

Lily is still out $12,000.

"It’s really financially devastating," she said.

Besides bieng in financial ruin, Lily said this ordeal has been extremely embarrassing.

Looking back, she said there were so many red flags but she said the caller was so good at impersonating the NC State police, she thought she was in real trouble and that’s why she followed the instructions for more four hours.

As it turns out, the scammer was just able to manipulate their phone number to make it appear they were calling from the department.

Lily is sharing her story in hopes that no other students fall victim to this scam.

"They are targeting kids that are just trying to better themselves, and they are coming in with personal information attacking them and threatening them."

Officials with the NC State police tell me they are working with other agencies, specifically the Raleigh Police Department and the IRS, to investigate the crimes.

The IRS has assigned an investigator from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s Office to assist the NC State Police Department with jurisdictional issues. He adds, leads have been developed, and investigators are making progress, but as it’s an ongoing investigation, and they cannot discuss those leads at this time.

A safety alert did go out to NC State University students this week.

Red flags for this scam involved the caller demanding payment with gift cards from Best Buy or iTunes, pre-paid debit cards, Western Union, MoneyGram or bank deposits.

Also, the IRS will not share information with local law enforcement agencies, and the IRS will not threaten arrest over the phone for unpaid taxes. If you get one of these calls, hang up.

Here are more tips from the IRS.

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