First Drip (12/05/14): Toll lanes coming, South Carolina indicts cops, Orion launches

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The N.C. Department of Transportation reaffirmed its commitment to toll lanes Thursday, with a 10-year plan including them in the widening of three key Charlotte projects: Interstate 485 from Rea Road to U.S. 74, Interstate 77 from uptown to the South Carolina line and U.S. 74 from uptown to Matthews.

As communities around the nation protest decisions not to charge officers who have injured or killed suspects, South Carolina prosecutors have obtained indictments against three white officers for on-duty shootings of unarmed black men in the past four months.

North Carolina's Department of Public Instruction “highly recommend” that school districts use social studies and history materials prepared by the Bill of Rights Institute, an institute funded by the conservative Koch family. The Bill of Rights Institute, based in Virginia, had a $100,000, sole-source contract with the state to help develop materials for teachers to use in a course on founding principles that the state requires students to take.

For the first time in more than 40 years, NASA has launched a spaceship designed to carry astronauts far beyond Earth. At dawn Friday, spaceship Orion saw liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Station. See the video.

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