First Drip (8/20/15): Panthers top wide receiver out for season

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The Carolina Panthers' top wide receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, will miss the entire upcoming season due to a knee injury he suffered at practice yesterday. The Panthers staff, which has been praising the depth of the team's wide receiver corps throughout training camp, will now struggle to find someone to be a defined top-slot receiver. Unless a free agent is signed, the competition will be between rookie Devin Funchess; speedy receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Philly Brown; and the aging Jerricho Cotchery. 

In a 54-10 vote last night, the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization approved a major road plan that includes 91 projects throughout Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell and Union counties, and includes the controversial I-77 toll lanes. Charlotte councilwoman Vi Lyles, the city's CRTPO representative, said she voted for the plan to avoid any delay for funding to the Blue Line expansion. 

It could be said that Deez Nuts has become the first presidential candidate in American history to go viral before addressing a single voter. News sources began reporting on the candidate's relatively high poll numbers in primary states including North Carolina yesterday and the name began trending on Twitter shortly thereafter. A survey done by Public Polling Policy shows Deez Nuts polling at 9 percent in North Carolina, 8 percent in Minnesota and 7 percent in Iowa. The survey says 81 percent of North Carolina voters don't know how they feel about Deez Nuts. 

Residential solar installers have turned to Duke Energy for help in extending solar tax credits set to expire at the end of the year, but will receive no such support. A Duke spokesperson said the company will remain neutral in the legislative debate over the tax credits. Executives at Baker Renewable Energy, Sundance Power Systems, Southern Energy Management and Yes! Solar Solutions wrote an open letter to Duke CEO Lynn Good yesterday, as residential solar installation companies are reportedly already losing money due to the impending expiration of tax credits for homeowners who take advantage of solar power. 

A team of 11- and 12-year-old girls from nearby Rowan County will bring the Little League Softball World Series title back to Salisbury when it returns from the championship game this evening. The team, which represented North Carolina and then the Southeast during the finals, beat the East representative from Warwick, Rhode Island last night by a score of 4 - 2. The team is expected back in Charlotte at about 7 p.m. tonight, and a tour bus will bring them from the airport to Salisbury. A parade is scheduled for the team in Salisbury on Saturday morning. 

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