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This Hour: Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment

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HOSPITAL CLOSURE-MAYOR

Belhaven mayor wraps march to DC to save hospital

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina mayor fighting to reopen a hospital in his rural North Carolina town is finishing his protest march to the nation's capital.

Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal expects to complete his march Monday in Washington, D.C. He met last week in Richmond, Virginia, with Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Neither state has expanded Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul law, something O'Neal blames for his local hospital closing.

Vidant Health System said it was losing money.

The 45-year-old registered Republican started his two-week, 300-mile march after the hospital closed July 1. O'Neal says he wants to speak with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about an investigation into whether the closing violates the Civil Rights Act.

Holder's agency this year helped facilitate an agreement that kept the hospital open until July.

FALLS ACCIDENT

Man injured in fall from NC waterfall

SALUDA, N.C. (AP) - First responders in Saluda say a man has been injured while rappelling near Bradley Falls.

Saluda Fire and Rescue Capt. Nicolas Edwards said the man suffered a knee injury and fell into the river Saturday.

The Times-News of Hendersonville reported that the man was out of the water by the time rescue crews arrived.

Rescue workers used a rope system to life the man back to the trail. His name was not released.

Nearly three dozen workers from Henderson and Polk counties responded to the call.

BLACKWATER TRIAL

Government said to suppress evidence in Blackwater

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawyers for Blackwater security guards are accusing the government of suppressing evidence favorable to the defendants, who are accused in the killings of 14 Iraqis in Nisoor Square in Baghdad.

The attorneys say the suppressed evidence consists of photographs of eight spent shell casings that would fit an AK-47 - the weapon of choice used by insurgents and Iraqi authorities.

A court filing by the defense attorneys says the photographs were taken by a U.S. Army captain and that they never saw the light of day until federal prosecutors turned them over last Wednesday.

The photos could become an important part of the case. They might bolster the accounts of the security guards, who say they were being fired upon by insurgents and that the guards were simply returning fire.

Blackwater USA was formed in North Carolina to offer training support to military and law enforcement organizations.

BUS EXPLOSION

3 teens charged in Durham bus explosion

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Three teens have been arrested after an explosion on a city bus in Durham last week.

No one was hurt when what police called a "Draino bomb" exploded on a bus July 22.

Eighteen-year-old Demetrius Walton, 18-year-old Christopher Bobby Lewis and a 17-year-old were charged Friday after police consulted with the district attorney's office. Each of them is charged with malicious use of an explosive device to damage property. It was not clear if they have attorneys.

The device exploded under a seat where a bottle had been left.

The bus driver and a passenger were taken to the hospital to be checked.

The fire department's hazardous materials unit investigated the explosion.

DOLLAR TREE-FAMILY DOLLAR

Dollar Tree buying Family Dollar for $8.5 billion

NEW YORK (AP) - Dollar Tree is buying rival discount store Family Dollar in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $8.5 billion.

Stockholders of Family Dollar Stores will receive $59.60 in cash and the equivalent of $14.90 in shares of Dollar Tree for each share they own. The companies put the value of the transaction at $74.50 per share.

The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close by early next year.

Shares of Family Dollar Stores Inc., based in Charlotte, North Carolina, spiked 20 percent before the opening bell Monday. Shares of Dollar Tree Inc., based in Chesapeake, Virginia, are up almost 4 percent.

EBOLA-AMERICAN DOCTOR

Aid Group: 2 Americans have Ebola in Liberia

BOONE, N.C. (AP) - A relief group official says two American aid workers have tested positive for the Ebola virus while working to combat an outbreak of the deadly disease at a hospital in Liberia.

Ken Isaacs, a vice president of Samaritan's Purse, says told The Associated Press on Sunday that Dr. Kent Brantly was stable and in very serious condition. Thirty-three-year-old Brantly is the medical director for the group's Ebola care center on the outskirts of the Liberian capital of Monrovia.

Isaacs identified the second American, Nancy Writebol, as a worker with an allied aid group SIM, or Serving in Mission, which runs the hospital. He said she was in stable and serious condition.

He said both Americans have since been isolated and are under intensive treatment.

EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION EXHIBIT

'Freedom for All' exhibit goes to NC plantation

CRESWELL, N.C. (AP) - A traveling exhibit about the Emancipation Proclamation is being displayed at a North Carolina plantation that relied on slave labor.

The "Freedom for All" exhibit goes on display Monday at Somerset Place State Historic Site in Creswell as part of a tour of state history museums, historic sites and libraries. The tour is part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the proclamation in 1863.

More than 850 slaves worked at Somerset Plantation between 1785 and 1865. Without slave labor, the plantation was no longer successful, and the Collins family sold it at auction in 1867.

The exhibit of illustrated informational panels outlines the struggle for freedom by slaves in North Carolina and the nation. It will be on display at Somerset through Aug. 23.

OBAMA-ARTS-HUMANITIES

Ronstadt, Katzenberg among those honored by Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) - Singer Linda Ronstadt, DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and public radio host Diane Rehm are among those being honored at the White House for their contributions to arts and humanities.

President Barack Obama is awarding the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal to 22 recipients in an East Room ceremony Monday. First lady Michelle Obama also plans to attend.

The National Medal of Arts was established by Congress in 1984 as the nation's highest award given to artists and their patrons. The National Humanities Medal was created in in 1997 to honor those who have deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities in fields including history, literature, languages and philosophy.

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

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