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State Politics

McCrory pitches a stay-the-course budget

Gov. Pat McCrory unveiled his proposed $21.5 billion budget Thursday, describing it as a conservative approach that makes cuts where needed in order to put money where it will have the most impact. The governor tried to keep the spotlight on education, emphasizing that more than $1 billion will have been spent on teacher pay during his first term in office, if the budget is adopted by the General Assembly. He said 56 percent of the budget would go to education.

North Carolina

Former UNC football player Ryan Hoffman struggles on streets in Florida

Nearly 20 years and more than 100 pounds ago, this panhandler in the yellow knit cap, Ryan Hoffman, was a hulking offensive lineman for a North Carolina Tar Heels football team ranked in the top 10, a starting player renowned for his toughness and durability. Now his old Levis are so big that even a belt on its ninth notch can’t keep them from sagging below his hips.

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Mars once had a sea larger than the Arctic Ocean

Mars once had enough water to cover the entire planet, according to research published Thursday in Science. But based on analysis of the planet’s surface, it’s more likely that the planet had most of its liquid water in one ocean that covered 20 percent of the ground. It would have been larger than our Arctic Ocean, with maximum depths of about a mile. That’s nothing compared to the nearly seven miles of the deepest part of Earth’s Marina Trench, but it’s still pretty respectable – it’s comparable to the depth of the Mediterranean.

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