Most talked about Charlotte Observer stories

Triangle football coaches show off their six-packs

charlotteobserver.com — Steve Spurrier calls this talking season, these weeks leading up to preseason football camp. In the Triangle, it has morphed into picture-taking season. It all started on Monday, when UNC coach Larry Fedora traveled to Bristol, Conn., to participate in ESPN's annual round of interviews for college coaches.

NASCAR penalizes Denny Hamlin, Sprint Cup team

charlotteobserver.com — Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin got a taste of the consequences of a major violation of NASCAR's new deterrence system. NASCAR on Tuesday assessed the Joe Gibbs Racing team a penalty that included docking the driver 75 points and suspending his crew chief Darian Grubb for the next six races.
Jul 29, 2014

Denny Hamlin got a taste of the consequences of a major violation of NASCAR’s new deterrence system. Read more here: charlotteobserver.com/2014/07/29/507…

GOP leaders tout budget deal with 7% teacher raise

charlotteobserver.com — RALEIGH North Carolina teachers would get a 7 percent pay raise and teacher assistants would keep their jobs under a budget outlined Tuesday by Republican legislative leaders. The budget, expected to be voted on this week, also would boost pay of starting teachers to $35,000 over two years and give most state employees a $1,000 raise and five additional vacation days.

Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei looking for improvement in Year 2

charlotteobserver.com — SPARTANBURG Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he believes defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short are ready to take the next step as they enter their second season in the NFL. But Lotulelei doesn't even know what "next step" entails. "I don't know what that means," Lotulelei said with a laugh.
Jul 29, 2014

Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei looking for improvement in Year 2. @jjones9 talked to him. Story: charlotteobserver.com/2014/07/29/507…