Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you!  It's Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  Good morning to you from the WBTV News Morning team...John Carter reporting to you this morning.  Start your New Year off right by watching the area's best morning newscast ... we have a lot to tell you when you join us from 4:30 to 7AM!

Of course, we'll show you how folks across the nation and around the world rang in the new year...including the First Night celebration held in uptown Charlotte.

Not far away...a bit of a scare as a disco ball fell at Time Warner Cable Arena just before the Avett Brothers took to the stage.  No one was hurt and the show went on.  We'll show you pictures of what happened.

What kind of weather can you expect on this first day of the new year?  As I write this...it's freezing in Charlotte...32 degrees!  But, it's going to warm up today...we should see some sunshine...and there's little chance of rain.

Authorities say a man with 118-grams of Meth in his car led them on a 14-mile high speed chase through Cleveland County.

Former first lady Barbara Bush is in a hospital in Houston with a respiratory-related issue. Former President George H.W. Bush's office says Mrs. Bush, who is 88,  is "in great spirits, has already received visits from her husband and family, and is receiving fantastic care."

Part of the Affordable Health Care Act is in limbo this morning.  Only hours before it was to take effect, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has blocked enforcement of a part of the new health care law that forces religion-based organizations to cover forms of contraception in their health care plans. The justice says the government has until Friday morning to respond to her order.

So...what do you think of this?  In just a few hours, pot shops will be opening in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is now legal. Pot shops will open at 8 a.m. today, but supporters didn't wait for the moment. On New Year's Eve, many people fired up bongs and water pipes and cheered at a "Prohibition Is Over" party in Denver. Only adults 21 and older can buy marijuana.

As we enter the new year...more than 20 laws are set to take effect in North Carolina. A tax overhaul law becomes effective today. Income tax rates fall for individuals and corporations, while many deductions, exemptions and credits are going away. Under another new law, plug-in electric vehicle owners will begin paying another $100 annually at registration time.

And how about this!  Officials with North Carolina's state parks are encouraging people to hike their way into 2014.  For the third year, the state Division of Parks and Recreation is offering First Day Hikes today at every state park and recreation area.

We've got all this and so much more...when you join us from 4:30 to 7 AM today!  What a great way to start out the new year!  Hope to see you then!