Five things you need to know Thursday

1. Former UNCC Quarterback Kevin Olsen will plead not guilty to rape charges

Former UNC Charlotte quarterback Kevin Olsen will plead not guilty on rape charges Thursday, sources tell NBC Charlotte.

Olsen faces multiple charges stemming from his arrest in February, which includes three counts of second-degree forcible rape, assault on a female and second-degree sexual offense, according to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office. He will face a judge Thursday morning on the listed charges.

In May, Olsen was indicted by a grand jury on rape charges from his February arrest. The District Attorney said Olsen raped the victim at an off-campus apartment after a night of drinking. Olsen allegedly became outraged over text messages sent to her, and when the victim refused to have sex with him, he forced himself on her three times.

2. Man shot, killed in north Charlotte shooting

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are investigating the city's 67th homicide after a man was shot and killed in north Charlotte early Thursday.

According to CMPD, officers responded to a reported shooting in the 2200 block of Catherine Simmons Avenue. Medic said emergency crews received a call in reference to a gunshot wound just before 3 a.m. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by authorities.

Investigators have not identified a suspect in the case. Detectives are currently covering the area to determine if there were any witnesses to the shooting. 

3. Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, dies at 91

Playboy founder Hugh M. Hefner, the pipe-smoking hedonist who revved up the sexual revolution in the 1950s and built a multimedia empire of clubs, mansions, movies and television, symbolized by bow-tied women in bunny costumes, has died at age 91.

Hefner died of natural causes at his home surrounded by family on Wednesday night, Playboy said in a statement.

As much as anyone, Hefner helped slip sex out of the confines of plain brown wrappers and into mainstream conversation. Click here to continue reading.

4. Senate panel to probe malicious Twitter bots' role in election

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee will meet with Twitter executives behind closed doors on Thursday as they investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Investigators for Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller have been focusing on the spread of false news stories and propaganda on social media, which may have been aided by automated "bot" accounts. Earlier this month, Facebook announced it had discovered $100,000 in advertising spending by fake accounts and pages, likely operated out of Russia, that sought to sow political division during the election.

5. Will fans join NFL players in protest?

Thursday's game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers could see a new wrinkle in the ongoing national anthem controversy. Packers players have asked fans to join players in a show of unity by locking arms in the stands during the national anthem at Lambeau Field.

“This is about equality,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “This is about unity and love and growing together as a society, and starting a conversation around something that may be a little bit uncomfortable for people." 

Thursday night's game will be the first since last weekend’s mass protests against injustice during the anthem, which came in response to President Trump’s inflammatory remarks at an Alabama rally Friday. Every day since then, Trump has repeated his criticism of players who choose to kneel during the anthem.

RELATED: Cam Newton: Time is now for team to help bring people closer

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