1. Parents demand answers after CMS bus goes up in flames

More than a dozen Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students are recovering from a scary situation after their school bus caught fire Thursday.

The 17 high schoolers on board had seconds to escape as flames engulfed the engine. Now, parents are pressing the school district about school bus inspections and whether this close call could have been avoided. Now, CMS is trying to figure out what caused the inferno on bus 364. The bus was carrying 16 students from South Mecklenburg High School along Dunlavin Way in east Charlotte when all of a sudden terror took over.

“The windows were exploding,” said one passenger on the bus. Click here to read more & see pictures.

2. Caregiver accused of sexual assault facing judge Friday

A 43-year-old man arrested and charged last week for allegedly sexually assaulting two young girls he was providing care for will face a judge Friday.

Ivan Dawkins was arrested after police were called by a witness that told authorities he saw the man sexually assault two young girls, ages seven and nine.

"It's a shame that has to happen but it's good that somebody stepped up in that situation," says neighbor Kenneth Remmington.

Dawkins was initially charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a child and statutory sex offense with a child after the interview. However, he was later charged with additional counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. The Mecklenburg County Jail listed eight new counts less than a week after the incident.

3. Lawyer for Weinstein rape accuser to share details about the case

David Ring, the lawyer for a 38-year-old Italian model/actress who says Harvey Weinstein raped her in 2013 will hold a news conference Friday to discuss the case. The Los Angeles Police Department said in a tweet Thursday that it was opening an investigation into the allegation.

The accuser would be the sixth woman to allege rape or forcible sex acts by the Hollywood mogul in multiple states. Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o was the latest actress to accuse Weinstein of harassment, saying he goaded her into giving him a massage when she was a Yale drama student. Director Quentin Tarantino, who has worked with Weinstein on several films, said he regrets not doing anything about the behavior, adding: “I knew enough to do more than I did.”

4. NC Values Coalition PAC endorses candidates in Charlotte race

The NC Values Coalition PAC released endorsements for candidates running in the Charlotte Mayor and City Council races.

The PAC said they chose candidates who best promote public policies that nurture family, faith and religious freedom, sustain free speech rights, preserve prayer at council meetings and protect bathroom privacy in bathrooms, showers and locker rooms. The organization has endorsed Kenny Smith for mayor, John Powell and Parker Cains for Charlotte city council at large.

The coalition has also endorsed Pete Givens for District 2, Daniel Herrera for District 3, Tariq Scott Bokhari for District 6 and Ed Driggs for District 7.

5. Remembering Lynyrd Skynyrd's fatal Miss. plane crash

Friday will mark the 40th anniversary of the deadly Mississippi plane crash of Southern rock icons Lynyrd Skynyrd. The popular and influential rock group, which was scheduled to play at a Louisiana State University concert, charted a plane that went down in a wooded, swampy area in Gillsburg, Miss., on Oct. 20, 1977. The crash killed six people, including the band's lead singer and main songwriter, Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and Steve's sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines. After the crash, the band went on a 10-year hiatus but would later reunite for a world tour in 1987.