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N.C. stadium bid falling short early

Opponents of a tax proposal to help build a $210-million stadium in hopes of luring major-league baseball to the Triad region led in early voting Tuesday in two counties.

With nearly 32 percent of precincts reporting in Guilford County, opponents had 15,579 votes to 7,664 for supporters.

The same trend was surfacing in neighboring Forsyth County, where opponents led 9,145-7,427 with 34 percent of precincts reporting.

To win approval, a majority of voters in Forsyth and Guilford counties must agree to the 1 percent prepared-foods tax on all meals served in restaurants and a 50-cent tax on baseball tickets.

Supporters hope to build a stadium on the Forsyth County-Guilford County line if the ownership group led by Hickory businessman Don Beaver is successful in buying and moving the Minnesota Twins to North Carolina.

UMPIRE FALLS SICK: Mark Johnson, the plate umpire for the game between the Yankees and host Rangers, left in the second inning because he was feeling ill. After a delay of nine minutes, Johnson was replaced by crew chief Jim Evans, who had been at second base. Johnson told Evans he was dizzy.

_ TIMES WIRES

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