Government

Workers must fill out new tax forms ahead of changes in state income tax law

December 9, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Most North Carolina taxpayers are being asked to fill out paperwork to comply with the implementation of a new state income tax system, which creates a flat individual income tax rate of 5.8% and eliminates many deductions for 2014. Employees need to fill out revised tax forms to determine how much the state will withhold from each paycheck.

Coalition wants to take politics out of district-drawing

December 9, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A diverse coalition of groups wants to change the way legislative and congressional districts are drawn, suggesting nonpartisan legislative staff draw the maps based on federal and state laws and guidelines for compactness. The NC Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform will hold a community meeting in Apex on Wednesday.

NC awaits outcome of U.S. farm bill talks

December 6, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Congress is working to pass a five-year farm bill this month that could affect North Carolina in numerous ways, including nutrition assistance for 1.6 million N.C. residents, funding for state university agricultural research programs and economic development programs for many of the state's 85 rural counties.

Judge finds NAACP leader guilty of Moral Monday-related charges

December 5, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Rev. William Barber, head of the state NAACP, was found guilty by a Wake County district court judge on Wednesday of second-degree trespass and violating a Legislative Building rule during the summer's weekly Moral Monday protests. Eleven other demonstrators also were charged.

McCrory, Tata blame environmental group for Bonner Bridge situation

December 5, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata both lay blame for the current Bonner Bridge situation on the Southern Environmental Law Center, which has tried to block the state from building a replacement bridge, proposing instead a costly 17-mile-long bridge. Bonner Bridge was closed for repairs on Tuesday due to safety concerns.

McCrory voices support for offshore drilling, fracking at energy conference

December 5, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory, who previously worked for Duke Energy, spoke at an energy conference in Durham this week about his involvement with the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, which supports offshore drilling. McCrory also repeated his support of shale gas exploration, but questioned the costs of subsidizing renewable resources including solar and wind.

NCDOT closes Bonner Bridge after inspections reveal dangerous erosion

December 4, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has closed the 50-year-old Bonner Bridge over the Oregon Inlet on the Outer Banks because of safety concerns. Emergency ferry service was launched late Tuesday for Hatteras Island residents. State DOT officials say repairs could take up to 90 days.

Former Marion fire chief charged with embezzlement

December 4, 2013

(The McDowell News)

A grand jury has indicted the former fire chief of the Ashford-North Cove Volunteer Fire Department under allegations he embezzled money. Thomas Dexter Swofford is accused of embezzling more than $269,000 of the fire department's funds between Jan. 2010 and July 2013.

Rev. Barber leads picketers outside Pope-led discount stores

December 3, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The NAACP leader who led Moral Monday demonstrations against laws passed by the state General Assembly earlier this year is now joining picketers outside discount stores operated by Variety Wholesalers Inc., of which state budget director Art Pope is CEO and board chairman.

Former UNC-CH African studies chairman accused of felony

December 3, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The former chairman of UNC Chapel Hill's African studies department has been indicted by an Orange County grand jury. Julius Nyang'oro is accused of a felony for accepting payment for a class he did not teach in the summer of 2011.