Latest North Carolina News:
Bill to give NC returning workers bonuses approved by Senate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The state Senate has voted for a bill that would give bonuses to North Carolina’s unemployment benefit recipients who get a job soon – but Congress would have to sign off, too. The measure approved Tuesday would provide $1,500 to people who accept reemployment within 30 days of the bonus program starting. The bonus would drop to $800 at 30 days. The bonuses would come from federal funds that have raised individual unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill proponent Sen. Chuck Edwards said Congress would have to pass a law before the money could be used in that way.
More arrests after man’s body was found at cemetery
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have arrested two more people in the death of a man whose body was found at a cemetery. News outlets report Raleigh police say 19-year-old Johnathan Dan Villanueva-Galer of Raleigh was arrested on Tuesday and charged with the murder of James Lucy Taylor. Police also say a 16-year-old has been taken into custody in connection with the death of James Lacy Taylor. Police were called to Mount Olivet Cemetery in the city Friday night, where they found a seriously injured man who was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
TENURE DISPUTE-SLAVERY PROJECT
Donor’s concerns voiced before Hannah-Jones’ tenure stalled
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – A major University of North Carolina donor whose name is on its journalism school voiced concerns about the school’s hiring of investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones in the weeks before her application for tenure was halted. Walter Hussman Jr. is publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The Assembly reports that Hussman emailed university leaders and said he was concerned about whether Hannah-Jones’ presence would distract from the school’s core values. Hussman told WRAL-TV that he didn’t pressure officials to change any decisions about hiring Hannah-Jones. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on the 1619 Project, which caused an uproar among conservatives for its focus on the country’s history of slavery.
House bill to shore up flood-prone NC areas gets panel’s OK
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A House committee has approved legislation that would spend $220 million in part to shore up highways, rivers and coastal areas prone to flooding so that North Carolina can better withstand the next big storm. Some environmental groups also gave their support to the proposed “Disaster Relief and Mitigation Act” before the environment panel voted for the measure on Tuesday. Historic flooding during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Florence in 2018 destroyed homes and businesses near swollen rivers and wrecked dams and lakes. The bill includes close to $70 million for Lumber River and Neuse River improvements and for land buyouts.
CAPITOL BREACH-EXTREMIST GROUPS
Charges after US Capitol insurrection roil far-right groups
Former President Donald Trump’s lies about a stolen 2020 election united right-wing supporters, conspiracy theorists and militants on Jan. 6. But the aftermath of the insurrection is roiling two of the most prominent far-right extremist groups at the U.S. Capitol that day. Dozens of members and associates across the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers have been charged with crimes. Some local chapters including in Seattle, Las Vegas, Indiana and Alabama cut ties with national leadership after the deadly siege. Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio called for a pause in rallies, and one Oath Keeper has agreed to cooperate against others charged in the insurrection. Tarrio says his group has “been through the wringer.”
DUKE ENERGY-RATE INCREASE
Higher rates in effect for Duke Energy customers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Higher rates are going into effect for Duke Energy customers. News outlets report that rates are increasing an average of 4.7% across all of the Charlotte-based utility’s customer groups on Tuesday. A typical residential customer’s average monthly power bill will rise to just under $120. That’s an increase of about $6.The increase varies depending on the rate they pay from an average increase of 3.6% for industrial customers to 4.7% for commercial customers 5.3% for residential customers. The N.C. Utilities Commission approved the rates new rates earlier this year. Duke Energy initially requested a significantly larger rate increase to help pay for cleaning up coal ash at plants, but agreed to a settlement that will save customers more than $1.1 billion.
Obelisk honoring Confederate officer torn down in Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A 75-foot memorial to a Confederate leader has been removed from its perch in downtown Asheville where it stood for more than 120 years. WLOS-TV in Asheville reports that the stone obelisk was fully dismantled over the Memorial Day weekend. The demolition took more than a week. Its completion came after a North Carolina appeals court rejected an emergency motion to halt the work. The monument memorialized Confederate colonel and governor Zebulon Vance. It is one of many Confederate statues and memorials that have been torn down across the South in the last year amid protests for racial justice.