AP-NC Newswatch

Financial News
June 9, 2021
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June 9, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina News:


NC Republicans finally agree on next year’s spending total
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Republicans in the North Carolina legislature have announced an agreement on how much they want to spend on state government next year. GOP leaders in the two chambers said Tuesday their spending cap would be $25.7 billion. That’s several hundred million less than what Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper wants to spend. Both figures are below projected revenues. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger also says the two chambers are committed to cutting taxes and will set aside over $4 billion for capital projects. A disagreement between the two chambers over the spending limit has delayed budget work for weeks.



Right-to-carry in more NC churches gets final legislative OK
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina General Assembly has finalized another bill to try to expand gun rights – this time in churches. The Senate agreed Tuesday to the House changes to Senate legislation that would allow members or visitors at churches that meet on private school campuses to carry a handgun if they have a concealed weapons permit. Current law treats these places of worship differently than standalone religious venues. The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. He vetoed a broader gun bill containing the same idea a year ago, saying it threatened the safety of students and teachers.



Charter school closing after review finds ‘irregularities’
STATE ROAD, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina charter school is closing amid investigations that exposed irregularities that its board says threaten the school’s financial well-being and ability to operate within its charter. News outlets report that Bridges Academy in State Road announced Friday that it is closing June 30. The school and the state are promising to help the school’s 171 students in kindergarten through eighth grade transfer records. A State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman says the agency is investigating allegations that the school “fraudulently obtained excess funding from the state.” The board says a review by a consulting team brought in to help rebuild the school’s leadership team found irregularities in the school’s operations. The state auditor’s office began a separate investigation.



DMV: Prepare for long lines this summer, try online instead
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) – Get ready for long lines at North Carolina DMV offices this summer. Pandemic delays and economic forces could bring record demand for licenses. The Division of Motor Vehicles commissioner is urging motorists to conduct their business online if they can. The agency says summer is usually the busiest time at DMV, but many people have waited to get vaccinated before completing transactions. And many teenagers have been delayed in completing in-person driving tests to obtain their provisional licenses. The DMV is encouraging people to schedule appointments if they must complete a transaction in-person. Otherwise, they should wait until after Labor Day.



Engineering firm pleads guilty to bid-rigging, fraud schemes
WASHINGTON (AP) – A North Carolina engineering firm has pleaded guilty to conspiracies to rig bids and defraud the N.C. Department of Transportation, and was ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution and $7 million in fines. The U.S. Department of Justice says in a news release Monday that court documents show Contech Engineered Solutions LLC pleaded guilty on Monday to violating the Sherman Act and conspiracy to commit fraud. The news release says Contech admitted to conspiring to rig bids to the NCDOT and conspiring to defraud the department to obtain contracts for infrastructure projects. Authorities say the conspiracies started as early as 2009 and continued at least until March 2018.



Escaped suspect in North Carolina attempted murder captured
LA GRANGE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a man who was able to slip away from police as they served a warrant in late May has been arrested in Lenoir County. News outlets report Greene County Sheriff Lemmie Smith says 23-year-old Ronald Sauls, Jr. was arrested Tuesday on a charge of attempted murder during an operation in La Grange which involved multiple law enforcement agencies. Sauls, along with his cousin Bobby Sauls, was arrested around 9:15 a.m. On May 27, authorities went to serve an attempted murder warrant on Ronald Sauls, but he escaped out of an apartment window.



Forest Service: Bears stealing backpacks, food in NC trails
ROBBINSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – The U.S. Forest Service says it has received increased reports of bears stealing backpacks and food in a North Carolina national forest. The agency is warning hikers and campers to take precautions when visiting the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness inside the Nantahala National Forest. This warning came days after “aggressive bear activity” led the forest service to close an area of the Appalachian Trail to camping in Tennessee. The agency advises people not to leave food unattended and to store it in bear-proof containers. No injuries have been reported but the forest service says people should try to fight back with any available object if attacked.



Panthers owner: ‘No way’ I’d build domed stadium post-COVID
ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) – Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper says he is no longer considering building a domed stadium in downtown Charlotte. Tepper had said in 2019 he hoped to build a retractable roof stadium in Charlotte within the next 10 years to attract other major sporting events. But he has backed off that idea after the coronavirus pandemic turned the sports world upside down, prompting teams to limit seating for fans last year. Tepper said there is “no way” he would build a domed stadium in Charlotte in the post-COVID-19 era. He offered no update on a timetable for a new stadium, saying that will largely depend on outside funding.