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 committee 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.
DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES
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.
AP-NC-ENGINEERING FIRM-FRAUD SCHEME
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.
North Carolina high school senior in flag flap gets diploma
ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina high school graduate now has his diploma after a social media uproar over the Mexican flag he wore over his gown. The school district initially withheld the diploma from 18-year-old Ever Lopez, saying that it violated the graduation dress code. A video of the ceremony went viral, and Asheboro High School Principal Penny Crooks was subjected to threats. The Lopez family sought a meeting to smooth things out, and WGHP reports that Lopez walked out with his diploma on Monday. He’s the first in his family to graduate from high school, and says he wore the flag out of pride for his Mexican roots.
Appeals court: GOP lawmakers can’t join NC voter ID lawsuit
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled a judge didn’t step over the line when she refused to let North Carolina’s legislative leaders formally defend the state’s photo identification voting law with other state government attorneys. A majority of judges on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld decisions by District Judge Loretta Biggs preventing House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger from becoming defendants in the lawsuit filed by the NAACP. This lawsuit is slated to go trial early next year. The arguments centered around whether lawyers from Attorney General Josh Stein’s office could adequately defend the 2018 law.
MISSING MAN FOUND ALIVE
Missing man found alive after 8 nights in forest
HAVELOCK, N.C. (AP) — A man who went missing in Croatan National Forest has been found alive after eight nights in the woods.The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday that 20-year-old Joshua Clauson walked out of a wooded area near a home in Newport and the homeowner called authorities.Officials say Clauson was out for a walk May 29 with a family member when they got lost and then separated. The relative found his way out by following the sounds of passing vehicles, but officials say crews looked for Clauson from the air and on the ground for five days without success.Clauson was taken to a hospital in rough condition, but he’s expected to be okay.
Authorities: Man apparently drowns in North Carolina lake
LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a 21-year-old man is dead after an apparent drowning. News outlets report the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office says deputies received a call on Sunday of a possible drowning at near a boat access on High Rock Lake. The sheriff’s office says witnesses saw a man on a float fall off and into the water. A sheriff’s deputy working the access area tried to swim out to the man, but the water was too murky and the deputy couldn’t find the man. The sheriff’s office says the man’s body was found a short time later about 15 feet from shore. The victim’s name hasn’t been released.
NC man gets 25 years in 2018 gunshot slaying in SC
GAFFNEY, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina authorities say a North Carolina man was sentenced to 25 years in prison in the death of a man who was shot to death while driving. Prosecutors say 35-year-old Salvador Marquez of Charlotte received the sentence after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and a gun charge in the death of 33-year-old Matthew Littlejohn of Spartanburg. News outlets report a car followed a vehicle driven by Littlejohn as he left a convenience store on Jan. 23, 2018. Three gunshots were fired into Littlejohn’s vehicle, and one killed him.
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