North Carolina News – November 16

North Carolina News – November 16


NC Republicans unveil final budget with pay raises, tax cuts

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republicans at the North Carolina legislature have rolled out their final two-year budget bill. House and Senate GOP leaders unveiled the plan on Monday, with a goal of the General Assembly giving it final approval by later in the week. They are hopeful that sweeteners on employee pay raises, infrastructure and tax cuts for individuals will attract enough Democratic support so the long-delayed plan can become law, with or without Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature. Cooper offered a lot of input in the final plan and left the door open to signing it. North Carolina is now the only state in the nation without an enacted budget.


North Carolina developer sentenced to prison in Ponzi scheme

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal prosecutor says a North Carolina real estate developer has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme that defrauded investors of more than $1.5 million. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina says in a news release that 36-year-old Joshua Matthew Houchins of Raleigh was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on Monday for wire fraud and possession of firearm by a felon. He was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and to pay restitution of $1.7 million to his victims.


Contracts awarded for makeovers to North Carolina roads

CARTHAGE, N.C. (AP) — The N.C. Department of Transportation says several highways and secondary roads in a portion of North Carolina are set to get makeovers. A department news release says the work in Division 8 is scheduled to begin in the spring. In Moore County, a $4.1 million contract was awarded to improve 18.3 miles of highway. That includes two sections of U.S. Highway 1, five sections of N.C. Highway 5, and sections each of N.C. highways 22, 211 and 690. The department also says a $3.8 million contract was awarded for work in Randolph County targeting 10 sections of secondary roads totaling 21.4 miles. 


Summer trial set for N. Carolina ballot probe defendant

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge has set a trial date next summer for a political operative accused of ballot fraud involving a 2018 congressional election whose results ultimately got thrown out. Leslie McCrae Dowless appeared in Wake County court with his lawyer on Monday to address 13 criminal counts filed against him related to activities from the 2016 and 2018 elections. Dowless declined to accept a plea agreement offered by District Attorney Lorrin Freeman. A judge set the trial for next August. He’s already scheduled to begin serving a six-month federal prison term in a few weeks after he pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud.


NC House Democrats Adcock, Hunt aim to switch to Senate

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two North Carolina House Democrats have announced they are seeking seats in the state Senate in 2022. Rep. Gale Adcock of Cary says she’ll run for a seat in western Wake County where current Sen. Wiley Nickel lives. Nickel already has said he’s running for Congress next year. And Rep. Rachel Hunt of Charlotte also announced Monday that she is running for a Senate district in southeastern Mecklenburg County. The senator living in that district is Sen. Jeff Jackson, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Hunt is the daughter of former four-term Gov. Jim Hunt. 


Sheriff: N. Carolina man faces assault, trafficking charges

STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff says a man is facing multiple charges in connection with reports of a sexual assault on two teenagers. The Statesville Record & Landmark reports Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell says 30-year-old William Joshua Byard of Stony Point is charged with six counts of felony sexual activity by a substitute parent, two counts of human trafficking and one count each of statutory rape of a minor 15 years old or less, kidnapping and stalking. Warrants were served on Byard on Nov. 10 at the Iredell County jail, where he was being held on unrelated charges.


Eight wounded in weekend shootings in North Carolina city

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Police say eight people were wounded by gunfire in a North Carolina city over the weekend, including three people who were shot while they were in their vehicles. The Winston-Salem Journal reports police said four people were wounded early Saturday after gunfire erupted at a party. A 38-year-old man whom police have not identified was shot in the head Saturday night when someone shot into a home. Police also said a woman was shot multiple times after someone opened fire on her vehicle and she crashed into an unoccupied apartment building. 


Wrong-way crash kills N. Carolina woman; 2nd woman charged

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says a woman was killed when she drove the wrong way on an expressway and hit another car head-on. News outlets reported the patrol says 32-year-old De Osha Ajante Welch of Thomasville was driving her vehicle southbound in the northbound lanes of U.S. 29/Business Interstate 85 early Sunday between High Point and Jamestown when she struck vehicle driven by 35-year-old Dericka Copez Pratt of Greensboro. Welch died at the scene of the wreck. The patrol says Pratt, who suffered minor injuries, was charged with driving while impaired.

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