North Carolina DMV adding new driver license examiners
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Getting a driver license in North Carolina may soon get a little easier. The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles says it has added 41 new driver license examiner graduates to 32 offices statewide. A news release from the agency says the new employees recently graduated from its Basic Examiner Training School and participated in a recognition ceremony on Tuesday. The agency says it is working to improve customer service with more examiners, express lines, dedicated road test teams and the use of customer service representatives to help people in line make sure they have the appropriate documents.
N Carolina dissolving town of East Laurinburg over finances
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A south-central North Carolina town will be shuttered next summer now that a state panel decided it has too many financial troubles among other challenges. The Local Government Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to dissolve on June 30 the Scotland County town of East Laurinburg. The General Assembly gave the commission new authority this year to shut down a town if it meets certain thresholds. The power was used for the first time Tuesday. East Laurinburg has less than 250 people. The town and its former finance officer were the subjects of a stinging state audit in October.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE COMMISSION
Industry veteran named to lead NC alcohol commission
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A longtime alcohol industry manager has been chosen by Gov. Roy Cooper to lead the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. Cooper appointed Hank Bauer this week as the new commission chairman, succeeding A.D. “Zander” Guy, who resigned in September after serving for over four years. Bauer is a former general manager for Empire Distributors. The three-member ABC Commission oversees the state’s wholesale and retail liquor distribution. Liquor from licensed distillers is sent to the state’s two ABC warehouses before bottles gets shipped to local ABC stores for sale. The commission has taken heat in recent months for persistent shortages on shelves.
POLICE SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA-LAWSUIT
Lawsuit: Man was complying with officers when he was shot
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man was complying with police commands when they fired on him with high-powered rifles and killed him, according to a new federal lawsuit filed in his death. The Charlotte Observer reports the lawsuit filed by Amy Craven said Mooresville police officers’ actions were excessive and illegal. According to the lawsuit, officers ordered Chris Craven to raise his arms and get on the ground. Four seconds later, officers opened fire, hitting Craven. The Randolph County district attorney says officers said they saw him reach into his waistband and pull out a pistol. But the lawsuit claims a firearm was found several feet from Craven’s body and he didn’t pull out a weapon.
FUNERAL HOME-DIRECTOR CHARGED
New charges for funeral director accused of hiding corpses
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A state agency says a North Carolina funeral home director accused last summer of hiding two corpses on residential property is facing new charges from a state agency. The state Department of Insurance says in a news release on Monday that 40-year-old Jeremiah Randall Whitt of Yanceyville is charged with obtaining property by false pretense. Whitt, who owns a funeral home in Caswell County, is accused of failing to return more than $5,000 in excess funds from a life insurance policy to the estate after burial expenses had been satisfied. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
ELECTION 2022-FILING OPENS
North Carolina court delays, then restores candidate filing
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The start of North Carolina candidate filing for U.S. House and legislative seats was blocked by an appeals court panel. But it was restored hours later. A three-judge panel of the intermediate level appeals court issued a ruling on Monday morning telling officials not to begin accepting candidates for those seats due to pending redistricting litigation that alleges the maps are illegal partisan gerrymanders. But lawyers for the GOP legislators who helped draw the maps asked the entire 15-judge Court of Appeals to get involved. A majority of those judges agreed late Monday. For now, it means filing will begin for the General Assembly and U.S. House seats on Tuesday morning.
Toyota to build $1.3B battery plant near Greensboro, NC
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Toyota says it plans to build a $1.3 billion electric vehicle battery plant near Greensboro, North Carolina, that will employ at least 1,750 people. The Japanese auto giant joined Gov. Roy Cooper and other officials in making the announcement Monday at a site in Randolph County. Toyota says the U.S. factory will make batteries for hybrid and fully electric vehicles. The plant would start making batteries in 2025. Initially Toyota will or could receive well over $430 million in government incentives if it meets job creation and investment goals. Toyota plans to sell up to 1.8 million vehicles in the U.S. by 2030 that are at least partially electrified.
NC’s 1st female Senate majority leader to retire in 2022
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Senate Majority Leader Kathy Harrington says she won’t seek reelection to her legislative seat next year. She’s the first woman to hold the job since it was created over 40 years ago. The Gaston County Republican is now in her sixth two-year Senate term. While the chamber’s most powerful position belongs to Sen. Phil Berger as president pro tempore, Harrington’s elevation to majority leader still marked a historic moment. Harrington said on Monday she felt like it was the right time to retire after looking at her Senate accomplishments. Berger called Harrington “the epitome of a public servant.”
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