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Archive for May, 2009

Governor signs smoking ban into law

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

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The country’s largest tobacco-producing state is going smoke free.

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue signed a bill into law Tuesday that bans smoking in restaurants and bars statewide. She signed the bill during a ceremony in the Old House Chamber of the state Capitol.

The law allows fines of up to $50 for people who smoke after being asked to stop, and up to $200 for managers who’ve been twice warned to enforce the rules. It takes effect Jan. 2.

Perdue has said the smoking restrictions are a historic step to protect health, and she supports reducing and eliminating smoking.

More than 30 states have passed similar legislation. Virginia adopted a ban in March despite its 400-year history with tobacco.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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The country’s largest tobacco-producing state is going smoke free.

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Associated poll

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Southport bike tour offers history, scenery

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Ernest Hemingway once said the best way to explore France is on a bicycle. He could have said the same thing about Southport.

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Brunswick County budget proposal shrunk by over ten percent

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

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It looks like Brunswick County is planning on some serious belt tightening next year.

Last night, County Manager Marty Lawing proposed a budget to county commissioners that is more than ten percent smaller than last year’s.

The proposal eliminates twenty-five vacant positions. Employee salaries and benefits will remain the same for the time being.

A public hearing about the proposed budget will be held on June 1st.

Lawing attributes the reductions to the lagging economy.

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It looks like Brunswick County is planning on some serious belt tightening next year.

Last night, County Manager Marty Lawing proposed a budget to county commissioners that is more than ten percent smaller than last year’s.

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Associated poll

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Text messaging bill sailing through Senate

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

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A House bill to ban North Carolina motorists from writing text messages and e-mails while driving has had smooth sailing so far in the Senate.

A Senate judiciary committee agreed Tuesday to the legislation with little debate and sent it on to the appropriations committee. The same committee passed a similar bill weeks ago, but passing the House version gives the ban a better chance of getting to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s desk more quickly.

Supporters say the ban will reduce driver distractions that can lead to highway accidents. Violators could face a $100 fine plus court costs. There are exceptions for police and rescue workers and in some other cases.

The House approved the texting ban by a near-unanimous vote last month.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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A House bill to ban North Carolina motorists from writing text messages and e-mails while driving has had smooth sailing so far in the Senate.

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Associated poll

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NC tax refunds should be caught up soon

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

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North Carolina’s tax office is getting its refund payments out on time again, a month after the filing deadline.

State Revenue Secretary Kenneth Lay said Monday that refund requests are getting processed at their normal pace now that the state’s cash flow problems starting in February have improved.

The checks had been going out weeks later than usual. Lay said department employees eliminated the temporary backlog late last week.

Lay said the delays were whittled down in part as people filed tax payments close to the April 15 deadline and put more money in the state’s coffers.

People filed electronic returns should get a refund in two to four weeks, while those who turned in paper returns still must wait six to 12 weeks.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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North Carolina’s tax office is getting its refund payments out on time again, a month after the filing deadline.

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Associated poll

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