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Archive for June, 2009

Perdue visits New Hanover County, answers still sought

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

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Governor Bev Perdue’s visit to New Hanover County Monday was brief. It left some of the educators she was targeting for support with more questions than answers, as the state continues to figure out how to deal with a nearly $ 5 billion budget shortfall.

What the few dozen people, mostly educators, who gathered at New Hanover County’s Minnie Evans Arts Center got was a Bev Perdue standard.

Kemmie and William Bayliss, both teachers, say while Perdue’s story of coal miner’s daughter turned Governor is touching, they need more.

“We need solutions. We need dialogue between the people that are in the field, not just a bunch of politicians telling us what they think we want to hear,” William said.

What Perdue told them Monday was to hold the state legislature accountable as it tries to figure out how to close the budget gap.

Teacher Robert Smith came all the way from Sampson County with his two daughters to see the governor.

“I believe she’s probably our best ally. I’ve heard people say that Bev Perdue better enjoy her four years while she’s in office. I think she’s really gone out of her way to make sure educators are well taken care of.”

The Baylisses, though, say the rumblings among their colleagues are disappointment in how Perdue has handled education so far, with few answers about how to fix things.

“Bottom line, should North Carolinians be prepared for tax increases? I think people all over America understand, just as at the federal level, there will be some discussions of revenue and likely some kind of tax increase,” Perdue said.

But while the Governor repeatedly said lawmakers must make “sharp, targeted cuts” and increase revenue, she never said where those cuts should be and how much taxes could go up.

“I didn’t hear anything. I didn’t hear anything except, ‘you guys are the greatest’, ‘you’re wonderful’, and ‘write your legislature’,” said Kemmie Bayliss.

Perdue said she planned to meet with legislative leaders about the budget this afternoon after making another stop to talk to educators in Greenville.

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Governor Bev Perdue’s visit to New Hanover County Monday was brief. It left some of the educators she was targeting for support with more questions than answers, as the state continues to figure out how to deal with a nearly $ 5 billion budget shortfall.

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Associated poll

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FDA to take control over tobacco industry

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

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Major changes were made Monday for the tobacco industry. President Obama signed new legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration sweeping powers over the industry.

The bill gives the F.D.A. the authority to regulate the marketing, advertising and manufacturing of tobacco products.

The bill restricts advertising to young people, forces cigarette makers to put larger warnings on each pack, and bans flavored cigarettes. It also forbids cigarette makers from using words like “light” or “mild”.

The bill also gives the government the right to regulate how much nicotine is in cigarettes.

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr has fought against the bill for years. “The United States Senate’s made a big mistake. This is not in the public health interest,” he said.

North Carolina is the country’s leading producer of tobacco, producing $ 686 million worth last year.

Advocates of the bill say it will help save some of the 400,000 people who die from smoking related illness in the U.S. each year.

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Major changes were made Monday for the tobacco industry. President Obama signed new legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration sweeping powers over the industry.

The bill gives the F.D.A. the authority to regulate the marketing, advertising and manufacturing of tobacco products.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Debate over which taxes to raise and by how much

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

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State Democratic leaders have decided a $4 billion budget shortfall has to bridged with some kind tax increases. But they are divided about what kind of taxes to raise, and by how much.

The latest idea from key Democrats is to raise $900 million with new sales taxes on dozens of new services and amusements, like bowling, golf, even NASCAR tickets.

Republican leaders vow they will oppose all suggestions of tax increases, saying they would hurt the state economy. “Every year they want more taxes. The people ought to finally conclude that if they want to pay more taxes, they ought to vote for more Democrats,” said Wake County Republican Paul Stam.

A handful of key Democrats were scheduled to meet again late Monday afternoon to try to come closer to an agreement.

The new budget year starts July 1st.

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State Democratic leaders have decided a $4 billion budget shortfall has to bridged with some kind tax increases. But they are divided about what kind of taxes to raise, and by how much.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Former Laney band director accused of having sex with a student

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A former Laney High School band director band has been arrested and accused of having sex with a student.Media outlets have reported that 44-year-old Richard Priode of Charlotte was charged June 11 with indecent liberties with a student.

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Power outage affects traffic lights on Oleander, College

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

A power outage in Wilmington is affecting traffic lights along Oleander Boulevard and South College Road.The outage began at 2:25 p.m. and has affected 1,720 customers, said Jeff Brooks, a spokesman for Progress Energy.The company is checking to learn the cause of the outages and when the power will be restored.

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