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Archive for August, 2009

Area schools boost pass rates on end-of-year tests

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

By Ana Ribeiro and Chelsea Kellner

More than half the student population in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties passed the latest end-of-year tests, according to results the state released Thursday.

More: continued here

Coast Guard finds weapons on convicted felon’s boat in Oak Island

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Associated Press

OAK ISLAND | The owner of boat found grounded near a North Carolina marina ended up with even more problems when the U.S. Coast Guard came to check his vessel.

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Area educators still calculating effect of long-awaited state budget

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

By Chelsea Kellner and Ana Ribeiro

The budget cuts $225 million to the state’s 115 public school districts, a loss of nearly 10 percent over last year.

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Attorneys say Soles could be facing serious tax issues

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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The new home of 17-year-old Allen Strickland, who lived alone, caught fire last week in Tabor City. The land was given to him by a relative, and according to a deed prepared by Senator Soles’ law firm, Strickland is the legal owner of the property. Strickland says the house cost about $70,000 to build. He says the Senator gave him cash to cover the cost.

“Me and him made a deal, that he would build this house and put clothes on my back and make sure there was food in the refrigerator, as long as I went to school,” Strickland said.

WWAY has learned the teen doesn’t have a valid driver’s license, but Strickland says the Senator also gave him cash to buy a white Corvette.

We’ve been trying to reach the Senator for weeks to verify if this is true. He won’t return our calls, and we were asked to leave the property when we paid a visit to his office in Tabor City.

Strickland”s father died years ago, his mother lives in another part of the state, and he doesn’t have a job.

The money to buy these things has to be coming from somewhere, and if it’s true that it’s coming from the Senator, attorneys say that could create some serious tax issues.

“An individual can give to another individual a gift, as long as it does not exceed 13,000 dollars in 2009, and not have to pay taxes, but if they exceed that amount, the donor, the person giving the gift, has a responsibility to report that, along with their income, and pay taxes that are much like the estate taxes they would pay when they die,” said attorney Griff Anderson.

If Senator Soles did in fact give Strickland the money, he may very well be planning to report it to the IRS.

But unless someone runs afoul of the IRS and is sued for damages in court, their personal tax records are not public record, even if the person in question is a public official.

Further complicating matters, Allen Strickland says all the money the senator has given him has been in cash.

“The question arises, why? Why would someone take the risks of a cash transaction? And the answer that is most likely, is that the person does not want other people to know about it, and they don’t want a paper trail,” Anderson said.

The SBI has been called in to investigate the fire at Strickland’s home, and Senator Soles alleged financial ties to the house could certainly be relevant in their investigation.

Theoretically, they would have access to the financial information we haven’t been able to obtain, so there’s still hope that we may learn who paid for these extravagant gifts to the Columbus County teenager.

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videoThe money given to Allen Strickland to buy a house and a Corvette has to be coming from somewhere, and if it’s true that it’s coming from R.C. Soles, attorneys say that could create some serious tax issues for the Senator.

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Associated poll

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Many back-to-school shoppers ready for tax free weekend

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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This weekend will be full of bargains for shoppers looking for a good deal. A statewide sales tax holiday kicks off Thursday at midnight.

Items such as school supplies, and certain clothing and electronics will be exempt from sales tax.

Target and Walmart are expecting huge numbers of shoppers looking to stock up, especially for back to school shopping.

A tax-free weekend sounds great to some, while others say they plan to stay home.

“It’s great, especially since the state sales tax is about to go up, so try to take advantage of it,” said Robin Burriss.

“I don’t mind paying the tax today because I just have one child and I don’t find that the savings is really worth fighting the crowds for,” said Angela Rigsbee.

You can save on the following items…

-Clothing, footwear, and school supplies of 100 dollars or less per item.
-School instructional materials of 350 dollars or less per item.
-Sports and recreation equipment of 50 dollars or less per item.
-Computers of up to 3,500 dollars.
-Computer supplies of 250 dollars or less per item.

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This weekend will be full of bargains for shoppers looking for a good deal. A statewide sales tax holiday kicks off Thursday at midnight.

Items such as school supplies, and certain clothing and electronics will be exempt from sales tax.

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tax150.jpg

Associated poll

More: continued here

 

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