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Archive for January, 2012

Wrightsville Beach mayor, school board chair disagree on sales tax increase plan

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposed sales tax increase to help fund public education has made her unpopular with many voters. However, mayors throughout the state, including a few in our area are banning together in support of the tax increase.

Perdue claims the state budget cuts by the Republican-controlled legislature has hurt education, and this proposed sales tax increase is the answer. Now mayors, including Mayor David Cignotti of Wrightsville Beach have come together issuing an open letter asking people in the state to support the plan.

“You have to invest in the present for the future,” Cignotti said.

Cignotti is one of more than 50 mayors throughout the state who are pulling together in support of Perdue’s plan to increase the sales tax by 3/4 of a cent.

“The dropout rate in North Carolina, let alone our nation is very high and I believe we need to do all we can to support education,” he said.

Don Hayes, chairman of the New Hanover County Board of Education, says now is the wrong time for any type of tax increase.

“I personally would not be in favor of a tax increase at this time,” Hayes said. “I think the economy being in the condition that it’s in, to me it’s not a good time to be raising taxes.”

The tax increase would raise as much as $750 million over one year for education. Mayor Cignotti says every little bit would help.

“I believe a slight increase in the sales tax is the most reasonable way to support education in a time like this with the economy being as difficult as it is,” Cignotti said.

Hayes says the sales tax would do more harm than good.

“Certainly I’m an advocate for education, but also I think we have to look at the overall economy of the people in this state,” Hayes said. “Parents and many people are having it very difficult.”

“I understand the economy is difficult, but I believe we’re doing ourselves more damage if we don’t prepare our young people to compete in the world today, then our nation’s future is in jeopardy,” Cignotti said.

The increase would raise the sales tax in most counties from 6.75 percent to 7.5 percent. New Hanover County would go from seven to eight percent, because of a county-wide .25 percent sales tax approved in 2010.

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2 killed in apparent holdup at Orange County store

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

CEDAR GROVE, NC (AP) — Sheriff’s deputies say two men have been killed in an apparent robbery at a thrift store in northwestern Orange County.

Deputies were called to the store in Cedar Grove shortly before 4 p.m. Friday when someone entered the store and found two people on the floor who had been shot.

Officials say the cash register drawer was taken. No arrests have been reported.

One of the victims was retired Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Skip Wade, who was apparently a customer in the Week in Treasures store.

Officials say the other victim owned the store. His name has not been released.

Sheriff’s Maj. Charles Blackwood says one of the victims was dead at the scene. The other was taken to Duke Medical Center, where he died.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Reports say Perdue wont seek re-election for N.C. governor

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Stay tuned for details.

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Man pleads guilty to killing roommate in Hickory

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

NEWTON, NC (AP) — A man has pleaded guilty to killing his roommate in Hickory nearly three years ago.

The Hickory Daily Record reported 30-year-old Jonathan Brown pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday and was sentenced to between 14 and 17 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Van Buren says Brown and 32-year-old Lee Hill Bryson were at a friend’s apartment in Hickory in 2009 when Bryson was shot and killed.

Van Buren says Brown was upset after an argument and told prosecutors that Bryson had threatened Brown’s life.

Brown disposed of Bryson’s body in a shallow grave in some woods in Burke County.

Brown’s attorney says her client is sorry for what happened.

Brown turned himself in to police shortly after Bryson’s family reported him missing.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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State police investigate Durham police shooting

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

DURHAM, NC (AP) – The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into a shooting by Durham police officers earlier this week.

Nineteen-year-old Rahmil Ingram of Chapel Hill was shot Tuesday morning when officers entered a Durham apartment with a search warrant and found an armed man.

Police say shots were fired and Ingram was hit. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. Ingram faces assault, weapons and drug charges.

None of the officers was hit. They are on administrative duty while the shooting is investigated.

Another man in the apartment faces six drug-related charges.

Officers seized cocaine, marijuana, cash and a gun.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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