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Archive for April, 2012

Some NC lawmakers recommend repealing new tolls

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A General Assembly committee has recommended legislation to repeal proposed new and higher tolls on North Carolina ferry routes that have been at the center of a dispute between Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue and Republican
legislative leaders.

No one on the Legislature’s transportation oversight committee Monday voted against the proposed bill, which is eligible for consideration when the budget adjusting session begins next month. Several Senate Republicans did not vote, meaning the repeal won’t necessarily happen.

The Legislature says the budget law required more tolls to generate $5 million in revenues. Perdue directed a yearlong moratorium on the additional tolls before they were to take effect April 1. Republicans said she could not do that, and the Attorney General’s Office appears to agree with the GOP.

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

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Opening arguments set to begin in Edwards trial

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

MICHAEL BIESECKER
Associated Press

GREENSBORO, NC (AP) — Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the John Edwards trial are poised to begin making their case to jurors on whether the former presidential candidate violated federal campaign finance laws.

Opening arguments are set to begin Monday morning inside the federal courthouse in Greensboro.

Edwards pleaded not guilty to six criminal counts related to nearly $1 million in secret payments from two wealthy supporters. Much of the money was used to hide the then-married politician’s pregnant mistress during his 2008 campaign.

Prosecutors are expected to argue that Edwards sought and directed a conspiracy to conceal his affair to keep his presidential hopes alive. Edwards denies violating the law or even knowing about the payments, which his lawyers describe as gifts.

The trial is expected to last at least six weeks.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Interest high at UNC campus for Obama loan talk

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The line for tickets and the interest in hearing President Barack Obama speak about student debt is high at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A line of students seeking tickets to hear Obama in Chapel Hill camped out overnight despite Sunday’s rain in front of the box office of the university’s former basketball auditorium where he’ll speak.

Obama visits the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Tuesday and similar colleges in Colorado and Iowa as he woos young voters by taking about student loans and the rising cost of education. All three are in states Obama won in 2008 but are expected to be closely contested with likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Lawyers open trial of NC schools murder victim

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A Raleigh man accused in the death of a member of North Carolina’s State Board of Education is going on trial for his life.

Opening arguments are scheduled for today in the trial of 32-year-old Jason Williford. He has pleaded not guilty to charges that he raped and battered 62-year-old Kathy Taft. Williford could face the death penalty if convicted.

The Greenville resident and grandmother was recovering from surgery at a friend’s Raleigh home when she was killed in March 2010.

Williford was arrested the following month after police say DNA evidence on a cigarette butt they found linked him to the crime. His attorneys tried unsuccessfully to have that evidence thrown out, arguing police should have obtained a search warrant before picking up the evidence.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Homebuilder clarifies mineral rights on homes

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

DURHAM, NC (AP) — Homebuilder D.R. Horton says it’s being more direct in telling homebuyers that the company keeps for itself drilling rights for natural gas under homes it sells in North Carolina.

The company’s practice of keeping drilling rights is uncommon in North Carolina and is being reviewed by the state Attorney General and the Real Estate Commission.

The Attorney General’s Office this week warned homebuyers that properties stripped of their mineral rights could be harder to refinance and could lose value at resale.

D.R. Horton told the state this week it will begin including a separate written disclosure for homebuyers to sign. The company says its sales agents tell buyers about keeping the drilling rights before the purchase contract is signed, and it says so in the contract and related documents.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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