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Archive for June, 2012

NC Senate spends less than House in budget changes

Monday, June 11th, 2012

GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina state Senate leaders are taking a more cautious approach to proposed budget adjustments than the House by spending less and setting aside more money in reserve in case Medicaid costs get out of hand.

Senate Republicans spoke Monday about their $20.1 billion plan next year for state government, about $127 million less than what the House offered.

The Senate would cancel fewer required spending reductions for the public schools than the House. Senate leader Phil Berger of Eden told reporters the GOP didn’t feel comfortable using one-time tax windfalls to trim those school reductions.

Most workers in state departments would get a 1.2 percent pay raise, but raises would be optional in the public schools and higher education. The House plan offered $500 bonuses to everyone.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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First Fruit Ministries set to receive fresh support from the city

Monday, June 11th, 2012

First Fruit Ministries is expecting to get more than $13,000 in the upcoming year from the city.

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Beached whale died of injuries from boat strike

Monday, June 11th, 2012

An approximately 2-year-old, 18-foot male minke whale died of chronic injuries from a boat strike

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Group says NC violated separation of church, state

Monday, June 11th, 2012

ALLEN REED
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A humanist group is claiming that the state of North Carolina violated the first amendment by allowing voting in churches that advocated anti-gay political stances.

The Appignani Humanist Legal Center says it has “serious legal concerns” with the use of churches as polling places and says the state violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause that outlines the separation between church and state.

The group stops short of threating legal action, but a spokesman says he hopes for a change in state policy.

A spokesman for the State Board of Elections said Monday it would be up to legislators to make any changes to polling locations, but that the use of churches is completely legal. Previous appellate court rulings have backed the practice of using places of worship.

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

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NC to review proposed Duke-Progress merger

Monday, June 11th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina officials expect to lay out a schedule for their consideration of Duke Energy’s proposed takeover of Progress Energy.

A North Carolina Utilities Commission spokesman says the agency will release a preliminary schedule Monday or Tuesday.

The $13.7 billion merger would create the nation’s largest electric utility and service 7 million customers in the Carolinas, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

The merger received approval from federal regulators Friday after more than a year of considering competition concerns. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission twice rejected the merger because of concerns it would reduce competition for wholesale electricity in the Carolinas.

The merger still needs North Carolina’s blessing, as well as approval from the Public Service Commission of South Carolina. The companies want to close the deal by July 1.

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

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