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Archive for June, 2012

Legislators rush to wrap up

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Insurance rates, annexation, appointments addressed

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McIntyre, Rouzer both against health care law

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While divisions on the Supreme Court’s ruling today on health care reform have typically been along party lines, southeastern North Carolina’s incumbent Democrat in Congress and the Republican challenging him for his seat have similar views on the law and the court ruling.

“I would have to agree with Chief Justice Roberts that this amounts to a tax,” Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-7th District) told WWAY. “I have always been against raising taxes. I do not favor putting mandates or additional taxes on businesses that are trying to save or crate jobs, or put additional burdens on our families.”

McIntyre’s Republican challenger, state Sen. David Rouzer, said today’s ruling “strikes at the soul of America — our freedom.”

“The door is now open for the federal government to control every aspect of our lives as long as any proposed legislation is a ‘tax,'” Rouzer said in a statement. “Just because the law has been ruled constitutional doesn’t mean it is good. Obamacare is increasing the cost of healthcare and making it more difficult for many to receive quality care. Many doctors are privately seeking their exit from the profession. Businesses are not hiring because of the increased cost of health coverage under Obamacare.”

McIntyre, who voted against the health care overhaul in 2010 and has since voted to repeal it, and Rouzer both said attention needs to go to how to pay for medical care.

“The focus needs to be on solving the skyrocketing costs of heath care and health insurance,” McIntyre said.

“We need less government control in healthcare so that individuals and families can afford to receive quality care,” Rouzer said. “Only the free market produces the very best product for the lowest possible price.”

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Perdue vetoes death penalty bias law rollback

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Gov. Bev Perdue is vetoing legislation that rolls back a landmark North Carolina law allowing death row inmates to prove their sentence resulted from racial bias.

Perdue’s veto on Thursday is the second time she’s stepped in to defend the Racial Justice Act.

Perdue in December vetoed other legislation that would have essentially voided the law. The General Assembly this time has veto-proof majorities in both chambers supporting changes.

The law Perdue vetoed would allow convicts to offer statistics they think prove racial bias from a 12-year-span surrounding a murder case. There is currently no limit on the time.

Statistics also would be limited to conduct of prosecutors near where the murder occurred, rather than anywhere in the entire state as the current law allows.

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

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Soldier killed, 2 wounded in Fort Bragg shooting

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – Officials say one soldier was shot and killed and two others wounded at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Fort Bragg Public Affairs Officer Col. Kevin Arata says a soldier from the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade shot another member of the unit and then shot and wounded himself Thursday afternoon. He says a third soldier was also wounded.

Arata said the shooter has been taken into custody and that that no motive has been determined.

Arata said next of kin are being notified, and that special agents from the Army Criminal Investigation Command are looking into the shooting.

Fort Bragg is home to the 82nd Airborne Division, the 18th Airborne Corps and Special Operations Forces.

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

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Wilmington veteran disappointed, not surprised Stolen Valor Act struck down

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While most of the attention in Washington today was about the Supreme Cour ruling on health care reform, another high court ruling today says falsely claiming to have a military honor medal is not a crime. The high court’s ruling strikes down the Stolen Valor Act.

Congress passed the Stolen Valor Act in 2006 to protect the reputation and meaning of military honors. The Supreme Court, though, said the First Amendment defends a person’s right to lie, even if they are lying about awards won through military service.

Freedom of speech is something the military fights for and protects, but one Wilmington Vietnam veteran wonders if the government is now crossing the line in protecting our freedom.

“All the men and women that served in the military put their lives on the line, and now their awards, their uniforms mean nothing,” Michael Gregorio said.

Gregorio joined the Marine Corps at 19, served 13 months in Vietnam and is now a member of a disabled veterans organization. He says the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling striking down the Stolen Valor Act is disappointing but not surprising.

He wonders if the government is overstepping its grounds.

“You think about all the military people buried around the world. Are we protecting freedom too much right now?” he asked.

Gregorio was the commander of American Legion Post 10 in Wilmington. He left because the Legion did not make members prove they were veterans.

“They enable people to become imposters of veterans,” he said.

He says it is just another way of belittling the real veterans in our country.

“The people that have won the Medal of Honor, my goodness… how disgraceful to wear that medal that didn’t earn it. It’s heart breaking,” Gregorio said.

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