State

NC judge drops price to cover school plan, omits spend order

NC judge drops price to cover school plan, omits spend order

RALEIGH — A North Carolina judge cut the amount of money needed to comply through the middle of next year with a step-by-step plan to address state educational inequities. But he declined to leave in place the crux of another judge’s order that directed cash from government coffers be sent to state agencies to cover a fiscal gap. Special Superior Court Judge Mike Robinson ruled in long-running public education spending litigation which he began presiding over last month. Judge David Lee had directed in November that $1.75 billion be moved from state coffers to three government agencies to carry out…
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Dowless, key figure in NC absentee ballot fraud probe, dies

Dowless, key figure in NC absentee ballot fraud probe, dies

RALEIGH — Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., the key player in a North Carolina absentee ballot fraud probe that led to a do-over congressional election, has died. His daughter, Andrea Dowless Heverly, wrote that her father “passed away peacefully” Sunday morning, according to a social media post. He had been diagnosed with an advanced form of lung cancer and died at his daughter’s home in Bladen County, his friend Jay DeLancy told The Associated Press in a brief interview. Dowless was in his mid-60s. The political operative was set to go on trial this summer on more than a dozen state…
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Archdale man claims lottery prize

Archdale man claims lottery prize

Malcolm Buchanan of Archdale turned up with the $1 million prize through the North Carolina Lottery. Buchanan became the second winner of the new sweepstakes. The 50X The Cash game launched in February with eight top prizes of $1 million. There are six unclaimed prizes in that mix among the $10 scratch-off tickets. Buchanan purchased his ticket from Speedway on West Fairfield Road in High Point. Upon claiming his prize, he had to choose between an annuity of $50,000 across 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum, and after required state and federal tax…
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Zoo closes aviary habitat

Zoo closes aviary habitat

ASHEBORO — The North Carolina Zoo announced it would permanently close its aviary habitat. First built in the early 1980s, the 40-year-old domed structure requires significant repairs due to the effects of high humidity and wet conditions, according to the NC Zoo. The decision to close and take down the habitat was made by the zoo leadership and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “For 40 years, the Zoo’s aviary offered a special place to connect with nature,” NC Zoo director Pat Simmons said. “The free-flying birds and tropical plants served as an oasis for many people –…
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Community College report shows major economic impact

Community College report shows major economic impact

RALEIGH — A comprehensive new economic impact analysis finds that North Carolina’s 58 Community Colleges have a $19 billion annual impact on the state’s economy and supports more than 320,000 jobs across the state. The economic impact study found for every dollar the state invests in North Carolina’s Community Colleges, the state gains $7.50 in added incomes and social savings. The colleges generate nearly double the revenue from what they take in from the taxpayers. For every $1 the state invests, taxpayers get $1.90 back in added tax revenues and public sector savings, according to the study. “The Community College…
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Rural areas aim for expanded internet service

Rural areas aim for expanded internet service

ASHEBORO — If the need arises and enough interest is generated, Randolph Communications will respond. That’s the message from the telephone cooperative when it comes to providing fiber optics and expanded internet service. “Once we see a high enough interest to make a business commitment, we will try to go to certain areas,” said Stephanie Gee, marketing director for Randolph Communications. “The need is widespread.” The Asheboro-based group, which also has an office in Liberty, is looking for opportunities to increase its footprint, Gee said.  Randolph Communications serves parts of eight counties. The key tends to come from community members…
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Budd, McCrory still close in NC Senate campaign fundraising

Budd, McCrory still close in NC Senate campaign fundraising

RALEIGH — North Carolina Republican U.S. Senate candidates Ted Budd and Pat McCrory remained neck-and-neck with their campaigns’ own fundraising entering the final full month before the May 17 primary. Campaign finance reports for the first quarter show McCrory, the former governor, and current U.S. House member Budd collecting essentially the same level of contributions and other funds. But Budd is separately benefiting from a political action committee that has already spent several million dollars on ads and mailers praising Budd and attacking McCrory. A pro-McCrory super PAC is trailing. Budd also has received former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. Looking…
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Highly pathogenic avian influenza update

Highly pathogenic avian influenza update

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has found its way into North Carolina’s commercial poultry industry after being found in wild waterfowl for the past several months. New updates have been provided recently from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDACS) including a suspension of poultry events until further notice.  This includes “exhibitions, farm tours, shows, sales, flea markets, auction markets, swaps and meets pertaining to poultry and feathered fowl in North Carolina.” “This suspension is due to the continued spread of HPAI that has affected commercial and backyard flocks in numerous states, including North Carolina,” said State Veterinarian…
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Mountaire Farms will feed thousands for Easter

Mountaire Farms will feed thousands for Easter

ASHEBORO — Mountaire Farms is extending its goodwill program to include a new spring event that will provide Easter meals for people near its plant in Siler City.  It’s called “Easter for Thousands” and the company will expect employees and community members will participate in the endeavor Saturday morning. “We noticed a need in the community,” said Sasha Duncan, the community relations manager for Mountaire Farms of North Carolina. “It’s something that we’ve done in the past at Thanksgiving and now has expanded to Christmas and Easter.” The participants will pack and have ready to distribute approximately 3,000 boxed meals…
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Randolph County’s deer harvest rates top in state

Randolph County’s deer harvest rates top in state

Deer hunting took place in Randolph County like in no other county in North Carolina. Again. With numbers tallied for the 2021-22 season through the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s electronic reporting system, it showed that 4,422 white-tailed deer had been successfully hunted in Randolph County. That was the most for any county in the state. “There’s a lot of people in Randolph County who hunt,” said Michael King of the NCWRC. “By and large, those out of that group (responsible for the county’s deer hunting total) are from Randolph County or local to that area.” Anson County was second…
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