News Items

Election Season

North Carolina kicks off a busy new election season Tuesday and, at least in the presidential race, forecasters expect it to favor Republicans.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:56:53

Campaign Reimbursements

Seven state lawmakers, including Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca, have reimbursed themselves for thousands of dollars in campaign spending without reporting details of those expenditures.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:53:52

Campaign Supporters

Eyebrows were arched after Charlie Shelton, a Surry County businessman, secured Gov. Pat McCrory's help this year in launching a Highway Patrol crackdown on truck drivers who park for naps beside interstate highway ramps. But Shelton and his brother, Ed, co-founders of Shelton Vineyards, have been McCrory campaign supporters since the 1990s. State Board of Elections records show that the Sheltons have a long history as top-tier money sources for North Carolina governors and other politicians, both Republicans and Democrats.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:52:43

Insurer Auditing

In August, state lawmakers passed insurance legislation that had the blessing of life insurance companies and State Treasurer Janet Cowell, who was concerned they weren't paying out small death benefit policies in a timely fashion. The bill drew no opposition in the House and Senate, and Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law. But in the closing weeks of the session, the State Treasurer's office succeeded in adding a provision to a wide-ranging local government regulatory bill that strengthens the treasurer's reach in identifying money that insurance companies should turn over to beneficiaries.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:51:55

New Laws

New laws are aimed at cracking down on revenge porn and graffiti, keeping children safe from the liquid used in electronic cigarettes and regulating how law enforcement agencies use automatic license plate readers. Parts or all of more than 30 laws passed lawmakers will take effect Tuesday.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:51:05

Trooper Pay

State troopers suing North Carolina for millions of dollars in back pay say the state's broken promises have forced them into tough spots: working second jobs, moving in with parents, even going on food stamps.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:49:19


Johnston County school board member Donna White of Clayton says she will seek the House seat held by fellow Republican Leo Daughtry of Smithfield, who has said he will not run again.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:48:39

Bowles Interview

Erskine Bowles has held a lot of titles during his public- and private-sector career: investment banker, White House chief of staff, political candidate, president of the University of North Carolina system and board member. At 70, the longtime Charlotte resident is still juggling roles. Bowles spoke to The Charlotte Observer on a range of topics

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:48:06

Insurance Refunds

Health insurance companies must refund $8.5 million to more than 162,000 North Carolina residents under a corporate profit cap instituted by the Affordable Care Act.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:43:17

River License

The federal government has approved Duke Energy's license to manage 225 miles of the Catawba River in North Carolina and South Carolina for 40 more years.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:42:43

Light Rail

Problems with a contractor will force the Charlotte Area Transit System to spend an additional $950,000 to upgrade capacity on the light-rail line.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:42:08

VA Bureaucracy

Speaking to a group of students last week, U.S. Rep. David Rouzer suggested that cutting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' spending would remove unnecessary bureaucracy and give vets the service they deserve.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:40:33

Charges Dismissed

A prosecutor has dismissed charges against the former director of the Guilford County Animal Shelter, telling the sheriff he never should have brought the charges.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:40:00

Christmas Trees

North Carolina's state Christmas trees are on their way to the Capitol in Raleigh.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:36:20


A Kinston lawyer has been appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory to district court that includes Greene, Lenoir and Wayne counties.

MODIFIED: 11/29/15 23:35:48


"I think it's fair that we come down there and live in a decent lifestyle. I don't think it's fair that we go down there and live in a pup tent."
Rep. Kelly Hastings of Cleveland County, on furniture purchases for his Raleigh apartment that were included among campaign reimbursements.

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