UNDERCOVER DRUG SHOOTING
Shooting during undercover drug deal in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Authorities say a drug informant and a man selling him drugs have been shot during a deal in an elementary school parking lot in Charlotte.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe said the informant was buying drugs with an undercover police officer around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday when 1 of the two men selling the drugs started shooting.
Investigators say other officers nearby shot back, wounding 1 of the drug dealers. The informant also was hurt. The names of the wounded have not been released.
Hidden Valley Elementary School is out for the summer, but there were employees and parents in the building. Authorities say none of them were hurt.
NC General Assembly remembers late Sen. Don East
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A Republican state senator from the North Carolina mountains who died last fall has been remembered by colleagues as a loyal and outspoken friend who cared most about helping the little guy.
The Senate and House passed a resolution Tuesday honoring the life of the late Sen. Don East of Surry County. The retired police officer and farm owner served 14 years in the Senate until he died in October at age 67.
East's family members watched from the gallery as Senate leader Phil Berger called East a person you wanted on your side because he would look after you no matter what. Sen. Jerry Tillman said East was an astute but humble person.
East won re-election posthumously in November. He was succeeded by Republican Shirley Randleman.
VENUS FLYTRAPS STOLEN
NC group offers reward for stolen Venus flytraps
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina environmental group is offering a $1,500 reward to find the thief who stole more than 1,000 Venus flytraps from a city garden in Wilmington.
The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust says it was outraged by the theft at the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden where the organization holds a conservation easement and hosts a Flytrap Frolic for children in the spring.
Someone took almost 90% of the flytraps in the garden over the Memorial Day weekend. Each plant is valued at about $20.
The Coastal Land Trust collected the money for the reward through a new Flytrap Fund that will also help buy new plants for the garden and improve security.
NC highway money changes near final passage
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Gov. Pat McCrory is just one vote away from receiving from getting the new distribution method he sought for transportation funds across North Carolina.
The House gave by a wide margin approval Tuesday to a new funding model that focuses more upon projects of statewide and regional importance that relieve congestion and encourage economic growth. The House only needs to again agree formally Wednesday to changes by the Senate before the bill goes to McCrory's desk.
McCrory and legislative leaders announced in April proposed changes to the current Highway Trust Fund formula that distributes money equally among the state's 14 transportation divisions.
The proposed formula distributes 40% of trust fund and federal aid money to statewide projects and 30% each to regional and division projects.
SENATE TAX PLAN
NC Senate delays final vote on tax overhaul
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina Senate has delayed a final vote on a tax overhaul plan to discuss changes with House members and Gov. Pat McCrory.
Senate Leader Phil Berger of Eden said Tuesday a scheduled final vote was being put off for talks with McCrory and the House, which already passed its own proposal. The Senate's plan tentatively passed last week. Berger said the proposal will be scheduled for action Wednesday.
The Senate plan cuts taxes by billions through a gradual repeal of corporate taxes and lower income tax rates. Proponents say it will boost the economy.
Critics have said it is not true tax reform because it doesn't make major changes to the sales tax code. Others say it will severely hurt state and local public services.
NC House panel OKs possible 75 mph speed limits
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Some North Carolina House members have decided to move Senate legislation ahead that would allow speed limits on some state highways to race up to 75 mph.
A House committee voted Tuesday for the bill allowing the Department of Transportation to set speed limits higher than the current 70 mph cap for some interstates and other highways if traffic and engineering allows it. The bill doesn't identify which roads could change, but committee members discussed rural stretches of Interstate 40 in eastern North Carolina as a possibility.
The bill already has passed the Senate and its next stop is the House floor.
The measure passed the committee despite some members saying they are worried higher speed limits will mean more highway accidents.
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