Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment


Associated Press

Posted on October 24, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 11:01 AM


NC regulators uphold Duke Energy rate hike

(Information in the following story is from: The News & Observer,

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators have upheld a 7 percent rate increase for Duke Energy customers.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported the North Carolina Utilities Commission said Wednesday it was right when it approved the increase in January 2012. The commission said it properly balanced the interests of investors and the Charlotte company's nearly 2 million customers in western North Carolina.

Duke customers have been paying about $7 a month on average since the increase was approved.

The North Carolina Supreme Court ordered the commission to review the increase after a challenge by Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Wednesday's decision does not affect Duke Energy Progress customers in eastern North Carolina. An increase that regulators approved for Duke Energy Progress customers also is being challenged by the attorney general's office.


Atlantic Coast storm-protecting projects announced

GALLOWAY, N.J. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is in New Jersey to announce $162 million in funding for 45 storm-protection projects from North Carolina to New England.

The money will help restore marshes and wetlands and rebuild shorelines to reduce the impact of storms like Superstorm Sandy.

Jewell is visiting the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Galloway, N.J., near where the center of Sandy came ashore Oct. 29, 2012. The natural buffer helped protect the area from severe flooding.

The government is providing $15 million for salt marsh restoration along the New Jersey coast, including at Forsythe.

Other restoration funding includes $25 million for the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve south of Alexandria, Va., $20 million for a salt marsh ecosystem at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware, and $11 million for salt marshes at three locations on Long Island, N.Y.


Winston-Salem church offers alternative to Scouts

(Information in the following story is from: Winston-Salem Journal,

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A Winston-Salem church is offering an alternative to Boy Scouts because of its concerns about the national organization's decision to accept gay boys.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that Calvary Baptist Church started Trail Life to replace the church's Boy Scouts program.

About 1,000 people attended the kickoff Wednesday.

The Rev. Rob Peters says he understands the Boy Scouts program and intends for the church to continue that tradition of transforming its boys into men.

The church said it would drop its affiliation with Boy Scouts at the end of the year because of the national organization's decision to accept gay boys. The national organization's policy does not condone sexual conduct among Scouts. It also bars gay adults from serving as Scout leaders.

Trail Life does not accept gay boys.


Cabela's to add stores in Canada, NC, Wisconsin

SIDNEY, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska-based sporting goods retailer Cabela's Inc. says it's planning to open new stores in British Columbia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

The Sidney, Neb., company says Thursday it's planning a 50,000-square-foot store in an existing building in a shopping center in Nanaimo, British Columbia to open in 2014. About 150 workers will be hired.

The Garner, N.C., store will be a new building with construction scheduled to start next summer and opening in the spring of 2015. The store will employ about 225 workers.

The Sun Prairie, Wisc., project also is a new store to employ about 200 workers. Construction will start next year and opening is set for spring 2015.

Cabela's operates 48 stores across North America with plans to open an additional 19 over the next two years.


Durham deputies find 1,300 weapons at courthouse

(Information in the following story is from: The Herald-Sun,

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies report they've found nearly 1,300 weapons on people entering the new Durham County Courthouse since it opened in February.

The Herald-Sun of Durham reported that Sgt. Jeff Daughtry said officers have found guns, knives, razor blades, scissors, stun guns and hammers using the metal detectors at the entrance.

Daughtry said 922 people with weapons were denied entrance to the courthouse. He says some other people took the weapons to their vehicles and then were allowed to enter the building.

He says some of those who tried to slip through security were charged with carrying a concealed weapon. He says those who brought items from their jobs, such as a utility knife or hammer were not charged.


Wine samples available near NC State Fair

(Information in the following story is from: The News & Observer,

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Wine samples are almost available at the North Carolina State Fair, for the first time.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that six wineries have set up to offer samples and sales at the horse complex just across the road from Gate 8 at the fair.

The North Carolina Wine and Grape Council had lobbied agriculture officials for years to be able to offer samples and sell bottles at the fair.

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler previously rejected the request to sell bottles of wine on the fairgrounds. State rules prohibit the sale and consumption of alcohol at the fair and ban people from walking around with liquids in glass bottles.

Agriculture officials say next year they will likely include North Carolina breweries just across the road, too.


Marines complete artillery training at Fort Bragg

(Information in the following story is from: The Fayetteville Observer,

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — The big booms are over at Fort Bragg.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that Marines from Camp Lejeune completed heavy artillery training at Fort Bragg on Wednesday.

The Marines visit Fort Bragg twice a year to practice with the M777 howitzer. The big gun makes so much noise it cannot be tested at Camp Lejeune, which is smaller than Fort Bragg.

It does rattle windows and scare pets for those living near the fort.

Marine Col. Cliff Weinstein says he's grateful to Fort Bragg and its neighbors for the nearly three weeks of training that sometimes stretched into late night.

Weinstein's 10th Marine Regiment includes the only Marine artillery force on the East Coast. The unit has been continuously deployed since 2001.


McCrory paying it forward in VA governor's race

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory got help from sitting governors from other states during his 2012 campaign. Now, he's trying to pay it forward for another Republican gubernatorial hopeful.

McCrory was scheduled to attend a midday rally Thursday in Roanoke, Va., for Republican nominee for governor Ken Cuccinelli, who is in the final days of his campaign with Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, South Carolina chief executive Nikki Haley and Wisconsin's Scott Walker each spoke at campaign events last year for McCrory on the way to his victory over Democrat Walter Dalton.

A recent poll showed McAuliffe ahead of Cuccinelli, the sitting attorney general.


3 states tussle over bragging rights to 1st flight

UNDATED (AP) — Ohio license plates proclaim the state is the "Birthplace of Aviation," and North Carolina plates say the state is "First in Flight."

Connecticut says both are wrong.

It says German-born aviator and state resident Gustave Whitehead was the first to make a powered airplane fly.

Now the three states are in a tussle over bragging rights.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a state law last summer insisting that Whitehead flew in 1901 — two years before Wilbur and Orville Wright, who were from Ohio, lifted off on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

State lawmakers in both Ohio and North Carolina have called Thursday news conferences to dispute the Connecticut claim.

Jane's All the World's Aircraft, an industry publication, recently cited contemporary news accounts in concluding Whitehead was first.


NCDOT to help establish Beirut Memorial Grove

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The N.C. Department of Transportation is joining with the City of Jacksonville and the Beirut Memorial Advisory Board to establish a Beirut Memorial Grove to honor the victims of the 1983 bombing that killed 273 service members.

A statement from the department said the new grove will include 273 autumn flowering cherry trees to commemorate each life lost. The cherry trees will carry on the legacy of the Beirut Memorial Bradford Pear Trees planted along Lejeune Boulevard in the 1980s.

The site selected for the memorial grove is a triangular, 12-acre elevated plot within the U.S. 17/N.C. 24/U.S. 258 interchange near Camp Geiger that serves as an entrance onto the Jacksonville Bypass.

In addition to the trees, the grove will also have double knockout roses and daylilies around the perimeter.