The Carolinas News Editor is Tim Rogers. The breaking news supervisor is Jack Jones. For technical support, please call the AP's Services and Technology Department in Raleigh at 919-881-9974.
WIFE COLD CASES
CHARLOTTE — Al Gentry simply ran out of time. For nearly 25 years he searched for his brother's killer and followed the trail to a Georgia widow with a dubious past. By Mitch Weiss.
AP Photos NCCB301, NCCB302.
RALEIGH — North Carolina residents will see sweeping changes to their taxes after the legislature gave final approval Wednesday to a plan that lowers income tax rates, repeals the estate tax and tinkers with the sales tax. Gov. Pat McCrory is expected to sign it to become law. The deal, announced earlier this week after months of discussions and recent intense negotiations, was approved mostly along party lines. Democrats called the proposal a tax increase in disguise for most citizens at the expense of the wealthy and corporations. By Gary D. Robertson.
RALEIGH — With a tax overhaul heading to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk, Senate Republicans want to hurry along legislative activity with an eye toward adjourning the six-month-long session. But House counterparts aren't in as big a rush to do it. Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson and Senate Rules Committee chairman, announced from the floor Wednesday that debate for some bills would occur during a rare Saturday session. A frustrated Apodaca said later he hoped that House Republicans would stay around too and press ahead to end the session with summer now in full swing. By Gary D. Robertson.
RALEIGH — A North Carolina House debate Wednesday on a resolution backing constitutional gun rights prompted concerns from Democrats who argued that it criticized national leaders for proposing rules the resolution says would infringe on those rights. The resolution backed by a 73-35 party-line vote doesn't have much force of law and will be sent to members of North Carolina's congressional delegation.
RALEIGH — A state audit of the taxpayer-funded North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center says the nonprofit agency has failed to provide proper oversight of millions in grants while paying its longtime president too much money. The audit released Wednesday by State Auditor Beth Wood says reporting requirements on $59 million in grants issued by the center in 2012 were not diligently enforced and that job creation claims on five recent grants could not be independently verified. The audit comes as some lawmakers push to cut off the center's state funding entirely. By Michael Biesecker.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Air Force warplanes grounded by Pentagon budget cuts are back in the skies and training over the Southeast. The warplanes at bases from Virginia to Florida that make up the units in the 9th Air Force had been forced to limit their training over the past three months because of the cuts known as sequestration. By Susanne M. Schafer.
Eds: Moved. Please note N.C. angle.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday released the cost of designating almost 750 miles of beaches as critical habitat for endangered loggerhead sea turtles even as the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed also designating waters near those nesting beaches for that purpose. Earlier this year, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was designating beaches in states from North Carolina to Mississippi as critical habitat, about 175 miles of that along the cost of the Carolinas. By Bruce Smith.
AP Photo SCBS104.
NEW YORK — Major U.S. banks have turned in big profit gains this season, but the news isn't all good. Much of the earnings increase is coming from cutting costs, rather than growing their core lending businesses. A boom in mortgage refinancing looks like it's about to peter out. And regulators are considering stricter new rules that would force the banks to shore up their cash. By Business Writer Christina Rexrode.
AP Photos NYBZ134, NYBZ135.
EARNS-BANK OF AMERICA
NEW YORK — Bank of America said Wednesday that its second-quarter profits soared, welcome news at a bank where recent quarters have often been walloped by mortgage-related problems. The earnings growth came largely because the bank cut costs and set aside less money for potential troubled loans. While earnings popped 70 percent, revenue was up just 3 percent. By Business Writer Christina Rexrode.
AP Photos NYBZ134, NYBZ136, NYBZ137.
BOTTOM LINE-REVITALIZING RESTAURANT
GREENVILLE — People love to eat out but they don't want to travel long distances for good food, businessman Arthur Wallace said. That is why Wallace opened a restaurant specializing in lunch-counter specials and fried fish on West Fifth Street. By Ginger Livingston, The Daily Reflector of Greenville.
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— XGR-ENVIRONMENT — Coastal policy changes receiving tentative approval in the House keep intact a limit on the number of new erosion control structures at entrances to North Carolina inlets. Moved as APNewsNow.
— SWIMMER ELECTROCUTED, from LEXINGTON — Authorities in Davidson County are investigating the death of an 11-year-old Lexington girl who was electrocuted in a pool. Moved as APNewsNow.
— RANDY TRAVIS' BROTHER-ARREST, from MARSHVILLE — Authorities in Union County say a brother of country singer Randy Travis has been arrested after sheriff's deputies found a methamphetamine lab inside his home. Moved as APNewsNow.
— XGR-CHARLOTTE AIRPORT, from RALEIGH — The North Carolina Senate is one vote away from taking Charlotte Douglas International Airport away from the city and turning over one of the country's busiest airline hubs to a regional authority. Moved as APNewsNow.
— TREASURER-INVESTMENTS, from RALEIGH — A House panel has narrowly agreed to give State Treasurer Janet Cowell more flexibility in investing North Carolina public employee pension funds that she says is needed to meet return rates so retirement funds are sound. Moved as APNewsNow.
— BBM-LOST DOG-BULLS, from DURHAM — A dog that runs the bases after Durham Bulls baseball games has been found safe after he ran away from a postgame fireworks show last week. Moved as APNewsNow.
RALEIGH — Debbie Yow has talked about the importance of building a top-25 overall program since her arrival as North Carolina State's athletic director. No one can deny the Wolfpack's progress so far. "I really measure us against us, if that makes sense," Yow said in an interview with The Associated Press, "where have we been and where are we going?" By Sports Writer Aaron Beard.
The AP, Raleigh