Sun. Headlines: Gov. Won't Sign Coal Ash Bill
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has refused to sign a bill that includes funding for a commission overseeing the cleanup of coal ash dumps. The governor said a three-judge panel sided with him in declaring the commission unconstitutional. But the spending bill still becomes law Sunday without his signature. McCrory's office said he supports most of the bill but can't endorse it because of the provision that funds a commission legally barred from taking any official action. Last month, three Superior Court judges struck down the Legislature's appointment process for the Coal Ash Management Commission, in which six of nine members are appointed by legislative leaders. The judges cited required separation of legislative and executive powers. Legislators appealed the decision. The state Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this summer.
TAX CHANGES HIT HOME
Wednesday is the deadline for filing your income tax return. In North Carolina, filers may feel a bit more pain than usual this year as the state’s 20-13 tax law changes now are being fully carried out. The tax overhaul limited or eliminated many itemized deductions starting with the 2014 tax year in exchange for a lower, flat income tax rate. Workers benefited from the lower rates because less tax was withheld from their paychecks. But accountants notice some clients are having to pay more when filling out their returns because deductions they relied are on gone. Older adults have complained about the loss of the medical expense deduction and having to pay more taxes.
REV. SHARPTON IN CHARLESTON
Civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to be in North Charleston, South Carolina, Sunday to attend a vigil for Walter Scott, the black driver who was fatally shot by a white police officer after he fled a traffic stop. Sharpton is expected to preach at Charity Missionary Baptist Church before attending a vigil near the shooting scene. Scott was shot April 4 and officer Michael Slager has since been fired and charged with murder. Witness video showed Slager fired eight times as Scott ran away.
MONTREAT COLLEGE REBOUND
Officials at Montreat College hope the school’s improved finances will allow it to be removed from a federal monitoring list. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Montreat is among eight schools in North Carolina on the U.S. Department of Education's latest list of schools under "heightened cash monitoring." That means the government is watching them more closely to ensure they're correctly using federal student aid. After Montreat's plans to merge with Point University in Georgia fell through last year, the college launched a fundraising campaign. School spokesman Adam Caress says the private Christian college reached its $8 million goal by year's end, and the school's finances continue to improve. The college announced last week it's building a $2 million athletic complex, paid for by two donors.
5 TEENS CHARGED IN MAN'S DEATH
Sheriff's deputies in Lexington County, South Carolina, have arrested five teenagers after a man was shot to death in his home near Swansea, south of Columbia. Three 18-year-olds, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old are charged in connection with the death of 41-year-old Larry Bryan Williams. Sheriff's deputies were called to the house Wednesday after a report of a man being shot. Authorities said the 16-year-old is charged as an adult with murder, armed robbery, criminal conspiracy and possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
JOHNSON WINS AT TEXAS
Jimmie Johnson won NASCAR’s Sprint Cup race last night at Texas Motor Speedway – his fifth win at the track. Series points leader Kevin Harvick was second. He's either won or been the runner-up in nine of his last 10 races. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was third, followed by Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.