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Sun. Headlines: Haley Wants SC Tax Cut, Some Lawmakers Aren't So Sure

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is demanding that legislators cut personal income taxes to make South Carolina more competitive with neighboring states. But some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle disagree with her analysis.

South Carolinians already pay less in income taxes than their counterparts in North Carolina and Georgia, as well as most other states that collect the tax. The state tax code puts South Carolina's top rate at 7 percent, but the state’s effective tax rate - what people actually pay - averages just under 3 percent. 

Democratic Sen. Vincent Sheheen of Camden says it's a myth that South Carolina doesn't compare favorably with other states.   Republican Sen. Tom Davis of Beaufort agrees. He plans to work with Sheheen on a bill to better align South Carolina's advertised to actual tax rates.

HALEY WANTS TO END BIKE WEEKEND

And Governor Haley has told Atlantic Beach officials she’ll help the town boost  tourism if leaders agree to cancel the annual Memorial Day weekend Bikefest, which some say attracts crime. Haley was in Conway Friday to talk about hurricane preparedness when she called for cancelling the motorcycle gathering.

Three people were killed in eight separate shootings during last year's Bikefest. There were no fatalities at last week's event, which saw triple the number of law enforcement agents, and arrests fell 26 percent compared to last year.
 
Haley says she has spoken to Atlantic Beach officials about how the town could stop relying on the event for the bulk of its tourism economy.

DRIVER DIES IN HEAD-ON CRASH ON CENTRAL AVE.

A speeding driver was killed Saturday morning in a head-on collision on Central Avenue in Charlotte. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police were called to the 5000 block of Central Avenue, near Rosehaven Drive, around 8:20am.  An investigation found 23-year-old Donovan Presley was eastbound when his Nissan Altima crossed the median and struck a Ford pickup.  He was pronounced dead at the scene. The pickup driver was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries and the driver of a third car, a Ford van, was not hurt. Police said it appears Presley was speeding. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

SUSPECT CHARGED AFTER CARJACKING AND CHASE

A Charlotte carjacking suspect trying to elude South Carolina police crashed into a tree and barricaded himself in the car for 2½ hours Friday before surrendering.  21-year-old Andrew Clayton Crawford was arrested and charged with receiving stolen goods, assault and battery, and various traffic violations.  The chase began when a deputy in Rock Hill spotted a car Thursday night matching the description of a vehicle involved in a carjacking in Charlotte.  The suspect crashed into a deputy's car and then into the tree.  Two passengers who got out of the car face charges of receiving stolen goods.

LUMBEES TOLD TO REPAY FEDERAL FUNDS

A federal government review says the Lumbee Indian Tribe of North Carolina must repay $225,000 that was supposed to be spent on housing services .. but instead paid for a fishing trip for veterans, banquet catering and other expenses that aren't allowed. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ordered the tribe to repay the money. Meanwhile, the review says Lumbee members must wait an average of 10 to 15 years for housing services.  In a statement, Lumbee Chairman Paul Brooks criticized the federal office for using a "more narrow interpretation" of how the federal funding can be used. 

REP. ADAMS TARGETS HUNGER

US Representative Alma Adams is taking on the issue of hunger in her 12th Congressional District, which runs from Charlotte to Greensboro.   A statement this weekend says her Adams Hunger Initiative will work to end food insecurity and hunger, in part by bringing together stakeholders and promoting investments into local communities through public and private partnerships.  Adams is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Subcommittee on Nutrition. Adams also says she plans to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program challenge to better understand the circumstances of those living on SNAP in her district.

RENOVATED STEAM TRAIN RETURNS HOME

One of the most powerful passenger steam locomotives ever built is headed back to its home in Norfolk, Virginia, after a year of restoration in North Carolina.   The Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611 is returning home after the work at North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer.   The 611 was built in 1950. After passenger service was switched to diesel engines in 1958, it carried train buffs on excursions throughout the South until 1994, when No. 611 was finally taken out of service and put on display in Roanoke, Virginia.   In 2013, the Virginia Museum of Transportation launched a campaign to help restore No. 611.

HAMLIN ON THE POLE AT DOVER

Denny Hamlin won the pole position and Martin Truex Jr. is also on the front row for today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Delaware. Hamlin, who drives for Joe Gibbs racing in Huntersville,  is on a roll. He won the Sprint All-Star race two weekends ago at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Today’s race begins at 1 o’clock.

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