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Sun. Headlines: Harnett To Lead NC GOP

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North Carolina Republicans have elected their first black state party chair. Hasan Harnett of Harrisburg, in Cabarrus County, won Saturday’s vote in an upset victory over Craig Collins of Gastonia, the candidate backed by Gov. Pat McCrory and other GOP establishment leaders.

Harnett was a campaign manager for a 2014 congressional candidate and has served as minority outreach director for the state Republican Party.  He said later he was "humbled."

"It speaks volumes to the delegates who have made their voices be made known," Harnett said in an interview with the Associated Press. As for whether his victory will help broaden the party's base to more black voters, he added: "I think it's a good start and there's much more work to be done."

Collins had endorsements from the governor as well aU.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis and the top leaders at the General Assembly: Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore.

McCRORY FOCUSES ON ECONOMY, GOP ISSUES

The vote to elect Harnett came at the party’s state convention Saturday in Raleigh, where Gov. McCrory gave the keynote address. McCrory said he wants to focus on the economic recovery and other policies he says state Republicans support. The governor, who soon will begin his 2016 re-election campaign in earnest, talked about the lower unemployment rate, the elimination of the state’s federal debt for unemployment benefits, and what he called improvements to education and transportation. He avoided discussion of social issues. And he drew cheers when he mentioned his continued support for the state’s voter identification law and for a multistate lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms.

SC LAWMAKERS STILL HAVE A BUDGET TO PASS

In South Carolina, the legislature’s regular session is officially over, but the work is far from done.   Legislators will have to come back for a special session June 16 to pass a budget for the fiscal year that starts just two weeks later.  A six-member budget committee will meet next week in hopes of reaching a compromise on the main budget bill.

ELECTROLUX CUTTING JOBS

Swedish appliance-maker Electrolux is cutting a little under 1 percent of its work force in North America, including some in Charlotte, as the company seeks to boost its earnings.  Electrolux announced the job cuts on Friday, but did not say how many were at its North American headquarters in Charlotte, where it has 925 employees.  The company is currently awaiting regulatory approval to close its $3.3 billion purchase of General Electric's Louisville, Kentucky-based home appliance business.

STATE TO PAY BROTHERS FOR WRONGFUL CONVICTION

Two brothers will receive more than a million dollars from the state of North Carolina after they were wrongfully imprisoned for three decades for the killing of an 11-year-old girl. But for one of them, the windfall isn't the issue.  Fifty-one-year-old Henry McCollum says the important thing is that he and brother Leon Brown have been found innocent of the 1983 crime.  He says it is a blessing to be free and living a normal life.  After formal approval by a state agency, the pardon will qualify each of the brothers for $50,000 from the state for every year they were imprisoned, with a limit of $750,000 each. Gov. Pat McCrory announced Friday that he had signed the pardons.

FATHER FACES PRISON IN DAUGHTER'S STARVATION DEATH

A father in Lexington County, South Carolina, has been sentenced to life in prison for the starvation of his toddler daughter. Filiberto Garcia-Campos was sentenced Friday. He was convicted of homicide by child abuse in the death of 13-month-old Madison Garcia, who was born with Down syndrome.  The girl’s mother, Tracy Roach, pleaded guilty in April to the same charge and is serving a life sentence.

I-485 RESURFACING BEGINS

And here’s a traffic note for Charlotte drivers … I-485’s final leg from I-77 to I-85 in northeast charlotte is now open … And today, the state Department of Transportation will begin a $6.1 million resurfacing project on I-485 in south Charlotte.  … most work on the section frfom Rea Road to US 74 will happen overnight. The work should be done by October.

SPORTS

In minor league baseball last night, The Charlotte Knights shut out the Norfolk Tides, 6-0. The win moved the Knights back into a tie for first in the International League’s South Division. The Knights got revenge on the Tides, after losing 5-0 on Friday …

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup is in Pennsylvania today at Pocono Raceway’s tri-oval. Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing in Kannapolis has the pole position, with Carl Edwards, of Joe Gibbs Racing in Huntersville, in the No. 2 spot.    

And it’s championship weekend for the state’s top high school baseball teams. Providence High won the 4A title Saturday, beating Millbrook of Raleigh 10 to 2 … to win the series 2 games to 1.  In the 3A tournament, Marvin Ridge High of Waxhaw beat Aycock High of Pikeville 7-3 to complete a 2-game sweep of their title series.