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Former Mayor Patrick Cannon Set To Be Released; NC General Assembly Begins Work In Raleigh

Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon becomes a free man Wednesday. The 50-year-old Democrat pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges in 2014 and was sentenced to serve 44 months in prison and to pay $60,500 in fines and restitution. His conviction stemmed from accepting bribes from undercover FBI agents while serving on Charlotte City Council and later as mayor.

The Charlotte Observer reports that while Cannon will no longer be classified as a federal inmate, he must still serve two years of supervised release before regaining his right to vote and to run for office.

North Carolina General Assembly Begins Work On 2017 Session

North Carolina lawmakers returned to Raleigh Wednesday to begin work in earnest on the 2017 legislative session. House Speaker Tim Moore and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest convened their respective floor session shortly after 12 p.m. Legislators have begun to file bills, though the first of them won't be debated until at least next week.

Earlier Wednesday, Governor Roy Cooper once again called on lawmakers to repeal House Bill 2. In a statement, Cooper said he believes there is a bipartisan majority in the House and Senate willing to repeal HB2, which requires transgender people to use restrooms in schools and other government buildings that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates.

An effort to repeal the law last month failed when Democrats objected to a four-month moratorium that would have banned cities from passing nondiscrimination ordinances similar to the ordinance passed by Charlotte last year.

North Carolinians Prefer Krispy Kreme To Dunkin Donuts

A recent poll conducted by left-leaning Public Policy Polling finds North Carolinians prefer Krispy Kreme to Dunkin Donut by more than 10 percentage points.

Every year, Public Policy Polling conducts research on a number of non-political issues in North Carolina. The poll also looked at how favorable North Carolina's cities were viewed by the state. Charlotte received a 55 percent favorable ranking, down from 59 percent in 2012

The only other city to see its favorability rating drop was Raleigh, from 67 percent in 2012 down to 62 percent.

Red Dye Leaks Into Creek From Winston-Salem Plant

A rupture at a plant in Winston-Salem dumped red dye into a creek, killing fish and prompting a warning for people to avoid the water.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports the spill occurred at Hanes Dye & Fishing Co. late Tuesday morning. Some dye was contained in the building, but some ended up in Peters Creek. There was no immediate word on how many gallon of dye had spilled.

Dan Johnson with Hanes says the dye is biodegradable, but Marla Sink with the Department of Environmental Quality says more than 100 fish were killed, indicating something hazardous.

Hanes hired an environmental company to clean the spill.

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