Dec 11th - 4:01 pm
Here’s a release from the Department of Revenue
“RALEIGH – A Siler City resident was arrested Wednesday on felony tax charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
Deborah Hawkins McManus, 56, of 11 Pine Forest Drive, Siler City was charged on December 11, 2013 with three counts of embezzlement of state property.
Arrest warrants allege that McManus, as bookkeeper and responsible person of Carolina Family Practice, P.A., aided and abetted the corporation to embezzle, misapply and convert to its own use $47,369.00 in North Carolina Individual Income Tax withheld during the period January 2011 through July 2013.
McManus appeared before a Wake County magistrate and was placed under a $150,000 bond. A first appearance was scheduled for December 12, 2013 in Wake County District Court in Raleigh.
The charges against McManus resulted from an investigation by a special agent with the Department’s Criminal Investigations Section in Raleigh.”
Dec 11th - 11:41 am
On Capital Tonight: Rep. Mel Watt was confirmed to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. We have the latest from Washington. The Bonner Bridge is still closed on the coast and political leaders are throwing around rhetoric at an environmental group that is challenging a bridge replacement in court. We talk with the SELC’s Derb Carter. Watch the program here.
Dec 11th - 11:40 am
The clean energy advocacy group NC WARN is asking the court to reopen an investigation into whether Duke Energy mislead state regulators.
A settlement last year closed the investigation by the NC Utilities Commission, which was prompted when the company rushed to complete the merger ahead of deadline.
The court hasn’t ruled yet on another challenge it heard in November.
That case was also brought by NC WARN which said state regulators didn’t consider the impact the merger would have on customers.
Dec 11th - 11:34 am
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Democratic Congressman Mel Watt to head the regulatory agency that controls the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
It took two attempts, but the Senate on Tuesday confirmed North Carolina Democrat Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
After Senate Republicans initially blocked Watt’s confirmation this fall, Senate Democrats changed the rules, clearing the path by eliminating the use of the filibuster to block certain presidential nominees.
Watt will now serve as President Obama’s top housing regulator with oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
During his Senate confirmation hearing, Watt signaled his support for pushing the housing finance industry back toward the private sector and for better access to mortgages for low-income borrowers.
It’s something President Obama mentioned when nominating Watt.
“Mel has led efforts to rein in unscrupulous mortgage lenders. He’s helped protect consumers from the kind of reckless risk-taking that led to the financial crisis in the first place. And he’s fought to give more Americans in low-income neighborhoods access to affordable housing,” said President Obama.
The 68-year-old Watt wasn’t in Washington on Tuesday. He’s traveling with the U.S. delegation that attended Nelson Mandela’s memorial in South Africa.
Watt’s confirmation sets up a scramble among Democrats to win his Congressional seat. Watt’s office was asked if the congressman had any thoughts about who should replace him in representing the state’s 12th District, but they said he had no comment at this time.
- Geoff Bennett
Dec 10th - 12:13 pm
CHARLOTTE—North Carolina congressmen Mel Watt could join President Barack Obama’s administration as the U.S. Senate is expected to confirm his nomination as the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
After months of delays, U.S. Senate leaders believe they have the votes necessary to successfully confirm watt to lead the FHFA.
President Obama first nominated Watt in May 2013 to lead the agency that oversees mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Republicans in Congress questioned Watt’s qualifications to run the agency. They have also voiced opposition to Watt’s calls for more government involvement in the mortgage industry and have refused to vote to confirm him.
A recent change to Senate filibuster rules makes it harder for members of Congress to stall votes on executive and judicial nominees, which all but clears the way for a vote to confirm Watt.
The 68 year-old Watt has represented North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District since 1993.
If the Senate votes to confirm Congressman Watt, his nomination could be effective almost immediately.
However, Watt won’t be at the Capitol if the vote happens as he is a part of the congressional delegation in South Africa to attend memorial services for Nelson Mandela.
Dec 10th - 11:48 am
Since NC Tracks launched July 1, it’s been filled with problems from late payments and software glitches.
The system is supposed to process and pay more than $12 billion a year in healthcare claims for healthcare providers across the state.
In a statement, DHHS says more than 80 percent of the defects the audit uncovered have been resolved and that NC Tracks has paid almost $4.5 billion to healthcare providers in the state. It also said that the number of defects is significantly less for a software system similar to NC Tracks.
But State Auditor Beth Wood recommends the agency come up with a time frame to fix the issues.
“They have this tool out there but they’re not tracking. They’re not using it to make sure that CSC the vendor is fixing this in a timely fashion,” Wood said.
The audit also highlighted a perception of bias within NC Tracks.
It uncovered a situation in which a state employee who worked closely with CSC quit and then immediately began working with the vendor.
Wood called it a conflict of interest and says the cooling off period needs to be looked at.
Read the full audit report here.
- Diana Bosch
Dec 10th - 11:22 am
On Capital Tonight: We talk with Rep. Richard Hudson about transportation safety, the farm bill and a deal on the budget. Plus, John Frank of the Raleigh News & Observer and Travis Fain of the Greensboro News & Record join the reporter roundtable. Watch the program here.
Dec 9th - 11:57 am
“It’s truly an honor to celebrate the new American Airlines. It hasn’t been an easy road, but you made it,” said NASDAQ senior managing director Chuck Tilch.
A last-ditch effort to block the merger over concerns that the mega-airline would mean higher fares for customers failed over the weekend after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
“Our goal here is to go and restore American A in its position as the greatest airline in the world,” said Parker.
The airline will fly about 6,700 flights a day to 336 destinations in 56 countries, employing more than 100,000 people.
Nearly 10 percent of the workforce is in North Carolina.
Parker said he wants the new American to be the best airline in the world.
“Our standard of measurement can not just be other US based carriers, we need to be the greatest in the world,” said Parker.
Shortly before ringing the opening bell on the NASDAQ exchange under the new call letters AAL, Parker reiterated the importance of the two airlines becoming one.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the promise of our combined airline and I look forward to working alongside the best team in the industry as we takeoff as the new American,” said Parker.
Read a company statement about the merger here.
Dec 9th - 11:10 am
On Capital Tonight: The Bow Tie Caucus convenes! Profs. Scott Huffmon and Michael Bitzer break down the 2014 U.S. Senate race, plus part 2 of our exclusive interview with Gov. Pat McCrory from Washington. Watch the program here.
Dec 6th - 2:09 pm
The government reports that solid job growth in November cut the U.S. unemployment rate to 7 percent, a five-year low. The Labor Department says employers added 203,000 jobs last month after adding 200,000 in October.
The economy has now added a four-month average of 204,000 jobs from August through November, up from 159,000 a month from April through July.
Many of the November job gains were in higher-paying industries. Manufacturers added 27,000 positions, the most since March 2012. Construction firms gained 17,000.
The strengthening job market is likely to fuel speculation that the Federal Reserve may start to scale back its bond purchases when it meets later this month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report