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Congressman Pittenger Announces over $11 Million in Hurricane Matthew Grants for Robeson County

LUMBERTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) today announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide over $11 million to buy out, elevate, or replace 119 flood-ravaged homes in Robeson County. *A $4,507,487 grant will be used to purchase and demolish 47 residential structures in Lumberton which flooded during Hurricane Matthew.  The deeds will be transferred to the City of Lumberton to be used as open space. *A $1,831,867 grant will be used to elevate 20 residential structures in Lumberton to prevent damage from future floods. *A $3,307,963 grant will be used to replace and elevate 34 residential structures in Lumberton which were destroyed during Hurricane Matthew. *A $1,800,821 grant …..

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Tillis Co-Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Increase Benefits for Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, joined Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-MT) to introduce the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2018, bipartisan legislation to increase veterans’ disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “We made a promise to the men and women who served our country that they would be taken care after serving our country and protecting the freedoms we enjoy every day,” said Senator Tillis.“I am proud to stand with every member of the Senate VA Committee to fulfill that promise and introduce this important legislation to ensure our nation’s veterans receive …..

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Poyner Spruill partner McIntyre receives prestigious state public service award

Contributed RALEIGH, N.C. — Poyner Spruill partner and former North Carolina Congressman Mike McIntyre has been honored for a lifetime of public service by the North Carolina Bar Association. McIntyre received The Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. Public Service Award at the Bar Association’s Awards Banquet at its convention on Thursday, June 21st, in Wilmington, North Carolina. The award recognizes an outstanding lawyer in North Carolina who has performed exemplary public service. The award is not given every year. Nominees are sent to the Past Presidents’ Council as the selection committee, and the committee’s selection is subject to Board of Governors/Directors approval. McIntyre was chosen by a unanimous vote. …..

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US House Passes 2018 Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, DC –  Congressman Rouzer released the statement below following the passage of H.R. 2 – the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill: “A strong farm bill is critical to our farm families and rural communities — not to mention its role in providing every American with the safest, most affordable food supply in the world.  The 7th District will especially benefit from the Farm Bill because of the steps taken to prevent potential animal disease outbreaks, the enhancements made to the farm safety net, and the investments made to help address the infrastructure needs of our rural communities.  The Farm Bill also makes …..

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Tillis & King Bipartisan Legislation Holding VA Executives Accountable Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Angus King (I-ME) was signed into law. The VA Senior Executive Accountability (SEA) Act of 2018 will strengthen accountability of senior executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). There are numerous instances within the VA where Senior Executive Service (SES) employees used their leadership positions as leverage to be reassigned to another position for their own personal gain, or were reassigned, rather than disciplined, for poor performance. Following exposure of this practice, the VA halted their Appraised Value Offer (AVO) program, a program used to move senior executives that was often costly to taxpayers. Despite its past scandals, the …..

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NC House mulls Constitutional amendment for Voter ID

By Erin Smith The North Carolina House of Representatives is mulling an amendment to the North Carolina State Constitution to make showing photo identification to vote a requirement. The bill is expected to be presented on the floor of the NC House on Monday. Many groups have concerns that such a change will disenfranchise some voters. House District 22 Representative William Brisson said, “Just about everything you do, you have to have some type of identification.” Many hotels require photo identification for check-in and photo identification is required at many banks to open an account. NC House Bill 1092 will go to the floor of the NC House on Monday …..

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You Decide: What Should Be Done About Income Inequality?

By Dr. Mike Walden Income inequality is one of those terms that receives different reactions from people. Some view it as a natural result of our economic system. Others view it as the rich robbing the poor. Still, others ignore it by focusing on their own lives and whether they are making progress. But first, what is the issue with income inequality? The issue actually is not with income inequality specifically. Most people realize and expect everyone won’t earn the same income in such a large, diverse and competitive economy as ours. Instead, the issue is really with increasing income inequality – the fact that the difference in incomes of …..

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Senators Introduce Legislation to Keep Families Together and Ensure The Integrity of Immigration Laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, a group of senators led by Thom Tillis (R-NC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act, which keeps families together while ensuring the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws. The legislation requires that children and their parents remain together during their legal proceedings. Original co-sponsors include Chuck Grassley (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), …..

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Judicial candidate filing has begun

The filing period for judicial candidates has begun in North Carolina. The filing period for the judicial races ends at 12 noon on Friday, June 29th. There are two judicial races of local interest. They are the race for the NC Superior Court District 13 seat currently held by incumbent Judge Ola Lewis and the NC District Court Judge District 13 currently held by incumbent Judge Fredrick Gore. To view the complete of candidates who have filed, thus far, click here. Share:

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Congressman Pittenger on Salisbury VA Nursing Home Report: ‘Alarming and offensive’

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) issued this statement after reviewing a USA Today report uncovering very low ratings for a nursing home facility run by the Salisbury VA Medical Center: “Throughout my time in Congress, I have regularly and consistently received complaints about care and service at Salisbury VA medical facilities.  This new report by USA Today, if accurate, is alarming and offensive to all veterans, and follows other previous reviews with highly unfavorable outcomes. “My expectation is that the new Salisbury VA Director will ‘inspect for what you expect’ and take corrective action.  Last year, I helped pass VA accountability legislation to make it easier to fire and demote incompetent employees. …..

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Senate passes Pittenger national security bill, House approval expected soon

WASHINGTON – On Monday, the United States Senate gave strong bipartisan approval to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes key provisions drafted by Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) to block China from acquiring sensitive national security technology. Pittenger and Cornyn’s Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, which was included in the Senate NDAA, modernizes and strengthens the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. “Our laws have not kept pace with the global economy.  Right now, the gate is wide open for China to steal our sensitive national security technology through loopholes and other strategic business deals,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Senator Cornyn and I have been working for …..

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From The Hill: America will not forget about Pastor Andrew Brunson

By Sen. Thom Tillis Andrew Brunson is a loving father, husband, and Presbyterian pastor who has been sharing the word of the Gospel to the people of Turkey for the last 20 years. In October 2016, Brunson was arrested by the Turkish government, accused of being an American spy and terrorist who helped the plotters of the failed coup attempt against the Turkish government earlier that summer. This spring, days before the start of Pastor Brunson’s trial, I traveled to Izmir, Turkey to meet with Pastor Brunson at the prison where he was being held. It was immediately evident that Brunson was not in good health. Although he has been …..

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Tillis Supports Senate Passage of NDAA, Includes Delaying Transfer of F-35 to Turkey & Upgrades To NC Military Installations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted to pass the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The bipartisan legislation includes a provision authored by Senators Tillis and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) that directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan to Congress to remove the Government of Turkey from participation in the F-35 program. The legislation also includes several key provisions championed by Senator Tillis to improve the lives of our servicemembers and military families, make critical improvements to North Carolina’s military installations, and provide the largest pay raise for servicemembers in nine years.   The Tillis-Shaheen provision is a direct response to the Turkish …..

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Grants awarded to Combat Opioid Crisis 

By Erin Smith NC Governor Roy Cooper announced that 12 community partners were recently awarded grants totaling $1.5 million to help them provide access to harm reduction, treatment and recovery support.  The grants are one-time grant of up to $150,000 each and are available through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.  Those receiving awards are as follows: *Appalachian District Health Department and the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office (Serving Watauga, Ashe, and Allegheny counties) *Appalachian Mountain Community Health Center (Serving Jackson, Graham, and Buncombe counties) *Bakersville Community Medical Clinic, Inc. (Serving Mitchell, Yancey, Avery, and McDowell counties) *C. W. Williams Community Health Center (Serving Mecklenburg, Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, …..

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Southern Coalition for Social Justice Condemns Reduction in Weekend Early Voting Opportunities, Calls for Veto of Changes

Changes target voting options preferred by African-American voters RALEIGH, N.C. — With the passage of SB 325, the North Carolina General Assembly has approved changes to the state’s early voting procedures whose limitations would likely disproportionately affect African American voters and put greater strain on election resources in rural communities.  The bill mandates that early voting periods end on the Friday before an election, eliminating early voting opportunities on the Saturday before an election — a day on which hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians have cast their ballots in previous elections. It also requires voting sites in a county to have uniform hours — so all sites must be open if any are open, …..

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ADVISORY: Prominent Civil Rights Attorney Anita Earls To Officially File For NC Supreme Court Run

On Monday, June 18th, civil rights attorney Anita Earls will officially file to run for the North Carolina Supreme Court.  Congressman GK Butterfield and former Governor Jim Hunt will speak at the event in support of Anita Earls’ candidacy.  Judicial candidates for the NC Court of Appeals, Judge John S. Arrowood, Allegra Collins and Toby Hampson, will also be filing officially and speaking at the event.   As the founder and director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Anita is best known for leading North Carolina’s landmark case against unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in legislative districts. Anita is now running for the North Carolina Supreme Court because she believes North Carolinians deserve an independent court …..

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Christian Cano Puts Country Over Party with NC09 Endorsement of Jeff Scott (L)

Charlotte, NC, 15Jun2018- 2016 North Carolina 9th Congressional District Democratic Nominee and former 2018 NC09 Democratic Candidate Christian Cano announced his endorsement of Mr. Jeff Scott (L) for our November 06, 2018 Congressional midterm election yesterday. Christian and Jeff will attend this Saturday’s NORML Charlotte monthly meeting to shake hands and confirm this endorsement that puts our Country Over Party.   “I know that Jeff Scott will fight for my family and all our families equally in Congress.  More importantly, he is not beholden to the corporate deep pockets in Nancy Pelosi’s political machine, President 45’s hatred and bigotry, or the privileged interests focused on preserving the status quo and the ways they benefit.  And …..

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Letter to the Editor: Ask Commissioners to Invest in Bladen’s Students

Dear Editor: I am writing to ask readers to request that County Commissioners invest in the future of our children.  I am asking readers to request that County Commissioners make a decision that will have a lasting impact on countless students. I am asking readers to ensure the futures of our students and preserve Bladen County’s ability to deliver first rate education. As you may know, seven teachers were let go at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting due to a shortage of funds. This will be a great loss to our county schools. These teachers have brought fresh energy and inspiration to our children over the past year. After announcing …..

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Judicial Candidate Filing Begins Monday

RALEIGH, N.C. – The candidate filing period for judicial seats in the 2018 general election begins at noon Monday (June 18) and ends at noon June 29. Statewide judicial seats on ballots November 6 will include one N.C. Supreme Court seat and three N.C. Court of Appeals judgeships. Voters across the state also will elect about three dozen superior court judges and about 120 district court judges. All candidates will file their Notice of Candidacy with the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement. Candidates must pay a filing fee (see chart below) and file paperwork during the filing period. Candidates are reminded that they must receive certification from their county board of elections before filing with the State Board. …..

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Bladen County GOP endorses candidates

Contributed Like many Americans across the country, Bladen County residents have witnessed a growing divide between constitutionally conservative principles of government, and the erosive corruption of a liberal progressive government. To many, this has become the defining difference between the two major political parties. Although Bladen County has long been pro-Democrat, it appears that many residents are beginning to understand that the principles of that party are no longer supportable, and that the Democrat Party now supports an agenda which is largely incompatible with individual liberty and good governance. Thus, more and more voters in Bladen County are shifting their support to the Republican Party. They are recognizing that, in …..

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ACU Foundation Releases Ratings of North Carolina General Assembly

Alexandria, VA—The American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) has just released its ratings of the 2017 meeting of the North Carolina General Assembly. These ratings, a portion of the comprehensive and nationwide ratings released by ACUF, are designed to reflect how elected officials view the role of government and illustrate how both chambers of the legislature and individual members prioritize a wide variety of issue areas that directly affect North Carolinians. ACUF reviewed each piece of legislation voted on in both the Senate and House to produce average scores for each chamber as well as individual scores for each sitting member. North Carolina legislators took pen to paper on various issues during the …..

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White Lake Approves FY 2018-19 Budget With 4-Cent Tax Increase

By Joy Warren The Town of White Lake Board of Commissioners met in regular session Tuesday evening. A public hearing was held to allow the public to comment on the proposed FY 2018-19 Budget. No citizens signed up to speak and the Board approved the Budget as presented. Mayor Goldston Womble stated that the Town’s staff and elected officials worked diligently in analyzing and compiling the budget requests for the new fiscal year. He went on to say “The Town currently has a strong fund balance and is in good financial condition. The challenge we face with restoring the lake water will, at some point, have an impact on those …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

The long awaited meeting of President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is over.  The two leaders signed an agreement after their summit, few details were disclosed.  Hope and pray for the best. Time will tell. Stormy weather returned late in the day yesterday.  Rainfall ranged from very little to substantial amounts in the county, more in the Tar Heel and White Oak areas according to weather folks.  Little over an inch at the Hester household and about a quarter of an inch at the Curtis Brown Airport near Elizabethtown. The forecast calls for more of the same thru Saturday. Mark your calendar, graduation for East and West Bladen Friday evening and Saturday morning.  Check Bladen County …..

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State Board Recognizes Constitution Party as Official Political Party

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement voted unanimously on Wednesday to recognize the Constitution Party of North Carolina as the state’s newest political party.   That means voters in North Carolina can register as unaffiliated or with any of the following parties: Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian or Republican. It also means the Constitution Party may nominate candidates for the November 2018 general election.   The State Board is modifying voter registration forms to add the newly recognized party. Until then, voters may register with the Constitution Party by checking the “Other” box and writing “Constitution” on the line in the “Political Party Affiliation” section of the voter registration …..

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You Decide: How Will the Workforce Change?

By Dr. Mike Walden I think a lot about the job market this time of year. This is because of all the graduations of high school and college seniors and the fact many of them will be looking for their first full-time job. It’s a cliché to say these young people will be entering a job market undergoing change, because change in the labor market has always been the norm. Even in the best of times, some jobs are being eliminated while others are created. But I do think a case can be made that today’s job market is changing in rapid and unpredictable ways. This is due to the …..

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Duke Energy: Growing renewables with facts to back it up

By Cari Boyce Duke Energy, Senior Vice President, Stakeholder Strategy and Sustainability What we do at Duke Energy matters far beyond providing reliable service to our customers. Our commitment to sustainability pushes us to do more – to leave a positive, long-term impact on the environment and communities we serve. Part of that sustainability story is the work Duke Energy is doing to promote and grow renewable energy in North Carolina and elsewhere around the nation. Need proof? I invite you to read our recent Sustainability Report. In the report, you’ll find facts and figures measuring the progress we are making against our sustainability goals. One fact will certainly jump …..

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Tillis Continues to Call for Pastor Brunson’s Release on the Senate Floor

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) took to the Senate floor to speak on North Carolina native Andrew Brunson, who has been wrongfully imprisoned by the Turkish Government since October 7, 2016. In April, Pastor Brunson was indicted on bogus charges related to terrorism and espionage, and faces up to 35 years in prison. Senator Tillis has visited Pastor Brunson in Turkey twice, including attending his trial on April 16th. Tillis led a bipartisan letter signed by 66 Senators to President Erdogan calling for his release. Senators Tillis and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) secured a provision in the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a …..

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SCSJ Statement Regarding Proposed North Carolina Voter ID Constitutional Amendment 

RALEIGH, N.C. – Earlier today, North Carolina Speaker of the House Rep. Tim Moore introduced HB 1092, a constitutional amendment that would require voters in the state to present photo identification before voting.  If the legislation passes both chambers of the General Assembly by a three-fifths margin, the amendment would go on the November ballot. North Carolina held one election (the May 2016 primary) with a requirement for voters to show photo identification after the General Assembly passed HB 589 in 2013.  In that one election, many eligible North Carolina voters were unduly burdened and disenfranchised. House Bill 589, including a photo identification requirement for voters, was struck down in July 2016 …..

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Tillis Attends Signing Ceremony for Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Veterans’ Access to Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, attended the signing ceremony of the John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act. Senator Tillis is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan law, which will strengthen healthcare services at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) while streamlining the department’s community care programs to ensure veterans receive efficient, timely and quality care, whether inside the VA system or from providers in their communities. The legislation includes two provisions authored by Senator Tillis that will: Allow the VA to use a third-party entity to electronically process health care …..

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Tillis Applauds Raleigh’s Inclusion as Finalist to Host Army’s Futures Command

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) applauded Raleigh being selected as one of five finalists to host the U.S. Army’s new Futures Command, an organizational effort to consolidate the personnel that looks at the future threats the Army faces and what technology is needed to counter those threats.   “This decision comes as no surprise. Raleigh would be a perfect host of the Futures Command and the perfect home for the soldiers and their families, DoD civilians, academics, scientists, engineers, and innovators who are involved with the effort,” said Senator Tillis. “Raleigh is in close proximity to Fort Bragg and the area offers an incredible combination of high quality of life, …..

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Elizabethtown Council Recognizes Paul R. Brown Cadets

By Joy Warren During the Monday evening meeting of the Elizabethtown Town Council, the Cadets of the Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy were recognized. Mayor Sylvia Campbell presented a resolution inrecognition of the Pershing Rifle team winning the National Pershing Rifle Competion Title for the second year in a row. The cadets are the first high school Pershing Rifle Team to win this event. They competed against university teams from across the country. Mayor Campbell praised their hard work, stating “we are so proud of you and amazed at what you have accomplished.” Commander Lloyd thanked the Town for their continued support. A public hearing was held to present the …..

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Tillis Announces Full Reimbursement of $35.2 Million Owed to Swain County

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced that the Department of Interior informed Congress that Swain County will receive the remaining $35.2 million owed to them from the North Shore Road settlement this year. Last year, Senator Tillis helped secure $4 million that was appropriated to Swain County in 2012 but was never transferred to the county.The $35.2 million was included as a part of Secretary Zinke’s spending plan for 2018 construction projects at National Park Service. In the early 1940s, the federal government flooded several communities in Swain County to build the Fontana Dam. In 1943, the federal government promised to rebuild the 30-mile North Shore Road that was also flooded. For over six decades the …..

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Senator Tillis visits Elizabethtown Senior Center

On Tuesday, May 29th, US Senator Thom Tillis visited the Elizabethtown Senior Center.  Senator Tillis spent time talking with the seniors about issues concerning the rapidly growing senior population and needs of those who “fall between the cracks”.  Topics ranged from nutritional needs, needs for in-home healthcare, transportation needs, and the high cost of prescription medications. Senator Tillis listened attentively and assured the seniors that these are issues he plans to work toward solutions for when he returns to Washington, D.C. After their discussion, Senator Tillis was presented with the “2018 Champion of Health Care Innovations” Award in honor of his work on Capitol Hill. Share:

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Senate Dems Vote Against State Budget

Raleigh, NC — Today the North Carolina State Senate voted to approve budget adjustments. All Democrats but one voted against the budget. NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes responded below: “Today North Carolina Senate Democrats voted against teachers, state employees, and keeping school children safe. It was a vote against their constituents and North Carolina. The people deserve better, and they will remember in November.” – NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes Share:

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NCGOP will hold Davis accountable for vote against teachers, state workers, and school children

Raleigh, NC — Democratic State Senator Don Davis is moving to the top of the NCGOP’s target list in this years legislative election if he votes against the state budget adjustments currently on the legislative floor– meaning he would be voting against protecting school children, pay raises for state workers, and “living wage” pay increases for state employees. “Our target list is growing, and with good reason,” said NCGOP Vice Chairman Michele Nix. “As Vice-Chairman, and also as a constituent of Senator Davis, I hope he does the right thing and votes for the upcoming budget. This budget includes higher teacher pay, funding to improve school safety, and pay increases for state workers. Voting …..

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Jefferson Weaver

Angry snakes, exploding firewood and duct tape

by Jefferson Weaver A few years back, I accidentally became friends with a producer of so-called reality shows. He and his buddies were fascinated that the man wearing a three-piece suit was also a trapper. For several months, we discussed the possibility of a television show. That all came to a screeching halt when one of the sub-producers said they needed to find a way to make it more “dramatic.” We were talking about a trespassing hunting dog I’d caught, and the dog hunter’s reaction when a Wildlife Officer met him to give him his dog back. The dog wasn’t hurt, since I use modern wide-faced traps; truth be told, …..

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Tillis Honors America’s Fallen Soldiers for Memorial Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued a video statement in honor of America’s fallen heroes ahead of Memorial Day on Monday, May 28, 2018.   Click HERE to watch the video.   “Memorial Day is a very important day that we all reflect on the men and women in uniform who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms around the world. Please join me in taking a moment to think about those men and women, and also take an opportunity to thank a veteran or someone who is currently for their service to our nation.”   Share:

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NC Congressional Delegation Asks Gov. Cooper For More Information On The State’s Slow Pace Of Hurricane Matthew Spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, members of North Carolina’s Congressional Delegation sent a letter to Governor Roy Cooper requesting information on the distribution of Hurricane Matthew recovery funds provided to the state of North Carolina through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) Program In the letter to Governor Cooper, members of the Congressional Delegation ask for clarification on why the State of North Carolina has been slow to allocate Hurricane Matthew recovery funds, with HUD recently designating North Carolina as a “slow spender” not within the monthly spending pace required to fully use the funds by the closeout date of August …..

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NC Republicans Increase School Safety and Wages for State Workers

Raleigh, NC — North Carolina lawmakers recently announced additions to the state budget including school safety initiatives as part of a comprehensive plan to increase the protection of students in the classroom, as well as significant pay raises termed “living wage minimum” for state employees. “We are focused not only on immediate needs to protect our children from attackers, but preventing crises from arising with a proactive approach,” said Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett), a co-chair of the state House Select Committee on School Safety. According to the legislative press release, there will be more mental health opportunities, better preparation for threats, and more resource officers in school across the state. Thanks to Republican-led economic initiatives, North Carolina will …..

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You Decide: Is It Time for a Mileage Tax?

By Dr. Mike Walden Two decades ago I wrote an op-ed piece discussing the idea of a mileage tax as a replacement for the gas tax. This was in the days before everyone used email, and texting hadn’t even been invented. Many people still communicated by writing letters. I received several letters expressing both pro and con reactions to a mileage tax, but one letter was particularly interesting. The writer said that anyone attempting to track his mileage in order to levy a tax would first have to get past his shotgun! My conclusion was the writer didn’t like the idea of a mileage tax. What is a mileage tax …..

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Tillis & Shaheen Secure Bipartisan NDAA Provision Delaying Transfer of F-35s to Turkey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced they have secured a provision in the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan to Congress to remove the Government of Turkey from participation in the F-35 program.   The plan to Congress must include timelines associated with the removal of the Turkish government from participation in the F-35 program, so as to cause the least impact on the remaining international program partners. The plan must also outline the steps required to prohibit the transfer of any F-35 aircraft to the Turkish government from the United States.   …..

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Tillis Secures Upgrades To NC Military Installations, Important Policy Improvements for Servicemembers and Military Families in NDAA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted in favor of the committee’s markup of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The committee voted overwhelmingly, 25-2, to pass the bill, which supports $716 billion in funding national defense for fiscal year 2019. The legislation includes several key provisions championed by Senator Tillis to improve the lives of our servicemembers and military families, makes critical improvements to North Carolina’s military installations, and provides the largest pay raise for servicemembers in nine years. As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, Senator Tillis chaired an open hearing on the markup of the National Defense …..

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Tillis Applauds Bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act Being Signed Into Law

  Includes Tillis-Warren Proposal Protecting Veterans From Predatory Lending   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, applauded the President signing the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act into law. The bipartisan legislation is the result of work from Congressional members on both sides of the aisle to a reach consensus on how to provide relief for smaller financial institutions from Dodd-Frank regulations that were meant for the biggest, most complex institutions, while also ensuring a safe financial system.   Following the passage of Dodd-Frank, many financial institutions all across the county were unable to handle the one-size-fits-all model of regulations …..

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Rouzer Statement on Passage of FY 2019 NDAA

Washington, D.C. – Congressman David Rouzer released the following statement following the passage of the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill passed by Congress every year to authorize funding levels for the military and our men and women in uniform:   “During the course of the past decade, our military has just been getting by – facing yearly cuts in funding harming our ability to train and provide the equipment necessary for our troops to complete their missions in a safe and efficient manner while also making it that much more difficult to keep up and counter the emerging threats to our homeland.  As a result, we …..

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Key Pittenger Provision Included in Reform legislation Signed by President Trump

Pittenger’s legislation to clarify commercial lending rules included in Financial Regulatory Reform bill   WASHINGTON – Today, President Donald Trump signed major regulatory reform legislation into law, including a key provision written by Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09).   As part of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155), Congressman Pittenger’s provision clarifies and improves Obama-era regulations which have created confusion in commercial real estate lending, leading to fewer jobs and slower economic growth.   “This is a major win for communities and cities around the country. By providing much needed clarification and reducing bureaucratic red tape, this legislation will create the stability necessary to attract investment, create jobs, …..

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Tillis Chairs Hearing on Laws Affecting Unaccompanied Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) chaired a Judiciary Subcommitt ee on Border Security and Immigration hearing on the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and exploited loopholes affecting unaccompanied children. Click HERE to watch Senator Tillis’ opening statement.   Click HERE to watch the full hearing.   “Integral to the success of this country is a robust, fair, and accountable immigration system – one that learns from mistakes of the past, adapts to the problems of the present, and guides aspirations for the future,” said Senator Tillis. “I hope after today’s testimony, we will continue to have a bipartisan policy discussion that strikes a balance between protecting unaccompanied minors who face legitimate humanitarian challenges, and preventing violent actors such as …..

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Tillis Supports Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Veterans’ Access to Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, voted to pass the John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act. The bipartisan legislation will strengthen healthcare services at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) while streamlining the department’s community care programs to ensure veterans receive efficient, timely and quality care, whether inside the VA system or from providers in their communities.   The legislation includes two provisions from Senator Tillis that will:   Allow the VA to use a third-party entity to electronically process health care claims from medical …..

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These changes to VA loan refinancing rules are heading to Trump’s desk

Deep in a massive banking reform bill that’s on its way to the president sits a few paragraphs on the VA home loan refinancing program that could change how, and when, veterans can re-do their mortgages. And it could mean fewer “refinance now” mailers. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act passed the House on Tuesday, about two months after it cleared the Senate. The VA loan-related passages had legislative life before that, coming from a joint bill proposed by Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in January. What those passages mean for VA loan-holders, should President Trump sign the bill:  With limited exceptions, borrowers will not be able to secure a …..

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PITTENGER’S LANDMARK NATIONAL SECURITY BILL UNANIMOUSLY PASSED BY HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE

WASHINGTON – The House Financial Services Committee today unanimously voted to approve Congressman Robert Pittenger’s (NC-09) landmark legislation to modernize the national security review process of potential foreign investments in the United States. Chinese investment in the United States increased more than 900 percent between 2010 and 2016.  Much of this investment was part of a strategic, coordinated, Chinese government effort to target critical American infrastructure and defense applicable technologies. The Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA, H.R. 5841), strengthens how the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews the national security risks of potential foreign investments. “For months, we have fought for the strongest CFIUS reform …..

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PITTENGER: RELIEF AND ECONOMIC GROWTH ARE ON THE WAY

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) released the following statement after voting in favor of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155). “For far too long, small businesses and community financial institutions have suffocated at the hands of Washington’s unnecessary and burdensome regulations. In fact, since the passage of Dodd-Frank, North Carolina has lost over 50% of our banks,”said Congressman Pittenger. “Today we voted to flip the script and cast aside the detrimental status quo. This bill delivers to main street America the most significant regulatory relief in a generation and finally enables local banks and credit unions to effectively fulfill their role as the lifeblood for small businesses …..

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Economic Growth Legislation That Includes Tillis-Warren Bill Protecting Vets from Predatory Lending Heads to the President’s Desk

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, applauded the House’s passage of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to improve our nation’s financial regulatory framework and promote economic growth. Included in the legislation is the Protecting Veterans from Predatory Lending Act of 2018, bipartisan legislation Tillis introduced with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), which would protect veterans from targeted predatory home loan practices by requiring lenders to demonstrate a material benefit to consumers when refinancing their mortgage. “Passage of this bill is proof that Congress can come together in a bipartisan and bicameral basis, and pass meaningful legislation on behalf of the American people. The inclusion …..

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Tillis Chairs Hearing on SASC Subcommittee on Personnel FY19 NDAA Markup

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, chaired an open hearing on the markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The subcommittee unanimously approved the markup and will now be considered by the full Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. “The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel is responsible for 50% of the defense budget and is responsible for personnel policies, military personnel compensation and benefits, and military health care. The FY2019 NDAA includes improvements to those areas, including the largest pay raise for servicemembers in 9 years, child abuse and domestic violence prevention measures, and opioid abuse prevention programs,” said Senator Tillis. “I want to thank Ranking Member …..

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Tillis Applauds Certification of 252 Opportunity Zones in NC

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis applauded the United States Treasury for certifying 252 “Opportunity Zones” in all 100 North Carolina counties. Included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law last year, “Opportunity Zones” provide a chance for U.S. investors to use a temporary capital gains referral in exchange for investing the capital in these communities. This will create new channels for investment that will grow jobs, inspire entrepreneurship, and improve the local economy for future generations.   “In the period after the Great Recession, we saw that millions of Americans were left behind in the recovery due to job growth and economic opportunities being concentrated in select areas of the country,” said Senator Tillis. “There …..

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ROUZER ANNOUNCES NC-07 ART COMPETITION WINNER,  STUDENT AT HOGGARD HIGH

  Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Rouzer announced Anna Lawrence, a senior of John T. Hoggard High School, the winner of the NC-07 Art Competition.  Lawrence’s entry, entitled “Venus Flytrap Garden,” is a depiction of a cluster of venue flytraps growing from mossy soil using the medium of colored pencil.  Lawrence’s artwork demonstrated and reflected this year’s Art Competition theme, “What I Love Most About North Carolina.”   “It is an honor to announce Hoggard High School’s Anna Lawrence as the winner of the 2018 Art Competition,” said Rep. David Rouzer. “Anna’s artistic talent is inspiring and she is well-deserving of this once in a lifetime opportunity.  Her winning artwork will be …..

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The latest from Raleigh and District 46

Session began this last Wednesday, and I was pleased to be joined in Raleigh by a number of educators from the district who felt passionately about their classrooms and students. Sen. Danny Britt and I were both glad to have the chance to speak to them. Education has been at the center of my mind the last several months. Following news about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and a discretionary fund that Gov. Cooper established, the legislature quickly moved to make sure those funds were appropriated under our constitutional authority. You may recall that Robeson County was one of the counties that had funds directed to it, and will receive $7.5 …..

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Fact Check NC Teachers to Receive 5th Pay Raise

“While covering the teachers union-led protest that occurred at the North Carolina General Assembly this week, it was reported in this column that North Carolina teachers will soon be getting their fifth consecutive pay raise from the Republican-run state legislature under the new spending plan unveiled last week by Senate President Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain). … “It’s important to get the facts straight and to issue a correction if an error is ever made. As such, upon further review and analysis, it is incumbent upon this author to inform readers that the claim made about teacher pay raises earlier this week was not entirely correct. At least, it …..

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RNC Site Selection Committee Spent the Week in Charlotte, Here’s What They Saw

“A delegation of roughly 20 members from the Republican National Committee were in Charlotte this week as part of the city’s ongoing bid to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, WBTV has learned. … “The visit was part of the RNC Site Selection Committee’s work to select a location to host the party’s quadrennial confab ahead of the next presidential election. … “Charlotte is among three finalists to host the event; the other two are Las Vegas, NV and an unidentified city in Texas that sources with knowledge of the process speculate are either San Antonio or Dallas. … “A source with knowledge of this week’s visit to Charlotte tells WBTV the group …..

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Turkey Is Accusing American Churches of Conspiracy in Case Against Andrew Brunson, Sen. Tillis Says

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis on Wednesday shared more details about Turkey’s case against imprisoned American Pastor Andrew Brunson and slammed prosecutors for claiming that churches in the United States are conspiring to undermine the Turkish government. Speaking at a Capitol Hill briefing addressing the human rights situation in the NATO ally country, Tillis decried the charges against Brunson and pointed out flaws in the prosecution’s case. Tillis, a Republican, has been actively involved in advocating on behalf of Brunson, a resident of North Carolina who’s spent the last two decades ministering in Turkey before he was arrested in October 2016 and slapped with trumped-up terrorism charges about 17 months later. The Turkish …..

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NCGOP Thanks City of Charlotte for Excellent Job Hosting 2020 RNC Site Selection Committee

Charlotte, NC — “Over the past three days, I have had the pleasure of working with Mayor Vi Lyles, her team, and a number of Charlotte officials making a presentation to the RNC Site Selection Committee. I could not be more proud of their efforts, professionalism, and hospitality. They and the CRVA have put on an all-star presentation highlighting the benefits of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and surrounding areas in the state of North Carolina. I look forward to the decision of the Site Selection Committee. Based on merit, I think we have a great chance of winning the competition.” – NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes Share:

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Former Tillis Senior Advisor Robert Wilkie Nominated to be VA Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after President Trump nominated Robert Wilkie, a former senior advisor to Senator Tillis, as Secretary of the VA: “I’m proud to call Robert Wilkie my friend and former senior adviser. Robert is one of the most honorable and decent human beings I’ve ever worked with, and anyone who knows him has seen his drive to serve his country and his passion for honoring our nation’s veterans and service members, qualities that will be tremendous assets at the VA.  “Through his many years of distinguished service as a leader in both the …..

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Landmark Payday Lending Reform Survives Congressional Threat, Rule Remains Intact for Now

DURHAM, N.C. – The deadline passed this week for Congress to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) landmark payday and car title lending reform through a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution. The CFPB rule, finalized in October and scheduled to take effect in 2019, requires that lenders assess a potential customer’s ability to repay before making high-cost payday and car title loans, which routinely trap people in long-term debt that blows their chances of recovering from a financial shortfall. Six North Carolina members of Congress, more than in any other state, signed on to sponsor the CRA that would kill nationwide reform, even though North Carolina established strong payday …..

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House members file bill to fund DEQ, target actions by Chemours

Legislation filed today in the house would appropriate more than $14 million to the NC Department of Environmental Quality, while strengthening environmental laws that appear targeted at Chemours, the company that has contaminated drinking water, the Cape Fear River, air and groundwater with GenX and related compounds. House Bill 968 would also repeal the Hardison amendment, which the Republican majority reinstated in 2011 CQ. The Hardison amendment prohibits state legislators or agencies from passing stricter laws and rules than those established by the federal government. Since the EPA has proposed rolling back regulations on coal ash, car emissions and clean water and air, the Hardison amendment could significantly hamstring North Carolina’s …..

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ROUZER LANGUAGE INCLUDED IN HOUSE PASSED VETERANS BILL

Washington, D.C. – Today, with the support of Congressman David Rouzer, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5674, the Department of Veterans Affairs Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act, which makes critical reforms to veteran healthcare programs, providers, and access.  Included in the VA MISSION Act is text from H.R. 2419, Congressman Rouzer’s bill, to improve the processing of claims for reimbursement through electronic interface and improve the VA’s adherence to the prompt payment schedule. “The 7th Congressional District is blessed to have a large community of veterans.  The VA MISSION Act makes vital reforms to ensure our nation’s heroes have timely access to the care and resources …..

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Tillis Continues Call For Pastor Brunson’s Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) once again spoke on the Senate floor to call for the Turkish government to release Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been wrongfully imprisoned since October 7, 2016. Click HERE to watch the speech.   Click HERE to download the speech.   Senator Tillis, co-chair of the Human Rights Caucus, also spoke at an event about the human rights and religious freedom crisis in Turkey.   Click HERE to watch the speech.   Click HERE to download the speech.  Last month, Pastor Brunson was indicted on bogus charges related to terrorism and espionage, and faces up to 35 years in prison. Senator Tillis has visited Pastor Brunson in Turkey twice, including attending his trial on …..

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Congressman Rouzer testifies in front of VA Committee

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Congressman David Rouzer testified in front of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to discuss two VA-related issues impacting veterans and citizens of the 7th Congressional District.  As part of the Committee’s first-ever bipartisan Member Day, Congressman Rouzer had the opportunity to bring attention to H.R. 5500, a bill Rouzer recently introduced to help veterans restore their credit score in those cases where the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed to pay outside providers or were delayed in making payment.  Rouzer also brought attention to the long-time water contamination issue at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Rouzer introduced H.R. 5500 after hearing from …..

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Legislative Republicans Pledge Fifth Consecutive Teacher Pay Increase, Hail 19 Percent Average Teacher Raise Since 2014

Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) on Tuesday affirmed legislative Republicans’ commitment to providing North Carolina public school teachers a fifth consecutive pay raise as part of the legislative short session slated to begin on Wednesday, May 16.   Moore and Berger said teachers should expect to see an average 6.2 percent pay raise in the 2018-19 school year alone. Under the current 2017-19 state budget, teachers are scheduled to receive an average $4,412 raise, after lawmakers overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto last year. And unlike a recent proposal from the governor, lawmakers will pay for the raises without a tax hike.   The …..

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Tillis Honors Fallen Officers on National Peace Officers Memorial Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) honored the 360 officers who were added to the National Peace Officers Memorial, including six from North Carolina. The officers from North Carolina added to the Memorial were: Zach C Ramsey, Cherokee County, North Carolina, S.O.Deputy Sheriff Zack Ramsey died in the line of duty on October 2, 1942 at the age of 54. Ramsey served in law enforcement for 8 years. Jay Russell Memmelaar JR., Goldsboro, North Carolina, P.D. (September 25, 1967-February 16, 2017)Goldsboro Police Major Jay Memmelaar died at 49 years-old. He was a 25-year veteran of the Goldsboro Police Department and was head of the Police Department’s Support Services Division. He is survived by …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER ON OPENING OF U.S. EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) issued the following statement regarding the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem: “Today, we celebrate the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.  As Israel’s eternal, ancestral capital since the days of King David, I have always agreed with the late Jesse Helms that previous Administrations should have done this long ago,” said Congressman Pittenger. “After years of empty promises, I commend President Trump’s courageous decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Our new embassy reaffirms our unbreakable commitment to one of our greatest friends and closest allies, the nation of Israel.” Congressman Pittenger has traveled to Israel four times as a …..

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Tillis & Tester Honor America’s Military Spouses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced bipartisan legislation commemorating Friday, May 11, 2018, as Military Spouse Appreciation Day to honor the dedication, patriotism, and sacrifice of military spouses who support the men and women in the Armed Forces. “Military spouses make vast personal and professional sacrifices in support of their families and our nation that too often go unnoticed,” said Senator Tillis, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel. “On Military Spouse Appreciation Day and every day, we owe them a debt of gratitude for their role in the lives of our men and women in uniform.” “For as long as men and women have …..

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Tillis Joins 15 Senators in Push to Avoid Last-Minute Funding Battles

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), David Perdue (R-GA) and 14 other senators asked Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to expedite floor consideration on funding bills and President Trump’s nominees, even if the Senate must work nights, weekends, and through the August state work period to make substantial progress before the end of the fiscal year, September 30.  “We stand ready to break through the confirmation backlog and get the government funded before we break in August, well before the September 30 deadline,” said the senators. “We stand ready to work Mondays and Fridays, nights as well as weekends, to ensure the funding process is not used to jam the President with a bad spending deal. …..

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Law Enforcement Recognized by Sessions and Higdon During National Police Week

  RALEIGH – Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., recognized the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal police officers on the occasion of National Police Week, and commented on the FBI’s 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report. Jay Russell Memelaar, Jr., Meggan Lee Callahan, Justin James Smith, Veronica Skinner Darden and Wendy Letitia Shannon. These five names – all North Carolina law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2017 – will be added to the National Law Enforement Officers Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. next week in remembrance of …..

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Tillis & Burr Applaud Confirmation of Gregory Forest to be U.S. Marshal for North Carolina’s Western District

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr released the following statement following the confirmation of Gregory Allyn Forest to be the United States Marshal for the Western District of North Carolina: “I applaud the confirmation of Greg Forest to be the Western District Marshal in North Carolina,” said Senator Tillis. “Mr. Forest has extensive law enforcement experience in Western North Carolina, including previously serving in the same role under President George W. Bush, and I look forward to him serving North Carolinians once again.” “I’m pleased to see the Senate’s unanimous confirmation of such a well-qualified individual in Mr. Forest,” said Senator Burr. “His nearly three decades of law enforcement experience will undoubtedly benefit him as he serves and …..

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You Decide: Is There a Solution for the Generational Clash?

By Dr. Mike Walden In several states, teachers are protesting for higher salaries and more support for education, and those protests have come to North Carolina. At the same time, medical costs are an issue everywhere in the country. In this year’s session of the General Assembly, North Carolina’s lawmakers may debate greater funding for medical care, mainly through an expansion of Medicaid. Are these issues related? Many analysts – including yours truly – answer “yes”, and say they are part of an emerging “generational clash” in the country, which will only become more pronounced in the future. What do I mean by generational clash? Is it disagreements over attitudes, …..

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Tillis: It’s Time To Rethink Our Relationship With Turkey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) took to the Senate floor to speak on Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been wrongfully imprisoned by the Turkish Government since October 7, 2016.On Monday, Pastor Brunson’s second trial hearing in Turkey resulted in a postponement, with the next hearing to be held on July 18. Last month, Pastor Brunson was indicted on bogus charges related to terrorism and espionage, and faces up to 35 years in prison. Senator Tillis has visited Pastor Brunson in Turkey twice, including attending his trial on April 16th. Tillis recently led a bipartisan letter signed by 66 Senators to President Erdogan calling for his release and introduced bipartisan legislation with Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and …..

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Tillis Urges Trump Administration to Preserve American Jobs in Solar Tariff Implementation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) led a letter to Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Secretary Rick Perry urging them to exclude 72 cell, 1500 volt utility-scale solar panels, a large source of U.S. jobs and investment in our domestic solar industry, from the tariffs recently imposed on solar products. North Carolina has the second largest solar footprint of any state in the nation and has over 7,622 solar jobs in the state. Efforts to diversify America’s electrical grid have continued to cut utility rates for consumers, create high-paying jobs, and increase America’soverall economic competitiveness. These benefits are strongly linked to the use of 72 cell, 1500 volt panels and have motivated states across the country …..

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Jefferson Weaver

The importance of being hungry

By Jefferson Weaver I read a news story the other day about how college students were “going hungry.” I admit, I was a little bit confused – being hungry was part of the college experience back when computers used huge floppy discs and some of us still used typewriters. Of course, the term going hungry has changed a bit, too – it used to conjure up images of starving children in Third World countries. Then it came to describe (as well it should) the truly needy in our own backyards, and the children of families having a hard time making ends meet. By the way – if you ate fast …..

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Tillis & Lankford to Speak on Pastor Brunson’s Wrongful Imprisonment on the Senate Floor

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and James Lankford (R-OK) will speak on Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been wrongfully imprisoned by the Turkish Government since October 7, 2016. Last month, Pastor Brunson was indicted on bogus charges related to terrorism and espionage, and faces up to 35 years in prison. Senators Tillis and Lankford recently introduced bipartisan legislation that would ban the transfer of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey.     WHEN: Thursday, May 10 11:40am ET   WHERE: Senate Floor   LIVESTREAM: https://www.c-span.org/video/?445379-1/us-senate-continues-debate-judicial-nominations&live=   Share:

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Bladen commissioners approve resolution supporting White Lake efforts

By Erin Smith The Bladen County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution of support for the efforts by the Town of White Lake to improve the quality of the lake’s water. Bladen County Manager Greg Martin said, “As you all know this has been an ongoing issue for some time.” Martin told the board the State has had several meetings with White Lake officials over the course of the last several months regarding the best method to treat the issue. He said there are short term needs that need to be addressed as far as treating the water and there are long term needs that need to be addressed …..

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Sheriff, former deputy easily win primary races

Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker and former deputy Hakeem Brown easily won their primary races Tuesday, according to unofficial returns, and will square off in November’s election for the job of the county’s top law enforcement officer. McVicker, who beat former Sheriff Prentis Bentson in 2014, defeated W.M. (Billy) Ward in the Republican primary. McVicker, a former state Highway patrolman, collected 2,090 votes to Ward’s 374. Brown, who served as a deputy in McVicker’s department before being named License and Theft inspector for the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles in 2016, tallied 2,368 votes in the Democratic primary to defeat Gary S. Edwards, who had 622 votes. Two other primary …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER ON IRAN DEAL DECISION

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) released the following statement after the president’s announcement regarding the Iran Deal:   “The Iran deal is a disaster – it’s a bad deal for US national security, a bad deal for Israel, and a bad deal for the world.   “The severely flawed agreement provides Iran with a viable path to continue developing nuclear weapons and even permits them to develop long-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching anywhere in the world,” said Congressman Pittenger.   “President Trump is right to withdraw from the failed agreement and I applaud his strength and resolve in standing up for America’s interest, instead of caving to the chorus of …..

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Tillis Statement on Withdrawal From Iran Nuclear Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s intention to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran:   “The Obama administration negotiated with the Iranian regime under the terribly misguided operating principle that any deal—even a bad deal—was better than no deal. The end result was a bad deal that offered concession after concession to the mullahs and failed to cut off Iran’s path to nuclear weapons. It was not surprising that the agreement was met with strong bipartisan opposition from Congress, and the subsequent geopolitical fallout cannot be understated. When I visited the Middle East …..

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Tillis Discusses Pastor Brunson’s Imprisonment on Fox News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) spoke with Julie Banderas on Fox News about Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been wrongfully imprisoned by the Turkish government since October 7, 2016. Yesterday, Pastor Brunson’s second trial hearing in Turkey resulted in a postponement, with the next hearing to be held on July 18. Senator Tillis on “secret witnesses” testifying against Pastor Brunson: “I saw a lot of testimony from secret witnesses when I was in Turkey for Pastor Brunson’s first trial about a month ago. The allegations against him are absurd, and even more absurd is Pastor Brunson requesting 10 witnesses to testify in his defense and being denied. That is the nature …..

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Elizabethtown Council Hears Budget Presentation

By Joy Warren During the Noon work session of the Elizabethtown Town Council on Monday, Council members were presented with the FY 2018-2019 Budget proposal. The FY 18-19 General Fund totals $4,766,233 which is 14.7% less than the previous year adopted budget of $5,585,960. The Water Fund totals $1,577,00(1.6% decrease) making the total budget for all town operations $6,343,233. Highlights for the budget include • Tax rate is unchanged ($0.615 per $100 valuation) • Solid Waste, Sanitation, Solid Waste fees will increase 2.5% • 2.5% cost-of-living increase for all employee salaries (except police, 6.5%) There was some discussion during the evening Town Council meeting regarding debt reduction. Councilman Dicky Glenn …..

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Elizabethtown Council Gives Support to Town of White Lake

By Joy Warren As a show of broad base support for the remediation of the water quality issue at White Lake, Elizabethtown Town Council adopted a resolution of support to be forwarded to the State Legislative delegation in Raleigh. White Lake is pursuing a 90% grant from the state. Elizabethtown, as well as Bladen County, has been asked to contribute toward the matching funds to strengthen their application. Council approved a $10,000 contribution. White Lake Mayor Goldston Womble gave an update on the current Lake issues. Womble stated White Lake has taken a two-fold approach to the Lake quality issue. The first is a long term solution as to why …..

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Bladen County Primary Election Results

Last updated: May 8, 2018, 8:47 p.m. (17 of 17 precincts reporting) BLADEN COUNTY SHERIFF DEMOCRAT VOTES Hakeem Brown 2,368 Gary Edwards 622 REPUBLICAN VOTES Jim McVicker 2,090 Billy Ward 374 COUNTY COMMISSIONER DEMOCRAT DISTRICT 3 VOTES Russell Priest 798 William Whitley 277 BOARD OF EDUCATION DEMOCRAT DISTRICT 1 VOTES Gary Rhoda 850 Sabrina Murchison 579 N.C. HOUSE DEMOCRAT DISTRICT 22 VOTES Tony Denning 1,946 Lawrence Aycock 910 N.C. SENATE LIBERTARIAN DISTRICT 8 VOTES Randy Crow 2 Anthony Mascolo 0 NATIONAL DEMOCRAT U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 7 VOTES Kyle Horton 760 Grayson Parker 248 U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 9 DEMOCRAT VOTES Dan McCready 1,619 Christian Cano 262 REPUBLICAN VOTES Mark Harris 1,423 …..

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FAYETTEVILLE JUNIOR WINS 2018 CONGRESSIONAL ART COMPETITION

FAYETTEVILLE – Deanna Glus, a junior at Massey Hill Classical High School, is winner of the 2018 Congressional Art Competition.  Her watercolor, titled “A Hometown Feeling,” was judged best entry in a selection process that included a professional artist, community input, and Congressman Pittenger’s staff.  Marcy Gregg, a highly-sought professional artist from Charlotte, commented that “A Hometown Feeling” features “wonderful line work.”  Community input included a suggestion that the artwork be used as a billboard and “great use of perspective and color balance.”  As winner, Ms. Glus’ artwork will be displayed in a busy corridor of the U.S. Capitol for one year.  She’ll also receive a scholarship offer from a prestigious southern arts university …..

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Tillis Statement on Pastor Andrew Brunson Trial

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement after Pastor Andrew Brunson’s second trial hearing in Turkey resulted in a postponement, with the next hearing to be held on July 18. During the hearing today, two new unknown, secret witnesses testified against Brunson while the 3-judge panel rejected Brunson’s request for several witnesses to testify on his behalf at the next hearing. Brunson continues to reject every charge levied against him. “America will not stop fighting for Pastor Brunson’s release, and we will continue to send him our prayers. Today’s decision prolongs the Turkish government’s unjust 577-day detention of Pastor Brunson, and it’s disturbing that his request to …..

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SECRETARY MATTIS URGES SUPPORT FOR PITTENGER NATIONAL SECURITY LEGISLATION

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Defense James Mattis has written the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to urge support for Congressman Robert Pittenger’s Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA, H.R. 4311). “The Department of Defense (DoD) strongly supports foreign investment in the United States, consistent with the protection of national security.  DoD also believes we must be clear-eyed that our adversaries have studied the weaknesses of our current laws and regulations and are exploiting them today,” writes Secretary Mattis. “DoD depends on critical, foundational, and emerging technologies to maintain military readiness and preserve our technological advantage over potential adversaries.  Of particular concern is the national security risk that may arise from …..

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One Stop voting ends Saturday

By Erin Smith Turn out for One Stop Voting in Bladen County has been low, according to Bladen County Board of Elections Director Cynthia Shaw. One Stop voting will end on Saturday at 1 p.m.  As of Thursday afternoon, there had been 2,316 ballots cast.  “It’s kind of low,” said Shaw of the number of One Stop voters.  One Stop voting is taking place in four locations in the county. They are The Bladen County Public Library, the Dublin Lions Club building, the East Arcadia Town Hall and the Bladenboro Historical Society building.   Voters have until 7 p.m. today (Friday, May 4) and on Saturday, May 5, they can cast One Stop ballots from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. …..

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Statement on National Day of Prayer

Raleigh, NC — The North Carolina Republican Party (NCGOP) joins the RNC in commemorating the National Day of Prayer. “On this National Day of Prayer, we humbly seek God’s guidance for our nation’s leaders and His grace upon all Americans,” said Chairwoman McDaniel. “Since President Reagan proclaimed the National Day of Prayer to be celebrated on the first Thursday in May, people of all different backgrounds have united in prayer on this day to give thanks to God for our many freedoms, including the free exercise of religion. The United States, founded as one nation under God, remains strong because of the great faith of our communities.” – RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel Share:

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Pittenger Meet and Greet at Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery

A meet and greet with Representative Robert Pittenger will be held at Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery on Saturday, May 5, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Complimentary food & beverages will be served. To RSVP, please contact Larry Shaheen, 704-650-1722, larry@robertpittenger.com Share:

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Republican Activist Event

Dear Republican Activists, We wanted to make you aware of a special policy event that may interest you. We have secured a reduced price for our activists and volunteers: On Friday, May 11, the Jesse Helms Foundation is hosting a one-day policy forum at the Marriott at Crabtree Valley in Raleigh entitled, “Foreign Policy, Trade, and Energy Challenges in the Age of Trump.” The event includes a special lunch at noon with U.S. Senator Richard Burr, Congressman David Rouzer, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette. The afternoon panels focus on energy, trade, and national security across the country. The dinner concludes with Senator Thom Tillis, Ambassador Jim Cain, and American Enterprise Vice President …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER ANNOUNCES $3 MILLION GRANT TO BUY OUT FLOOD-RAVAGED HOMES IN FAYETTEVILLE

FAYETTEVILLE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) today announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide nearly $3 million to buy out 26 flood-ravaged homes in Fayetteville.   The $2,897,855 grant will cover 75 percent of the cost of acquiring and demolishing 26 residential structures flooded during Hurricane Matthew.  All of these structures are located within the 100 year floodplain and many have been flooded multiple times over several decades.  The deeds will be transferred to the City of Fayetteville to be used as open space.   “Never in my life have I personally witnessed such incredible destruction as I did in the days following Hurricane Matthew.  For almost two years …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER’S STATEMENT ON THE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) shared this statement as millions of Americans celebrate the National Day of Prayer:   “Throughout our history, whether in peace or war, poverty or prosperity, God has always provided for our nation.  Today, we need unity, and that’s why I am grateful the National Day of Prayer Committee has selected Ephesians 4:3 as this year’s theme verse:  ‘Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.’   “On this National Day of Prayer, please join with me in praying for unity, for together we can accomplish much more.  Please also join me in asking God to grant wisdom to …..

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SIX LOCAL STUDENTS NAMED FINALISTS IN 2018 CONGRESSIONAL ART COMPETITION

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is excited to announce six local students have been named finalists in the 2018 Congressional Art Competition. ·        Rachel Buckner, a junior at Wesley Oaks Academy, for her oil painting titled “Lucy.” ·        Deanna Glus, a junior at Massey Hill Classical High School, for her watercolor and ink titled “A Hometown Feeling.” ·        Carol-Anne Lee, a junior at Carmel Christian School, for her painting titled “Small Town.” ·        Jonathan Woodman of Weddington High School, for his photograph titled “Cardinal in Snow.” ·        Josh Feldman, a junior at Weddington High School, for his photograph titled “Exploring the Further.” ·        Avery Nelson, a freshman at Providence Day School, for her graphite art titled “The Lost …..

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A Life Worth Living

By Jefferson Weaver He did not die a warrior’s death like he wanted. Every man hopes for what the song calls a life worth living, and a death worth dying for. Morbid, perhaps, but it’s true, whether or not we like to admit it. Tom Weaver was my father; I was a late-in- life child, born when he hit the half- century mark. He’d lived an entire life before I was born, even before meeting and marrying my mother. He met and knew Confederate veterans who were friends of his grandfathers. He was cared for by a woman who had been born a slave, whose family refused to leave his …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Had a highly respected, well educated friend contact me recently and posed a question related to the GenX situation in the area.  What do you have when you have 3.712 ounces spread evenly through 22,222.22…45,000 pound truckloads!  (His numbers) Good question: GenX is a trade name for a man-made and unregulated chemical used in manufacturing nonstick coatings and for other purposes and is supposedly produced commercially at a Bladen County site since 2009 and is measured in parts per trillion.  Lots of info when you Google GenX. To deep for me, what I know is it is generated by man, limits set by the government after research and it flows through Bladen in the Cape …..

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Opinion: PITTENGER INTRODUCES BILL TO DEFUND SANCTUARY CITIES AND FUND WALL

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) has introduced the “Make Sanctuary Cities Pay for the Wall Act” (H.R. 5663). This legislation defunds “sanctuary jurisdictions” and uses the withheld money to pay for construction of the border wall. “With well over 300 sanctuary cities across the country, it is past time for Congress to take decisive action. Sanctuary cities blatantly subvert the rule of law, incentivize further illegal immigration and endanger law-abiding citizens. All the while, criminals and drugs flow across our porous southern border, bringing violence and crime into our towns and communities. This poses a critical threat to public safety and America’s national security as we know that Hezbollah and …..

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One Stop Voting is brisk in Bladen County

By Erin Smith This is the final week for One Stop voting in Bladen County and candidates are working hard for your votes. As of 1 p.m. on Wednesday, a total of 1,476 ballots had been cast in Bladen County. The Primary Election will take place on Tuesday, May 8th. One Stop voting is taking place in four locations in the county. They are The Bladen County Public Library in Elizabethtown, the Dublin Lions Club building in Dublin, the East Arcadia Town Hall and the Bladenboro Historical Society building in Bladenboro.   In Elizabethtown, the One Stop voting schedule at the Bladen County Public Library located at 111 S. Cypress Street is Thursday, April 19, and Friday, April …..

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