Local News
11:40 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Headline Roundup: McCrory Appoints SBI Acting Director

Governor Pat McCrory has appointed an acting director of the State Bureau of Investigation. B.W. Collier is a 26-year veteran of the bureau, during which time he has served in a variety of roles, including drug investigator, pilot, and bomb squad commander. He was appointed director of Alcohol Law Enforcement last year.

The state budget signed by Gov. McCrory today transfers the SBI from the Department of Justice to the Department of Public Safety, where it will operate as an independent agency. 

School Bus Video Used To Ticket SC Drivers
A new law means drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus in South Carolina are more likely to get hit in the wallet. The law allows police to write traffic tickets after reviewing video captured by cameras installed on school buses.

Previously, an officer had to personally witness the illegal passing to prosecute - unless injuries resulted and booted the charge to a felony.

Districts around the state are installing exterior camera systems on a pilot basis. They consist of several cameras that videotape different angles of a passing vehicle, to identify the license plate and the driver. 

McCrory Signs Budget
Governor Pat McCrory has signed the $21 billion budget passed by the state House and Senate last week. The measure gives $1,000 raises to most state workers and an average 7 percent pay increase for teachers.

Democrats and other critics say veteran teachers are getting very small raises and losing separate longevity salary supplements. McCrory says naysayers failed to offer alternative plans. Republicans say current teacher assistant positions were preserved, though funding for assistants fell $85 million compared to last year.

The plan also maintains the number of people who qualify for Medicaid.

The budget was due July first, when the new fiscal year began. Negotiations over a spending plan were stymied as lawmakers in the House and Senate disagreed over certain provisions, particularly spending on education. 

Chiquita 2Q Income Down
Chiquita Brands International says its net income in the second quarter was $18 million. That's down from $31 million in the same period last year.

The company says dry weather in Central America led to higher sourcing costs and less fruit to sell.

The Charlotte-based Chiquita earlier this year announced a deal to merger with Irish fruit company Fyfes. Shareholders will vote on the merger next month. Chiquita says it hopes to have the deal done by the end of the year. 

Duke Energy Sees 2Q Jump In Profits
Duke Energy says it saw on 80 percent jump in profits in the second quarter over the same period last year. The company says it make $609 million. Duke attributes the higher earnings to warm weather, a state tax settlement, and higher rates.