Sunday headlines
9:28 am
Sun February 3, 2013

S.C. Wonders: Will Fewer Trust Online Tax Filing This Year?

South Carolina tax officials say taxpayer concerns about last fall's hacking of a state agency could lead to fewer online income tax filings this year.  The state Department of Revenue insists it's safe to e-file, but they’re preparing for fewer online filings this tax season.  

The agency estimates needing 25 part-time workers to enter information from paper returns.   Under current projections, the agency could spend an additional $300,000 to $400,000 on paper processing. Beyond the two dozen employees, costs include extra postage, paper and printing of correspondence.  The extra costs potentially add to the hacking debacle's nearly $22 million price tag.

A cyber-thief stole unencrypted data from millions of taxpayers who filed electronically over the past 14 years.
 

PROSECUTORS REST IN BARNES MURDER

Prosecutors in Baltimore have rested their case against a man accused of killing a North Carolina teenager.   A judge said he'll let the case against Michael Maurice Johnson continue, even though he says he's concerned the evidence presented is circumstantial. Defense lawyers now get to present their case. Johnson is accused in the 2010 slaying of 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes of Monroe, near Charlotte.  The teenager was visiting relatives in Baltimore when she disappeared. Her body was found months later in the Susquehanna River. Witnesses so far have included the teenager's older sister and a man who says Johnson called him for help in getting rid of her body.  Johnson's lawyers have said there is no DNA evidence linking their client to the crime.

A GROUND HOG DAY CONFLICT

So are we in for an early spring, or more winter? Groundhogs in Raleigh and Charlotte disagreed Saturday on the forecast for the next six weeks.   Sir Walter Wally in Raleigh saw his shadow around noon Saturday, predicting six more weeks of winter. But at the Charlotte Nature Museum, Queen Charlotte didn't see her shadow when she came out around 11:30 a.m., predicting an early spring.   Last year, Sir Walter Wally turned out to be wrong, while Queen Charlotte was on the money as temperatures in February and March of 2012 were well above normal in North Carolina.

BOBCATS STAR HURT IN LOSS

The NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats lost to Houston last night, 109 to 95. The Bobcats got a scare late in the game when Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went down with a head injury after a collision with a teammate.  
          In college basketball, Fifth-ranked Duke raced out to an 18-2 lead and cruised to a 79-60 victory over defending ACC champion Florida State. Seth Curry had 21 points for the Blue Devils.    
        Reggie Johnson tipped in a missed shot with 0.8 seconds left to help No. 14 Miami edge No. 19 North Carolina State 79-78.
      North Carolina beat Virginia Tech in overtime, 72 to 60.
      Charlotte edged Massachusetts, 66 to 65, Saturday afternoon.
     And Davidson won its sixth straight, beating Wofford 68 to 57 in Spartanburg.