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Federal Government
Feds Join Investigation Of Firebombed Orange County GOP Headquarters PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 17 October 2016 14:25
HILLSBOROUGH — Hillsborough Police Department investigators met with local, state and federal investigators this morning as the investigation continues into arson and graffiti committed at the Orange County Republican Party headquarters. 
“We are taking this incident very seriously and have significant resources at the local, state and federal level committed to this investigation,” Hillsborough Police Chief Duane Hampton said. “We continue to ask for anyone with any information to come forward.”
The time frame for the crime has been narrowed to between midnight and 8:54 a.m. Oct. 16, when a 911 call was made by a nearby business owner. The Police Department has received a recording of the 911 call, and it is being released to the public with some redaction and obfuscation to protect the individual reporting.
The approximately 4-minute call notes a smell of smoke, no visible flames but signs of the use of an incendiary device at the Republican Party headquarters, located at 347 Ja-Max Drive in the Shops at Daniel Boone. 
“Someone has firebombed through the window of the Republican Party next to me and sprayed all over the side of my building, ‘Nazi Republicans leave town or else,’ ” the caller reported.
The caller further reported, “They threw some sort of firebomb through the window because it smoked up under the porch and all around the window frame. … I can smell smoke, so obviously it went out on its own or didn’t work well, but it is some sort of incendiary device.”
The caller theorized that the incident must have occurred in the early hours due to no one being in the area and the presence of outdoor cats the caller cares for at that time of the 911 call.
Hillsborough investigators are working as a team with the federal and state bureaus of investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to follow leads and investigative steps. The Secret Service also is supporting the investigation. Investigative steps include canvassing and conducting interviews in the area; following up on tips; seeking additional evidence, such as any video footage in the area; and processing collected evidence.
“I’m appreciative of our law enforcement expertise and cooperation across agencies to uncover who is behind this reprehensible act,” Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said. “Especially given the national attention we are receiving, I’m extremely appreciative for everybody who is using this as an opportunity to pull our community together, rather than promote division.”
The Republican Party building sustained heavy smoke damage and some fire damage. A bottle containing flammable material was thrown through a front window of the building and appears to have ignited inside the building, burning some furniture and damaging the building’s interior before going out on its own. Graffiti was spray-painted on the side of an adjacent building at 353 Ja-Max Drive. Five officers responded to the scene. A copy of a portion of the police report is available; however, the reported damage estimate is a preliminary minimum estimate made by the patrol officer on scene before the full extent of the damage was known. Damage estimates will be updated. A more detailed narrative cannot be released at this time.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact Hillsborough Investigator Jon Purvis by email or by phone at 919-732-9381, ext. 37. Information also may be left anonymously through the town’s website or by calling the Hillsborough Police Department’s tip line at 919-732-3975. The phone line is routed directly to voicemail and does not record callers’ phone numbers. 
Federal Disaster Assistance Approved For 31 NC Counties PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 11 October 2016 10:26
A federal disaster declaration for 31 counties has approved opening the door for further federal assistance to recover from the massive flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew. 
“A lot of people are hurting right now in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew and the devastation is beyond words,” said Governor McCrory. “This expedited declaration will help provide much needed and immediate federal assistance to communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew. I want to thank our federal partners for approving this declaration quickly and for their continued assistance.” 
Yesterday, Governor McCrory requested an expedited major disaster declaration that will provide additional and immediate federal assistance to the state. This declaration will help local and state governments augment the costs of responding to the disaster and also help pay to clear and remove storm debris. Preliminary damage assessments are ongoing to help gather the necessary documentation to apply for additional federal assistance for other counties and to reimburse the cost of damaged infrastructure.  
Counties approved for the disaster declaration include: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Lenoir, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Tyrrell, Washington, and Wayne counties.
The declaration also approved 10 counties for individual assistance to help homeowners and renters repair or replace damaged homes. Those counties include: Beaufort, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Hoke, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, and Robeson counties.
In addition, all 100 counties of the state will be eligible for funding to help mitigate future storm damage.
Local, state and federal emergency management teams will conduct damage assessments throughout the week while rescue crews continue to search for survivors, and utility crews work to restore power, clear debris and open roadways. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 October 2016 10:30
Federal Aid Available For Victims Of Tropical Storm Julia PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 07 October 2016 11:16
Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory announced that financial assistance is available for victims of the flooding that struck northeastern North Carolina last month after the remnants of Tropical Storm Julia dumped between 10 and 17 inches of rain in the region. At the governor’s request, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will open a disaster loan outreach center next week in Windsor to assist homeowners and business owners impacted by the flood.
"The record flooding as a result of Tropical Storm Julia had devastating impacts on the residents, businesses and agricultural industry in Bertie and surrounding counties," said Governor McCrory.  "As Hurricane Matthew approaches North Carolina and we monitor potential flooding over the next several days, I am encouraged that this assistance will help areas that have already been impacted by heavy rains. The opening of the disaster loan outreach center will help our citizens begin to receive the assistance they need to recover and rebuild."
Governor McCrory sent the request for assistance to the SBA last week. While Bertie was the only county that met the threshold for SBA assistance, residents and business owners in the surrounding counties of Chowan, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Northampton and Washington counties can also apply for federal assistance to help with damages incurred as a result of Tropical Storm Julia. The governor has declared a State Type I Disaster for Individual Assistance, opening the door for the affected counties to receive federal assistance.
A U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Center will open in the NC Emergency Management Mobile Command Center temporarily located at 110 Jasper Bazemore Ave. in Windsor. The assistance center will open Tuesday, October 11 from 12 noon to 6 p.m., and again from 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays through Tuesday, October 18. The center will be open Saturday, October 22 from 2-4 pm and will be closed Sunday. The center will close for good at 4 pm Tuesday, October 18.
Loans up to $200,000 are available through the SBA to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed structures. Homeowners and renters also are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property such as clothing, appliances, etc. 
Businesses and non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million for physical damage. Working capital loans are also available to small businesses and most private non-profit organizations.
Interest rates are as low as 1.875 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.875 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Individuals and businesses unable to visit the center can apply via the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community can call 800-877-8339.
Last Updated on Friday, 07 October 2016 11:22
Federal Judge Throws Out Challenge To Law That Allows Magistrates To Refuse To Marry Same Sex Couples PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 11:57
A federal judge has dismissed a challenge to a North Carolina law that allows magistrates to refuse to marry same-sex couples by citing religious beliefs.
The judge in Asheville dismissed a lawsuit filed by three couples, two gay and one interracial. The judge ruled that the couples lacked legal standing as taxpayers to sue and lacked evidence showing they were harmed directly by the law taking effect in June 2015. Still, U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn wrote there is potential someone could suffer real harm because of the law.
The plaintiffs' lawyers filed a notice Wednesday that they'll appeal Tuesday's ruling to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
North Carolina is one of only two states with such religious-objection laws that are being enforced. About 5 percent of North Carolina's magistrates have filed recusal notices.

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