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Lawmen capture federal fugitive after 2-week manhunt

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ROCKINGHAM — A man wanted on federal meth lab charges has been captured after a 13-day manhunt.John Adam Rillo, 40, of Ellerbe, was taken into custody around 2:30 p.m. Thursday and delivered to the Richmond County Jail 30 minutes later.Richmond sheriff’s deputies say Rillo was found hiding in the edge of a pond just inside Montgomery County.Sheriffs’ offices in Richmond, Montgomery and Moore counties teamed up with the N.C. Division of Adult Correction K-9 unit, the N.C. Highway Patrol — which also used a helicopter in the search — and police from Candor and Troy.As deputies walked Rillo from a patrol car into the jail, one was heard singing the words “Welcome home.”


Bridge may remain closed for another year

WADESBORO — Town officials say they hope the East Wade bridge will be replaced by this time next year.Town public services director Hugh James said that he is waiting for one more permit from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Raleigh before the project can go to bid. As soon as bids are in, the town can begin the physical replacement of the bridge after a long period of waiting for paperwork.“I started working on trying to get this b...

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Tax holiday repeal could send shoppers to S.C.

LAURINBURG — In recent years, shoppers throughout the state have looked to the first weekend in August as a chance to score school supplies, clothing and other items while minimizing the blow to their bank account.But the state’s annual tax-free weekend was canceled, effective this year, by the state General Assembly as part of its 2013 tax overhaul. That move has some county residents exploring other shopping options in the month before school opens.

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OUR VIEW Our loony laws

When pilfering pine needles can carry a higher penalty than driving away in a stolen car, it’s not hard to see that some of North Carolina’s criminal laws are out of whack.Larceny of pine straw is a Class H felony. As for stealing a car — well, we don’t have a state statute specific to motor vehicle theft. It’s covered by the larceny law, and as with other personal property, the value determines the severity of the charge. Stealing a car worth less tha...

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Police: Stopping speeders saves lives

ROCKINGHAM — At least four downtown drivers were caught speeding in a one-hour span Wednesday, and police say the traffic stops are part of an ongoing campaign to reduce crashes in the city limits.Officer R.B. Lugabihl of the Rockingham Police Department’s traffic unit was stationed on East Washington Street to monitor passing motorists’ speed. Police Chief Billy Kelly said the sites for targeted enforcement change frequently.“We have four traffic...

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Tax credit claims are poorly scripted

RALEIGH — When liberals debate tax policy, it can be hard to keep track of their current positions. They keep changing.Right now, for example, Democratic politicians and left-wing activists are castigating Republicans in the General Assembly for proposing a reduction or elimination of North Carolina’s tax credit for film and television production. They say that the tax break, with a state fiscal impact of $61 million a year, is critical to luring and retaining businesse...

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Foundation offers 10 free trees

The Arbor Day Foundation is offering 10 free white flowering dogwood trees to new members who join the national nonprofit with a $10 donation during the month of August.The group’s Trees for America campaign allows members to add color to their landscape year-round, the Arbor Day Foundation said in a release.Trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting in each member’s area, which falls between Oct. 15 and Dec. 10. The 6- to 12-inch trees are...

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Board members look at minimum GPA standard

ROCKINGHAM — Stuck between a rock and a hard place.This is where the majority of the state’s school boards find themselves when addressing the minimum requirements for one of their student-athletes to be academically eligible.The vast majority of school boards follow the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s guidelines of a student-athlete needing to pass at least five classes in the traditional school schedule or three of four in the block ...

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Rockingham Pony squad rained out

DAVIDSON — For the second time in three days, the Rockingham Pony All-Star team had its game at the South Region tournament postponed because of rain.Rockingham coach Jeff Ingram said they were nearly halfway to Davidson when officials informed him of the postponement.Rockingham is scheduled to play High Point in an elimination game at 3:30 p.m. today. The contest has been moved to Huntersville Athletic Park.Ingram added officials told him McEver Park in...

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West rallies for tie in All-Star game

By D. Clay BestThe News & ObserverGREENSBORO (MCT) A wildly productive final two drives salvaged a 10-all tie for the West All-Stars Wednesday night in the 66th annual N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Football game.After being dominated by the East defense for much of the night (compiling just 53 yards through the first 54 minutes of play), the West picked up its first points of the night via a 5-yard touchdown run Kenneth Purvis, then held the East...

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RCC offers gift certificates for non-credit courses

HAMLET — Skills training can be difficult to fit into some Richmond County residents’ budget, but now it can fit in their Christmas stockings.Richmond Community College has been offering gift certificates for non-credit continuing education courses since last October, according to Holly Russell, administrative assistant at the college’s work force and economic development department.Certificates are available in denominations of $70, $125 and $180 and c...

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Area agencies join military training exercise

LAUREL HILL — Those gathered on a playground or front porch near the Laurel Hill Community Center on Wednesday morning were privy to an odd sight — the arrival of two unmarked vans carrying a mix of uniformed soldiers and a somewhat motley crew of bearded, tattooed men in gym shorts, jeans and T-shirts.Those who had gotten wind of the group’s arrival and stuck around under the center’s outdoor shelter or on the tailgate of a pick-up witnessed the scene get s...

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Richmond County farm committee nominations due Aug. 1

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County farmers and ranchers have about a week to nominate themselves or others to serve on local U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency committees.Local and national USDA officials are reminding agricultural producers of the approaching Aug. 1 nomination deadline.

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LETTER: Sales tax hike raises gas bills

To the editor:Last weekend, my column “Our unaccountable, tax-and-spend government” touched on the unbelievable number of taxes that we pay. With that said, I would like to talk about the new tax that the North Carolina Utilities Commission has allowed Piedmont Natural Gas to burden the people with.In all their wisdom, the Utilities Commission has allowed North Carolina the ability to use new tax legislation to nail users with a 7 percent tax...

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Study shows athletes succeed in the classroom

ROCKINGHAM — The NCAA is doing its best to debunk the stereotype of athletes being labeled as just “dumb jocks.”Beginning in 2016, the academic standards for student-athletes wanting to play on the Division I level will increase.The minimum requirements the NCAA has decided to use — 2.3 GPA, the completion of 16 core courses as well as a corresponding ACT or SAT test score based on a sliding slide — far exceeds what the North Carolina High S...

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Davidson edges Rockingham in Pony tourney

DAVIDSON — Rockingham Pony coach Jeff Ingram went away from his strategy of playing small ball for one inning.Ingram felt that may have cost his team a chance to pull out a win over Davidson Force its opening game in the South Region tournament in Davidson.“I feel bad,” Ingram said. “I wish I had that one back.”The host squad scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth to inch past Rockingham 4-3 Wednesday night....

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Our out-of-state voter surge

“Voters born elsewhere make up nearly half of N.C. electorate.”So begins the latest DataNet report from the UNC Program on Public Life, directed by former journalist Ferrel Guillory.So what? What difference does it make to us that almost half of North Carolina voters were born somewhere else?To begin to show the importance of such a large number of non-North Carolina natives participating in the state’s election process, DataNet gives us a sh...

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Hamlet resignations rattle residents

HAMLET — Citing crime and perceived lapses in leadership, residents say they’re concerned about their hometown’s present path — and its future.With plenty of people still in shock over the resignations of City Manager Marchell Adams-David and museum manager and downtown coordinator Miranda Chavis, Main Street seemed conspicuously still and deserted Wednesday around lunchtime. A hot, arid wind blew leaves and debris across the pavement and the few cars presen...

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