The stories are spiraling and the pace is dizzying. Earlier this month, lawyer Scott Dorman filed suit against Kyle Blackburn alleging that Blackburn had been paid off by RC Soles to NOT file a civil suit against him. Dorman claimed that Kyle mislead him and then took a payoff from Soles. Kyle has not denied such a charge.
Many speculated at the time that Dorman saw an opportunity to get a payday and n0body believed this would ever see the inside of a courtroom. And magically it never will.
(StarNews) The former attorney of a man who was shot by R.C. Soles has dismissed his lawsuit claiming the former state senator paid off the victim to avoid a civil suit. Scott Dorman filed a voluntary dismissal June 20 of his lawsuit against Kyle Blackburn, who was shot in August 2009 by Soles, according to the Columbus County Court Clerk’s Office. The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, accused Soles of paying off Blackburn to avoid a civil suit. Dorman would not comment on the voluntary dismissal.
Is RC staying one step ahead of his date with justice? He has threatened many lawsuits as more and more allegations of child molestation and rape come forward but such threats would give those involved the power to subpoena and take depositions. Stacey Scott and others have asserted that RC has paid them off to change their stories in the past.
Tick-tock. . . looks like Dorman got an easy pay day. AG Cooper, this is coming forward on your watch!
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Will the SBI continue to ignore the growing complexity of the RC Soles saga? They say they have no comment on their investigation, now on day number 686. Now the trial of Allen “Frog” Strickland takes an unexpected turn. The original trial, accusing Strickland of burning down his own house, was declared a mistrial after it was revealed that the Tabor City Police had tapes on Strickland that they “forgot” to turn over to the SBI. The house, was purchased by Soles for Strickland. And now. . .
(StarNews) Allegations against former state Sen. R.C. Soles are on a recorded interview of Allen Strickland after he was charged in 2009 with burning the home Soles bought for him, according to Columbus County Assistant District Attorney Lynn Wilkie.
Wilkie told Superior Court Judge Gary Trawick on Wednesday during a hearing related to Strickland’s charges that the tape includes allegations that “would reflect poorly on Sen. Soles and possibly create an inference of illegal conduct.”
Court recessed for a break around 11:30 a.m. and Wilkie said she could not comment further on the content of the tape.
This continues to embarrass law enforcement and could be yet another scandal that makes the previous ones involving Mike Easley, Jim Black and Frank Ballance pale by comparison. Soles continues to stay in the shadows and let his lawyer, Joe Cheshire, do his talking.
The silence from the SBI is deafening! The SBI has had this tape since at least May. These assertions are serious and would have far reaching consequences. I’ve been assured that of which I speak will be revealed in greater detail soon. Roy Cooper. . . why so quiet? Are you at least concerned about this? And what about the Tabor City police? Over 35 calls to RC’s residence and office and somehow they “forgot” to turn over tapes to the SBI that could implicate the former senator??? Why?
Citizens are taking matters into their own hands more and more out of frustration by the lack of law enforcement to say anything after decades of “hush-hush” and “look the other way” actions. This is a citizen site dedicated to getting more folks to come forward called RCSolesBoys.com. Many of the original ColCor allegations against RC are surfacing once more.Read full article » No Comments »
WAVE Transit busing recently got another press promotion with a cutesy beginning in a Wilmington StarNews article (“the bell on the buses went ding-ding-ding”). Revenue is up; not by much, but every little bit (“money on the bus goes clink, clink clink”) helps supporters justify this wasteful enterprise; it’s subsidized 9 to 1 with taxpayer’s hard-earned cash. No matter; ridership figures go up. We can guess why. WAVE director Albert Eby said, “Without them, there’s no need for me to have a job.” Right.
WAVE bureaucrats claim “nearly 1.5 million total system passengers.” It puzzles me that Wilmington has 15 times more people riding public buses than the entire population of the city. Then, there’s the ridership at UNCW that “jumped more than 70,000…compared to last year.” Amazing! The university has only about a 12,000 total student population—most of them have cars.
Regardless of where all these increasing hundreds of thousands of riders come from, revenue from fares covers only about 10 percent of the cost of the WAVE busing scheme. I suppose I just don’t understand the modern justification for public service anymore—cost versus benefits is irrelevant. But, somehow, real people out there must be accommodated.
Director Eby tells us that “these people aren’t just passengers…They’re our customers.” Formerly they were referred to as social services “clients.” But they don’t deserve the treatment I have seen that Mr. Eby calls “improved customer service”: people waiting for buses in open parking lots and along street curbs with no shelter or comfort in the 90-plus degree coastal summer heat. But WAVE employees are comfortable.
A desk attendant sits in the new air-condition Forden Station along with others who have offices and showers there. According to the StarNews Eby’s “top priority” is driver training and “keeping buses clean.” Well, we should cut him some slack on attempts at “customer service.” Public service takes more time. It’s taken two and a half years for “people to get comfortable,” says the director of WAVE.
That’s not comforting to the depressed taxpayers. Maybe someday they will get some relief from paying for the transportation of others, but I doubt it. Government projects never go away, they just continue to expand.Read full article » No Comments »
It’s now day 685 since the State Bureau of Investigation starting looking into molestation allegations against RC Soles. Since that time others have come forward, the stories are similar and yet all they have to say is, “”We’re not able to comment on this at this time,” which is what they said to WWAY.
Folks are wondering if justice will ever be served. RC makes his statements through his lawyer, Joe Cheshire, but the allegations are disturbing. Solicitation of prostitution, child molestation, rape, crimes against nature, just to start. Then there’s the issue of hundreds of thousands of dollars, cars, houses, and a litany of other material possessions which may well involve tax evasion. Is there also bribery as some have been saying they’re being paid off to shut up or change their story.
Many have looked the other way and the original ColCor investigation acquitted RC while others went to jail. Even the NC Bar has apparently looked the other way or found a way NOT to investigate. From the StarNews:
The N.C. State Bar dismissed allegations of professional misconduct, including sexual assault, by former state senator and longtime attorney R.C. Soles four years ago, according to documents obtained by the StarNews.
There’s a LOT of smoke here, political smoke and more than a few mirrors. One name making the rounds is close confidant to Soles, R. Mitchell Tyler (who happens to be the “lay” person who sits on the NC State Bar, positioned by Soles, comforting isn’t it?) Tyler is also now close with newly elected Senator Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick).
More people are continuing to talk and the piece done by Anne McAdams, while at WWAY, about Soles moving money into the prison system for young male clients will undoubtedly be discussed again. One has to wonder how this has gone on for so long which makes the SBI and the AG’s office look like they’re interested in looking the other way.
Arguably the most well written editorial anywhere appeared in the Lumina News this past week. The summary and perspective were succinctly written and perfectly stated. You can read the entire piece here.
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It’s a sordid, messy and complicated set of sexual abuse accusations spanning decades. But they beg the question; did these crimes occur, and could one man rule over a town with so much power that he was able to prey on the community’s boys, apparently at will?
Lawyered up or not, Mr. David, all eyes are on you, the State Bureau of Investigation and the A.G.’s office. It is time for the truth.
Recently censured Brunswick County Commissioner Charles Warren has been making some pretty serious charges against his fellow board members AND the Brunswick County Sheriff’s office. He called in to my show last Friday to assert yet again that the actions of his board have a tone of racial discrimination. A recent investigation into Warren’s claims yielded nothing beyond $800 worth of taxpayer expense and the video of his traffic stop was less than flattering with respect to his taking umbrage with a sheriff deputy asking why he was parked in the middle of Midway Road at night.
Warren’s call to the BigTalker was followed by even more serious assertions by Bernest Hewett, president of the Brunswick County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), who called latter in the hour. Hewett claimed that the commissioners were acting in a racist fashion on matters relating to the expansion of the county landfill, discrimination against minority contractors, the sheriff (once again) and others.
The problem here is that such assertions without facts are damaging to many folks. Such allegations have drawn the ire of at least one Brunswick County resident who fired back harshly at the commissioner at last Monday’s meeting.
Local activist Ginny Quaglia has called for Warren to step down. “I’m not happy to be here today to say what I have to say. I must direct my comments to Mr. Warren in light of his recent accusations concerning discrimination. Mr. Warren, I want you to know my comments are not personal. This is about your ability to do your job as a commissioner.”
“It appears you don’t have the ability or will to use facts and professional courtesy to problem-solve. You resort to personal attacks and false accusations. It calls into question your ability to serve the public with reason and logic. You have taken your disagreements with this board and our sheriff’s department to a different level. And now, it’s costing taxpayers money and creating a racial divide that shouldn’t have happened.
“You sit there the same as your fellow commissioners, an educated man, an elected official, elected by the people of Brunswick County with all the same benefits, powers, authority and pay. And you have had every opportunity to serve the people you were elected to serve just as these other commissioners are doing.
“And instead you choose to make it about race. In my opinion, you choose to use your race as an excuse for your prior missteps instead of fighting your perceived battle in the arena of ideas with policy and facts. So, what am I calling for? At the very least, I do hope you have a change of heart, and apologize to the public, the commissioners, especially Mr. Sue and Mr. Phillips, the sheriff’s department, and the community of low-and-fixed-income Brunswick County residents you claim you are the voice for, according to your Facebook page. If you cannot see the reason in dong that, I request you do the right thing and resign as a commissioner,” she said.
Her comments appeared in the Brunswick Beacon. This is a sad day indeed for Brunswick County and I’m hopeful that they will aggressively fight back. So far, however, they’ve been little more than meek. For too long such allegations have been used to bully. They’re either serious or scurrilous, either way, there needs to be a resolution here.
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In spite of numerous protestations to the contrary, the real estate market locally isn’t making many gains. From the StarNews:
Home sales are bouncing along at what is hoped to be the bottom. . . . Nationally, existing home sales fell 3.8 percent in May, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). And on Friday, the government reported that sales of new-construction homes dropped 2.1 percent last month.
This is troubling to say the least. The reality is that lending standards are tougher. Banks got a reprieve from irresponsible lending and now they’re starting to act like they should have some time ago.
In fact, Alpha Mortgage and other companies won’t consider an application for those with a low credit score.
“640 is the bottom to be considered,” said Chris Hutchens, a mortgage banker at Alpha Mortgage in Wilmington. “It’s the new magic number.” Pete Frandano, president of the Brunswick County Association of Realtors, said the tight credit market is a major problem facing the industry.
I disagree, if they had never made a host of irresponsible loans to start with we probably would have seen the bottom some time ago. This, by no means, excuses the uncertainty of Obamacare/taxation issues that still loom for folks wanting to hire. But real estate caused many of its own problems.
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A “partnership” between a private business and government spells potential trouble for both the company and taxpayers. The Greyhound bus company can run rings around the lumbering WAVE tortoise for service and efficiency, but officials of both species see benefits in running together. Greyhound people would like to sell their downtown bus station (probably to improve their operations) and the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority board members want “another revenue stream”—typically the primary focus of greedy public officials.
Here’s the potential deal, according to Julian March writing for the Wilmington StarNews: Greyhound could operate out of the new fancy WAVE Forden Station and the CFPTA could scrape up a little more cash. Thus, in my view, local bureaucrats hope the company will help prop up WAVE’s overweight, heavily subsidized operations. Albert Eby, WAVE Transit director, believes the partnership would be a “perfect fit” for him because “Greyhound is public transportation.” Wait a minute; correction.
Assuming Greyhound isn’t subsidized by government, isn’t it private transportation offered to the public for fees that support its operations? WAVE is no such thing. Its fares (revenue) cover only about 10 percent of its costs. More than $6 million of annual WAVE spending requires a tax subsidy from people who don’t use the service. Other aspects of this collaboration spell potential problems for already overtaxed citizens.
I suspect, should this deal work out, the CFPTA will buy the old downtown Greyhound station, thus adding to the local government real estate empire and increasing the burden on taxpayers. We’ll watch to see how the clumsy WAVE tortoise will trip up Greyhound and drags us deeper into its swamp of inefficiency and wasteful spending.Read full article » No Comments »
We know that financial times are tough; Ft. Fisher aquarium managers must “use admissions revenue to cover funding cuts,” according to a StarNews article. Oh, woe. The three state aquaria must now get by on only $7.5 million “under a tighter budget.” Gee, that’s too bad. But we learn that these government projects will not operate differently—business as usual. However, all that admissions cash now can’t be funneled into project slush funds as in the past. For example, Carolina Beach spenders won’t be able to fund their planned fancy expensive pier; at least, not anytime soon. Taxpayers get some relief from more heavily subsidizing the shark tanks and other fun marine displays.
Still, the $95,000 “megaladon shark exhibit,” funded by last year’s bonanza of dollars, will open this week at Ft. Fisher. The reporter of this story tells us it’s fortunate for visitors. She doesn’t relate to the negative impact of private money siphoned from the sagging economy. However, it’s supposedly good news (and apparently unusual for state workers) that “budget constraints forced staff to be creative and apply their skills….” The phrase, creative government-workers, seems oxymoronic—individuals may inherently have that attribute, but arbitrary rules and regulations often suppress them.
Peggy Sloan, director of the aquarium at Ft. Fisher expects no increase in prices of admission. And, it’s sad for local politicians that those revenues will “dry up funding needed to construct piers.” Ironically, while state officials virtually ignore the need for private owners to protect their property being threatened by the ocean, local and state officials tax them to spend millions on piers to attract fun-seeking out-of-towners to the untamed waters. Not all aquatic predators lurk in the off-shore waters.Read full article » No Comments »
Like a petulant child, Beverly said, “I’m not going to sign anything I don’t feel comfortable with” (AP report not available online); a reference to more than 200 bills the adults in the General Assembly sent to her playhouse. Gov. Perdue threw some public tantrums, but that didn’t do her any good—actions by our new legislators, sent to Capital City by fed up voters, may help her grow up. However, I doubt it. She owes allegiance to the education lobbies—the “Smart Start,” “More at Four,” NCEA and the UNC gangs.
Nannies wheeled Miss Beverly around the state to wail before groups of educrats whining about the possible reduction of their government jobs just before the grownups dished up a responsible budget with no tax increases. In a fit, Beverly threw it on the floor, fabricated a reason and vetoed the bill. It was quickly overridden by the state House and Senate.
Despite the angst, anger and exaggerations by Democrats about the dire consequences of cutting short their decades long spending sprees, the greater body of state citizens will benefit. Dallas Woodhouse, state director of Americans for Prosperity (AFPNC.org), has summarized some of the remarkable achievements of the North Carolina General Assembly, and expects more to come:
__ Reduced spending by more than $1.4 billion.
__Increased school choice for parents.
__ Environmental regulation reform.
__ Passed malpractice and tort reforms.
__ Forced annexation laws reformed.
__ Protection of state citizens against Obamacare.
__ Repeal of the land transfer tax.
__ Hearing held on Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
__ Bill filed promoting an amendment to require a supermajority to raise taxes.
__ Bill filed to repeal S-3 legislation that increases energy costs.
__ Passed a Paycheck Protection Act to prevent government from taking union dues from teachers.
__ Passed a Regulatory Reform Act.
__ Laws passed to protect private business from government competition in the communications industry, and workmen’s compensation reform.
__ Bill passed to require voter photo ID.
“A state senator…plans to mediate a meeting (about the Wilmington convention center)…to give higher priority to local groups over out-of-town organizations…,” reports Shannan Bowen in the StarNews this past week. Immediate indignation and alarm from a few hit the press: “Goolsby thinks he knows best,” captioned a letter to the paper.
The “state senator”—that would be Sen. Thom Goolsby—was accused of favoritism toward the local home builders association. Its executive officer said that she simply wants to have the opportunity to fairly compete with outside groups. Current “knows best” bureaucratic policy-makers give out-of-towners right of first refusal in booking space over our local citizen groups.
My first reaction to criticism of Goolsby was to ask, who does he represent, Local citizens or nonresident groups? Further, do local taxpayers expect him to favor the agenda of the city council; Susan Eaton, general manager of the convention center; the visitors bureau, or residents now on the hook for supporting this expensive subsidized facility? I suspect the later.
The other disturbing aspect of this story involves the political motive of convention center promoters. Clearly, using this public facility for public service is not the goal of these people. Their mission “is to bring tourists to the area so room-tax revenues increase,” according to the StarNews article. They couldn’t give a fig about the people, they want revenue by taxation.
This is another pathetic example of the greedy and distorted attitude of many of our local officials about the function of government—supporting unauthorized activities and self-serving interests at the expense of local citizens.Read full article » No Comments »