First Drip (5/21/14): Bill would force N.C. cities to raise taxes or cut services, Duke Energy will move coal ash at Riverbend, more



A 56-page bill could force North Carolina cities to either raise taxes, including the privilege license tax cities collect from cities, or cut services. "Legislative staff estimates the change would cost North Carolina cities $25 million a year and Charlotte alone $8.5 million."

Duke Energy has confirmed it will remove the coal ash at Riverbend Steam Station, though it might not be used at the airport. The company had proposed using the coal ash as fill at Charlotte-Douglas International, but the plan was met with resistance after questions were raised about how much pounding the coal ash could take from landing aircraft.

In the fight for the Republican Party, the old guard seems to be taking the lead over the tea party. Though the faction helped Republicans capture the House of Representatives and a few Senate seats in 2010, it also gave rise to a series of unelectable candidates. Now, primary voters are selecting candidates who have the best shot in the general election, including North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis.

Though no one's claimed responsibility yet, the same militant group behind the kidnapping of some 200 Nigerian school girls could also be responsible for a car bombing that killed 118 in two villages near Chibok, where the girls were captured.

A five-week investigation, carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, into child pornography exchanges over the Internet has resulted in the arrest of 70 people in the New York area. The group includes a police officer, a paramedic, a nurse, a rabbi and a Boy Scout leader.

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