First Drip (8/13/15): Senate passes Taxpayer's Bill of Rights against state Treasurer's suggestion

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The North Carolina Senate passed a "Taxpayer's Bill of Rights," which would allow voters to choose whether to amend the state constitution by adding a section to limit the growth of state spending to the rate of inflation and population growth, reduce the state’s maximum allowed income tax rate from ten to five percent, and require yearly deposits in an emergency savings fund that could only be tapped with a two-thirds vote in each house. The bill would put a referendum on next year’s presidential primary ballot. North Carolina Treasurer Janet Cowell sent senators a letter Friday saying the bill would endanger the state’s triple-A bond rating. Losing that, would increase borrowing costs. 

Rev. Melvin Clark of Washington Missionary Baptist church in Shelby is seeking 10 church members to act as armed security guards during services as a reaction to the Charleston killing of nine churchgoers by Dylann Roof in June. Clark said the church is working with local law enforcement to make sure proper procedures are followed. It is also mandating that potential security guards take classes in preparation. The church's board members must approved the plan since funding for classes and weapons will come out of the church budget. Clark hopes to have the security guards in place sometime in 2016.

A 22-year-old man has been arrested for a string of robberies in north Charlotte. Police arrested Charles President for three armed robberies that took place last week. First, President allegedly robbed a Fairfield Inn near Northlake Mall at gunpoint at about 4 p.m. on Thursday. He allegedly pulled off a second robbery of an In-Town Suites on North Tryon Street about an hour later. The next day, police responded to an armed robbery call at a U-Haul business on University City Boulevard. Later that day, police arrested President and now say he is the suspect in all three robberies. 

A group of residents who live in and around the Wesley Heights neighborhood just outside of Uptown are revamping their efforts to shut down a local club that they say is cultivating a culture of crime and violence in the area. The Wesley Heights Neighborhood Association has reportedly been trying for years to curb the violence they blame on nearby Club 935, and are now making efforts to shut the club down altogether. Police say a recent shooting that left a man in critical condition was the fifth shooting linked to the club in two years, but neighbors say they hear gunshots every Thursday night. Residents are reportedly contemplating legal action against club owner, Adolph Shiver, and the property owner, Rudy Esquival.

One of two breaking-and-entering suspects suffered life-threatening injuries after being shot by a homeowner who came home and found the two in his west Charlotte home on Wednesday. Police say the man found the two suspects inside his home on Merryvale Lane at about 3:30 p.m. and shot at them as they fled. Moments later, police responded to a nearby car accident and found the driver, one of the suspects in the home break-in, to be shot. He was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and the second suspect was later arrested based on a tip. 

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