State briefs: Deadline postponed for dealing with Confederate statue

CORRECTS NAME TO KRISTA NOELLE MADDEN, NOT KRISTA LOWELL GRIFFIN – This photo made available by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, N.C., shows Krista Noelle Madden who was arrested on Friday, May 10, 2019. Her claim that her 7-week-old baby was kidnapped quickly unraveled after the infant was found at the bottom of a 75-foot ravine in the North Carolina mountains, law enforcement officials said Friday. (Henderson County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

CHAPEL HILL — The board governing North Carolina’s public universities has again pushed back its deadline for deciding what to do with a Confederate monument at its flagship campus.

The University of North Carolina system issued a news release on Tuesday saying it would not be discussing the statue known as Silent Sam at its May 21 meeting as planned. May had been picked after a March deadline was pushed back.

No new deadline was given. The next scheduled Board of Governors meeting is September.

The news release says the board and universities have been focused on other issues including the legislative session.

“Silent Sam” stood in a main quad for over a century before it was torn down last August by protesters who called it a racist symbol.

Evaluation sought in fake kidnapping case

ASHEVILLE — An attorney for the North Carolina woman accused of faking her infant daughter’s kidnapping and trying to kill the baby wants to have his client evaluated and treated for postpartum depression or possibly postpartum psychosis.

Attorney Sean Devereux said the intent is not to build a defense for 35-year-old Krista Noelle Madden, but to get her some help.

Madden said last week that the infant was kidnapped, but Henderson County authorities said that claim quickly unraveled. The baby was found in a ravine and Madden is charged with attempted first-degree murder with bond set at $750,000.

Devereux said Madden’s attorneys haven’t sought to get her $750,000 bond reduced because they need to secure a spot in a facility before she makes bond.

Post-Florence recovery dollars pour into state

RALEIGH — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded slightly more than $336 million to North Carolina in response to damage caused by Hurricane Florence last fall.

Gov. Roy Cooper said that the funding announced on Tuesday falls short of the state’s needs and is calling for Congress to pass additional disaster relief legislation. Cooper said in a news release that “far more is needed to help North Carolinians rebuild their lives and communities.”

Florence caused $22 billion in damages in North Carolina last September and was directly responsible for 15 deaths.

The governor’s office announced on Monday that eight communities that were hard hit by Florence will get $2.7 million from the 2019 state Rural Housing Recovery Fund to help address affordable housing shortages.

Revenue surplus lowered, still largest in years

RALEIGH — State economists said much of the surge in North Carolina income tax collections this spring can’t be counted on to return in 2020 and 2021.

An updated examination of April tax collections by legislative staff and Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget office released Tuesday forecasts a $643 million surplus for the year ending June 30. That’s slightly below the $700 million the legislature’s top economist said last week was possible. It’s still the largest surplus since the Great Recession.

A memo from legislative economist Barry Boardman says most of the increased collections are one-time bumps due to investment capital gains. That means General Assembly budget-writers can’t expect all this extra money again to help fund their two-year state spending plan. Often one-time money is earmarked for building projects or short-term needs.

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