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News General

Co-conspirator sentenced to prison for conspiracy to defraud Wachovia

Scott Welch, 48, of Mooresville, N.C., was sentenced Thursday, June 30, to 70 months in federal prison, to be followed by a supervised release term of three years, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition, U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. ordered Welch to pay restitution in the amount $11,221,462 to Wachovia and $1,713,083 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Welch’s co-defendant, John P. Cousar, Jr., 48, a retired Charlotte firefighter, was also sentenced today to 33 months imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Cousar was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,901,593 to Wachovia and $1,124,448 to the IRS.

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A report in the June 30 issue of the Macon County News stated that the Town of Franklin had considered the installation of artificial ground covering, or “astroturf” on the Nikwasi Mound, which caused some confusion in the community. Franklin Town alderman and Nikwasi Mound committee member, Bob Scott, says that the town has no intention of using a synthetic covering on the historic site in downtown Franklin. “We would never agree to put anything on the mound that was manmade,” Scott stated emphatically.

At a recent meeting, the suggestion was made to the Mound committee to use astroturf as an alternative covering, but was immediately dismissed because the turf would not be historically accurate and would be a clear violation of the property deed.

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Last Friday, Duke Energy Corporation filed a request with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to impose a 17 percent increase on power rate fees for residents and a 14 percent increase for commercial and industrial establishments.

The proposed rate hikes have met with disapproval from public officials in WNC, as they could add up to $19 to the average monthly residential power bill. If approved, the rate hike would likely go into effect by February of next year and would come on top of rate increases already planned due to rising fuel costs.

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Duke Energy Carolinas has filed a request with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to increase electric rates by approximately $646 million.

Approximately three-fourths of the request is driven by capital investments the company made in the Carolinas’ electric system over the past two years.

“Since 2009, we’ve spent $4.8 billion to modernize the system and comply with environmental regulations,” said Brett Carter, president, Duke Energy North Carolina.

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published: 10/18/2013
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