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Military investigates NC man over missing firearms

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Military authorities are investigating whether a North Carolina man stole military weapons and equipment that were on loan to state and local law enforcement agencies.

Federal court documents show authorities seized items from the Henderson home of Robert Brian Minish this week. An affidavit written by an agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service says authorities believe there is probable cause that Minish made false statements, stole firearms and sold stolen property on eBay.

Minish isn't charged with any crime and didn't return a call seeking comment. He previously worked at North Carolina Law Enforcement Support Services.

Investigators say an audit found that 30 military firearms are missing. They say other property sold or stolen by Minish is valued at over $50,000 and included night vision equipment and gun sights.


Perdue won't sign NC testing bill, will become law

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Governor Beverly Perdue will let a bill eliminating four standardized end-of-course tests in North Carolina high schools become law without her signature.

Perdue said two weeks ago she wouldn't veto the measure if it came to her desk. She confirmed that stand on Friday.

Bipartisan supporters of the bill say they were responding to complaints that too much emphasis was placed on standardized tests that aren't useful. Other tests remain in place.

Perdue says she believes public school testing was due for a change but doesn't support eliminating it. She asked the General Assembly to work with the State Board of Education to develop new accountability methods.

The board is already working on them, and the bill essentially tells educators to hurry up.


Marine from Colorado killed in Afghanistan

DENVER (AP) — The Defense Department says a Marine from Bennett, Colorado, has been killed in combat in Afghanistan.

Twenty-year-old Lance Corporal Christopher S. Meis died Thursday in Helmand Province.

He was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune.

He joined the Marines in January 2010 and was promoted to lance corporal three weeks ago.

He deployed to Afghanistan in January.


Appalachian Cultural Museum a victim of hard times

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Dozens of quilts, looms, and even a moonshine still are without a home now that Appalachian State University has closed its Appalachian Cultural Museum in Boone.

University officials blame budget cuts for the decision. The museum was established in 1989.

Some graduates of the university's Appalachian studies program say scattering the artifacts will weaken students' academic opportunities.

Preservation Kentucky field representative Amy Sparrow Potts received her graduate degree in 2002 from Appalachian State. She says the museum was a great resource for studying Appalachian culture, American history and rural heritage.

Chancellor Kenneth Peacock says the university had planned to relocate the museum when its space was taken over by another program in 2006, but budget cuts have made that impossible. The annual budget for the museum was approximately $200,000.


Bank of America sues Las Vegas furniture complex

(Information in the following story is from: Las Vegas Sun,

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Bank of America is threatening to foreclose on a massive furniture industry showroom in downtown Las Vegas over a $46.6 million loan.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that Bank of America filed two lawsuits in Clark County District County on behalf of World Market Center investors.

Bank of America says phases of the property have been in default since May 2010, and required loan payments haven't been made.

The bank wants a court-appointed receiver to run the property and collect rents.

The World Market Center is a 57-acre furniture showroom complex that hosts semiannual industry furniture shows. It issued a statement saying it wants to stay open.

The first phase opened in January 2005 by New York-based Related Companies and partners Shawn Samson and Jack Kashani.


Former Western Illinois University president dies

MACOMB, Ill. (AP) — A former president of Western Illinois University has died.

The university said Friday that Leslie F. Malpass died earlier this week. Malpass was 88. He led Western Illinois from 1974 to 1987.

Western Illinois says Malpass promoted faculty research and the publication of journals. He also oversaw the construction of the school's library, which opened in 1978.

Malpass is also credited with promoting economic development in the region, working with the city of Macomb to create relationships between the university and the private sector.

Services will be Saturday in Durham, where Malpass lived.


Former mayor in Mississippi nominee for TVA board

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — President Barack Obama has nominated former Oxford, Mississippi, Mayor Richard Howorth to be a member of the Tennessee Valley Authority board.

If approved by the Senate, the 60-year-old Howorth will be the only member from Mississippi and his term will expire in May 2015.

Howorth is the founder and owner of a book store in Oxford.

Howorth as Oxford's mayor was on the authority that oversees the Oxford Electric Department. He served as a director and officer of the North Mississippi Industrial Development Association. Howorth said from those roles he is familiar with TVA but has no personal agenda related to the part-time role. The board has nine members.

Howorth would fill the vacancy created when retired Huntsville, Alabama, businessman Howard Thrailkill finished his term in December.


Scientists seeking new weapon against stink bugs

EMMITSBURG, Md. (AP) — Scientists confronting the brown marmorated stink bug hope to get an emergency exemption by August that would allow apple and peach growers to use an insecticide currently not approved for orchards.

Experts from the U.S. Agriculture Department and Virginia Tech discussed their efforts to curb crop damage during a meeting Friday in Emmitsburg.

Virginia Tech entomologist Chris Bergh says he will submit a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency for expanded use of dinotefuran (dy-noh-TEF'-yur-ahn) in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

The EPA currently allows the compound only on vegetables, grapes and cotton.

The meeting was organized by Congressman Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland.

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