Under the Dome

Art Pope's $90 million fix-it list for state government

State Budget director Art Pope is recommending $90 million in repair and renovation projects in state government from repairing new roofs, to putting in new elevators, to paint jobs.

The funds were part of $150 million appropriated by the legislature – with $60 million going to the University of North Carolina system and $90 million going to other state agencies across the state.

In a memo to legislative leaders, Pope said the agencies had requested $554.4 million for 545 renovation and repair projects and the budget office had pared it down to $90 million for 191 projects.

Gov. Pat McCrory had said he would put a particular emphasis on fixing broken systems, particularly projects that had been put off because of the recession.

The projects topping $1 million include $1.6 million for structural work for Parking Deck 65, $2.6 million for a lighting retrofit in several state government buildings, $1.8 million to replace the roof of the Administration Building, $1.3 million for art store renovation and a new fire suppression system at the N.C. Museum of Art, $4.7 million for new heating plant at the O'Berry Neuro Medical Center in Goldsboro, $1.1 million for ADA and security upgrades at the Walter B. Jones facility, $2.2 million for a new steam plant for the John Umstead Hospital, $1.8 million for upgraded SBI crime labs, $1.4 million for renovations to the SBI building, $2.9 million to renovate the gym at the Western School for the Deaf, $1.7 million to upgrade obsolete security systems, $3.4 million to install and replace fire alarm systems, $7.5 million for various roof repairs, and $1.7 million to renovate the Dobbs Youth Development Center kitchen.


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Coach Bags Outlet

Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates after posting a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 UAE dirhams (approximately $2,700).
The young American living in the UAE has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.
He was accused of defaming the UAE's image abroad, according to The National, the country's main English-language newspaper.
The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.
The video depicts a look at a "combat school" in the suburb of Satwa, where these "gangsters" are trained. The training includes how to throw sandals at targets, using clothing accessories as whips, and how to call on the phone for backup.Cassim's family says the 29-year-old has been charged with endangering national security.The charges were not read out in court. UAE officials would only say "Mr. Cassim was charged under the UAE's penal code. Anyone charged with a crime under the laws of the UAE is entitled to the fair trial protections contained in the UAE's constitution."
Cassim, from Woodbury, Minnesota, moved to Dubai in 2006 after graduating from college to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He and some friends made and posted the video online in 2012. He was arrested in April. He was interrogated and arrested in Dubai before being transferred to a maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi. His family says it was five months before he was notified of the charges against him.

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