North Carolina
Local GOP office struck by molotov cocktail

A local Republican Party office in North Carolina was damaged by fire and someone spray-painted an anti-GOP slogan referring to “Nazi Republicans” on a nearby wall, authorities said Sunday.

A news release from the town of Hillsborough said someone threw a bottle filled with flammable liquid through the window of the Orange County Republican Party headquarters overnight. The substance ignited and damaged furniture and the interior before burning out.

The news release said an adjacent building was spray-painted with the words: “Nazi Republicans leave town or else.”

State GOP director Dallas Woodhouse said no one was injured, but a security alert is being sent to party offices statewide.

Another business owner discovered the damage Sunday morning. Local police are investigating alongside the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Woodhouse said the interior of the office had extensive damage. He said that people sometimes work after hours but that no one was there at the time.

Tom Stevens (D), the mayor of the town about 40 miles northwest of Raleigh, condemned the act in a statement.

“This highly disturbing act goes far beyond vandalizing property; it willfully threatens our community’s safety via fire, and its hateful message undermines decency, respect and integrity in civic participation,” he said in a news release.

— Associated Press

New bridge officers will aim to stop suicides

Five new officers will be hired to patrol the Golden Gate Bridge specifically to search for people looking to jump to their death.

The bridge board last week approved adding the new bridge officers to the patrol, bringing the total to 22. They are expected to be working on the span in about two months, the Marin Independent Journal reported.

Between 2000 and 2005, bridge officers were able to stop an average of 52 people a year from jumping from the span. In 2016, there have been 138 successful interventions and the number is projected to exceed 200 by the end of the year.

The increase in successful interventions is directly related to having more officers patrolling the bridge’s sidewalks, said Capt. Lisa Locati, the span’s top law enforcement official.

In August, bridge officials announced a partnership with Crisis Text Line, which allows people in crisis to text GGB to 741741 and almost immediately have access to a counselor. Bridge security is also notified. Signs referring people to the service are now on the span.

In June 2014, the bridge board unanimously agreed to build a suicide barrier, expected to be completed by 2020.

More than 1,400 people have jumped to their deaths since the bridge opened in 1937.

— Associated Press

Vote on tax hike to hit local ballots: California is booming, yet many of its cities aren’t feeling it. From Yreka, near the Oregon border, to El Centro, just north of Mexico, more than 80 local governments will ask voters next month to approve sales-tax increases, the most on record. Although some aim to boost spending on roads or other projects, most measures would just provide extra cash. In Ridgecrest, Fairfax, and Fountain Valley, officials say the revenue would eliminate budget deficits or prevent cuts to police and fire departments. The governments’ revenue isn’t keeping up with rising expenses, including for employee pensions, despite the thriving technology industry, home-price gains and rapid economic growth in much of the state. That’s due in part to the landmark property-tax limits California voters approved almost four decades ago that have prevented municipalities from reaping windfalls as the housing market rebounded from last decade’s crash.

— Bloomberg News