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Senate Subcommittee Votes to Help Tobacco Towns

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RALEIGH — Last year's $206 billion settlement with the tobacco industry will bring nearly $5 billion to North Carolina; about half of that money will settle claims for treating sick smokers. Wednesday, a state Senate subcommittee began discussing what will happen to the rest of the money.

State legislatorswant to use the $2.3 billion balance to help farmers and tobacco towns, like some in Johnston County.

Business may never be the same at the Barnes family grocery in Archer Lodge. Decreased demand for tobacco is putting a dent in the C.E. Barnes Grocery's bottom line.

Sen. Tony Rand says the money should help the Barnes Grocery, and Archer Lodge. "[The goal is] to try to put something in place which will assist areas of North Carolina that are not getting along that well economically," Rand says.

The Senate subcommittee voted Wednesday to have an independent trust fund manage the money, and approve allocations.

People at the Barnes Grocery don't care who is in charge of the money, as long as it ends up in the pockets of tobacco farmers.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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