Photos: The 2021 Cary Christmas Tree Lighting

Cary, NC — On Saturday, December 4th at the Town Hall Campus, I experienced my very first Cary Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Even more special than it being my first is that Mayor Harold Weinbrecht called it the largest crowd he’s ever seen at the well-loved annual event that was moved to an entirely virtual format last year.

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Harold’s Blog: Holiday Events and Celebrating First Responders

Cary, NC — This week included speaking engagements and holiday events.

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Top 5 Stories of the Week: December 3, 2021

Cary, NC — It was a mixed bag of top-read stories this week from crime and construction to holiday events. To get you caught up, here’s a quick recap of the week’s biggest articles.

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Photos: Downtown Cary Construction Picks Up

Cary, NC — The excitement surrounding the construction of Phase 2 of Downtown Cary Park has spurred plenty of conversation. It has also spurred a building boom in Downtown Cary that hasn’t been seen since the 1970s. Read more

Cary Man Arrested in January 6 Investigation

Cary, NC — Aiden Henry Bilyard, 19, of Cary, has been accused of “using chemical irritant against officers” and “smashing a window with a bat” during the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.

The following is a released statement from the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday, November 23 regarding the recent arrest of Bilyard.

“A North Carolina man has been arrested for assaulting law enforcement with a dangerous weapon and other crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Aiden Henry Bilyard, 19, of Cary, N.C., is charged with engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, civil disorder, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers with a dangerous weapon, among other charges. He was arrested yesterday in Raleigh, N.C., and made his initial appearance in the Eastern District of North Carolina later that day. He was released pending further court proceedings.

According to court documents, at approximately 2:35 p.m. on Jan. 6, Bilyard was among a crowd of rioters in the Lower West Terrace area of the Capitol. He was holding what appeared to be a large gold-colored canister. Video footage depicts him pointing the nozzle of the canister toward a line of uniformed law enforcement officers that was attempting to secure the building and activating the propellant, discharging an orange-colored liquid spray.

The chemical irritant is believed to have been “bear spray,” which rioters used in efforts to incapacitate officers. Later in the afternoon, at approximately 4:10 p.m., Bilyard is depicted in video footage in a group gathered in front of a large glass window of the Capitol building.

While there, he encouraged an individual who was striking the window with what appeared to be a small axe. Bilyard was handed a bat and used it to shatter the lower glass portion of the window. He then entered a Senate room through the broken window.

This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

In the ten months since Jan. 6, more than 675 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 210 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

For additional details on this story, see the USDOJ Statement of Facts and further coverage from WRAL, CBS 17 and The News & Observer.

If you’d like to comment on this story, please refer to our comments policy.

Story and photos sourced from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Adcock: State Budget Passes with Bipartisan Input and Support

Cary, NC — The latest legislative update from the blog of  NC Representative Gale Adcock.

After a series of strong bipartisan votes in the Senate and House, Governor Cooper signed a new $25.9 billion budget into law on November 18.

The process used to reach this compromise budget was historic. House and Senate Democrats and Republicans–and Governor Cooper–worked on the conference report together over many weeks. As is true of compromise, everyone involved in its creation and passage agreed that no one got everything they wanted.

There are areas of the budget that I disagree with, but the harm created by not having a comprehensive budget for a second biennium was simply unpalatable to me. While it’s not feasible to detail the contents of a 627 page bill, these are some top-line reasons I supported the budget:
  • Teacher and state employee salaries increased by 5% over two years
  • Pay for non-certified school personnel increased to $15/hour
  • Child income tax deduction increased to $500 per child
  • Personal income tax lowered to 3.99% over six years
  • State income tax on military pensions eliminated, beginning 2021 tax year
  • Over $6 B invested in infrastructure, including $800 M in school construction
  • Investment of over $1B in broadband expansion
  • Medicaid coverage for new mothers extended for 12 months after delivery

Even with these and other positives, this was not an easy vote. There are short and long-term problems with the budget. It excludes Wake (and 4 other counties) from a new $100 M fund for teacher pay supplements, funds millions in pork projects, and does not expand health insurance coverage for 600,000 working adults–30,000 of whom are veterans.

It limits the Governor’s emergency authority and prohibits the Attorney General from settling lawsuits. The constitutionality of these two provisions will no doubt be challenged in the courts.

The most troubling part of the budget is a gradual phase-out of the corporate income tax beginning in 2025 that could short-change future investments in public education and other priorities by the end of the decade.

It’s important to note that these corporate tax cuts won’t begin to go into effect for another four years, giving future legislatures an opportunity to ‘course correct’ if our economy weakens.

Around the District

This fall I’ve enjoyed getting to know new Apex Town Manager Catherine Crosby and new Apex Police Chief Jason Armstrong over coffee at Common Grounds on Salem Street. They each have a wealth of relevant experience and exude passion for their work.

I’ve also had the chance to work alongside local elected officials and Habitat for Humanity volunteers to frame a new home in Cary; participate in the annual Kiran Walk to support Asian Indian women who suffer from domestic violence; attend the groundbreaking ceremony for a new building at the SV Temple; and travel to Memphis to receive a 2021 Elected Women of Excellence Award from the National Foundation for Women Legislators.

Looking ahead to December, I’ll be riding with Rep. Julie von Haefen in the Apex Christmas parade.

I wish you and your family good health and time for reflection on the many blessings we all share. Thank you for your support of our community and for your communications with me.

Yours in service,


From the blog of NC District 41 Representative Gale Adcock. 

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Harold’s Blog: Council/Staff Retreat, Chinese Lanterns & More

Cary, NC — This week’s activities included a council-staff mini-retreat.

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Canes Win 3 On West Coast Trip 

Cary, NC — The Canes are halfway through their season-long 6 game road trip and are a perfect 3-for-3.

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2021 NC Chinese Lantern Festival Now Open

Cary, NC — It is officially opening night for the NC Chinese Lantern Festival, a tradition making its return to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre for its 6th year after being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

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