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New NC arson crimes, tougher penalties head to Cooper's desk

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Legislation next heading to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk creates new crimes for arson and stiffer punishments for such fire-related violations already in state law. The measure received final General Assembly approval on Thursday when the House voted overwhelmingly for the changes that the Senate completed on the bill earlier in the week. The bill creates new felony crimes for setting fire to a prison and to commercial structures. The measure also requires applicants for paid or volunteer fire department jobs to submit to criminal background checks, and be prohibited from getting hired if they've been convicted of certain fire-related crimes.