Submitted by WWAY on Tue, 02/05/2013 - 11:56pm.

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Former State Senator R.C. Soles is scheduled to receive the Order of the Long Leaf Pine next week. Harry Warren, Director of the NC Museum of Forestry in Whiteville, tells us a luncheon is scheduled at the museum Feb. 11 to honor Soles. Warren says Jim High, a Columbus County businessman, nominated Soles for the award. High won it just last year. It's one of the highest civilian honors someone can receive from the governor's office. Soles was the state's longest serving senator. He also faced allegations that he sexually assaulted young men, then paid them to stay quiet. Soles pleaded guilty in 2010 to assault with a deadly weapon and was fined $1,000. He was also found not guilty of assault in 2012.

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