NC Utilities Commission approves subsidies for industrial power users

December 11, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Utilities Commission approved electricity discounts for industrial customers, a financial incentive intended to keep companies from laying off workers or relocating to another state. Opponents of concept, including grocery-store chain Kroger, say it is unlawful to offer discounts to a particular group of customers at the expense of others.

Former NC Rep. Robert Brawley to challenge McCrory

December 10, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Brawley, a Mooresville resident and outspoken critic of toll lanes on Interstate 77, says he will run against Gov. Pat McCrory in March's Republican gubernatorial primary. The former state representative could use the tolling issue to draw needed support away from McCrory in northern Mecklenburg County.

Support for Trump growing in NC

December 9, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

New poll results show Donald Trump's lead is growing among North Carolina Republicans. Public Policy Polling found that 33% of Republicans likely to vote in the primary support Trump, up from 31% in October. The report cites Trump's "Islamaphobia" as a "central feature of his appeal" to conservatives in the state. Sen. Ted Cruz was second with 16%, followed by Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio, who were tied at 14%.

Film about UNC scandal to premier Jan. 8

December 8, 2015


A former academic adviser at UNC Chapel Hill is making a movie about the academic-athletic scandal, which he claims has been misrepresented in the media. Bradley Bethel says some of his fellow school counselors who didn't realize they were part of the fraud unfairly lost their jobs.

Dan Blue III to run for state Treasurer

December 7, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Dan Blue III, a Democrat, will file to run for state Treasurer on Monday. He joins Dale Folwell, a Republican who led the state unemployment division, and Ron Elmer, a Democrat from Cary, in seeking the office. Current Treasurer Janet Cowell is not seeking re-election.

State OKs removal of wet coal ash at Wilmington plant

December 4, 2015


The state issued the first permit allowing Duke Energy to begin draining coal-ash ponds at its Sutton power plant near Wilmington. Dry ash is already being removed from Sutton and three other plants; this is the first permit for removing wet ash.
Related: NC regulators find violations at another Duke coal-ash deposit site

State says EPA is stalling coal-ash cleanup

December 3, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

The state Department of Environmental Quality says the federal government taking too long to approve a permit needed to drain coal-ash ponds at the retired Dan River steam station near Eden. The EPA says it is moving as fast as it can in considering the complex permit.

600 candidates file to run for public office

December 2, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

On the first day of the elections filing period, about 600 people filed paperwork to run for office in local and state races. The state Board of Elections expects nearly 2,000 more will file by the Dec. 21 deadline. Candidates will have less time to campaign this year; the primary date was pushed up from May to March 15. While Gov. Pat McCrory did not file official paperwork, he announced his re-election bid in a video message Tuesday.

Influential state senator won't run again in 2016

December 1, 2015

(The News and Observer of Raleigh)

Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican, won't run for an eighth term. He has been chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, overseeing much of the legislation considered by state lawmakers. His decision follows a similar retirement plan of Sen. Bob Rucho, a Matthews Republican. Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger praised Apodaca and called him one of his best friends.

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State wants a sponsor for Asheville-Salisbury bus service

December 1, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

State government hopes to lure a sponsor to fund bus service between Asheville and the passenger rail station in Salisbury. Service for a statewide rail plan is scheduled to start in 2018 under state Board of Transportation plans. Officials want to promote passenger rail as the state improves tracks between Charlotte and Raleigh. Asheville businesses see the bus service as a potential boost to tourism.