Former Marion fire chief charged with embezzlement

December 4, 2013

(The McDowell News)

A grand jury has indicted the former fire chief of the Ashford-North Cove Volunteer Fire Department under allegations he embezzled money. Thomas Dexter Swofford is accused of embezzling more than $269,000 of the fire department's funds between Jan. 2010 and July 2013.

Rev. Barber leads picketers outside Pope-led discount stores

December 3, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The NAACP leader who led Moral Monday demonstrations against laws passed by the state General Assembly earlier this year is now joining picketers outside discount stores operated by Variety Wholesalers Inc., of which state budget director Art Pope is CEO and board chairman.

Former UNC-CH African studies chairman accused of felony

December 3, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The former chairman of UNC Chapel Hill's African studies department has been indicted by an Orange County grand jury. Julius Nyang'oro is accused of a felony for accepting payment for a class he did not teach in the summer of 2011.

State Medicaid office names new director

December 3, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Dr. Nancy Henley has been appointed the new medical director at the state Medicaid office within the Department of Health and Human Services. Henley is currently an associate professor of medicine at UNC and a health care consultant; she previously worked at the DHHS in the early 2000s.

NCDOT says Bonner Bridge needs repair

December 2, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is making emergency preparations should the Outer Banks' Bonner Bridge need to be closed for needed repairs to a southern section. The DOT has been unable to begin construction on a replacement bridge due to legal challenges to the proposed 2.8-mile bridge. 

Bryson City federal courthouse will close at year-end

December 2, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A federal courthouse in Bryson City is among four nationwide that will close at the end of the year in an effort to save money. The courthouse, which does not have a resident judge, serves six Western counties.

Governor's staff charging fees for access to public records

November 27, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Media outlets and others requesting North Carolina public records have been assessed service fees by McCrory staffers, who have been demanding payment for requests taking longer than 30 minutes to process.

More state budget cuts ahead unless Congress reaches deal

November 26, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Budget negotiations for next year's federal spending will resume after the Thanksgiving break, and unless Congress reaches an agreement in December, North Carolina and the country could face sequestration cuts for the second year in a row. North Carolina areas which could be hit the hardest include Head Start, research, military spending and affordable housing.

Future energy plan may include offshore drilling

November 25, 2013

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Gov. Pat McCrory has said he will include an energy package during the state legislature's short session beginning in May which sources say may include offshore drilling. A federal plan in effect through 2017 does not allow drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, but the current administration will begin working on the post-2017 plan next year. Supporters say North Carolina should work now to gain inclusion in the new federal plan.

Rural Center denies former leader Hall special severance payment

November 22, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

In a closed-door meeting on Thursday, leaders of the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center voted against a $242,000 severance payment for former agency president Billy Ray Hall. Hall led the center since its inception in 1987, but resigned this summer when questions arose about the agency's handling of grant money.