Brannon must pay more than $450K in civil lawsuit

March 14, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A Superior Court judge has ordered U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon to pay $250,000 plus interest and legal fees to two investors in a defunct technology company Brannon helped start. The Cary physician is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Dem. U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.

State leaders disagree on solution to coal-ash cleanup

March 14, 2014

(The News & Record, Greensboro)

N.C. Rep. Pricey Harrison of Greensboro is leading Democratic house members in writing a bill that would require Duke Energy and its shareholders to pay for cleaning up its coal-ash ponds across the state, but Senate President Phil Berger says Republicans are crafting their own proposal and the N.C. Utilities Commission should decide who pays for the cleanup.

NC still ranked 46th in nation for average teacher salary

March 13, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

According to the National Education Association, North Carolina remained 46th in the nation for average teacher salaries in 2012-13, and 48th for average salaries for beginning teachers. Average teacher pay in North Carolina was $45,737 while the national average was $56,103.

UNC system scales back budget proposal

March 13, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

UNC system leaders have amended their 2014-15 budget request after State Budget Director Art Pope called the original proposal unrealistic. The university system will break up its $163 million request for repairs and and renovations into increments based on priority and will temporarily set aside a $74 million request for new construction. 

Utilities Commission subpoenaed for inspection records

March 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The N.C. Utilities Commission received a subpoena for records pertaining to coal-ash pond inspections. Duke Energy, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and 18 water-quality officials have also received subpoenas as part of the federal grand jury investigation that began after Duke's coal-ash spill at the Dan River plant in Eden.

McCrory tells students Duke Energy didn't take care of responsibility at Eden plant

March 11, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Speaking to a group of students and faculty at a Raleigh private school, Gov. Pat McCrory said Duke Energy overlooked its responsibility to the public when it closed the Dan River coal-fired power plant. The governor also said he has a goal of increasing pay for all teachers based on performance.

AG Cooper will appeal Aqua rate increase if approved

March 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper indicated he will appeal a 5.2% rate increase requested by Aqua North Carolina if it is approved by the N.C. Utilities Commission. Aqua is the state's largest private water utility.

State Sen. Martin Nesbitt dies after brief battle with cancer

March 7, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State Sen. Martin Nesbitt of Asheville died Thursday, just 10 days after being diagnosed with stomach cancer. Nesbitt, who was 67, served 11 terms in the N.C. House of Representatives and five terms in the Senate.

Duke Energy reveals more metal pipes at coal power plants

March 6, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Duke Energy has found eight more corrugated-metal pipes as North Carolina power plants where coal ash is stored, including a second one at the Dan River plant that has been found to be leaking. The utility previously reported the broken pipe that led to the coal-ash spill in Eden was the only one made of metal.


State budget director rejects budget increase for UNC system

March 5, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Art Pope says the UNC Board of Governors has requested an 11.3% increase over the current year's budget for 2014-15, an unrealistic proposal that does not include employee raises. The state budget director says the governing body ignored his office's instructions to request budget expansions of no more than 2%.