Duke ordered to submit coal-ash cleanup plan

August 14, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Duke Energy must submit plans by Nov. 15 for removing coal ash from its Asheville, Dan River, Riverbend and Sutton power plants. Those plants were flagged as high priority following the Charlotte-based utility's Feb. 2 ash spill at the Dan River plant.

GOP legislators in Western NC say no shale-gas potential there

August 13, 2014

(The Sylva Herald)

Republican legislators in Western N.C. oppose the state's plan to collect and test rocks in the seven westernmost counties to determine shale-gas potential. Sen. Jim Davis, who co-sponsored the bill that lifted the state's ban on fracking, says it's a waste of money. 

Michael Lee nominated to fill Goolsby's senate seat

August 13, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The executive committee of the New Hanover Republican Party nominated Michael Lee, a Wilmington attorney, to serve the remainder of former state Sen. Thom Goolsby's term. Goolsby, who was not running for re-election, resigned last week. Lee could take office by next week if Gov. McCrory approves the committee's nomination.

Federal agency designates areas for offshore wind projects

August 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The federal government has identified 307,000 offshore acres for potential wind-energy development. Areas selected include ones near Kitty Hawk, Wilmington and Southport. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will auction leases for developers at a later date. Five companies have already expressed interest.

State tourism agency seeks input from travel industry

August 12, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The N.C. Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development is conducting an online survey for industry partners to help lead its marketing efforts. The survey is available through Aug. 15.

Film-industry workers look toward other states as tax credits expire

August 11, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

N.C. workers in the film-production industry are considering relocating to Georgia or other states with attractive industry incentive programs. The budget approved by the state General Assembly will replace the state's 25% tax credit with a grant program that will be capped at $10 million.

Rural hospitals hit hardest by Medicaid reform

August 8, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Rural hospitals such as Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton will suffer the most from Medicaid cuts. More than 10% of patients are uninsured and more than 23% are on Medicaid at the hospital, which lies in a region with some of the highest rates of obesity, heart disease and substance abuse in the state.


McCrory signs $21.1 billion budget bill

August 8, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory signed a $21.1 billion state budget bill that gives public school teachers a pay raise for the first time since 2011. The bill, approved by legislators last week, gives most state employees $1,000 raises.  

Art Pope resigns as state budget director

August 7, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Art Pope will step down as the state's budget director effective September 5. Pope will focus on his role as chief executive of Henderson-based Variety Wholesalers. Gov. Pat McCrory named Raleigh bank executive Lee Roberts as his successor.

Loss of film tax credit worries Wilmington businesses

August 6, 2014


The state budget approved by the House and Senate includes $10 million in grant money for the film industry, about 16% of what the state awarded in tax credits in 2013 and less than half the incentives awarded to "Iron Man 3." Wilmington business owners say the state can't afford to lose the film industry.