McCrory kicks off $2 billion bond campaign

October 22, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation Wednesday that will put a referendum on the March ballot for a $2 billion bond package that includes investments in university and community-college renovations and expansions, parks and water and sewer infrastructure improvements.

UNC governors to vote Friday on new UNC system president

October 21, 2015


The UNC Board of Governors will meet Friday to vote on a new president for the 17-campus system. The board held an emergency meeting last Friday where sources say Margaret Spellings, a former U.S. education secretary, was interviewed for the position. Some lawmakers and board members have criticized the search process for its lack of transparency.

Incentive report analysis shows many jobs fail to materialize

October 20, 2015


New data from the state Commerce department shows that nearly 40% of companies awarded state incentives under Gov. Bev Perdue between 2009 and 2012 have failed to hire a single worker. The state, which only pays out if jobs are created, has paid 16% of the $367 million in grants promised in exchange for about 19,000 jobs.

Federal judges consider legality of congressional maps

October 19, 2015

(Rocky Mount Telegram)

Three federal judges held a trial in Greensboro last week that examined the legality of the 1st and 12th Congressional Districts. At least four lawsuits have challenged the districts as discriminatory against minority voters. The judges didn't immediately rule.

UNC governors hold emergency meeting with president finalist

October 16, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education in George W. Bush's administration, is scheduled to meet with the UNC Board of Governors Friday. Some board members said they are unable to attend due to insufficient notice. State legislative leaders are concerned the meeting is an effort to circumvent a bill passed last month that requires three candidates to be presented to the full board for discussion. Gov. Pat McCrory has not yet signed that bill into law.

UNC search committee ramps up search to replace Tom Ross

October 15, 2015


The 11-member search committee tasked with looking for a new UNC System president met four times last week and nine times during the last month. President Tom Ross announced his resignation in January amid pressure from the UNC Board of Governors to step down. He will remain in the position until January 2016.

Groups challenge Duke Energy's $7M coal-ash settlement

October 14, 2015


The Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation and seven other groups asked a Superior Court judge to reject Duke Energy's $7 million settlement in a groundwater contamination case involving cleanup of its coal-ash storage sites. The groups are represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Cowell won't seek re-election in 2016

October 14, 2015


State Treasurer Janet Cowell will not seek re-election in 2016, she wrote in an email Tuesday. She was first elected to the position in 2008. Cowell, 47, did not say what she planned to do next.

Roy Cooper makes it official

October 13, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper formally launched his campaign as a Democratic candidate for governor. In a speech at Rocky Mount's Nash Community College that emphasized his eastern North Carolina roots, Cooper, 58, vowed to support public education and the creation of more middle-class jobs.

New trade deal excludes tobacco

October 12, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A new international trade initiative would lower tariffs on pork and other meat exports while excluding another major North Carolina export – tobacco. The current version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership would essentially curb the tobacco industry's ability to mitigate antismoking efforts abroad.