Government

Seven political races to watch in the upcoming primary election

March 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A runoff looks likely in the GOP Senate primary, though polls show House Speaker Thom Tillis has the lead in the Republican effort to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan. 

Grace period granted to health-insurance applicants

March 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will grant extensions to people who have begun applying for health insurance through the online marketplace but haven't been able to complete the process. The HealthCare.gov website got 1 million hits on Monday, as a late surge of applicants are attempting to sign up by the original March 31 deadline.

Lawyer representing DENR in coal-ash case worked with Duke before

March 25, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The lawyer hired to represent the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources during a federal investigation of the agency's regulation of Charlotte-based Duke Energy's coal-ash storage previously represented Duke in a 2004 federal investigation. 

DENR drops settlement with Duke in coal-ash lawsuits

March 24, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources withdrew a proposed settlement with Duke Energy in two lawsuits filed over pollution at the company's coal-ash storage sites in Asheville and Gaston County. The settlement would have fined the Charlotte-based utility $99,000 and would not have required the coal ash to be moved.

New report touts benefits of state drone program

March 24, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state's chief information officer presented a report last week that supports a state-funded program where unmanned drones could be used to track suspects, oversee crops, assess storm damage and inspect bridges.

DENR: Duke illegally pumped wastewater from Cape Fear ash ponds

March 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Charlotte-based Duke Energy violated conditions of its wastewater permit when it pumped 61 million gallons of wastewater from ash ponds at its Chatham County plant into a tributary of the Cape Fear River.

State lawmakers want to stop 'revolving door' for employees

March 20, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Lawyers for the state General Assembly are drafting legislation that would prohibit state workers involved in negotiating or managing contracts with outside vendors from resigning and immediately going to work for those companies.

Charlotte political pioneer Liz Hair dies at 94

March 20, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Elisabeth Green Hair, the first woman to be elected chair of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, died at her home on Wednesday. She was 94. 

Franklin Graham praises Putin on gay rights issues

March 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Franklin Graham praised Russian President Vladmir Putin's crackdown on homosexuality and called President Obama's endorsement of gay rights shameful. The comments were made in a magazine published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the Charlotte-based organization Graham leads. 

Grand jury investigation of Duke Energy and DENR begins Tuesday

March 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A federal grand jury will meet today through Thursday in Raleigh to review information obtained through 23 subpoenas issued regarding the relationship between Charlotte-based Duke Energy and its state regulator, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.