Courts director John Smith to retire in May

March 3, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

John W. Smith will step down as director of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts on May 1. Appointed to the post in 2009, Smith has been criticized by Republican legislators for not allowing magistrates to opt out of performing same-sex marriages. 

LGBT ordinance defeated in Charlotte

March 3, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Charlotte City Council voted 6-5 against a proposal that would have extended nondiscrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Prior to the vote, the council removed a controversial section of the ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of the the gender they identify with.

UNC governors vote to increase tuition, close academic centers

March 2, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The UNC Board of Governors approved systemwide tuition increases for in-state undergraduate students. Tuition and fees will increase an average of 4.3% next year, bring the average cost to $6,448.88 per year. 
Also: UNC Board of Governors votes to close 3 university-based centers


UNC Board of Governors to vote Friday on closing centers, raising tuition

February 27, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

In committee meetings in Charlotte this week, members of the UNC Board of Governors supported closing three academic centers – including the Center for Poverty, Work and Opportunity at UNC Chapel Hill – and raising tuition and fees by an average of 4.3% for in-state students next year. The full board is expected to vote Friday on the proposals.

State Department of Revenue issues 43,000 incorrect forms

February 26, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

About 3.7% of taxpayers received incorrect 1099-G forms from the N.C. Department of Revenue. The agency sent out 43,000 incorrect forms, which list state income tax refunds from the previous year. Officials say they will send out corrected forms in March.

Jobs bill would raise cap on incentive-grant program

February 25, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Republican leaders introduced a bill Tuesday that would double the cap on the state's Job Development Investment Grant program to $45 million. Gov. Pat McCrory has said the program is nearly out of money. "We're the only state in the Southeast that doesn't really have a (incentive) program right now," Commerce Secretary John Skvarla told senators.

U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins stepping down

February 24, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins will leave office in two weeks. Tompkins, 52, has been the top federal prosecutor for the Western District of North Carolina since 2010 and directed the corruption investigation of former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Rose will serve as acting attorney until a replacement is named.

Report: Infrastructure needs will outpace funding

February 23, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Transportation-advocacy group N.C. Go! estimates the state's transportation-funding shortfall could hit $60 billion by 2040, despite an Associated Press review that shows state highway spending grew by nearly 26% from 2008 to 2013.

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx in NC to promote transportation proposal

February 20, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

U.S Transportation Secretary and former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx made stops in Charlotte and the Triangle Thursday to promote the Obama administration's proposal to spend $478 billion on highway, transit and other transportation projects.
Also: VP Joe Biden and DOT chief Anthony Foxx push transportation proposal

UNC panel recommends closing poverty center, two other research institutes

February 19, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A UNC Board of Governors panel recommended eliminating three university centers, including UNC Chapel Hill's Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, East Carolina's Center for Biodiversity and N.C. Central's Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change. The recommendation follows a review of 240 research institutes across the UNC system. The state legislature had asked the system to consider redirecting $15 million from the centers to core activities.