Education board approves 10-point grading scale for high schools

October 3, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state Board of Education unanimously approved changing the grading scale used in public high schools from a seven-point scale to a 10-point scale. Proponents say the 10-point scale makes North Carolina students more competitive with those from other states when applying for college.

Federal appeals court blocks two NC voting restrictions

October 2, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary order to reinstate same-day voter registration and to allow out-of-precinct voting if people go to the wrong polling place on Election Day.

New state law regulates use of drones

October 1, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A new state law regulating the use of unmanned aircraft goes into effect today. According to the law, drones cannot be used for the surveillance of people or homes without consent. The law also makes it illegal to photograph people for publication or public distribution without permission. Police and news agencies are granted certain exceptions under the new law.
(Read more about the drone industry in North Carolina in "Pie in the sky" from our September issue)

McCrory names three to coal-ash commission

October 1, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Gov. Pat McCrory appointed two university professors and a lawyer to the new nine-member N.C. Coal Ash Management Commission. The N.C. House expects to name its final appointee soon. McCrory signed the bill creating the oversight commission despite reservations over its constitutionality.

FAA says Charlotte must ask it to transfer control of airport

September 30, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a letter it hasn't weighed in on the issue of who should control Charlotte Douglas International Airport because the city has not asked it to do so. The state General Assembly last year passed a bill transferring control of the airport to a regional commission, but Charlotte City Council won a temporary injunction that blocks the commission from running the airport.

Cowell doesn't plan to quit hedge funds

September 29, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Following the California Public Employees' Retirement System's decision to divest its hedge fund portfolio, the State Employees Association of North Carolina urged state Treasurer Janet Cowell to withdraw N.C.'s hedge fund investments, which accounted for about 4.32% of total assets as of June 30.

McCrory embarks on 'listening tour' aimed at closing skills gap

September 26, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Gov. Pat McCrory and state Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker kicked off a 100-day "listening tour" to hear first hand about employers' needs across the state. The feedback will be used in planning course and program offerings for colleges and K-12 schools in an effort to close the skills gap facing many companies today.  

Federal judges coming to Charlotte for hearing on NC voting law

September 25, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A three-judge panel from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. will meet in Charlotte Thursday to decide whether North Carolina's new election law is discriminatory and should be put on hold for the Nov. 4 election. Critics say the law discriminates against African-Americans and Latinos by making it harder for them to vote. 

Ellmers and Aiken to hold televised debate Oct. 6

September 24, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

U.S. Rep Renee Ellmers and Democratic challenger Clay Aiken will participate in a televised debate on Oct. 6 in Pinehurst. The debate will be sponsored by the N.C. Bankers Association and moderated by WRAL's David Crabtree.

Decker confident trip to Japan will bring jobs to NC

September 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Following a recent trip to Japan, N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker says she feels "very good" about the state's prospects for attracting an auto manufacturer. Earlier this year, North Carolina lost a Toyota plant to Texas, which has direct flights to Tokyo, despite offering more than double the amount of incentives. "I came back very motivated for us to get direct flights to Asia," Decker said after the 36-hour flight home.