Government

UNC system scales back budget proposal

March 13, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

UNC system leaders have amended their 2014-15 budget request after State Budget Director Art Pope called the original proposal unrealistic. The university system will break up its $163 million request for repairs and and renovations into increments based on priority and will temporarily set aside a $74 million request for new construction. 

Utilities Commission subpoenaed for inspection records

March 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The N.C. Utilities Commission received a subpoena for records pertaining to coal-ash pond inspections. Duke Energy, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and 18 water-quality officials have also received subpoenas as part of the federal grand jury investigation that began after Duke's coal-ash spill at the Dan River plant in Eden.

McCrory tells students Duke Energy didn't take care of responsibility at Eden plant

March 11, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Speaking to a group of students and faculty at a Raleigh private school, Gov. Pat McCrory said Duke Energy overlooked its responsibility to the public when it closed the Dan River coal-fired power plant. The governor also said he has a goal of increasing pay for all teachers based on performance.

AG Cooper will appeal Aqua rate increase if approved

March 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper indicated he will appeal a 5.2% rate increase requested by Aqua North Carolina if it is approved by the N.C. Utilities Commission. Aqua is the state's largest private water utility.

State Sen. Martin Nesbitt dies after brief battle with cancer

March 7, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State Sen. Martin Nesbitt of Asheville died Thursday, just 10 days after being diagnosed with stomach cancer. Nesbitt, who was 67, served 11 terms in the N.C. House of Representatives and five terms in the Senate.

Duke Energy reveals more metal pipes at coal power plants

March 6, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Duke Energy has found eight more corrugated-metal pipes as North Carolina power plants where coal ash is stored, including a second one at the Dan River plant that has been found to be leaking. The utility previously reported the broken pipe that led to the coal-ash spill in Eden was the only one made of metal.

 

State budget director rejects budget increase for UNC system

March 5, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Art Pope says the UNC Board of Governors has requested an 11.3% increase over the current year's budget for 2014-15, an unrealistic proposal that does not include employee raises. The state budget director says the governing body ignored his office's instructions to request budget expansions of no more than 2%.

DENR cites five more Duke Energy plants for violations

March 4, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources accused Duke Energy of violations at five more power plants in the state, saying the utility doesn't have the necessary federal permits to discharge storm water. The DENR previously issued two violation notices to Duke regarding its Dan River power plant in Rockingham County.

DENR issues violations against Duke Energy over coal-ash spill; fines likely

March 3, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued two notices to Duke Energy for violation of environmental standards related to the Dan River coal-ash spill. The utility will be cited for failing to have a stormwater permit for the Dan River plant and for failing to prevent the spill and maintaining water quality standards in the river. 

High-paid consultant to DHHS left scarce details of work

March 3, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A consultant hired by the state Department of Health and Human Services left few records behind detailing the work he did in his 11 months with the agency. Joe Hauck was paid $310,000, more than the department's highest-paid employee, and was credited with saving the agency millions of dollars.