Government

Senate candidates square off in second debate

October 8, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gay marriage, national security and unemployment were a few of the topics covered at Tuesday's heated debate between U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis. The candidates will face off again Thursday in a third and final debate in Wilmington, the only debate that will include Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh.

Supreme Court decision clears way for gay marriage

October 7, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

State Republican leaders say they will defend a voter-approved ban on gay marriage despite the Supreme Court's refusal on Monday to hear same-sex marriage cases. 
Also: Same-sex marriage ruling could energize voters in Senate race

Elections board questions AFP about voter mailer

October 6, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

After the N.C. Democratic Party filed a complaint alleging voter suppression, the state Board of Elections has asked conservative group Americans for Prosperity to explain how it made so many mistakes in a voter-application mailer. Thousands of the applications included incorrect information about how to submit the forms and an incorrect deadline, while some were addressed to ineligible voters and deceased people.

Readmission rates lead to reduced Medicare reimbursements at some Charlotte hospitals

October 6, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Some Charlotte area hospitals will be penalized for readmitting too many patients within 30 days of their last hospital stay. Now in its its third year, a federal program reduces Medicare payments to hospitals with higher-than-expected readmission rates for heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, chronic lung problems and elective hip and knee replacements. No Charlotte hospitals received the maximum penalty.

AG Cooper asks Supreme Court to block voting-law changes

October 3, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

With only 22 days left before early voting begins, state Attorney General Roy Cooper said North Carolina does not have enough time to prepare for changes to the voting process and has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block an appeals court ruling that reinstated same-day registration and out-of-precinct balloting.

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.