Government

Tony Almeida retiring from position as McCrory's top jobs adviser

February 7, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Tony Almeida is leaving his position as Gov. Pat McCrory's senior adviser for jobs and the economy. Almeida says he is retiring to spend more time with his family, including his ill mother. Three other key  members of McCrory's administration have departed over the last five weeks.

White House picks Raleigh for climate change research hub

February 6, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh was selected as one of seven climate change research hubs to help farmers adapt to weather-related changes. The Southeastern Regional Climate Hub, actually a consortium of more than two dozen agencies and organizations, will be located at N.C. State University's Centennial Campus. 

Clay Aiken to announce campaign for Congress today

February 5, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Singer and Raleigh native Clay Aiken is expected to announce today he will run for Congress. Aiken says jobs and the economy will be important themes in his campaign for North Carolina's 2nd District. He will face former Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and professional counselor Toni Morris of Fayetteville in the Democratic primary.

NCDOT fined for seizing land protected by bankruptcy law

February 4, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A federal bankruptcy judge in Raleigh has fined the North Carolina Department of Transportation for condemning a half-acre of land in Concord where it is building a highway extension. The owners of the property had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2010, which should have prevented the DOT from seizing the land.

State commission updates fracking standards

February 3, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Mining and Energy Commission determined that natural gas wells must be drilled a minimum distance of 650 feet from buildings, homes and water wells, extending the minimum safe distance from 500 feet as dictated by the previous rules. Commissioner Charles Holbrook was the only opponent to the change, claiming the new standards are too strict.

State leaders to begin formal government reform study

February 3, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Gov. McCrory's administration will hire a consultant to review the state government's organizational structure and the functions of state agencies. The objective of the North Carolina Government Efficiency and Reform initiative is to look for ways to save money and improve services. A consutant for NC GEAR will be hired by the end of the month, and its report is due Feb. 2015.   

Cost of winter storm not yet known; state to focus on replenishing resources

January 31, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The cleanup cost of this week's winter storm is still unknown, and Gov. McCrory says the storm exceeded the state's expectations in some areas. Tony Tata, secretary of the state Department of Transportation, said his agency's priority now is replenishing sand, salt and brine in order to be prepared for future storms. 

NC Education Lottery earns 10% more in second half of 2013

January 30, 2014

(The Winston-Salem Journal)

The North Carolina Education Lottery earned $251 million during the second half of 2013, $23 million more than during the same period in 2012. Executive director Alice Garland says the lottery's goal is to post annual earnings of more than $500 million when the state's fiscal year ends June 30.

State may bring in up to $30 million from Amazon sales tax collections

January 29, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

An economist from the state Fiscal Research Division predicts Amazon's decision to collect sales tax in North Carolina could bring in $20 million to $30 million in state tax revenue, and $10 million to $13 million for city and county governments. The online retailer begins collecting N.C. sales tax Feb. 1. 

Former Charlotte news anchor Vince Coakley to run for Congress

January 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Former news anchor at Charlotte's WSOC-TV Vince Coakley will run for the 12th Congressional District seat vacated by Mel Watt. Coakley is the first Republican to enter the race in the heavily Democratic district; six Democrats are also running for the seat.