NC Politics in the News

April 2, 2018

Pardon Our Dust

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Your weekly North Carolina political news report.

Economic Development

WILMINGTON STAR-NEWS: County, city to hold National Gypsum votes

County and city leaders likely will approve incentive packages this week aimed at enticing National Gypsum to re-open its Wilmington plant.

WILMINGTON STAR-NEWS: Port of Wilmington welcomes huge new cranes

As the Port of Wilmington’s two new massive cranes — larger and longer than the port’s formerly biggest models — passed by Southport and arrived at the port, officials beamed and hopped from foot to foot like kids on Christmas morning.


THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Project LIFT’s work on CMS schools has been hailed and heckled.  Now it’s evolving. 

It looked like the end of Project LIFT.  Last week Clayton Wilcox, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, released his revamped administration plan. Gone was the special zone created for the $50 million public-private partnership that set out to transform West Charlotte High and its feeder schools.

THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Swap freedom for safety? Police chief wants to ‘wand’ all who enter CMS schools

All Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools should restrict entry to one point and “wand” all who enter, whether students or adults, Police Chief Kerr Putney told concerned parents Thursday.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC’s newest political party is Green. Here’s what you need to know about it.

The Green Party is North Carolina’s newest official political party, joining Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians with state recognition.

Energy & Environment

WILMINGTON STAR-NEWS: Sutton’s coal ash exceeded groundwater standards hundreds of times

A pair of coal ash basins at Duke Energy’s Sutton Steam Plant site leached toxic metals into groundwater at levels above state standards on hundreds of occasions between June 2016 and September 2017, according to a StarNews analysis of 2,400 pages of data reported by the energy giant.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: New owner of NC dams wants power sale forced on Duke Energy

The new owners of North Carolina dams that were the prize in a long-running fight with the state asked on Thursday that Duke Energy Corp. be forced to buy the hydropower generated.

WINSTON SALEM JOURNAL: Pig poop now helping power Duke Energy plants

Duke Energy Corp. is finally converting methane gas from North Carolina’s plentiful hog operations into gas that could be burned at electric power plants.

Health and Human Services

WILMINGTON STAR-NEWS: In battle against opioid addiction, Wilmington forms overdose team

The city will soon ask private contractors for bids to serve as a quick-response team to help people who have overdosed on opiates find treatment.

NC HEALTH NEWS: Vidant Rolls Out New Virtual Care Model

As snowstorms and the flu virus hit North Carolina earlier this year, officials at Vidant Health thought it would be a good time to roll out their new virtual doctor visits.

In the Courts

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Industrial-scale pork on trial in federal nuisance lawsuits

Drive past clustered hog sheds containing thousands of animals in the country’s No. 2 pork-producing state on the wrong day and the reason hundreds of North Carolina neighbors are suing in federal court is clear: it really stinks.  

GREENSBORO NEWS & RECORD: State must ‘pay up’ for special master in gerrymandering suit, judges say

A three-judge panel has brushed aside objections from lawyers for the North Carolina General Assembly and ordered state government to pay $124,125 to the special master in a successful lawsuit against racial gerrymandering.

WRAL: Lawsuit: Marine Fisheries Commission violates open meetings law

Commercial fishermen’s ongoing beef with state regulators has taken a new turn: a lawsuit alleging repeated violations of North Carolina’s open meetings law.


THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: CLT cuts $1 million funding for airport bus, and CATS plans to end route

Charlotte Douglas Airport has pulled $1 million for an express bus route from Northlake Mall to the airport, saying there wasn’t enough riders to justify the cost.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: How far would you ride the bus? State plan looks beyond county lines.

When most people think of mass transit, they envision a city bus or perhaps a light-rail line like the one being planned between Chapel Hill and Durham. But the N.C. Department of Transportation has put out a long-range plan for transit in North Carolina that calls for public bus lines reaching out into rural parts of the state.