NC Politics in the News

April 16, 2018

Pardon Our Dust

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Your weekly North Carolina political news report.

Economic Development

THE OUTER BANKS SENTINEL: In OBX speech, Cooper stresses need for educated workforce
In a speech that touched on several elements of his economic vision for the state, one line from Governor Roy Cooper’s remarks at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk may have generated the biggest response: “Not off our coast, you don’t.” Cooper, who spoke at an April 12 Economic Summit hosted by the OBX Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Towne Bank and the Willey Agency, was referring to the Trump Administration proposal that could open the waters off North Carolina to energy drilling. 


EDUCATION NC: Governor’s commission discusses school funding needs for sound basic education  
On Tuesday, the Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound, Basic Education held their second meeting at George C. Simkins, Jr. Elementary School in Greensboro. The commission, created by Governor Cooper’s executive order in November, has been tasked with focusing on issues highlighted in the decades-long Leandro case, including staffing schools with well-trained teachers and principals, and identifying the resources necessary to ensure all children have an equal opportunity to obtain a sound basic education.

THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: NC has spent more than $150 million to boost reading. Are these scores worth it?
North Carolina students have made little progress on reading despite a state program that has pumped more than $150 million into boosting young children’s skills, a new round of national exams released Tuesday shows.

Energy & Environment

WFAE RADIO: Duke Fined, Ordered To Speed Drainage Of Coal Ash Ponds At 3 Plants
The state Environmental Management Commission has finalized a $156,000 fine and ordered Duke Energy to speed up work to contain leaks at coal ash ponds at three North Carolina plants. That’s under a consent order approved Thursday by the state Environmental Management Commission in Raleigh.

COASTAL REVIEW ONLINE: Topsail Board OKs Anti-Drilling Resolution  
This town’s board of commissioners, citing the unacceptable risks to the area’s natural resources and tourism economy, voted Wednesday to approve a resolution opposing offshore drilling.

WUNC RADIO: Hog Waste In NC Has Been A Relatively Untapped Fuel Source. Until Now.
In late March, a project in the Eastern part of the state came online that has potential to turn every hog farm in North Carolina into a source of renewable natural gas, or what’s known as swine biogas. Biogas typically refers to methane created by the breakdown of organic matter. It can be made from food scraps, decomposing plants and animal waste. Swine biogas is methane that comes from hog waste.

WRAL: Cooper seeking $14.5M in state budget to address GenX
Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that he plans to include $14.5 million in his recommended budget to address health and safety threats posed by GenX and other emerging contaminants.

Health and Human Services

NC HEALTH NEWS: New State-funded Grants Available to Combat Opioid Crisis
Over the next month, community service organizations across North Carolina can apply for state-funded grants up to $150,000 to fight the opioid epidemic in their areas.

In the Courts

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Who controls Volkswagen settlement money? NC lawmakers win round in power struggle.
Republicans leading the General Assembly won the latest rounds in a protracted power struggle with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. 

WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL: Court to see if Greensboro church’s solar panels break electricity monopoly
North Carolina’s highest court is taking up a case that could force new competition on the state’s electricity monopolies.

WILMINGTON STAR-NEWS: Plaintiffs respond to Chemours, say GenX suit should advance
Lawyers in a class action lawsuit against Chemours and DuPont on Friday claimed the chemical companies “are once again playing fast and loose with the law and the truth” in a response to their motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit centered around the chemical GenX and others like it.  


GOLDSBORO NEWS-ARGUS: Governor launches highway safety campaign
Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to increase awareness that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.

THE ROBESONIAN: Panel brainstorms on traffic safety
Local leadership is the key to reducing traffic fatalities in Robeson County, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation secretary.