NC Politics in the News

September 30, 2019

Pardon Our Dust

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Your weekly North Carolina political news report.


SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS: Drought arrives in Western North Carolina
A ban on backcountry fires in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was announced today following the release of a new drought map showing that 45 counties in central and western North Carolina are experiencing moderate drought. Moderate drought is the first category of four drought classifications, which progress from moderate to severe to extreme to exceptional.

WRAL TECH WIRE: Thought leaders: North Carolina can’t take its growing agtech hub for granted
North Carolina enjoys many advantages in agricultural technology, which has propelled its growth into a major agtech hub. But hanging on to that dominance requires continued investment and innovation, said panelists at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s September AgTech Professional Forum.

Economic Development

THE VIRGINIAN PILOT: Creative funding, collaboration help drive Raleigh area’s economic success
Leaders and stakeholders in North Carolina’s Research Triangle have a pretty simple goal in mind when it comes to growing that region — making sure the more than 100,000 college students in the area have a reason to stick around when they graduate.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: UNC board chairman resigns, citing fatigue and the need to focus on his businesses
Harry Smith will step down as chairman of the UNC Board of Governors on Oct. 1, opting for a less time-consuming and emotionally exhausting position as a regular member of the board, he said Tuesday.

CHANNEL 3000: Oprah donates $1.15M to help minority students succeed in college
Oprah Winfrey stunned a predominantly-female audience in Charlotte on Saturday by announcing she would donate $1.15 million to help minority students attend and succeed in college. Winfrey was speaking at the 17th annual Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon, where the United Negro College Fund was hoping to raise $1 million for North Carolina students.


ABC 11: New law requires North Carolina drivers to replace their license plates every seven years
Governor Cooper signed a bill into law on Friday that will require North Carolina drivers to replace their license plates every seven years. Under HB 211, the law states, “All registration plates shall be replaced every seven years.”


THE WASHINGTON POST: Holder-affiliated group launches new challenge to partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina
A nonprofit organization connected to former Obama attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. is launching a new challenge to partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina, filing a lawsuit Friday in state court seeking to throw out the state’s GOP-drawn congressional districts in time for the 2020 elections.


TRANSPORTATION TODAY NEWS: North Carolina DOT builds on strategic plan for increasing zero-emission vehicle numbers
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Secretary Jim Trogdon released a video last week, discussing a recently developed plan to increase the state’s number of zero-emission vehicles to at least 80,000 by 2025.

THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Commuter rail to York County? It could happen, CATS chief says
The Carolina Panthers’ pending move of its team headquarters and practice facility to Rock Hill, S.C., heightens speculation that a rail line could one day connect York County to Charlotte. It could happen, the Charlotte Area Transit System’s chief executive said this week.