NC Politics in the News

March 16, 2020

Pardon Our Dust

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During this pandemic, our local food banks are relied upon now more than ever. As more and more of our community members are being asked to stay home and the number of schools, businesses, and non-profits shutting down their operations continues to rise, food insecure families continue to face the question, where is my next meal going to come from? Our local food banks, like the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, can really use your help! This month, for every $1 donated, Food Bank CENC is able to provide 10 meals. For more information on the community services affected by the coronavirus outbreak, click here, or to donate, click here. From the entire MWC team, stay safe and stay healthy!


NORTH CAROLINA HEALTH NEWS: Need food during your coronavirus quarantine? NC farmers want to provide it. 
One institution that’s strong in North Carolina is the local food system. The state has one of the most robust farmers market networks in the country, with more than 230 markets and roadside stands scattered across more than half of the state’s counties. But many markets around the state this past weekend looked different, as restrictions related to gatherings of more than 100 people took effect in the wake of a gubernatorial emergency declaration.

THE SAMPSON INDEPENDENT: Small Farms Week starts March 22
There are approximately 43,000 small-scale farmers statewide, and in honor of their accomplishments, pioneering work, and technological advancements, the state of North Carolina recognizes the week of March 22-28 as North Carolina Small Farms Week. The theme for the 34th Annual North Carolina Small Farms Week is “Inspiring Farmers, Sustainable Farms.”

Economic Development

THE LAURINBURG EXCHANGE: US government OKs letting SC tribe build NC casino
The South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation has received permission from the federal government to build a casino and resort on land over the border in North Carolina. The U.S. Department of the Interior approved in writing Thursday the American Indian tribe’s request to use 16 acres (6.5 hectares) near Interstate 85 in Kings Mountain, just west of Charlotte.

TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: Coronavirus a blow to economic development – but may have silver lining for NC
As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, it’s threatening major economic development projects across the nation. That’s according to Tom Stringer, head of the site selection and business incentives practice at BDO, who says he’s seen two of the projects he was working on “postponed” because of the coronavirus.


CITIZEN TIMES: WNC districts prepare for virtual learning, meal service as schools close
Gov. Roy Cooper has proactively closed all North Carolina K-12 schools, starting March 16, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. “This is the decision that no one wanted to see happen,” state Superintendent Mark Johnson said. “But it is the right decision.” The state and school districts began preparing for this eventuality in the last week. Cooper announced the decision, made by executive order on March 14.

ABC 11: Durham school offers reading program for students on Facebook Live during coronavirus pandemic
While kids are at home for the next few weeks, one school is hoping to make sure your child has a good storytime. The North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM) is rolling out a new initiative that allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to read children’s books on Facebook Live.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC Gov. Cooper issues executive order: No mass gatherings, no school due to coronavirus threat
With more than two dozen cases of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — in North Carolina, , Gov. Roy Cooper Saturday announced an executive order to stop mass gatherings of more than 100 people. He also directed that K-12 public schools across the state close for at least two weeks, beginning March 16.

WXII 12: North Carolina Legislature scales back activity because of coronavirus
The North Carolina General Assembly postponed on Thursday government oversight committee meetings and cancelled student tours for at least three weeks as precautionary measures against coronavirus. Top staff for legislative leaders released directives that should lessen foot traffic dramatically at the Legislative Building complex through the end of March.


WLOS: NC Attorney General Gives HCA Healthcare until the end of March to answer concerns
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is giving HCA Health Care more time to answer questions his office has raised about Mission Health. In February, Stein sent HCA a five-page letter asking the company to respond to complaints to his office on the quality of care at Mission Health, as well as charity care and patient billing.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Coronavirus cases rise to 33 in NC. Some local parks, libraries to close. 
The number of coronavirus cases in North Carolina has jumped to 33 as state leaders hope more stringent precautionary measures will slow the spread of the disease. The state Department of Health and Human Services posted on its website Sunday that the state now has 32 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. In addition, Wilson County reported Sunday it had its first COVID-19 case, bringing the state’s total to at least 33 cases.


GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY: Ransomware Attack Hits North Carolina City, County Governments
Both the city and county of Durham were struck simultaneously late Friday, but pre-existing response plans allowed government officials to save their systems from a more catastrophic result, officials said.


COASTAL REVIEW: Dorian’s Cost to Ferry Division Tops $4M
Ferry service employees had to work quickly after Hurricane Dorian to adapt in order to keep the response moving to a devastated Ocracoke Village, North Carolina Department of Transportation officials told a legislative panel last week. The House Transportation Oversight Committee met Thursday to hear an update on the NCDOT Ferry Division’s hurricane response as part of an overall departmental review going into this year’s short session of the legislature.