NC Politics in the News

December 7, 2020

Pardon Our Dust

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WRAL: Local agriculture helps fuel a farm-to-table autumn harvest
In North Carolina, agriculture supports more than 700,000 jobs and has an economic impact of more than $90 billion annually — and for those in the industry, there is no real off-season. While the farmer’s market usually hits peak traffic every summer, harvests continue well into the fall and winter, largely thanks to the state’s lengthy growing season.

Economic Development

THE FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER: Pandemic shifts economic health rankings for tourism-driver counties
The N.C. Department of Commerce released new rankings this week revealing how the pandemic has impacted local economies. And these rankings aren’t just symbolic, as public funding opportunities are tied to how counties fared.  

THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Golden LEAF awards $2.4 million in funding to four counties
The board of directors of Golden LEAF Foundation has awarded more than $2.4 million in funding to support a variety of efforts in four North Carolina counties. A news release from the foundation says the board approved four projects on Thursday for workforce training, agriculture, and economic development in Mitchell, Rutherford, Wake, and Halifax counties through the Open Grants Program.


WXII12: North Carolina audit questions monitoring how coronavirus funds used for education
North Carolina’s education department failed to monitor sufficiently whether over $140 million in federal coronavirus relief money was used properly or met its intended purposes, according to a report from the State Auditor’s office released Wednesday. 

WRAL: Rapid coronavirus tests available to NC school districts
North Carolina school districts can now apply for a pilot program for rapid antigen testing for coronavirus, officials said Thursday. The state isn’t requiring schools to test students or staff, but districts that want to can sign up for the new program in partnership with local health officials.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: COVID-19 has been a ‘disaster for education.’ NC leaders warn learning gaps will widen.
North Carolina education leaders warned Tuesday that fewer students could graduate and more students may have to repeat the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has altered how the state’s 1.5 million public school students have learned since the spring, with schools reporting absences are up and grades are down. 


WBTV: Hand-to-eye recount to begin as Newby leads by 400 votes in race for N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice
Republican Paul Newby leads Democrat Cheri Beasley by 401 votes out of nearly 5.4 million cast in the North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice race after a statewide machine recount. Officials with the N.C. State Board of Elections say all 100 North Carolina counties completed that initial statewide recount. 


WRAL: Cooper, Cohen: Further state actions may be necessary as NC’s coronavirus numbers keep climbing
Gov. Roy Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen, North Carolina secretary of Health and Human Services, signaled that the state could soon take more actions to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, even as records were set both Saturday and Sunday for new cases and hospitalizations.


ABC 11: Gov. Cooper announces bipartisan task force to address health care coverage
Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Friday the formation of a bipartisan task force to discuss enhancing health care. “I think this pandemic has also shown how our state can come together,” Cooper said. “And I’m proud that North Carolina has responded in the way that we have. Our healthcare providers have gone above and beyond.”

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: COVID-19 spike in Wake County outpaces over the past week
The Triangle has not been exempt from the post-Thanksgiving surge in new COVID-19 cases, according to data reported by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. In the week from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6, there were 3,824 new COVID-19 cases in the Triangle, up from 2,904 during the preceding week. 


CHAPELBORO: Chatham County Rep. Reives Chosen To Lead NC House Democrats in 2021
A state representative for Chatham County will serve as the new minority leader for the Democratic party in North Carolina’s House of Representatives. The incoming House Democratic Caucus selected Chatham County and Durham County representative Robert Reives on Thursday to lead the party within the chamber.

CNN: Republican Mark Walker jump-starts 2022 Senate battle in announcing North Carolina bid
North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker announced his 2022 Senate bid on Tuesday, jump-starting a long primary for a rare open seat that will be crucial to the future control of the chamber.


SPECTRUM NEWS: Post-Coronavirus Growth Likely in Science & Technology Sector
From a small metal emitter, an arc of plasma reaches down to a stainless steel disc, meant to simulate the rail of a hospital bed. Within 90 seconds, virtually every virus and bacterium on the surface will be destroyed. It’s the result of a decade’s work at Morrisville-based APJeT, Inc. on atmospheric plasma technology.


SPECTRUM NEWS: Amtrak Expanding Service in N.C. with Major Projects in Development
Like all travel industries, Amtrak has had to make changes during COVID-19. However, train service is still on track to increase in North Carolina, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.

THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: ‘Bold’ transportation plan for Charlotte calls for sales tax increase, other funding
A Charlotte advisory group Thursday night recommended an ambitious multi-billion-dollar plan in transportation investments paid for, in part, through a higher sales tax and possible property tax hike. The plan would pay for improvements to virtually every mode of transportation — from buses, light rail and roads to greenways and bike lanes.