NC Politics in the News

August 9, 2021

Pardon Our Dust

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STAR HERALD: Rural population losses add to farm and ranch labor shortage
Rural America lost more population in the latest census, highlighting an already severe worker shortage in the nation’s farming and ranching regions and drawing calls from those industries for immigration reform to help ease the problem.

Economic Development

WRAL: Despite booming economy, labor shortage could be long-term problem in NC
North Carolina’s economy is booming. However, a worker shortage means businesses face a hiring challenge. What many hoped would be a temporary problem, is instead a sign of a generational challenge. The shortage may be long-term.

WBTV: Fast-growing Concord one of North Carolina’s top ten most populous cities
The City of Concord is one of the fastest growing cities in the state and region, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Concord’s strong economic growth, low tax rate, and high-quality education and health care continue to attract record numbers of new businesses and families to lay down roots in the city known for its high-performance living.


CBS 17: Education advocates call for more spending on NC Schools
Education advocates called for greater state spending on schools Friday as Republican legislative leaders begin negotiating a budget to send to Gov. Roy Cooper (D). The House of Representatives voted Thursday 72-41 in favor of its proposed spending plan for the next two years, calling for raises and one-time bonuses for teachers and other state employees.

ABC11: 60K students left North Carolina public schools in 2020: What’s driving the drop?
Around 68,000 fewer students were enrolled in traditional public schools during the 2019-2020 school year, according to the latest average daily membership data from the North Carolina Department of Public Education. The same data showed students attending charter schools across the state increased; adding around 7,000 more students between the 2019-20 to the 2020-21 school years.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: ‘A rallying cry’: What the UN’s new climate report means for North Carolina
From warmer nights to wetter hurricanes, North Carolinians have felt the impacts of climate change in recent years. A report released Monday by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change evaluated the most up-to-date climate science and determined it is “unequivocal” that climate change has been caused by humans’ emissions of greenhouse gases. 


WITN: 2 more North Carolina counties initiate face mask mandates
Two more county governments in North Carolina have announced face covering requirements in indoor spaces, citing the recent stark increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Guilford County and Orange County governments announced countywide indoor face mask mandates starting later this week for everyone, regardless of a person’s vaccination status.

SPECTRUM NEWS 1: North Carolina redraws political districts every 10 years. That process starts now
Each decade, the federal government does a complete census of the United States. The next year, states redraw the lines for congressional and legislative districts. Many local governments redraw their own political lines too. The population numbers normally come in early April, but delays from the coronavirus pandemic mean the data is months behind schedule. 


NORTH CAROLINA HEALTH NEWS: Local Residents Sue HCA, Alleging Overcharging at Mission Hospital
Since being acquired by the giant for-profit hospital chain HCA Healthcare, Mission Health and its Mission Hospital flagship have become the most expensive hospital system in North Carolina for many procedures, with prices often double the state average, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday against HCA Healthcare and its Mission Health subsidiary in Asheville.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Wake now offering 3rd doses of COVID vaccine. Who is eligible, and where to get a shot
Wake County will begin offering third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to people who are immunocompromised on Monday, the county said. Health officials cited new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the growing threat of the delta variant.

CAROLINA PUBLIC PRESS: Some health care workers balk at hospitals’ COVID-19 vaccine mandates
As coronavirus case rates continue to climb in North Carolina, some employees of six major hospital groups in the state are pushing back against the employers requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC lawmaker hospitalized after announcing his wife had COVID-19
N.C. Rep. Keith Kidwell is hospitalized Friday after writing on Facebook that his wife, Viki, has COVID-19. The Beaufort County Republican Party asked people to gather at 6:30 p.m. outside the Beaufort County Hospital to pray for the Kidwells, the hospital workers and other patients.

WAVY: NC is getting another congressional district, census data shows
As more people continue to flood into North Carolina, the more complicated our political landscape gets. New census data confirmed we are getting another congressional district, but now legislators have to figure out where to draw the lines.

SPECTRUM NEWS 1: Breaking down the bill that could make betting on sports legal in N.C.
Want to put down $20 on the UNC-Duke game? The odds of doing that legally in N.C. are improving. A new bill working its way through the state legislature could legalize sports betting in North Carolina. The bill would allow up to 12 companies to offer legal gambling on professional, amateur and college sports in North Carolina. It cleared the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee Monday with support from both parties.


GLOBAL CONSTRUCTION REVIEW: Hochtief joint venture wins $236m North Carolina road contract
Flatiron, the US subsidiary of Hochtief, will work in a joint venture with local firm Fred Smith Company on a $236.5m road-widening contract in North Carolina. Working on behalf of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the joint venture will add two travel lanes in each direction on Interstate 95 between exits 71 and 81, bringing the total to eight lanes.

TRANSPORTATION TODAY: State grants will assist North Carolina short line railroads
The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement program recently awarded approximately $10.2 million in matching grant funds to 12 short line railroads and the North Carolina Ports Authority to improve their rail infrastructure. The projects total $20.4 million statewide, and grants were awarded between $390,000 and $4.5 million.