NC Politics in the News

January 9, 2023

Pardon Our Dust

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THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Dozens of dead vultures found in Fuquay-Varina. Is avian flu spreading in NC?
The mass deaths of the vultures is “almost certainly” due to the avian flu epidemic, said Mindy Wharton, a spokeswoman for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, a state agency.

Economic Development

WCNC: Business Facilities names North Carolina named ‘2022 State of the Year’ for economic development
Business Facilities magazine has recognized North Carolina as the 2022 “State of the Year” in economic development for the second time. The magazine, a preeminent publication on economic development and business recruitment around the U.S., also awarded the Tar Heel State this honor in 2021.

WRAL TECH WIRE: NC’s life science sector lands $2.1B in expansions plus 2,700 job commitments in ’22
Life sciences and related companies from around the world announced new or expanded facilities in 2022 that will bring more than $2.1 billion in investment and over 2,700 new jobs to North Carolina.


ABC 11: State agencies work to expand mental health resources for students as disturbing trends rise
According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, in 2021, 22% of high school students statewide reported they seriously considered attempting suicide within a 12-month span, up from 19% in 2019. On a larger scale, the percentage of high school students who said they feel good about themselves has plummeted during the past decade – from 80% in 2011 to just 49% in 2021.

WRAL: State Board of Education floats $100M for school social workers, nurses
The State Board of Education voted Thursday, without opposition, to make the requests, which include $100 million to fund 1,000 more nurses and social workers in most of the state’s counties. The board also asked lawmakers and Gov. Roy Cooper to fully fund the court-approved remedial plan in the long-running education adequacy lawsuit known as Leandro — an effort that would include the $100 million for nurses and social workers as well as about a billion dollars for additional educational resources.


CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL: North Carolina leads Southeast in rooftop solar, but Duke Energy rate changes may slow adoption
North Carolina leads the Southeast’s six states — excluding Florida — in rooftop solar installations and estimated jobs, according to a new study by the Southern Environmental Law Center. But that is likely to change this year.


WCNC: New NC legislative sessions brings raft of issues, unpredictable action
Several high-profile issues leftover from 2022 — including Medicaid expansion, medical marijuana and online sports gambling — will likely be front and center.

ABC 11: Battle brewing over top leadership appointments at UNC
There’s a new battle brewing over leadership at UNC System schools. Gov. Roy Cooper launched a new battle with Republicans at the legislature to win back power to appoint top-level leaders.


POST & TIMES: Treasurer Folwell announces contract award to a new third-party administrator for the State Health Plan
State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, and the State Health Plan (Plan) today announced the award of the Third-Party Administrative (TPA) Services Contract to Aetna. The Plan consists of nearly 740,000 teachers, state employees, retirees and their dependents. The administrative contract, awarded by the State Health Plan Board of Trustees, oversees health care spending of more than $17.5 billion over five years. The new contract reflects a partnership that focuses on transparency and lower costs, with the potential administrative cost savings over the course of the contract equaling $140 million.

BOARDER BELT INDEPENDENT: Hospitals see post-holiday rise in COVID-19 cases in North Carolina’s Border Belt
Southeastern North Carolina is seeing an expected increase in COVID-19 cases after the holiday season. But there is some good news: The number of reported influenza cases has dropped significantly since November.


WUNC: A North Carolina Congressman Flexes His Conservative Muscles
On Friday, Kevin McCarthy finally garnered enough support to become Speaker of the U.S. House. But on the long, tough road to that final successful vote, North Carolina Congressman Dan Bishop played a key role in the political chaos in Washington.


WRAL: Why didn’t ShotSpotter sensors notify Durham police of Sunday’s mass shooting?
ShotSpotter technology has been available for only two weeks in parts of Durham — but didn’t activate during a mass shooting over the weekend. WRAL News spent the day looking into why the ShotSpotter didn’t activate.


WRAL: VinFast, NCDOT seek federal approval for impacts to streams and wetlands at Chatham County site
A nonprofit is fighting plans for Vietnamese automaker VinFast’s factory in Chatham County because of potential harm to waterways. VinFast and the North Carolina Department of Transportation are trying to get federal approval for plans that would permanently impact nearby waterways. The 284-page permit application is under review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.