July 24, 2014
Roll Call: Freedom Partners Dives Into North Carolina Senate Race: Freedom Partners, a group affiliated with the Koch Brothers, has purchased at least $2.8 million in airtime in North Carolina to boost the GOP’s bid to pick up the state’s Senate seat, two sources told CQ Roll Call. The airtime will benefit state Speaker Thom Tillis, who faces Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in a competitive race that could determine which party holds the Senate next year. Read more here.
Longer session tests Tillis, US Senate race: Instead of being able to focus full-time on unseating Democrat Kay Hagan, Thom Tillis is spending a key stretch of his U.S. Senate campaign managing North Carolina’s protracted legislative session. Read more here.
Today @NCCapitol (7/24): The next verse is the same as the first: There’s nothing concrete to hang our hats on here, but @NCCapitol has been told by several players in the budget negotiations between the House and Senate that the two sides are making progress on a deal. Read more here.
Poll finds Gov. McCrory steady as voters want more effort on teacher pay: There’s good news and bad news for Gov. Pat McCrory in the latest poll numbers. The Republican’s approval rating is stable – the good news. But for another consecutive month, more people disapprove than support him – the bad news. Read more here.
State budget battle leaves Wake teacher assistants in limbo: Lawmakers have not reached a budget deal as of Wednesday but say there is good dialogue between the Senate and House. At issue is how much to spend on teacher assistants and teacher raises. Read more here.
N.C. largest job-slashing machine in South: Mass layoffs, like that of Microsoft jettisoning 18,000 workers, were a frequent occurrence of the past, but in North Carolina it appears to be a reality of the present, as job cuts continued to be widespread in June. According to a report from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, North Carolina had the largest number of planned job cuts of all Southern states in June, with 1,494 layoffs. Its year-to-date figure of 7,559 job cuts was only behind Florida. Read more here.
Puppy mill survivors make friends at NC legislature: Puppy mill survivors and their owners walked the legislature’s halls on Wednesday to encourage senators to support a House amendment that would tighten regulations on commercial dog breeders in the state, thank supporters of the measure and perhaps get a belly rub. Read more here.
Black American Indians seek to honor their mixed ancestry: At the first gathering of the newly created National Congress of Black American Indians, organizers and attendees came to unite and celebrate individuals of both African and Native American ancestry — a subject often fraught with complicated questions of race, identity and citizenship. Read more here.
Health Insurers Set To Give Out More Obamacare Refunds: An obscure Obamacare feature may net health insurance customers $332 million this year. That’s the total insurance companies will have to give back to customers this year under an Affordable Care Act provision designed to keep companies from overcharging consumers, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday. Read more here.
Driller apparently wants to frack Meadowmont in Chapel Hill: Documents obtained by the Indy Wednesday show the company, which appears to be a small operation in Pittsburgh, made a similar request for mineral rights to the Chapel Hill Town Council last week. Their target? Roughly 51 acres of town-owned park land abutting Meadowmont, an upscale development on the border between Durham and Orange counties. Read more here.
ASU student interns with White House: While many students and recent grads use the summertime to relax, for one Appalachian State University student the summer will be spent working at the White House. Dylan Russell, a Watauga County Native and Appalachian State senior, is currently an intern at the White House. Read more here.
SolarBee deployment in Jordan Lake to begin today: State officials said that solar-powered water circulators are being installed today in Jordan Lake with the goal of reducing chlorophyll-a concentrations associated with algae in the lake. Thirty-six of the water circulators, known as SolarBee machines, will be placed at two locations in Jordan Lake to circulate the water in an effort to prevent algae from forming in the stagnant, warm water where it tends to thrive. Read more here.