NCDP Clips for Thursday, July 16th, 2015

NCDP Clips for Thursday, July 16th, 2015

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NC bill to shield Confederate memorials advances amid debate (AP) — Amid efforts across the South to remove public symbols of the Confederacy, members of the North Carolina General Assembly moved a step closer Wednesday to passing legislation that would protect Confederate monuments.

Professor questions use of Market House in Fayetteville logo (Fayetteville Observer) — A Chapel Hill professor of African-American studies wonders why Fayetteville has a "divisive symbol" on its seal.

Testimony continues on third day of NC election law trial (AP) — An expert testified that a 2013 election law affects black and Hispanic voters more than whites.

2013 N.C. voting law lowers turnout, experts testify (Winston-Salem Journal) — Getting 16- and 17-year-olds preregistered was good public policy that helped increase youth turnout in elections, a Duke University professor testified Wednesday in a closely watched federal trial in Winston-Salem on North Carolina’s controversial election law.

McCrory, Atkinson: NC funds for TAs should be flexible (WNCN-TV) – The question of whether there will be money to fund teaching assistants in the new state budget remained unanswered Wednesday because budget talks between the North Carolina House and Senate have yet to begin. In the meantime, Gov. Pat McCrory, State Schools Superintendent June Atkinson and others have let it be known they want that money to stay — but with conditions.

NC lawmakers pass bill to end development protest petitions (AP) — A bill eliminating a formal track for North Carolina homeowners to protest development in their communities passed the General Assembly on Wednesday and is headed to the governor, who will likely approve it.

Szoka brings technological answer to solar’s technological question (Fayetteville Observer) — Republican Rep. John Szoka of Cumberland County has been criticized by some on the radical right for sponsoring a bill that he says could vastly grow the amount of solar-powered electricity production in North Carolina. On Wednesday Szoka addressed one of the complaints by bringing the representative of industrial battery maker Alevo to the legislature to make a presentation about its products. Alevo’s batteries are designed to store electricity for utility companies, including electricity from solar farms and wind farms, to help them maintain a consistent supply.

Bill Would Allow For PeeWee ATV Operators (N.C. Health News) — Legislators are considering a provision that will allow 6-year-olds to operate certain all-terrain vehicles

Exemption for prison food purchases stirs objections (WRAL-TV) — Some counties would be able to bypass contracting rules when buying food for prisons under a trio of bills that cleared the state Senate on Wednesday. Some lawmakers objected they move could cut small, minority-owned businesses out of contracts.

NC legislature celebrates Watermelon Day with seed-spitting contest (Raleigh News & Observer) — Wednesday was Watermelon Day at the N.C. General Assembly, and while no politicians were willing to join a seed-spitting contest, plenty stopped by to sample the fruit.

Proposed ban on new recreational drugs heads to McCrory (Raleigh News & Observer) — The N.C. Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to add more recreational drugs to the state’s list of illegal substances – an effort to keep pace with drug users who are finding new ways to get high.


Elections board member Paul Foley resigns (WRAL-TV) — Hours after Gov. Pat McCrory called on him to step down, Paul Foley resigned from the State Board of Elections following disclosures he pressed for details in an investigation that involved one of his law firm’s clients. BOE Chairman Josh Howard announced Foley’s resignation early Thursday.

Watauga woman involved in suit to serve on county elections board (Winston-Salem Journal) – The State Board of Elections voted 3-1 Wednesday to appoint to the Watauga County Board of Elections a former member who is suing the state board. Stella Anderson will assume the Democrat seat on the three-member Watauga board when she is sworn in July 21. She replaces Kathleen Campbell.

Board of Elections Discusses Sweepstakes Investigation (TWCN-TV) — State Board of Elections executive director Kim Strach said staff did more than 200 interviews and reviewed 13,000 pages of documents in the two year investigation.

Diverse Group Works to Prevent Overdose Deaths (N.C. Health News) — As deaths from narcotic overdose climb in North Carolina climb, public health officials, activists, police and others are strategizing how to reduce deaths.

TALENT EXODUS CONTINUES: McCrory’s top education adviser leaving (Raleigh News & Observer) — Eric Guckian, Gov. Pat McCrory’s senior education adviser, is leaving that post at the end of the month to take a job with a national group.

ISIS insight? Tillis opts for Cheney, not Pentagon chiefs (AP) — Freshman Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina missed a hearing last week with senior Pentagon leaders on the threat of Islamic State militants and instead privately got insights on the group from former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Advocates to Put Pressure on McCrory for Medicaid Expansion (WLOS-TV) — Health care advocates across the state will gather Thursday to begin a push for Medicaid expansion. They want to put pressure on Gov. Pat McCrory to come-up with a plan to cover North Carolinians who do not have health insurance coverage.

North Carolina’s top job recruiter (WGHP-TV) — Much has been reported about North Carolina’s inability to attract an auto manufacturer when neighboring states (South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee included) have. “I think one of the things that may have held us back in the past is simply, as simple as it sounds, the lack of an available industrial site,” said Christopher Chung, executive director of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

Wilmington only large city in N.C. without council districts (Wilmington Star-News) — Wilmington’s mayor and three council members live close enough to each other they all share the same polling place

Spaulding runs NC gubernatorial ad taking on McCrory, Cooper (AP) — A candidate for North Carolina governor is running his first ad of the 2016 campaign.

Law commission OKs changes to strengthen sports agent act (AP) — An organization that works to standardize state laws is strengthening an act that bars sports agents from illegally luring college athletes into contracts.

Hayden Rogers, former House candidate, becomes lobbyist (Asheville Citizen-Times) – Hayden Rogers, unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. House in 2012, recently took a job as managing director of the Bockorny Group, a lobbying and consulting firm based in Washington.


NC Sweepstakes probe shows pay-to-play politics (Raleigh News & Observer) — The State Board of Elections found no laws broken by suspect contributions, but it did show the pay-to-play style of NC’s political system.

Clear conflict at N.C. Board of Elections (Charlotte Observer) — You’d have to be naïve to believe that an appointment to a state board isn’t a political perk that for some people goes beyond pure altruistic public service. Even so, any time a board member is not held to the highest ethical standards, the public’s trust in government takes another hit.

Leaders would end Confederate plates (Raleigh News & Observer column) — So the U.S. Open golf tournament is coming back to Pinehurst in 2024. When that year arrives, will anyone count how many Confederate flag license plates in North Carolina were issued since the tragedy in Charleston and after Gov. Pat McCrory said he wanted the issuance of those plates with the flag to be ended?

Infrastructure bond a must-have for N.C. (Rocky Mount Telegram) — Infrastructure is one of those nagging little bugs that we all know we should set aside time and money to address.

Don’t gamble with driver’s ed (Wilson Times) — As the dog days of summer wear on, so does the saga of controversial efforts to cut state funding for driver’s education.—Don-t-gamble-with-driver-s-ed

Paid sick leave helps small businesses (Raleigh News & Observer column) — My husband and I own a small take-out restaurant, bakery and catering company in downtown Raleigh called The Square Rabbit. We have been in business for 24 years.

What confidence? (Greensboro News & Record) — Faith in government depends on the integrity of people who make decisions and administer elections. That’s at risk.