NCDP Clips for Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
N.C. REDISTRICTING CASE HEADS TO US SUPREME COURT (WRAL-TV) — A federal court in Greensboro has refused to put a ruling on hold that would require North Carolina to redraw much of its Congressional map before holding elections in those districts. The state has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
MOTION DENIED: STATE MUST REDRAW DISTRICTS BY FEB. 19 (Public News Service) — North Carolina is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant an emergency stay of a federal appeals court order for the state to redraw Congressional Districts 1 and 12 by Feb. 19, in advance of the March 15 primary.
REDISTRICTING CASE COULD DELAY N.C.’S PRIMARY (Roll Call) — By moving up all its primaries from May to March 15, North Carolina thought it would be playing a more pivotal role in this year’s presidential election. But a recent federal court ruling invalidating two of the state’s congressional districts threatens to delay this year’s earlier-than-normal primary and upend elections in which early voting is already under way.
POLICY & POLITICS
TEST RESULTS SHOW LITTLE EVIDENCE OF DRUG USE BY NC WELFARE RECIPIENTS (WRAL-TV) — The initial results of a drug testing program for some public assistance applicants are finding little evidence of widespread drug use among the poor in North Carolina.
IN ELECTION YEAR, LEGISLATORS LOOK TO CUT INCOME TAXES (Raleigh News & Observer) — State legislators could consider election-year income tax cuts that could save families up to $115 per year.
VOTER’S GUIDE TO THE HEALTH LAW (N.C. Health News) — Here is a brief guide to some things the Obamacare health law has — and has not — accomplished since it was signed by President Barack Obama in 2010.
NASHVILLE LAUNCHES FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND-PROGRAM IN N.C. (Wilson Times) — The Nashville Police Department launched a new program Tuesday designed to save lives by providing hope and resources to those addicted to prescription drugs and heroin.
EVENTS TO MARK ANNIVERSARY OF DEATHS OF 3 MUSLIM STUDENTS (AP) — A Muslim advocacy group is urging people to participate in three events honoring three college students who were shot to death in Chapel Hill last year.
SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES
WILSON ACADEMY OF APPLIED TECHNOLOGY: PREPARING STUDENT FOR FUTURE OF WORK (EdNC) — Nearly three years ago, Wilson County Schools embarked on a journey to design a new program to engage students while addressing a pressing need in the local workforce.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUNDING TEACHING ASSISTANTS (EdNC column) — For a number of years, the North Carolina General Assembly’s leadership has been reducing funding to school districts for teacher assistants. Their rationale is that the research shows little or no impact on student achievement of having a teacher assistant in the classroom with the licensed teacher. There are a number of problems with this rationale.
EDGECOMBE OFFICIALS SHOWCASE GLOBAL EDUCATION TO STATE BOARD (Rocky Mount Telegram) — Representatives from Edgecombe County Public Schools presented a report on global education last week before the N.C. State Board of Education in Raleigh.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
CITING HEALTH CONCERNS, SOME CUSTOMERS SAY NO TO SMART METERS (Raleigh New & Observer) — Duke Energy’s plan to roll out two-way smart meters to 3.2 million customers in North Carolina in the coming years is generating static from a vociferous minority of customers who say they are highly sensitive to radio frequencies and want nothing to do with the program. Charlotte-based Duke is planning to propose an opt-out fee in June for these customers who complain of headaches, ear-ringing, dizziness and nausea from exposure to wireless frequencies. But they might have to pay a steep price for the privilege, based on a similar request Duke has filed in Ohio.
OPPONENTS LAUD NEW DELAY IN SEISMIC TESTING (Outer Banks Sentinel) — Another delay in authorizing seismic surveys off the N.C. coast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is being welcomed by opponents, who are hopeful the slowdown in the permitting process and the additional opportunity for public comment may lead to a permanent moratorium on the procedure.
CRITICS: SHORELINE PERMITS NEED REFORM (Coastal Review) — In most cases, permits for bulkheads are pretty easy to come by in North Carolina. Federal and state regulators approve most with little review. Permits for living shorelines projects, however, can take months because regulators review each individually. Proponents of living shorelines have complained for years that this imbalance creates a disincentive for property owners to use a more natural form of erosion control that research is showing is better for the environment than bulkheads.
SUPREME COURT FREEZES OBAMA PLAN TO LIMIT CARBON EMISSIONS (Washington Post) — The decision puts on hold an ambitious program to tackle climate change while it is challenged in the courts.
GOP OVERREACH WILL BE TO BLAME FOR ANY DISRUPTION OF ELECTIONS (Raleigh News & Observer) – N.C. Republicans complain that a federal order to redraw district maps will disrupt the election, but they should have thought of that when they gerrymandered the districts.
RULING FUELS DEBATE FOR REDISTRICTING PANEL (Rocky Mount Telegram) — A federal judicial panel’s decision to toss out North Carolina’s congressional district map should hardly come as a surprise to anyone.
MORALITY, CLARITY, TRUTH: THE WORLD THROUGH WILLIAM BARBER’S EYES (Raleigh News & Observer column) — William Barber’s book, “The Third Revolution,” provides a compelling account of the cultural, spiritual and intellectual experiences that have shaped him. It is to Barber’s great credit that even though he “learned firsthand to fear white anger and the violence of white mobs,” he was able to transcend these experiences and see the quest for freedom in wider terms.
DG MARTIN: DISCARDING UNELECTABLE CANDIDATES, BUT NOT THEIR FANS (Winston-Salem Journal column) — When a party’s presidential candidate is out of the mainstream, many of that party’s candidates in North Carolina and other states lose races they would otherwise have won.
WHERE WOLF IS LEADING PA. (Philadelphia Inquirer column) — Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and North Carolina legislators have positioned the Tar Heel State to blow Pennsylvania away in the competition for new business, investment, and residents by significantly reducing and flattening personal and corporate income tax rates. North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and other economically successful states are cutting taxes, enacting regulatory reforms, giving workers the freedom to decide whether to join a union, and giving parents more options for providing a better education for their children. Compared with where Gov. Tom Wolf wants to take Pennsylvania, these successful states are moving in the opposite direction.
DUKE ENERGY GETS PALTRY FINE FOR MASSIVE COAL-ASH SPILL (Grist column) — How does Duke have so much power? It could be friends in high places: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) worked for Duke Energy for 28 years, and the company gave $3 million to his super PAC in 2014. In addition to the latest $6.6 million fine, the DEQ said Tuesday that it reserves the right to levy additional fines for violations associated with the spill. We won’t hold our breath.
FIXING INJUSTICES (Greensboro News & Record) — A record 149 exonerations were recorded in the United States last year, including five in North Carolina, the University of Michigan Law School reported last week.
STATE PARK USE RISING FAST; LET’S VOTE FOR ITS FUNDING (Fayetteville Observer) — Nature Deficit Disorder, that crankiness that arises when we spend too much time indoors, has an easy fix and North Carolina residents know it.