Daily dose

Is it possible we have arrived at a point in history where good Republicans are a dying breed?

SEQUESTER FESTER DAY 62
Sequester delays force sudden unemployment cuts (McClatchy Newspapers) -- Thousands of jobless Americans could see their unemployment checks shrink by as much as one-quarter because their states have been slow to implement across-the-board federal spending cuts.
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/04/30/190017/sequester-delays-force-sudden.html#emlnl=Daily_News_Update

Sequester hits meal plan for elderly (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) — Sequester — the answer to the ultimate federal budget stalemate — has reduced funding for a local program that provides meals to the elderly.
http://www.dailyadvance.com/community/perquimans/sequester-hits-meal-plan-elderly-1969305

LEGISLATURE
Environmental retreat clears first NC Senate vote (AP) — A bill requiring local governments and state agencies to roll back environmental regulations passed its first full vote in the North Carolina Senate on Wednesday.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/environmental-rollbacks-clear-first-nc-senate-vote-1969301

Senate OKs 'one-size-fits-all' environmental reform (WRAL-TV) -- The Senate has tentatively approved Senate Bill 612, a proposal that would forbid localities from having any environmental rules more stringent than state or federal law.
http://www.wral.com/senate-oks-one-size-fits-all-environmental-reform/12400363/

Stein: "NC is not a banana republic' (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Over objections of Democratic lawmakers, a Senate committee approved legislation Wednesday to end the state’s 6-year-old renewable energy program. Opponents of the bill loudly voted “No!” to show their frustration at the Republican chairman’s decision not to count individual votes. In what was clearly a razor-thin margin, both sides said they would have won if votes had been counted. “North Carolina is not a banana republic,” Democratic Sen. Josh Stein of Wake County, one of the no votes, said after the meeting. “That was no way to run a proceeding.”
http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/stein_nc_is_not_a_banana_republic

NC Senate panel shoves through renewables repeal (AP) — An effort in the North Carolina legislature to repeal renewable energy mandates for electric utilities has found new life in the Senate a week after a House committee turned back a similar measure.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-senate-panel-pushes-through-renewables-repeal-1969129

Hasty vote advances Senate bill on renewables rollback (WRAL-TV) -- Amid protests from some members seeking a show of hands for a vote, Senate Finance Committee Co-Chairman Bill Rabon quickly adjourned a Wednesday meeting after declaring that a bill to freeze and repeal the state's renewable energy standards had enough support to advance.
http://www.wral.com/hasty-vote-advances-senate-bill-on-renewables-rollback/12400478/

Energy efficiency state mandates could be overturned (News14-TV) -- A state law mandating energy efficiency by utility companies is looking to be reduced and overturned by proposals in the current General Assembly. The proposal is stalled, if not stopped, on the House side. The Senate has given the idea new life, passing it out on committee Wednesday. A packed house was on hand to hear why some state lawmakers are looking to remove North Carolina's 2007 renewable energy standards. In the crowd was hog farmer, Thomas Butler, whose farm is one of six sites in the state doing swine energy projects. He is trapping methane to use to create electricity. He said repealing the standards could hurt his industry.
http://triangle.news14.com/content/top_stories/693585/energy-efficiency-state-mandates-could-be-over...

Five arrested outside NC Legislature at May Day protest (AP) -- Five people have been arrested in front of the Legislative Building during a march through downtown Raleigh by worker and immigrant rights advocates protesting North Carolina Republican policies.
http://www.wral.com/5-arrested-outside-nc-legislature-at-protest/12401527/

Rep. Ross leaving Legislature for Triangle Transit (AP) — Democratic legislator Deborah Ross, an outspoken advocate of women's rights and other progressive causes, is resigning from a Legislature where Republicans hold a supermajority in both chambers and taking a job with an agency that provides mass transit.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/rep-ross-leaving-legislature-triangle-transit-1969319

Rep. Deborah Ross stepping down (WRAL-TV) -- State Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, is resigning her post to take a job as general counsel for the Triangle Transit regional bus service. Former legislator Grier Martin announced his intention to seek the seat.
http://www.wral.com/state-rep-deborah-ross-stepping-down/12399182/

N.C. State Rep. Ross: I wanted a positive environment (Triangle Business Journal) -- While it caught a few people familiar with Jones Street by surprise, Democratic state Rep. Deborah Ross’ decision.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/2013/05/nc-state-rep-ross-i-wanted-a.html

Democrat Ross to leave legislature (Raleigh News & Observer) -- State Rep. Deborah Ross, an outspoken Democratic voice, announced Wednesday she is resigning to take a new job, saying she would be “more effective in serving the public outside of the legislative arena.”
http://newsobserver.com/2013/05/01/2863968/democrat-ross-to-leave-legislature.html

NC legislature agrees to mandate for newborn test (AP) — The General Assembly has agreed all North Carolina hospitals should be required to assess newborns for heart defects using an inexpensive test.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-legislature-agrees-mandate-newborn-test-1969143

New abortion bill goes to House floor (WRAL-TV) -- House GOP leaders are backing a bill to ban sex-selective abortions. Critics say it's addressing a problem that doesn't exist in NC, and encourages racial bias.
http://www.wral.com/new-abortion-bill-goes-to-house-floor/12399587/

NEVER MIND? Pittman apologizes to Tillis (WRAL-TV) -- Rep. Larry Pittman apologized for remarks in which he suggested House Speaker Thom Tillis would not move certain bills because of political ambitions.
http://www.wral.com/pittman-apologizes-to-tillis/12400487/

NC House member steps back from online video comments (AP) — A North Carolina House Republican has apologized for his remarks criticizing Speaker Thom Tillis over how some bills filed by conservatives haven't been heard.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-house-member-steps-back-online-comments-1969141

Rep. Pittman apologizes to House Speaker Thom Tillis for damaging remarks (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Republican lawmaker Larry Pittman apologized Wednesday to House Speaker Thom Tillis for questioning his conservative credentials in a recent tea party forum. "While we do still have some disagreement about process, I have done damage to his reputation in a manner in which I did not consider at the time," Pittman said in a letter released to the media from his legislative office. "I regret that this has damaged our friendship, and I ask for his forgiveness, not for the disagreement, but for the manner in which I handled it."
http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/rep_pittman_apologizes_to_house_speaker_thom_tillis_...
UNCW chancellor opposes bill to allow concealed weapons on campus (Wilmington Star-News) -- Proposed legislation would allow people to bring weapons on campus but keep them locked in a car.
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130501/ARTICLES/130509985/1015/news01?Title=UNCW-chancellor-...

Classmates rally around high school student who left gun in car (WRAL-TV) -- The Princeton High School community is rallying around a student who was arrested and expelled for having an unloaded shotgun in his car in the school's parking lot.
http://www.wral.com/classmates-rally-around-princeton-student-expelled-for-gun-in-car/12401713/

Bills loosening alcohol sales go to NC House floor (AP) — Legislation freeing up alcohol sales in stadiums and retail locations are headed to the House floor.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/bills-loosening-alcohol-sales-go-nc-house-floor-1969051

NC charter school board ready for Senate debate (AP) A bill that would create a new panel for managing North Carolina's growing number of charter schools is now heading to the Senate floor.
http://www.wral.com/nc-charter-school-board-ready-for-senate-debate/12402310/

NC House immigration bill passes first committee (AP) — A bill granting driving privileges to those in the country illegally and authorizing Arizona-style detainment measures passed its first North Carolina legislative committee test Wednesday.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-house-immigration-bill-passes-first-committee-1969083

Immigration proposal softened in House committee (WRAL-TV) -- Legislation that would provide North Carolina driver's licenses to people in the U.S. illegally while also authorizing detainment measures similar to those used in Arizona passed its first test in the General Assembly on Wednesday.
http://www.wral.com/immigration-proposal-softened-in-house-committee/12401173/

North Carolina Chamber Applauds RECLAIM NC Act (N.C. Political News) -- Lew Ebert, president and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber, announced that the organization is encouraged by the advancement of House Bill 786: RECLAIM NC Act. The Chamber supports the efforts of Rep Harry Warren and N.C. House leadership to promote legislation would enact statewide, immigration reform that would ensure a readily available workforce, while addressing immigration legality issues.
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=1525

House panel rolls dice on backing nonprofit casino nights (WRAL-TV) -- A divided House Commerce Committee backed legislation Wednesday that would allow nonprofits to stage casino nights as fundraisers up to four times a year in restaurants or other facilities that serve alcohol.
http://www.wral.com/house-panel-rolls-dice-on-backing-nonprofit-casino-nights/12399316/

Asheville water bill headed to the governor (WRAL-TV) -- Management of the city's water system would move from Asheville to a regional authority under a measure that was given final legislative approval Wednesday.
http://www.wral.com/asheville-water-bill-headed-to-the-governor/12400749/

Growler bill, in-stand beer sales approved by House committee (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A trip to the grocery store may soon include a growler fill along with the carton of milk. A House panel approved a bill Wednesday to allow retailers such as grocery stores and beer specialty shops to fill half-gallon jugs known as growlers from a beer tap, just the state's growing list of craft breweries can do. South Carolina allows a similar practice. "With our burgeoning craft brew industry, what this bill would allow is the same thing to happen here in North Carolina," said sponsor Chuck McGrady, a Hendersonville Republican.
http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/growler_bill_instand_beer_sales_approved_by_house_co...

POLICY & POLITICS
GOV PLAYS GOLF: Found in Quail Hollow media tent: NC Gov. Pat McCrory (Charlotte Business Journal) -- If anyone needed North Carolina's governor this evening, he could be found in the all-but-empty media center at Quail Hollow Club. That’s where I bumped into Pat McCrory after he had completed a pro-am round with 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson and Wells Fargo Championship tournament chair Mac Everett. Asked how he scored at Quail Hollow, the governor laughed and said, “I have no idea. I did make four pars in a row, but I can’t say about the rest of the round.” Pause. “I proved that I need to spend more time in the governor’s office. Or that I have spent plenty of time in the governor’s office and I haven’t spent enough time on the golf course.”
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/queen_city_agenda/2013/05/found-in-quail-hollow-media-tent...

LOD: New Elections Board (Democracy North Carolina) -- The new Republican-majority State Board of Elections took office today and quickly elected attorney Josh Howard as its chair. Partisan wrangling broke out over the selection of the new executive director to replace the 20-year veteran Gary Bartlett. Republicans have made it clear they would replace him, and their choice of Kim Strach created a partisan split among the new board members. The two Democratic members wanted more time to consider Strach’s background and sought to keep Bartlett for a few more weeks of transition time, but the three Republicans voted to move ahead. Strach is the current Deputy Director of Campaign Reporting for the State Board of Elections and led the Board’s investigations of House Speaker Jim Black, Ag Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps, Rep. Thomas Wright and many other political figures. Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina applauded her choice and said he respected her independence and commitment to seek the truth, based on how she had handled investigations following complaints filed by Democracy North Carolina over the past dozen years. In fact, she began a review of the irregularities related to over $235,000 donated by sweepstakes operator Chase Burns immediately after Hall showed her the results of Democracy NC’s March 18 analysis of Burns’ donations. Contrary to some reports, the new members of the Board did not need to immediately approve an investigation of the issues raised in the formal complaint Hall filed in April because the staff has already begun that inquiry. The test will be how the investigation proceeds and what happens if Strach seeks subpoenas or other authority from the Board to demand records that may implicate – or clear – the Moore & Van Allen lobbying/law firm where GOP Gov. Pat McCrory worked while he campaigned in 2012. The firm represented Chase Burns’ company and its lobbyists admit they hand delivered or mailed his donation checks to many legislators.
http://www.democracy-nc.org/2013/05/01/lod-new-elections-board/

Elections board picks new director (WRAL-TV) -- Kim Westbrook Strach will take over as director of the State Board of Elections on May 15. Josh Howard, a member from Wake County, will chair the board.
http://www.wral.com/elections-board-picks-new-director/12399549/

Strach in, Bartlett out at NC Board of Elections (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Kim Strach, who has worked for the state elections campaign staff for more than a dozen years, was named elections board director by the new Republican-controlled board.
http://newsobserver.com/2013/05/01/2862937/strach-in-bartlett-out-at-nc-board.html

Obama picks veteran Watt as housing finance head (AP) — President Barack Obama called on a Capitol Hill veteran seasoned in business, law and civil rights by naming U.S. Rep Mel Watt of North Carolina on Wednesday to head the federal regulatory body that oversees the two national mortgage lending behemoths behind most new mortgages.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/obama-picks-veteran-watt-housing-finance-head-1969283

Obama pick of Mel Watt to regulate mortgage finance sparks controversy (McClatchy Newspapers) -- The Obama administration’s selection Wednesday of a North Carolina congressman to head the government’s mortgage-finance regulator appears certain to spark a confirmation battle and renewed debate over the government’s role in backstopping home loans. Obama announced that he’d picked Rep. Mel Watt, a Democrat from Charlotte, to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Never heard of it? Don’t worry, most Americans haven’t, either.
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/05/01/190119/obama-pick-of-rep-mel-watt-to.html#emlnl=Daily_News_Update

Obama nominates Mel Watt for FHFA (Washington Post) -- If approved, N.C. lawmaker would direct powerful housing finance agency.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/obama-to-nominate-rep-watt-to-head-housing-finance-ag...

Obama Names Watt to Oversee Fannie and Freddie (New York Times) -- President Obama named Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, as the overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/business/obama-to-name-melvin-watt-to-oversee-fannie-and-freddie.h...

Obama nominates Watt to head Housing Finance Agency (Los Angeles Times) -- President Obama nominated Democratic Rep. Mel Watt to be the top regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, moving to replace a career bureaucrat who has been sharply criticized by liberals for not doing more to help troubled homeowners. But confirmation of Watt, a 20-year congressman from North Carolina, to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency is expected to be blocked by Senate Republicans.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-housing-watt-20130502,0,7548092.story

Obama Taps Watt for Housing Post (Wall Street Journal) -- President Obama said he would nominate Rep. Mel Watt, a North Carolina Democrat, to lead the regulator of mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323982704578455772559303236.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

N.C. Congressman, former lobbyist get housing, FCC nods (AP) — President Barack Obama acted Wednesday to fill two top regulatory posts, tapping a veteran Democratic congressman to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency at a pivotal time for the housing market and naming a top campaign fundraiser and former lobbyist to head the Federal Communications Commission.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/statef/congressman-former-lobbyist-get-housing-fcc-nods-1969321

Replacements for Watt begin lining up (WRAL-TV) -- Democratic legislators from Greensboro and Charlotte are lining up for a run at Rep. Mel Watt's 12th Congressional District seat. The Charlotte Democrat has been nominated for a post in the Obama administration.
http://www.wral.com/replacements-for-watt-begin-lining-up/12400271/

Scramble shaping up for Watt’s seat (Charlotte Observer) -- Voters in the 12th District could be looking at a crowded field in a special election to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Mel Watt.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/01/4014688/special-election-to-decide-watts.html

Obama nominates Watt to lead FHFA (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Ed Hanes is still in his first term in the N.C. House, but he’s thinking about running for the seat that U.S. Rep. Mel Watt, D-12th, will leave open should Watt win selection to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. President Barack Obama picked Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Wednesday. The agency oversees the government-controlled mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Hanes said Wednesday that he will be looking hard at whether to make a run for the seat.
http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/article_bd8c303c-b2c1-11e2-b5b8-0019bb30f31a.html

Watt likely to bring consumer focus to FHFA (Charlotte Observer) -- Should Rep. Mel Watt be confirmed as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the longtime Charlotte congressman could bring more of a consumer-advocacy focus to an agency that has so far been dedicated to sopping up losses, industry watchers say.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/01/4015886/watt-expected-to-take-more-expansive.html

OPPORTUNITY FOR McCRORY? Local setbacks vex some GOP governors eyeing 2016 race (AP) -- Republican governors are often seen as innovative policymakers and potential presidential candidates, but a few are struggling with political or ethical problems that might crimp their ambitions – and perhaps leaving an opening for North Carolina GOP Gov. Pat McCrory to assert himself on the national stage. Two governors eyeing possible White House bids — Bob McDonnell of Virginia and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana — suddenly find themselves fending off critics and trying to shore up legacies they hope will withstand national scrutiny. Other high-profile governors run the gamut from maintaining solid popularity to being in danger of losing re-election next year.
http://www.wral.com/local-setbacks-vex-gop-governors-eyeing-2016-race/12397713/

Governors, GOP Allies Clash Over Tax Cuts (Wall Street Journal) -- Republican lawmakers are blunting plans by GOP governors to reduce or eliminate income taxes, putting the legislators at odds with figures many in the party see as leading voices on reshaping government.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324743704578447300623483148.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

UNC-Chapel Hill to review how it deals with sexual assault cases (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A task force of students, faculty and staff will look at UNC-Chapel Hill’s handling of student-on-student complaints of harassment, sexual misconduct or discrimination.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/01/2863604/unc-chapel-hill-to-review-how.html

Classmates rally around high school student who left gun in car (WRAL-TV) -- The Princeton High School community is rallying around a student who was arrested and expelled for having an unloaded shotgun in his car in the school's parking lot.
http://www.wral.com/classmates-rally-around-princeton-student-expelled-for-gun-in-car/12401713/

NC district attorneys present plan for safer state(AP) -- North Carolina's district attorneys are unveiling a plan that they say will make the state safer.
http://www.wral.com/nc-district-attorneys-present-plan-for-safer-state/12402309/

McCrory to give Campbell Law commencement address (Triangle Business Journal) -- Republican Gov. Pat McCrory will take a break from the gubernatorial grind to deliver the commencement address at Campbell Law School on May 10 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2013/05/01/mccrory-to-give-campbell-law.html

Asheville water system move gets legislative OK (AP) — Republicans at the General Assembly have completed their work to transfer control of Asheville's water system over the objections of Democrats.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/asheville-water-system-move-gets-legislative-ok-1969281

North Carolina’s March County and Area Employment Figures Released (N.C. Political News) -- Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 99 of North Carolina’s counties in March and remained the same in one. All 14 of the State’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Graham County had the highest unemployment rate at 17.8 percent while Orange County had the lowest at 5.6 percent. Among the Metro areas, Rocky Mount at 12.5 percent experienced the highest rate and Durham-Chapel Hill at 6.7 percent had the lowest. The March not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 8.9 percent.
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=1533

Ellmers Addresses Hopkins Symposium on Human Trafficking (N.C. Political News) -- Congresswoman Renee Ellmers spoke this morning to the symposium on human trafficking hosted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=1527

New report will help farmers track fertilizer and diesel fuel costs (N,C, Political News) -- A new report from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services State and Federal Market News Service will help farmers track fertilizer and diesel fuel costs — two significant production expenses. The production cost report will be released each Friday. “The data is collected from various dealers to compile a price range and average in order to protect the anonymity of individual dealers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “With the planting season under way, this information will be especially timely for growers.”
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=1521

Congressman Jones launching economic growth initiative (N.C. Political News) -- Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) recently announced his plan to launch an economic growth initiative in Eastern North Carolina. In the coming months, Congressman Jones and his staff will host a series of events across Eastern North Carolina’s Third Congressional District, inviting residents to share their concerns with current government policies. The effort will focus on identifying specific obstacles to economic growth and developing legislative and regulatory proposals to remove those obstacles.
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=1517

Films spent $278 million here, earned $69 million last year (Wilmington Star-News) -- Tax credits paid by North Carolina are expected to be more than double than the previous year.
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130501/ARTICLES/130509994/1017/news01?Title=Films-spent-278-...

Lights, camera … and a $69 million N.C. rebate to movie industry (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Last year, film producers claimed $69 million in tax rebates from the state, including $20 million to “Iron Man 3.” Critics say the incentives don’t produce enough jobs.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/01/2863585/lights-camera-and-a-69-million.html

Film producers could get $70M in N.C. tax breaks (Triangle Business Journal) -- N.C. Department of Revenue data show that film, TV and commercial productions spent $275 million in North Carolina in 2012.
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/morning_call/2013/05/film-producers-could-get-70m-in-nc.html

Ramp meters could be answer to Triangle traffic woes (WRAL-TV) -- The North Carolina Department of Transportation is looking into the installation of ramp meters, which are signals along interstate ramps that control merging traffic.
http://www.wral.com/ramp-meters-could-be-answer-to-triangle-traffic-woes-/12400700/

2012 law could send flood insurance premiums soaring (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- Outer Banks real estate agents want changes made to a federal law that could hike home flood insurance premiums by thousands of dollars.
http://hamptonroads.com/2013/05/2012-law-could-send-flood-insurance-premiums-soaring

GENERAL NEWS
Study: Football Success Boosts Applications [with a Caveat] (Inside Higher Ed) -- A successful football season causes a 17.7 percent boost in applications to an institution, but the increase is more apparent among lower-achieving students (as measured by SAT scores), according to a new paper published in the journal Marketing Science. However, victories on the field do correlate with higher selectivity, with mid-level institutions improving their admission of students with average SAT scores by 4.8 percent, wrote Doug J. Chung, an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard University. To achieve a comparable bump in applications, a university would have to either decrease tuition by 3.8 percent or increase the quality of its education by recruiting higher-quality faculty who are paid 5.1 percent more, Chung said.
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2013/05/02/study-football-success-boosts-applications-caveat

Ron Francis among NC Sports Hall of Fame inductees (AP) -- Former Carolina Hurricanes player Ron Francis is one of 11 new inductees to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. Other inductees include UNC football player Kelvin Bryant, former UNC basketball coach Bill Guthridge, and former Cincinnati Reds second baseman Tommy Helms of Charlotte. Also being inducted are Marty Sheets, who holds 250 medals in the Special Olympics and tennis matriarch Mildred F. Southern. Other inductees are sports writer Bob Quincy, fast-pitch softball pitcher Wade Garrett, high school football coach Marion Kirby and former Green Bay Packer Rich McGeorge. One person is being honored posthumously — photographer and Grandfather Mountain owner Hugh Morton.
http://www.wral.com/ron-francis-among-nc-sports-hall-of-fame-inductees/12402293/

The Pilot Announces Changes to Paper, Website (Southern Pines Pilot) -- At a time when a lot of people are fearful of the changes that come with our ever-evolving technology, your crew here at The Pilot is embracing them as new opportunities – including revising the printing schedule to twice weekly – Wednesday and Sunday (eliminating the Friday edition) – and updating the website daily. The website will also undergo a redesign.
http://www.thepilot.com/news/2013/may/01/pilot-announces-changes-paper-website/

Daily News military reporter named Dart Award recipient (Jacksonville Daily News) -- A Daily News reporter has been named the recipient of a prestigious journalism award for his work published on a New York Times blog.
http://www.jdnews.com/news/local/daily-news-military-reporter-named-dart-award-recipient-1.135412/

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
Environmental retreat clears first NC Senate vote (AP) — A bill requiring local governments and state agencies to roll back environmental regulations passed its first full vote in the North Carolina Senate on Wednesday.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/environmental-rollbacks-clear-first-nc-senate-vote-1969301

Senate OKs 'one-size-fits-all' environmental reform (WRAL-TV) -- The Senate has tentatively approved Senate Bill 612, a proposal that would forbid localities from having any environmental rules more stringent than state or federal law.
http://www.wral.com/senate-oks-one-size-fits-all-environmental-reform/12400363/

Stein: "NC is not a banana republic' (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Over objections of Democratic lawmakers, a Senate committee approved legislation Wednesday to end the state’s 6-year-old renewable energy program. Opponents of the bill loudly voted “No!” to show their frustration at the Republican chairman’s decision not to count individual votes. In what was clearly a razor-thin margin, both sides said they would have won if votes had been counted. “North Carolina is not a banana republic,” Democratic Sen. Josh Stein of Wake County, one of the no votes, said after the meeting. “That was no way to run a proceeding.”
http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/stein_nc_is_not_a_banana_republic

NC Senate panel shoves through renewables repeal (AP) — An effort in the North Carolina legislature to repeal renewable energy mandates for electric utilities has found new life in the Senate a week after a House committee turned back a similar measure.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-senate-panel-pushes-through-renewables-repeal-1969129

Hasty vote advances Senate bill on renewables rollback (WRAL-TV) -- Amid protests from some members seeking a show of hands for a vote, Senate Finance Committee Co-Chairman Bill Rabon quickly adjourned a Wednesday meeting after declaring that a bill to freeze and repeal the state's renewable energy standards had enough support to advance.
http://www.wral.com/hasty-vote-advances-senate-bill-on-renewables-rollback/12400478/

Energy efficiency state mandates could be overturned (News14-TV) -- A state law mandating energy efficiency by utility companies is looking to be reduced and overturned by proposals in the current General Assembly. The proposal is stalled, if not stopped, on the House side. The Senate has given the idea new life, passing it out on committee Wednesday. A packed house was on hand to hear why some state lawmakers are looking to remove North Carolina's 2007 renewable energy standards. In the crowd was hog farmer, Thomas Butler, whose farm is one of six sites in the state doing swine energy projects. He is trapping methane to use to create electricity. He said repealing the standards could hurt his industry.
http://triangle.news14.com/content/top_stories/693585/energy-efficiency-state-mandates-could-be-over...

Duke Energy to market Middlesex industrial site (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- Duke Energy will be hiring a nationally known consulting firm to evaluate and market an industrial site in Middlesex to potential industries.
http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/business/duke-energy-market-middlesex-industrial-site-1969389

Certificate to build large N.C. wind farm is renewed (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Tuesday renewed a certificate to construct a 20,000-acre wind turbine farm in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. The state requires the certificate be renewed within two years of the Utilities Commission's first granting approval to build, according to an NCUC order made public Tuesday. But the project remains on hold.
http://hamptonroads.com/2013/05/certificate-build-large-nc-wind-farm-renewed

Green-energy groups slam Duke Energy in ad (Charlotte Observer) -- Greenpeace and NC WARN, a Durham advocacy group, attacked Duke Energy’s environmental record Wednesday in a full-page Observer ad the day before Duke’s annual shareholder meeting.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/01/4015105/green-energy-groups-slam-duke.html

Hagan works with industry on bill to strip water protections (ENewsPF) -- Last week, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, (D-NC), and Larry Wooten, president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau, announced new legislation that will be introduced to eliminate Clean Water Act permits required for certain applications of pesticides on or near waterways. The bill to be introduced by Sens. Hagan and Mike Crapo (R-ID) is called “The Sensible Environmental Protection Act (SEPA).” This is the latest in a string of attacks lobbied by industry to remove Clean Water Act protections for streams receiving pesticide discharges.
http://enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/42670-take-action-senators-work-with-...

Hydrilla: 'The Kudzu of the Water' (Coastal Review) -- More than 30 years ago, a little plant from Korea showed up in lakes around Raleigh. It now plagues canals and waterfronts in Edenton, is in the Roanoke and Chowan rivers and has been spotted in the Pasquotank River and on some shorelines along the Albemarle Sound. Biologists fear that pristine Lake Mattamuskeet and Lake Phelps could be next.
http://nccoast.org/Article.aspx?k=176fdcfc-9d90-4af6-91b1-0374d2c9b95d

Report: Water quality on the French Broad River (Carolina Public Press) -- As more is learned about the Tuesday wastewater spill on the French Broad River, our ongoing special report on the French Broad River, begun last July, can be found here. Our reports include everything from data on 18 months of water-quality violations to recent legal action regarding coal ash ponds located close to the river in Buncombe County.
http://www.carolinapublicpress.org/15125/special-report-water-quality-on-the-french-broad-river/

Sewage spill impacts appear minimal (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- Thanks to unusually high water flow in the French Broad River, the effects from a massive sewage spill Tuesday were minimal in Buncombe and Madison counties.
http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20130502/NEWS/305020027/Sewage-spill-impacts-appear-minimal

Hatteras Inlet still clogged, and NC ferries continue their long detour (Raleigh News & Observer) -- New shoaling keeps the main navigation channel closed between Hatteras and Ocracoke. NCDOT officials wait for more dredging to reopen the primary ferry route.
http://newsobserver.com/2013/05/01/2863610/hatteras-inlet-still-clogged-and.html

EDITORIALS
University officials say more guns on campus lead to more risk of harm (Wilmington Star-News) -- State lawmakers won’t be the ones under fire, so to speak, should a shooting occur on a college campus.
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130501/ARTICLES/130509956/1108?Title=Editorial-University-of...

Govs. Holshouser & Hunt - Keep justice fair for all (Wilmington Star-News column) -- As former governors, we often disagree.
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130501/ARTICLES/130509976/-1/opinion?Title=James-E-Holshouse...

Another indignity (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A measure to require drug testing of those who get help from a state assistance program for the poor is discriminatory, insulting, demeaning and reflects poorly on its sponsors.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/01/2863619/another-indignity.html

Statewide initiative on chronic pain should provide relief (Winston-Salem Journal) Chronic pain is such a difficult problem – by some estimates, afflicting over 116 million Americans - that too often leads to drug addiction and death. We’re all for a new initiative that is being implemented to address the problem.
http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/editorials/article_e48a8494-b2a4-11e2-85fc-0019bb30f31a.html

NC Senate Continues to Ease Regulatory Burden on Job-Creators (N,.C. Political News) -- The North Carolina Senate this week continued its ongoing efforts to reduce regulatory burdens on North Carolina businesses and create a better climate for private-sector job creation.
http://www.ncpoliticalnews.com/?p=1529

State should slow down on immigration law (Wilson Times) -- The 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the centerpiece provision of Arizona’s radical immigration law essentially gave a green light for other states to adopt similar hard-line measures.
http://www.wilsontimes.com/Opinion/Editorials/Story/20459022---State-should-slow-down-on-immigration...

Hospital bill is step in right direction for mental-health care (Winston-Salem Journal) -- A legislative bill calling for the building of a new state psychiatric hospital is long overdue.
http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/editorials/article_59914b70-b2a4-11e2-8903-0019bb30f31a.html

Guns in Restaurants? Guns on Campus? (Southern Pines Pilot) -- About those Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly who want a new law making it OK for concealed-carry permit holders to take their guns into restaurants where liquor is sold: They want to go back to the Wild West, right?
http://www.thepilot.com/news/2013/may/01/guns-in-eateries-guns-on-campus/

A bill that takes fish from Tar Heel plates (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- NC House Bill 983, misnamed the “Fisheries Economic Development Act,” would prohibit the commercial sale of red drum, speckled trout and striped bass by designating them “game fish” status.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/01/2863433/a-bill-that-takes-fish-from-tar.html

A welcome bipartisan green light for Foxx nomination (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- The nomination of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the U.S. Secretary of Transportation is a good move by President Obama and one issue on which both North Carolina senators agree.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/01/2863431/a-welcome-bipartisan-green-light.html

For Watt, a rough road to confirmation (Charlotte Observer) If Mel Watt were being evaluated on common sense criteria, his nomination to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency would get a quick nod from the U.S. Senate. But this is Washington, and Watt faces a battle for confirmation that has little to do with how well he’s equipped for the job.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/01/4015445/for-watt-a-rough-road-to-confirmation.html

How North Carolina evolved from the Rip Van Winkle state (Charlotte Observer column) -- How did the state rise from this humble status to be a progressive leader? Tom Lambeth recently spoke to the North Caroliniana Society, which was presenting him with its annual award for service to our state.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/01/4015561/how-north-carolina-evolved-from.html