Daily dose


N.C. GOP legislation blasted in New York Times editorial (Greensboro News & Record) -- North Carolina politics got national attention again this week after The New York Times blasted controversial Republican legislation in an editorial. A spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory issued a response to the Times editorial Wednesday afternoon and said the governor plans to write to the paper's editorial board. “The New York Times editorial is riddled with errors, and maybe if they came to North Carolina, they would understand that Gov. McCrory remains 100 percent focused on the economy, education and government efficiency, as he has been for the first six months in office,” the statement said.


You know, maybe the fact that one reporter has already been arrested at the Legislature might sort of taint this invitation. And what about those from the UK and Los Angeles who have penned editorials? Shouldn't they be invited too?

Most frequently e-mailed & viewed articles -- Articles most frequently e-mailed & viewed by NYTimes.com readers. Last 24 hours – 1. The Decline of North Carolina -- Republicans are systematically dismantling the state’s reputation for progress and tolerance.


Dismantling the beacon of the South (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- In a lead editorial, the New York Times talks about the demolition derby going on in the NC legislature: North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, but Republicans have begun to dismantle that reputation.


Harsh national media spotlight trained on NC (WRAL-TV) -- A Wednesday editorial in The New York Times is the latest blow to North Carolina's reputation (WATCH: PR exec says protests, legislation tarnishing NC image) as a progressive state.


Gov. McCrory lashes out following New York Times editorial (NEWS14-TV) -- Gov. Pat McCrory and some state organizations are on the defensive after a scathing editorial in the New York Times. The Op-Ed piece, entitled The Decline of North Carolina, slams the Republican-controlled General Assembly for 'tearing down years of progress in public education, tax policy, racial equality in the courtroom and access to the ballot'. By Wednesday afternoon, the story was the most-emailed on the New York Times' website. A spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory issued a response to the Times editorial Wednesday afternoon and said the governor plans to write to the paper's editorial board. “The New York Times editorial is riddled with errors, and maybe if they came to North Carolina, they would understand that Gov. McCrory remains 100 percent focused on the economy, education and government efficiency, as he has been for the first six months in office,” the statement said. The governor downplayed any negative impact on the state's perception or ability to lure out of state business. "I think the major issue that businesses have is, 'Is your state stable financially and do you have a quality workforce?' I think these other peripheral issues, which are important, aren't as important to employers,” said Gov. McCrory. Political analyst Michael Bitzer believes the negative national coverage of the Tar Heel state will soon pass, unless divisive social issues drag on in Raleigh in the days ahead. "If they can’t end this issue, particularly on the abortion issue, fairly soon and fairly quick, it may have a lasting impact on companies and people looking at North Carolina,” said Bitzer.


North Carolinians: What's happening to our state? (Charlotte Observer) -- By 4 p.m., more than 1200 people had commented on the New York Times' website to its editorial.


Letters to the editor (Charlotte Observer) -- With North Carolina back in the national headlines, it now seems official: The cry of Mississippians everywhere is “Thank God for North Carolina.”


As some states seek new abortion rules, most voters not as resolute (Washington Post) -- Four decades after Roe v. Wade, the views of most of Americans remain complex and conditional.


Abortion Fight Flares in North Carolina (Wall Street Journal) -- North Carolina is considering new laws that would restrict the circumstances and types of places in which a woman could obtain an abortion, drawing protests and illustrating the recent rightward shift of a generally centrist state. The GOP-led state Senate approved a proposal just before the July Fourth weekend that the state health department said could close some of North Carolina's two dozen abortion clinics and require a doctor's presence for hours after a woman takes pills to induce an abortion.


North Carolina’s abortion-law sham (Washington Post Editorial) -- In pretending to promote safety, the actual accomplishment of these amendments would be to place an undue burden on women seeking abortions. Fewer clinics means less access to licensed, well-equipped providers. Where is the safety in that? These restrictions are disingenuous attempts to infringe on a woman’s ability to make constitutionally protected decisions in consultation with her doctor. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has rightly spoken out against the shoddy way these amendments were added to unrelated legislation at the 11th hour: “Regardless of what party is in charge or what important issue is being discussed,” he said in a statement last week, “the process must be appropriate and thorough.” In fact, disrespect for process is a disturbing commonality in many of these proposed restrictions and further evidence of their true intent. Any law that will limit women’s access to abortion and to much other health care deserves a public hearing. Honesty about the true motivation of these laws would be welcome, too.


Maryland’s Path to an Accord in Abortion Fight (New York Times) -- As a new flash point in the abortion debate focuses on regulating clinics, Maryland’s stricter oversight, spurred by the troubled practice of one doctor, has won rare praise.



House to debate latest version of abortion bill (NEWS14-TV) -- A new version of the controversial abortion bill will be up for debate among House lawmakers Thursday. It comes a day after a House committee approved the bill in a vote that came as a surprise to many. Gov. Pat McCrory threatened to veto the Senate version of the bill.


NC House comes up with new abortion bill aimed at avoiding veto (Raleigh News & Observer) -- House and Senate lawmakers stood their ground on different versions of a controversial abortion bill Wednesday. Gov. Pat McCrory threatened his first veto even as his administration and key House members were signing off on a rewrite of the bill.


Veto threat delays abortion bill (Greensboro News & Record) -- The twisted tale of a surprise abortion bill working its way through the N.C. General Assembly twisted even more Wednesday — with a threatened veto, followed by a bill rewrite that is expected to hit the House floor today.


Governor McCrory Releases Statement on HB 695 (News Release) -- Unless significant changes and clarifications are made addressing our concerns that were clearly communicated by DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, Governor Pat McCrory will veto the existing bill, HB 695, if it is passed by the House and Senate.


Gov. threatens veto (Wilson Times) -- While Gov. Pat McCrory was in Wilson Wednesday morning to congratulate Wells Fargo for expanding their loan program to farmers, he also had some words of warning for legislators. Unless significant changes and clarifications are made addressing his concerns, he would veto the existing abortion bill.


House adds surprise abortion provisions to motorcycle safety bill (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- In another surprise move surrounding controversial abortion legislation in the state General Assembly this week, House members have tacked on revised abortion restrictions to a motorcycle safety bill without public notice.


House committee approves new version of abortion bill (WRAL-TV) -- A bill placing restrictions on abortion clinics is now attached to a measure that started as a motorcycle safety bill. The new abortion language slightly tweaks a bill sent from the Senate in order to appease the governor.


Legislation passes requiring N.C. sex education to link abortions to preterm births (Fayetteville Observer) -- North Carolina schools' health education program could include a component on abortions and other activities that put women at risk of later premature births.


McCrory says he'll reject abortion measure (Bloomberg News) -- North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, R, said he would veto legislation imposing new restrictions on abortion clinics unless "significant changes" are made. The bill requiring abortion clinics to meet hospital-like standards passed the state Senate on July 3. A House committee heard testimony Tuesday without acting. The proposal, which was attached to a bill intended to ban Islamic Sharia law, is similar to restrictions already approved or under consideration in other Republican-led state legislatures.


Republican Pat McCrory May Veto NC Abortion Bill (National Review) -- While Republican governors in Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin have been advancing pro-life legislation in recent weeks, one Republican governor might veto a bill making its way through the legislature. North Carolina’s Pat McCrory has threatened that he might veto a Republican-backed bill over concerns about legislative process. He promised in his 2012 campaign that he would not sign any new abortion restrictions into law. McCrory criticized the fact that the bill was attached to an unrelated measure and voted on in the state senate the next day. State lawmakers could override McCrory’s veto because they hold the necessary majorities, but the move would likely create tensions among Republicans in the state.


NC House committee OKs abortion bill fix (AP) — House Republicans sought on Wednesday to address troubles Gov. Pat McCrory found in an abortion bill by passing through a committee new legislation designed to clarify expanded physician responsibilities and higher clinic standards. The judiciary panel's approval of a substitute measure came on a 10-5 party-line vote in favor of the GOP and a couple hours after McCrory threatened to veto the bill that passed the Senate. His problems have centered on requirements that clinics be regulated like outpatient surgery centers and doctors must be physically present for abortion procedures.


House Lawmakers Pass Their Own Abortion Bill In Committee (WUNC-FM) -- House lawmakers have passed their own version of a bill to regulate abortion clinics in a committee meeting. This comes after Governor McCrory said he would veto a similar bill passed by the Senate.


Tighter Abortion Clinic Standards Questioned at House Committee Meeting (N.C. Health News) -- State health officials told lawmakers at a House committee meeting on Tuesday that they’re willing to look at North Carolina’s abortion clinic regulations, but they also signaled a reluctance to fast-track any sweeping changes to the way the state regulates the provisioning of abortion. Last week, North Carolina lawmakers proposed a raft of new regulations that would change the way the state’s abortion providers operate. House Bill 695 would add conscience protection for health care facility workers ranging from janitors to nursing assistants and would ban sex-selection abortions from being done in North Carolina. The bill also would require that abortion clinics come into compliance with standards set for ambulatory care clinics and require physicians to be present throughout the entirety of abortion procedures, something Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos said she supported in theory but told lawmakers would need study. “We need to ask serious questions about our current regulations. Are the regulations that we presently have sound, are they reasonable and are they being enforced?” Wos asked the committee. “Unfortunately, on these issues, the experts in the Department of Health and Human Services were previously not asked for their input,” she said.


House proposes own abortion rules (Winston-Salem Journal) -- House Republicans sought on Wednesday to deal with troubles that Gov. Pat McCrory found in an abortion bill by passing in committee new legislation designed to clarify expanded physician responsibilities and higher clinic standards. In a move reminiscent of last week’s surprise Senate vote on new abortion regulations added to an anti-Sharia law bill, the House judiciary panel gutted a motorcycle-safety bill to include abortion language similar to that passed by Senate Republicans.


Against backdrop of subterfuge, honesty is refreshing (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Odds are high that you have no earthly idea who in the world Charles Jeter is. Yankees shortstop? That’s Derek Jeter. Emmy Award winning actor, notable for roles in the Green Mile and on the TV sitcom Evening Shade? That’s Michael Jeter. Charles Jeter — and God help you if you knew this because it makes you a bigger nerd than me — is a freshman state representative, a Republican from Mecklenburg County. He’s notable because within the past week, Jeter did something unthinkable in Raleigh. He said what was on his mind in plain English and at odds with his party when a GOP majority in the Senate started trying to sneak harsh new restrictions on abortion through the Legislature. “I didn’t come up here to vote on social issues,” Jeter told the Charlotte Observer. “I came up here to get jobs back.”


Ambulatory Surgical Facilities - NC Dept.of Health and Human Services -- (DHHS) -- Ambulatory Surgical Facilities. Licensed by the State of North Carolina. Department of Health and Human Services - Division of Health Service Regulation.


Tax reform stuck, budget details will wait (Greensboro News & Record) -- Let's start with a caveat: Things change fast at the end of a legislative session, and as I type this the governor and top General Assembly leaders could be clinking glasses, congratulating each other on the tax reform they've just struck. But I doubt it.


Senate OKs drug testing for benefits applicants (WRAL-TV) -- The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would require people applying for public assistance to pass a drug test and would require local Department of Social Service offices to conduct criminal background checks on applicants.


NC Senate approves drug testing for welfare recipients (AP) — The state Senate is toning down legislation to require drug testing and criminal background checks on all applicants for North Carolina's worker-training and welfare program.


Amended drug testing bill gets O.K. from Senate (Raleigh News & Observer) -- An amendment strengthened support for a bill that requires drug testing of any Work First recipient suspected of being a drug user. The bill, House Bill 392, passed the Senate Wednesday in a 43-6 vote. It would also enhance background checks to ensure federal benefit recipients aren't parole or probation violators, or have outstanding warrants. The bill now goes back to the House for concurrence. Sen. Thom Goolsby, a Wilmington Republican, amended the bill to, among several things, specify that the drug tests would remain confidential and refer people who test positive to available treatment resources. The amendment was drafted with the help of the N.C. Department of Justice and the State Bureau of Investigation.


NC team ticket, paper ballots may be examined (AP) -- The General Assembly may soon examine whether it makes sense for the governor and lieutenant governor to run together and for paper ballots to be required for all North Carolina elections.


Governor and lt gov. may run as a ticket (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The House agreed Wednesday to study the idea of governors and lieutenant governors running together as a ticket. The measure would ensure that if a governor died or was removed from office, he or she would be replaced by a lieutenant governor of their own party. Rep. Bert Jones, a Republican from Reidsville, said that governors and lieutenant governors now run as tickets in 26 states, just as the president and vice president do. He is proposing a legislative study committee to examine the question, and if approved by the legislature, would be submitted to the voters for approval as a constitutional amendment in 2014.


Omnibus regulatory reform bill gets House panel OK (WRAL-TV) -- A House committee on Wednesday approved a wide-ranging measure to reform state regulations and limit the ability of agencies to adopt new rules in the future.


N.C. bill: Require carbon monoxide detectors in hotels (Charlotte Observer) -- North Carolina hotels would be required to install carbon monoxide detectors near fuel-burning appliances, under a new legislative proposal that appears headed for approval.


NC Senate rejects changes to charter school bill (AP) — The state Senate is rejecting legislation that creates more rules to govern North Carolina's growing number of public charter schools but scraps plans to set up a separate panel to oversee them.


Virginia leaders appeal to feds, McCrory to block landfill bill (Raleigh News & Observer) -- U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is asking the federal government to examine a bill moving in the N.C. General Assembly that would allow a large landfill near the state border. Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes, a Republican, recently made an appeal to Gov. Pat McCrory to stop the bill -- SB 328. The measure reverses restrictions lawmakers put in place in 2007 to prevent what critics call mega-dumps from being located in northeastern North Carolina. Document(s): FWS ltr to NCDENR on Landfill 6-19-13.pdf; Cong Forbes ltr to Gov McCrory on NC Landfill 7-9-13.pdf; Sen Kaine NC Landfill Ltrs 6-27-13.pdf


NC legislators seek consensus on beach control structures (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The legislature is debating how far to shift a policy that had traditionally banned the kind of hard structures built along shorelines to control sand from being built along North Carolina's coast - a move that geologists call an effort to stop the New Jersey-fication of the state's beaches.


Consumers Cheer Sales Tax Holiday Expansions, But Some Wary (Stateline) -- At least 17 states have back-to-school sales tax "holidays," saving consumers money and boosting retail sales. But some are questioning whether the impact on state treasuries is worth it. See chart.


Governor McCrory Takes Action on Legislation (N.C. Political News) – Gov. Pat McCrory signed the following bills into law today: HB 543 (Reps. Jones, Avila, Glazier and Turner) Guardianship Roles of MHDDSA Providers. SB 490 (Sens. Gunn, Barefoot and Walters) Exclude Custom Software from Property Tax



Cone Health, others have dropped N.C. Chamber membership over tax issue (Triad Business Journal) -- Cone Health, along with Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte and the N.C. Hospital Association, has dropped its membership


Jobs? Debt? What's real? NC Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker chimes in (Weekly Independent) -- My first impression of Sharon Decker, whom Gov. Pat McCrory appointed as secretary of commerce: positive. Heading for the restaurant where some news people were meeting her for lunch, I saw Decker stooped over one of Raleigh's wretched pay-to-park stations, her press aide at her side. She didn't leave this menial task to her aide. Moreover, her aide was—and I hesitate to use the word, for fear it will ruin them with the McCrory gang—a Democrat. Decker is a political independent. She started at Duke Power, now Duke Energy, around the same time as McCrory and rose higher, becoming its youngest vice president. But unlike McCrory, who retained his sinecure at Duke while he was also mayor of Charlotte, Decker had the gumption to leave the Duke mothership for foundation work. And in 1999, she took a real private-sector job as president of the Doncaster division of Tanner Companies, a clothing and textile firm headquartered in Rutherfordton, N.C.


NC falls out of top 10 on CNBC's best states for biz (Charlotte Business Journal) -- For the first time in the history of CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business feature, North Carolina has fallen from the top 10.


WRONG TRACK? N.C. losing ground in business competitiveness, survey shows (Raleigh News &Observer) -- Gov. Pat McCrory and the GOP legislature came into office promising a more friendly business environment and it may be unfair to expect results this soon. But so far their efforts are not showing up in the ratings. North Carolina was rated as the 12th most competitive state for businesses in 2013, according to a new survey by CNBC. Although the survey was released this week, it was based on 2012 data, before McCrory took office. But the Republican the legislature had been in office for two years. This year's ratings is a significant drop from 2012, when North Carolina was rated as the 4th most competitive state for business. North Carolina dropped this year because it fell in its ratings in the cost of doing business to 32nd and to quality of life to 30th. Only the states of New Hampshire, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Maryland had larger drops. North Carolina still high in work force(3rd) technology and innovation (10th) economy(13th), education(15th), access to capital(15th) business friendliness(18th) and cost of living (20th.)


Asheville-area man wins $100,000 lottery prize (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- He bought his winning ticket at BJ's Gas & Food on Smoky Park Highway.


State Board Hears McCrory's Five Pathways Plan (WUNC-FM) -- Gov. Pat McCrory is pushing a Five Pathways plan to improve education. The plan is broad and affects all levels of public education in North Carolina, from early childhood education to Universities. Eric Guckian, the Governor’s Education Advisor, presented the plan to the State Board of Education today. He highlighted one of the five pathways: growing “innovative learning options” for families.


Senate committee wary of U.S., China pork producers’ merger (McClatchy Newspapers) -- A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday criticized a major merger of U.S. and Chinese agricultural interests, saying the combination of two major pork producers could have negative impacts on U.S. food and economic security.


Rift Among Democrats Stalls Effort to Reverse Rise in College Loan Rates (New York Times) -- A bipartisan Senate coalition blocked a Democratic proposal to retroactively cut interest rates on higher education loans in half, leaving any student loan rescue in doubt. The bill pushed by the Democratic leadership would have renewed a subsidized 3.4 percent interest rate on Stafford loans, whose rates doubled to 6.8 percent on July 1. But a bipartisan group of senators — led by Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina with Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia; and Angus King, independent of Maine — had forged what they saw as a compromise measure that would have tied student loan rates to federal borrowing costs.


Senate Student Loan Interest Rate Vote (PoliticalNews.Me) -- U.S. Senator Kay Hagan released the following statement after the Senate failed to pass a procedural hurdle to take up the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act of 2013. Hagan introduced this legislation with Senator Jack Reed (RI) in June to maintain a 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans for an additional year as Congress works on a long-term, sustainable solution for the federal student loan program. On July 1, those interest rates doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent for 176,000 North Carolina students. "It is unacceptable that we have not been able to come together in the Senate to keep federal student loans affordable for middle class families," said Hagan, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families. "Passing this bill would give us time to find a long-term solution for the federal student loan program without placing a burden on students who rely on these loans right now. North Carolina students and middle class families should not be penalized for dysfunction and partisanship in Washington."


ACLU Takes Gay Marriage Fight to States (Stateline) -- The ACLU on Tuesday announced a trio of lawsuits that will test the constitutionality of state laws barring gay marriage in Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina.


McDonnell's corporation, wife allegedly benefited from $120,000 more from donor (Washington Post) -- New revelations raise more concerns for the governor, who's under investigation from state and federal authorities over payments and financial disclosure.


Gifts from donors have some asking for tighter Virginia rules (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) --But changing the state law requires General Assembly approval, and it's unclear whether the McDonnell gift controversy has created enough momentum to spur such change.


'Robocalls' targeting N.C. seniors (AP) — The N.C. Attorney General’s Office is warning consumers to beware of calls pitching a medical alert system.


McCrory Announces Aid Available for Storm Survivors (N.C. Political News) – Gov. Pat McCrory announced today that financial assistance is available for survivors of the severe storms that struck Stanly and adjoining counties June 13. The aid is a result of the governor’s request for a disaster declaration by the U.S. Small Business Administration.


NRSC Visits NC in Search for Hagan Challenger (National Journal) -- The National Republican Senatorial Committee was in Raleigh, N.C., earlier this week and met with several potential challengers for Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan's seat, a sign that national Republicans may not yet be sold on House Speaker Thom Tillis as their party's standardbearer in one of their top races this cycle. The committee sat down with Tillis, as well as state Senate President Phil Berger and Rep. Renee Ellmers, both of whom are considering bids.


NC DOT honors workers for burning home rescue (AP) -- The head of North Carolina's transportation department is honoring three state workers who saved a sleeping father and son from their burning McDowell County home.


Cape Fear region leads state in impaired driving violations (Wilmington Star-News) -- There were 103 cases of DWI in Troop B, according to a highway patrol news release


Janet Cowell uses CNBC interview to push for more investment flexibility (Raleigh News & Observer) -- State Treasurer Janet Cowell took to national TV this week to make a case for why she needs more flexibility when it comes to managing the state's $80 million pension fund. Cowell told CNBC's "Fast Money" on Tuesday evening that stocks and bonds are not safe bets right now. The state's retirement money is heavily invested in these areas. "Fixed income is one of the highest risk places you can have your money and that means you're not going to have the money you need for retirement if you are putting your money in bonds,” Cowell said on the show. “Alternatives look increasingly attractive given the volatility of the stock market.”


State rethinks new end-of-grade school tests (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Complaints about new tests in subjects from science to civics have the State Board of Education reconsidering how to use the results and who will write future exams.


Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane files for re-election (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Joined by a group of about 30 supporters, Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane filed to run for a second term Wednesday morning.


Veteran Elizabeth City St University officer fired (AP) -- The upheaval on the Elizabeth City State University police force continues after the university fired its most veteran officer.



NCSU Researchers Develop Flexible Metal For 3-D Printers (New York Times) -- Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technology that will allow a metal alloy to be used in 3-D printers and could lead to flexible gadgets.


Newborn gorilla dies at North Carolina Zoo (AP) — Officials at the North Carolina Zoo say a baby gorilla born there last weekend has died.


Hurricane warning system gets boost from UNC-Chapel Hill computer center (Raleigh News & Observer) -- UNC-Chapel Hill's Renaissance Computer Institute is offering detailed storm-surge data in a format that allows local emergency managers to create their own customized analysis of incoming hurricanes, nor'easters and other weather events.


UNC receives $8 million grant to improve safe motherhood in Malawi (UNC News) -- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a five-year, $8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve maternal and infant health and save the lives of mothers and infants in Malawi by strengthening the President’s Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood Initiative


NC power Lenovo takes PC crown (WRAL-TV) -- Lenovo, the computer maker with international executive headquarters in Morrisville and some 2,000 employees across the Tar Heel state is officially the world's largest seller of PCs, the company announced late Wednesday.


Lenovo ranks first in worldwide PC market (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Lenovo, the Chinese company that acquired IBM's PC business eight years ago, has achieved its long-time goal of becoming the global computer market leader. Lenovo has an executive headquarters in Morrisville that employs more than 2,000 workers.


Study: Heart of North Carolina MegaPark in Moore, Montgomery Counties is Feasible (Southern Pines Pilot) -- The Heart of North Carolina MegaPark in Moore and Montgomery counties is feasible if utility hurdles can be cleared and a centerpiece can be developed to set the business park apart from its competition, according to a new study.


Charlotte museum to cut hours, trim staff (AP) — Officials at the Mint Museum in Charlotte say they will cut operating hours and trim staff in its first major cutback in four years.


Smithfield CEO addresses concerns over China deal (WRAL-TV) -- The head of Smithfield Foods Inc. is trying to ease concerns that the proposed takeover of the world's largest pork producer by a Chinese company would pose risks to the U.S. food supply.


Smithfield Foods president faces Senate heat over sale to China (Washington Post) -- The sale of Smithfield Foods would be the biggest Chinese takeover of a U.S. company to date.



Group uses solar power to help farmers (Wilmington Star-News) -- Using solar power, group taps shallow wells to help farmers during drought.


Virginia leaders appeal to feds, McCrory to block landfill bill (Raleigh News & Observer) -- U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is asking the federal government to examine a bill moving in the N.C. General Assembly that would allow a large landfill near the state border. Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes, a Republican, recently made an appeal to Gov. Pat McCrory to stop the bill -- SB 328. The measure reverses restrictions lawmakers put in place in 2007 to prevent what critics call mega-dumps from being located in northeastern North Carolina. Document(s): FWS ltr to NCDENR on Landfill 6-19-13.pdf; Cong Forbes ltr to Gov McCrory on NC Landfill 7-9-13.pdf; Sen Kaine NC Landfill Ltrs 6-27-13.pdf


Duke Energy critic disputes rate charges (Charlotte Observer) -- Errors and omissions in charges Duke Energy Carolinas included in its rate case now before state regulators point to poor company oversight, a consultant for a Durham advocacy group testified Wednesday.


NC WARN: Duke Energy should pay penalty for improper charges (Charlotte Business Journal) -- NC WARN alleges Duke Energy Carolinas wants to charge customers for $22 million worth of spending that the watchdog group contends ought to be paid by the company.


N.C.’s Southern Cricket Frog populations declining (UNC News) -- A recent U.S. Geological Survey report confirmed that the nation’s amphibians, including frogs, toads and salamanders, are disappearing “at an alarming and rapid rate.” A biologist at UNC has found that North Carolina’s Southern Cricket Frog populations mirror this disturbing national trend.


Group protests sale of Hofmann Forest as NC State trustees meet (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Protesters showed NC State Board of Trustees their opposition to the sale of Hofmann Forest, an 80,000-acre research forest near Jacksonville, with a demonstration Wednesday on Centennial Campus.


Climate Change Will Cause More Energy Breakdowns, U.S. Warns (New York Times) -- The national power supply is increasingly vulnerable to severe weather, according to a new Department of Energy study.


NC panel to discuss new sea turtle protections (AP) -- The N.C. Coastal Resources Commission is meeting in Beaufort to discuss issues that include new protections for sea turtles.


Come to the Landing to Work, Have Some Fun (Coastal Review) -- People will gather Saturday at the N.C. Coastal Federation's Morris Landing Preserve on Stump Sound to help build an oyster reef and let their hair down afterwards.


Former farmer is now an orator against hog industry (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Don Webb, himself a former hog farmer, makes a dramatic presentation that decries the deleterious effects of pollution from massive farms on nearby residents.


Fish kill observed in Neuse River (New Bern Sun Journal) -- A fish kill along the south shore of the Neuse River on Wednesday is one of those good news-bad news situations, according to Rick Dove.



Proposed rules are about cutting abortion access, not protecting women (Wilmington Star-News) -- It's difficult to ignore the similarities between Republican legislators and their Democratic predecessors.


The governor takes a stand – for now (Charlotte Observer) -- For six months, moderates in the Tar Heel state have been waiting for their governor to stand up to the far right of his party. It’s not that North Carolinians thought they’d elected a Democrat in Pat McCrory last November. They just thought they were voting for a moderate Republican with a history of finding common ideological ground.


McCrory faces test on abortion bill (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The governor threatens to veto a restrictive abortion bill but he may yet go along with it.


NC agency move would allow 9 times more arsenic in our air (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- The NC Division of Air Quality has quietly proposed changes that will allow more arsenic in our air. Nine times more arsenic, to be exact. And industrial facilities would be able to triple their arsenic emissions without having to reveal their emission levels or show that they will not harm people


Can we end arrests? (Greensboro News & Record) -- North Carolina is in a national spotlight, thanks to Monday demonstrations. Now it’s time for both sides to re-evaluate.


McCrory's semantic gymnastics around his promises (Jefferson Post column) -- Gov. Pat McCrory didn’t offer many specifics during his campaign for governor but he was clear about a few things. Two of them were that he supported an overhaul of the state tax code that was revenue neutral and that he would not sign legislation putting any more restrictions on access to abortion services. The promises provided some small comfort to folks worried that the Republican legislative leaders would make even more devastating budget cuts to education and human services in the name of tax reform and would take further steps to strip away fundamental reproductive health care rights from women in North Carolina. At least on these two issues, McCrory would be the backstop to prevent the tea party General Assembly from passing its most radical proposals. Maybe not.


The Decline of Black Power in the South (New York Times column) -- The Republican takeover of state legislatures has left African-Americans without effective representation.


Try civility in the Tata-Conti transportation tiff (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Instead of sending out news releases and letters aimed at former state Transportation Secretary Gene Conti, successor Tony Tata should be calling him in for peace talks. The former general could learn a few things about civilian leadership - especially the civil part.


Decker plans to improve NC’s business recruiting (Raleigh News &Observer) --State Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker believes the state can do better in recruiting new business and creating jobs, but she refreshingly doesn’t blame a lack of incentives or the corporate tax rate for the failure to win against other states.


Farewell to Judge McLean, a hero (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The death of Mitchell McLean, 54, the chief district court judge for Wilkes, Ashe, Alleghany and Yadkin counties, is a heart-rending reminder of how precious and fragile life is. And McLean, a husband and father, can’t be praised enough for the circumstance of his death – lost while trying to save a life.




What do you expect?

Gov. Pat McCrory and some state organizations are on the defensive after a scathing editorial in the New York Times.

When the NC legislature is passing a Motorcycle Fetus Helmet Safety law, it does look like NC has turned into ground zero for religious nutcases.