Daily dose

Senseless and entirely avoidable:

NC shoving our friends and neighbors off the financial cliff (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- On Sunday, 70,000 jobless North Carolinians will lose access to federal unemployment benefits. By the end of the year, 100,000 additional jobless workers will be cut off, leaving a total of 170,000 jobless workers and their families in crisis. North Carolina's unemployment insurance cliff has arrived.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/28/2996646/nc-shoving-our-friends-an...

LEGISLATURE

Is there hope for tax reform in NC? McCrory seems doubtful (Triad Business Journal) -- Given what appears to be an impasse over competing tax reform plans rolled out by Republican leaders in Raleigh, the issue may need to be set aside for now, Gov. Pat McCrory said Friday. The governor, making a stop to tour downtown Jamestown, told the News & Record that he wasn't sure if House and Senate leaders would be able to bridge the gap between their competing plans before the legislative session comes to a close in the next several weeks. The comments follow some rather open frustration over the issue in General Assembly's chambers on Thursday. As reported by WRAL, Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca yanked 41 House bills from the Senate calendar and put them on hold indefinitely to provide some "incentive" for tax reform negotiations, the station reported.

http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2013/06/28/is-there-hope-for-tax-r...

Senate puts tax reform back on the radar (WRAL-TV) -- Senate leaders are apparently ready to push ahead with their own tax reform bill as negotiations with the House and Governor's Office drag on. The Senate Finance Committee put out a notice Friday that they would meet Monday at 2 p.m. and take up House Bill 998, the tax reform bill. After tentatively approving their version of tax reform earlier this month, senators pulled the bill back from consideration so they could negotiate with House leaders. Those negotiations, complete with input from Gov. Pat McCrory, have proved frustrating for Senate leaders. "We're still working," said Jordan Shaw, a spokesman for House Speaker Thom Tillis.

http://www.wral.com/senate-puts-tax-reform-back-on-the-radar/12609725/

McCrory getting impatient on tax reform (WRAL-TV) -- As the tax reform impasse between the House and Senate stretches into the new fiscal year, Gov. Pat McCrory is sending signals the issue may need to be set aside. That's after a meltdown at the legislature Thursday, where tensions over tax reform talks spilled out into the open in both chambers. Leaders say negotiations are ongoing, but the public display of frustration is a clear sign they aren't going well. Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca yanked 41 House bills from the Senate calendar, including a measure to ensure adequate funding for care for dementia patients, and put them on hold indefinitely. He called the move an "incentive" for the negotiations.

http://www.wral.com/mccrory-getting-impatient-on-tax-reform-/12608637/

Is there hope for tax reform in NC? McCrory seems doubtful (Triad Business Journal) -- Given what appears to be an impasse over competing tax reform plans rolled out by Republican leaders in Raleigh, the issue may need to be set aside for now, Gov. Pat McCrory said Friday. The governor, making a stop to tour downtown Jamestown, told the News & Record that he wasn't sure if House and Senate leaders would be able to bridge the gap between their competing plans before the legislative session comes to a close in the next several weeks. The comments follow some rather open frustration over the issue in General Assembly's chambers on Thursday. As reported by WRAL, Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca yanked 41 House bills from the Senate calendar and put them on hold indefinitely to provide some "incentive" for tax reform negotiations, the station reported.

http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2013/06/28/is-there-hope-for-tax-r...

McCrory says House and Senate GOP agreement on taxes doubtful, maybe they should just move on (Greensboro News & Record) -- Gov. Pat McCrory that if state legislative leaders can't reach an agreement over the next two weeks on tax reform issues, they should probably be set aside for now. The House and Senate are billions of dollars apart on the measure, which represents a major Republican priority and features significant corporate and income tax cuts. McCrory said he didn't know yet whether the two sides will bridge their gap as the legislative session winds down. McCrory said putting the issue off "is not my goal," but if it can't be resolved "we should move on to our other priorities." McCrory also said he doesn't support a proposal to do away with county-level background checks currently required for handgun permits, he said this morning during a visit to his old hometown. He also said he'll sign controversial legislation that calls on the state to teach middle schoolers that abortion is a risk factor for premature births, provided it includes other risk factors, too. McCrory said Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes convinced him on the gun issue, and that local sheriffs should decide who gets a pistol permit instead of relying solely on the federal background check system, as the state Senate has proposed. McCrory promised during the campaign not to sign any new abortion restrictions, but this bill deals with education, not the procedure itself. Pro-choice advocates dispute a link between abortion and premature births, complaining of disputed science. But the two are linked in a number of studies, including a 2006 report from the prestigious Institute of Medicine.

http://www.news-record.com/news/local_news/article_3ee621ac-dff8-11e2-a7...

NC Senate to take up tax package with or without deal (AP) -- The North Carolina Senate plans to consider tax overhaul legislation next week with or without a final compromise in hand with fellow Republicans in the House. The Senate announced Friday its finance committee would meet Monday with a tax bill on its agenda.

http://hamptonroads.com/2013/06/nc-senate-take-tax-package-or-without-deal

NC panel protests keeping secret on fracking (AP) -- A state commission voted Friday to write a letter to the N.C. Legislature in protest of a bill that would remove public disclosure of chemicals pumped into the ground during fracking from the panel's control.

http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/article_8a56a420-108b-...

NC Senate to take up tax overhaul plan next week (AP) -- The North Carolina Senate plans to consider tax overhaul legislation next week with or without a final compromise in hand with fellow Republicans in the House.

http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/article_82fbd5e1-54cc-...

Moore Educators Pledge 'Basics' Lessons to Continue (Southern Pines Pilot) -- Moore County school administrators say that they don’t require legislation to teach what is already a part of the curriculum.

http://www.thepilot.com/news/article_787fbb9c-e009-11e2-bcef-0019bb30f31...

Bill could take Greenville's water (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- The fate of Greenville’s water system has been tied to legal complications over a water system on the other end of the state, city officials and local legislative delegates confirmed on Thursday.

http://www.reflector.com/news/city-control-water-system-issue-2093237

POLICY & POLITICS

Thousands In North Carolina Brace For 'Unemployment Cliff' (WUNC-FM) -- North Carolina’s “unemployment cliff” is fast approaching. That’s what civil rights, religious and other advocacy groups call June 30, the last day tens of thousands of people across the state are eligible for unemployment benefits.

http://wunc.org/post/thousands-north-carolina-brace-unemployment-cliff

NC becomes 1st state to drop federal jobless funds (Raleigh News & Observer) -- With changes to its unemployment law taking effect this weekend, North Carolina not only is cutting benefits for those who file new claims, it will become the first state disqualified from a federal compensation program for the long-term jobless.

http://newsobserver.com/2013/06/28/2995069/nc-becomes-1st-state-to-drop-...

More than 800 face unemployment cuts (Wilson Times) -- Priscilla Waddell is one of hundreds of jobless in the Wilson County area who will stop receiving unemployment benefits when the federal extensions end this weekend in North Carolina.

http://www.wilsontimes.com/News/Local/Story/22427019---Over-800-resident...

Butterfield aide, McCrory official debate Medicaid (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) -- A top aide to U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield and a leading state health official offered differing interpretations Friday of the state’s action this year in opting out of the federal Medicaid expansion.

http://www.dailyadvance.com/news/butterfield-aide-mccrory-official-debat...

McCrory getting impatient on tax reform (WRAL-TV) -- As the tax reform impasse between the House and Senate stretches into the new fiscal year, Gov. Pat McCrory is sending signals the issue may need to be set aside. That's after a meltdown at the legislature Thursday, where tensions over tax reform talks spilled out into the open in both chambers. Leaders say negotiations are ongoing, but the public display of frustration is a clear sign they aren't going well. Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca yanked 41 House bills from the Senate calendar, including a measure to ensure adequate funding for care for dementia patients, and put them on hold indefinitely. He called the move an "incentive" for the negotiations.

http://www.wral.com/mccrory-getting-impatient-on-tax-reform-/12608637/

Is there hope for tax reform in NC? McCrory seems doubtful (Triad Business Journal) -- Given what appears to be an impasse over competing tax reform plans rolled out by Republican leaders in Raleigh, the issue may need to be set aside for now, Gov. Pat McCrory said Friday. The governor, making a stop to tour downtown Jamestown, told the News & Record that he wasn't sure if House and Senate leaders would be able to bridge the gap between their competing plans before the legislative session comes to a close in the next several weeks. The comments follow some rather open frustration over the issue in General Assembly's chambers on Thursday. As reported by WRAL, Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca yanked 41 House bills from the Senate calendar and put them on hold indefinitely to provide some "incentive" for tax reform negotiations, the station reported.

http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2013/06/28/is-there-hope-for-tax-r...

NC redistricting judges don't need more briefs (AP) Judges considering arguments in North Carolina's redistricting litigation have refused a request by attorneys who sued over legislative and congressional district boundaries to file more briefs after the U.S. Supreme Court decisions this week. A three-judge panel on Friday denied a motion by Democratic voters, election watchdog and civil rights groups who have challenged the maps Republicans drew in 2011. One of the Democrats' lawyers said Supreme Court opinions on the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action confirm their claims that the lines are the result of racial gerrymandering. The judges said they do not need more briefs but acknowledged the Supreme Court decisions. The state judges have received thousands of documents from attorneys and held days of hearings, but have not yet ruled whether the boundaries should be redrawn.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/N/NC_REDISTRICTING_NCOL-?SITE=NCWIN...

Charlotte leaders inaugurate UTC Aerospace HQ (Charlotte Observer) -- Politicians and business leaders touted growth Friday at UTC Aerospace Systems, the new incarnation of the former Charlotte-based Goodrich Corp., which United Technologies Corp. acquired last year. Lured in part by state and local incentives, the company combined many of its business operations in Charlotte after its $18.4 billion acquisition of Goodrich. UTC moved dozens of high-ranking employees from Connecticut to Charlotte. As a result, company officials said payroll at its Charlotte division headquarters has increased from 160 to 250, with plans to increase to more than 300 in the coming years. The company also went from using three floors of its office building to all six. Sweating in the summer heat, officials spoke outside company’s West Tyvola Road offices at a ceremony to formally inaugurate the new business division. “You could have gone right across the border. I know that,” said Gov. Pat McCrory, pointing towards South Carolina. “We have to have these kinds of companies, that build things, that design things, that make things.”

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/06/28/4135681/charlotte-leaders-in...

Gov. Pat McCrory visits Perky's Cafe in Jamestown (Greensboro News & Record) -- Gov. Pat McCrory doesn't support a proposal to do away with county-level background checks currently required for handgun permits, he said this morning during a visit to his old hometown. On tax reform, McCrory said that if state leaders can't reach an agreement over the next two weeks the issue should probably be set aside for now. The House and Senate are billions of dollars apart on the measure, which represents a major Republican priority and features significant corporate and income tax cuts. McCrory said he didn't know yet whether the two sides will bridge their gap as the legislative session winds down. McCrory said putting the issue off "is not my goal," but if it can't be resolved "we should move on to our other priorities." He also said he'll sign controversial legislation that calls on the state to teach middle schoolers that abortion is a risk factor for premature births, provided it includes other risk factors, too. McCrory said Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes convinced him on the gun issue, and that local sheriffs should decide who gets a pistol permit instead of relying solely on the federal background check system, as the state Senate has proposed. McCrory promised during the campaign not to sign any new abortion restrictions, but this bill deals with education, not the procedure itself. Pro-choice advocates dispute a link between abortion and premature births, complaining of disputed science. But the two are linked in a number of studies, including a 2006 report from the prestigious Institute of Medicine.

http://www.news-record.com/news/local_news/article_3ee621ac-dff8-11e2-a7...

McCrory returns home (High Point Enterprise) -- Gov. Pat McCrory returned to his hometown of Jamestown Friday as part of a tour of small towns throughout the state over the past few months. He stopped at Perky’s cafe at 105 W. Main St., where he shook hands, gave hugs and had laughs with old high school friends and colleagues. McCrory also visited The Soap Lady and bought a gift for his wife — a bar of soap in the shape of his dog, a boxer. The manager of Perky’s Cafe, Norma Knight, said she was glad he stopped by. He also bought a soda. “It is awesome that he is here,” Knight said. “We love him here. I am excited that he stopped in Perky’s so people can see what we have to offer and hopefully come back and visit us,” Knight said.

http://www.hpe.com/news/local/x1065840241/McCrory-returns-home

Group tosses baseballs to protest McCrory (WNCN-TV) -- A group gathered at the State Capitol Friday morning to send a message to the governor about education. The group led by Progress North Carolina rallied at 10:30 a.m. with baseballs, a nod to their criticism over Gov. Pat McCrory playing baseball on the Capitol lawn, but not meeting with parents and children about concerns over education. One protester called that "a slap in the face."

http://www.wncn.com/story/22712906/group-to-toss-baseballs-to-protest-mc...

Next Appalachian State chancellor could be named by February 2014 (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The next chancellor at Appalachian State University could be named as early as February and on the job next July, an official with the UNC general administration said Thursday. Ann Lemmon, an associate vice president for human resources at UNC General Administration, spoke about the plan to replace Chancellor Kenneth E, Peacock to the university’s board of trustees, according to an ASU news release.

http://www.journalnow.com/news/state_region/article_dc38066a-e05b-11e2-b...

UNCSA placed on warning by accrediting body (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The UNC School of the Arts has been put on warning for the next 12 months by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the accrediting body for higher education institutions in the South.

http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/article_b43a04d4-e041-11e2-a2e8-001...

Hagan Announces Legislation To Keep Student Loan Interest Rates Low (MENAFN News) – Sen. Kay Hagan (NC) announced today she has introduced legislation with Senator Jack Reed (RI) to keep student loan interest rates low. The current interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans is set to double on July 1st if Congress does not act, and the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act of 2013 Hagan is sponsoring will maintain the low interest rate for an additional year as Congress works on a long-term, sustainable solution for the federal student loan program. "Students in North Carolina cannot afford more student loan debt, and they certainly cannot afford congressional inaction," said Senator Kay Hagan. "I refuse to sit on my hands while 176,000 North Carolina students and their families see interest rates double on their federal Stafford loans. I am hopeful we can work towards a long-term plan, but in the meantime I am committed to working with my colleagues - Democrats and Republicans - to pass this legislation and avoid putting one more burden on our students and middle class families who are trying to make ends meet."

http://www.menafn.com/27d40c79-722c-4f2e-9957-432b5e9658cc/Hagan-Announc...

NC Latinos leery of immigration legislation (WRAL-TV) -- As the debate over immigration reform shifted to the U.S. House on Friday, some in the country illegally said they don't like the legislation approved by the Senate but aren't hopeful for anything better. The Senate signed off Thursday on a $46 billion investment in tighter border security, including building another 350 miles of fencing, hiring more than 19,000 border patrol agents and creating an electronic system so employers could verify their workers' immigration status. The bill also would give the roughly 11 million people in the U.S. illegally "provisional immigrant" status that would allow them to become legal residents after 10 years. "I don't even see this as an immigration reform bill. I see this as a national security bill," Viridiana Martinez said. Martinez, 26, is among an estimated 325,000 North Carolina residents who are in the country illegally. She said waiting a decade for citizenship is too long.

http://www.wral.com/nc-latinos-leery-of-immigration-legislation/12609653/

Former Bush White House aide to work as McCrory advisor (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Jonathan D. Felts, a former top political aide to President George W. Bush and top assistant to strategist Karl Rove,, will start work shortly for Gov. Pat McCrory, the governor's office announced Friday. Felts, a North Carolina native and NC State University graduate, is being hired as senior advisor to bring some experience and increased political savvy into the governor's office. The governor's office said Felts "will be the McCrory administration's federal liaison, with all cabinet agencies on policy issues affecting North Carolina.'' It also said he will work with the congressional delegation. Felts has a long resume in GOP politics, having worked for Vice President Dan Quayle, Sen. Lauch Faircloth, communications director for Congressman Robin Hayes, and executive director of North Carolina Bush-Cheney 04.

http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/former_bush_white_house_...

Gov. McCrory appoints DMV chief to parole board (AP) -- Gov. Pat McCrory is appointing North Carolina's commissioner of motor vehicles to the state parole board five months after he took over the division.

http://www.wral.com/gov-mccrory-appoints-dmv-chief-to-parole-board/12609...

Immigration politics: Obama organization limbers up, Holding opposed (Raleigh News & Observer) -- In an effort to build support for the immigration bill that passed the Senate, President Barack Obama's political organization is being pulled out of mothballs. Organizing for America will hold rallies on Monday in several locations across the state including Raleigh , Gastonia, Wilmington and Greensboro. The Raleigh event will include a news conference at 2 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Memorial Gardens.

http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/immigration_politics_oba...

Brad Miller joins New York law firm (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Former Congressman Brad Miller of Raleigh has joined the New York law firm of Grais & Ellsworth. Miller, who represented the 13th district for a decade, has joined the litigation firm as Of Counsel. The firm, formed in 2007, is working on actions against 19 securities dealers to rescind the sale and purchase of nearly $30 billion in certificates backed by Alt-A and mime mortgage loans. "Grais & Ellsworth gives me the chance to stay on the side with which my sympathies lie,'' Miller said in a statement. "Middle-class families got hurt coming and going in subprime lending. They refinanced their houses with dishonest, predatory mortgages, and then their pension bonds bought dishonest bods backed by those dishonest predatory mortgages. Representing mortgage investors now is really an extension of my fights in Congress.''

http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/brad_miller_joins_new_yo...

Ellmers delays Senate decision timeline (CQ-Roll Call) -- Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., has pushed back her timeline to make a decision about the Senate race for another couple weeks. “I haven’t quite reached my full decision, but I think I know where I’m leaning,” Ellmers told Roll Call on Thursday between votes on Capitol Hill. The second-term congresswoman has previously stated she is considering a primary bid to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., one of the 2014 cycle’s most vulnerable senators. Earlier this year, s spokeswoman told CQ Roll Call that Ellmers would make a decision by June. Ellmers now says she will announce her decision within two weeks.

http://atr.rollcall.com/ellmers-delays-senate-decision-timeline-ncsen/

SBI clears acting NC police chief in shooting (AP) -- The Forsyth County District Attorney's office says Winston-Salem's acting police chief was justified in using lethal force in an incident in which a woman and her dog were shot and wounded.

http://www.wral.com/sbi-clears-acting-nc-police-chief-in-shooting/12610128/

Troopers crack down on truckers (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- An N.C. Highway Patrol operation recently took 25 truck drivers off the road, including one who passed out immediately after exiting his truck.

http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/troopers-crack-down-truckers-2094179

Judge halts 1 lawsuit involving U. of Md. ACC exit (AP) -- A judge is halting for now a Maryland lawsuit involving the University of Maryland's exit from the Atlantic Coast Conference, saying a North Carolina lawsuit involving the exit should be resolved first.

http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/article_b4324888-d008-...

Film highlights role of Koch money in politics (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Working Films, a Wilmington nonprofit that connects filmmakers with activists, will host a free film screening of the documentary “Citizen Koch” 4 p.m. on June 30 at The Full Frame Theater. Filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal highlight the Kochs’ influence on politics in Wisconsin, following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. They claim the ruling has made it easier for interest groups to buy elections, according to the film’s website. ”The film talks about how the Kochs bought the political process, and we see similarities between that and what Art Pope has done with donations to politicians in North Carolina,” said Andy Myers, the campaign coordinator for Working Films.

http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/film_highlights_role_of_...

Audit shows one Raleigh address received 2,408 tax refunds in 2011 (Raleigh News & Observer) -- An audit report from the Treasury is critical of the IRS handling of tax numbers that are often used by nonresident immigrants.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/28/2996717/audit-shows-one-raleigh-a...

NC Supreme Court rules on scope of a defendant's right to confront accusers (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Under the US Constitution, defendants have a right to confront their accusers. But what happens when the accuser isn't a person, but a lab test? The state Supreme Court ruled this week in a split opinion that the lab test results can stand alone if cited by expert witnesses

http://newsobserver.com/2013/06/28/2996699/nc-supreme-court-rules-on-sco...

GENERAL NEWS

Personal income in N.C. shrank 1.4% during 1Q (Triad Business Journal) -- North Carolinians’ personal income shrank by 1.4 percent in the first quarter as the federal payroll tax reverted to its previous rate

http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2013/06/28/personal-income-in-nc-s...

Thomas Day furniture to be sold at auction in Raleigh on Saturday (Raleigh News & Observer) -- In the 1820s, master craftsman Thomas Day built furniture for U.S. Sen. Bedford Brown and his estate near Yanceyville. Now, more than 180 years later, the family is parting with some of the pieces. Nine of Day’s pieces, including a sofa worth an estimated $2,000 to $4,000, are being sold Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at the Tory Hill Auction House on Hillsborough Street near the State Fairgrounds. Seven of the nine pieces come from Sen. Brown’s estate, Rose Hill, where the furniture has resided since it was built. Day, a free black man who lived from 1801 to 1861, made some of the best furniture in North Carolina during his time. Despite living in the antebellum South, he was so well-respected that white men apprenticed for him.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/28/2997159/thomas-day-furniture-to-b...

New Housing for Homeless Vets Opens in Raleigh (N.C. Health News) -- For homeless veterans in Raleigh, 10 new units of housing will become home.

http://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2013/06/28/new-housing-for-homele...

NC man's company markets sweet potatoes to nation (AP) -- Some people call him Mr. Sweet Potato.

http://www.wral.com/nc-man-s-company-markets-sweet-potatoes-to-nation/12...

4 plead guilty in NC polygamist sect murders (AP) -- Four members of a polygamist cult in North Carolina have pleaded guilty in the shooting deaths of a 4-year-old boy who offended the group's leader and a woman who sought to leave.

http://www.wral.com/4-plead-guilty-in-nc-polygamist-sect-murders/12609804/

Tiny trooper gets his badge (WRAL-TV) -- Rivers Malcolm has the hat, the badge, the patches, the tie and the serious look of a law enforcement officer. But he also has cancer, specifically a Wilms tumor, a common form of pediatric cancer of the kidneys.

http://www.wral.com/tiny-trooper-gets-his-hat/12609771/

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Master Gardener - Hungry caterpillars may ravage tomatoes (Wilmington Star-News) -- Are leaves suddenly disappearing from your tomato plant? Your plant is probably being attacked by hornworms

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130628/ARTICLES/130629615/1051?T...

NC House delegation: Drill baby drill (Raleigh News & Observer) -- North Carolina's congressional delegation on Friday largely split along partisan lines on bill that would open up the North Carolina coast to offshore drilling. The House passed The Offshore Energy and Jobs Act by a 235-186 and will now go the Senate. All the state's Republicans as well as Democrat Mike McIntyre voted for the bill. All four Democrats voted against it. The measure was supported by Republican Governors Pat McCrory of North Carolina, Bob McDonnell of Virginia and Nikki Haley of South Carolina. Democratic Rep. David Price of Chapel Hill blasted the measure calling part of the "drill, baby drill mentality.''

http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/nc_house_delegation_dril...

Senate effort to keep fracking chemicals secret upsets pro-business NC Mining & Energy commissioners (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Members of the state commission entrusted to write the rules for fracking in NC are upset that the Senate seems ready to usurp their power on the most important rule: public disclosure of the chemicals used.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/28/2996027/senate-effort-to-keep-fra...

Duke Energy, Progress merger a year later (Charlotte Observer) -- A year after the shock and awe of Duke Energy’s merger with cross-state Progress Energy, the companies are starting to work as one, says the executive charged with making that happen.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/06/29/4135154/turning-two-companie...

NCSU engineering students competing to create eco-car (WRAL-TV) -- Scott Blackwelder and other NC State University engineering students are competing in the EcoCar 2 challenge. It's a contest sponsored by the federal government and General Motors. For the past couple of years, students have been working on converting a car into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from scratch. All of their work has resulted in a functioning battery-powered Chevrolet Malibu. The team recently returned from Yuma, Ariz., where they demonstrated the car at the GM Proving Grounds. NC State's car was one of two using an electric motor. Now the team must refine the design and get a biodiesel motor in the car to extend the range. The range right now is about 35 miles, but it should be 60 miles once it’s optimized.

http://www.wral.com/ncsu-engineering-students-competing-to-create-eco-ca...

Hearing to be held on revised air quality permit for proposed Titan cement plant (Port City Daily) -- The N.C. Division of Air Quality has scheduled a public hearing Aug. 5 to receive comments on a revised air quality permit for the Titan America cement plant

http://portcitydaily.com/2013/06/28/hearing-scheduled-for-revisions-air-...

Dwane Powell: It's Pat to the rescue of puppies! People? Pfffft --

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/28/2996542/dwane-powell-its-pat-to-t...

EDITORIALS

Celia Rivenbark - How Mama Grizzly saved Christmas (Wilmington Star-News) -- The most famous half-term governor of all time, Sarah Palin, rejoined her old pals at Fox News this week.

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130629/NEW9000/130629587/1051?Ti...

Senate proposal lifting regulations for landfills deserves burial (Wilmington Star-News) -- Cash-strapped counties and large garbage haulers have found profitability in building huge regional landfills

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130627/ARTICLES/130629624/1108?T...

Why McCrory believes NC teaching has too many tests (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- The governor made it clear we will hold North Carolina students and teachers to high, measureable, globally competitive standards. But after listening to educators, he wants to determine whether testing is controlling the curriculum. The superintendents said that testing requirements were leaving teachers little time for instruction. For example, the new Measure of Student Learning tests must be graded by two teachers and supervised by a third instructor. That’s a lot of time and talent taken away from classroom instruction. Administering and compiling excessive test results also robs teachers of using and developing their creativity, which could sap them of their motivation. My fear is that some of our best teachers may leave the profession, and there is evidence that this is happening at increasingly alarming rates.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/28/2996625/why-mccrory-believes-nc-t...

Hold the line on student loans (Raleigh News & Observer) -- U.S. Senators try to work toward a way to keep interest rates on federal student loans low, but as a Monday deadline looms before rates double, it appears unlikely a compromise will be found.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/28/2996932/hold-the-line-on-student-...

Assessing risk, reward and U.S. 301 (Wilson Times) -- In tough economic times such as this, businesses sometimes have to gamble that success is obtainable. It’s in the nature of most Americans that seeking a reward requires taking a risk.

http://www.wilsontimes.com/Opinion/Editorials/Story/22423119---Assessing...

Divisive, yes, but DOMA ruling was a nod to the principle of equality (Wilmington Star-News) -- As many legal analysts have noted, the definition of equality may still differ from state to state

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130628/ARTICLES/130629571/1108?T...

The picked-on in Brunswick County’s paradise (Raleigh News & Observer) -- While current poverty rates in Royal Oak are higher than state averages, the community is principally comprised of longstanding, long-residenced, working-class families – families that have been repeatedly assaulted by Brunswick County in its placement of necessary nuisances.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/29/2996574/the-picked-on-in-brunswic...

Why McCrory believes NC teaching has too many tests (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Administering and compiling excessive test results robs NC teachers of using and developing their creativity, which could sap them of their motivation. Some of our best teachers may leave the profession, and there is evidence that this is happening at increasingly alarming rates.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/28/2996625/why-mccrory-believes-nc-t...

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