GOP SPEAKER HAS QUESTIONS TO ANSWER ON CONTRACTS, LEGISLATION, AND CAMPAIGN DONATIONS: Whitaker said KNOW Bio’s co-founder and board chairman Neal Hunter had given Moore the contract. What Whitaker, who left the company in April, said she didn’t know is that four years earlier, Moore as the powerful Rules Committee chairman had helped Hunter with a controversial development that was in danger of failing. Moore ran legislation that forced the city of Durham to provide water and sewer for the 751 South project, which will place 1,300 residences and 600,000 square feet of offices and shops on 166 acres near Jordan Lake. Mitchell is a friend and campaign supporter of Moore’s. In 2015, when Moore became speaker, the House voted Mitchell to the UNC Board of Governors. State election records show since 2013, Mitchell and his wife have contributed $30,300 to Moore’s campaign fund; Hunter and his wife have given $33,300.
FLORENCE SPECIAL SESSION SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 2ND: The plan, as laid out in a letter from House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, will be to address policy issues, then adjourn until Oct. 9 to give the Cooper administration time to put together a funding request for storm recovery. The two leaders laid out a number of priorities: Legislation assuring teachers and other education personnel that they will be paid for days schools were closed due to the hurricane. School calendar flexibility for systems that missed significant school time. Delaying small business tax deadlines. Changing vehicle title replacement policies for storm victims who need to replace paperwork. Clearing various "legal and fiscal hurdles" as the state prepares to accept federal disaster funding.
CAROL FOLT REALLY DOES NOT WANT TO KNOW WHERE I WOULD PUT SILENT SAM: UNC-Chapel Hill Carol Folt is soliciting ideas for a location for Silent Sam, the Confederate statue that was pulled down by protesters on Aug. 20. On Monday, Folt wrote to the campus community, saying the university had created a dedicated email address to take public input on the monument. The address, firstname.lastname@example.org, is available for anyone to submit their ideas. Folt and the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees have until Nov. 15 to submit a plan to the UNC system’s Board of Governors for Silent Sam’s “disposition and preservation.” The monument is now being kept in storage. Folt has said she thinks the statue should be in a safe and alternative location. Late last month she released a statement that said: “Silent Sam has a place in our history and on our campus where its history can be taught, but not at the front door of a safe, welcoming, proudly public research university.”
DUKE ENERGY'S "LAB" SAYS COAL ASH LEAKED INTO CAPE FEAR IS HARMLESS: Duke Energy said Monday that results from water samples collected downstream of a flooded North Carolina coal ash dump show no negative impacts to the Cape Fear River. The data Duke released were from a sample collected over the weekend after a dam breached Friday at the reservoir for the L.V. Sutton Power Station near Wilmington. The results from the sample tested in Duke’s in-house lab are very similar to the data collected upstream of the breached dam, with no elevated readings for lead, arsenic, selenium or other toxic heavy metals contained in coal ash. Inspectors from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality also collected samples of the river water. Officials said those results should be available later in the week. Flooding from the aftermath of Hurricane Florence overtopped a dike at the plant’s 1,100 acre reservoir, flooding an adjacent dump containing 400,000 tons of coal ash.
CALIFORNIA CONTINUES TO PUSH BACK ON TRUMP'S FUEL EFFICIENCY ROLLBACK: At Monday's hearing, California officials said the proposed rollback would damage people's health and exacerbate climate change, and they demanded the Trump administration back off. Looming over the administration's proposal is the possibility that California, which has become a key leader on climate change as Trump has moved to dismantle Obama-era environmental rules, could set its own separate fuel standard that could roil the auto industry. That's a change the federal government is trying to block. "California will take whatever actions are needed to protect our people and follow the law," Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, testified at the hearing with federal officials in a region of central California that has some of the nation's worst air pollution. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra said California could not afford to retreat in the fight against climate change, citing wildfires and high asthma rates among children in the state's San Joaquin Valley, where residents, environmentalists and state officials testified at the first of three nationwide hearings on the mileage plan.