Daily dose

Sunday Marks 55th Anniversary of Woolworth's Sit-In (TWCN-TV) -- The site of the Greensboro Woolworth’s is now the home of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.twcnews.com/nc/triangle-sandhills/news/2015/02/1/sunday-marks-55th-anniversary-of-woolwor...

LEGISLATURE 2015

Same-sex marriage, other social issues return to NC legislative agenda (Charlotte Observer) -- North Carolina has joined a growing list of states that have introduced legislation that would allow officials with a religious objection to refuse to participate in same-sex marriages.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2015/02/01/5487283/social-issues-back-on-legislative.html

Today @NCCapitol: Taking it easy (WRAL-TV) -- Lawmakers don't anticipate pushing through much legislation this week. Gov. Pat McCrory will give the State of the State address on Wednesday night.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.wral.com/today-nccapitol-taking-it-easy/14412819/

Bill may change uses of eminent domain (Wilmington Star-News) -- Proposed legislation in General Assembly would allow land to be taken only for public use.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20150201/ARTICLES/150209996/1017/news01?Title=Bill-may-change-...

POLICIES & POLITICS

Clock’s ticking: 2 weeks left for 2015 ACA coverage (Charlotte Observer) --In North Carolina, a final push is on to enroll people for subsidized health insurance before the Feb. 15 deadline.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2015/02/01/5487423/clocks-ticking-two-weeks-left.html

FCC may intervene in NC, TN cities’ fight to compete with Internet providers (Washington Post) -- Federal regulators are moving ahead with a proposal to help two cities fighting with their state governments over the ability to build public alternatives to large Internet providers.

The Whole Story http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/01/4523986/fcc-may-intervene-in-cities-fight.html

Does Latest NC Exoneration Highlight a Troubling Trend? (Public News Service) -- The recent exoneration of Joseph Sledge in North Carolina is just one of dozens nationally in the past year, and a case that some say highlights the need for legal system reforms. Sledge spent 38 years behind bars for murder before missing evidence led to his release.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-02-02/social-justice/does-latest-nc-exoneration-highlight-a-tr...

Regulators prepare rules on payday loans to shield borrowers (AP) -- Troubled by consumer complaints and loopholes in state laws, federal regulators are putting together the first-ever rules on payday loans aimed at helping cash-strapped borrowers avoid falling into a cycle of high-rate debt.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.wral.com/regulators-prepare-rules-on-payday-loans-to-shield-borrowers/14411750/

Texas botanist named head of N.C. Botanical Garden (AP) — A Texas botanist has been named director of the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/texas-botanist-named-head-nc-botanical-garden-2783819

Jailer fired after Brunswick County inmate escapes (AP) — A Brunswick County jailer has been fired as authorities continue to search for an escaped inmate.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/jailer-fired-after-brunswick-county-inmate-escapes-2783827

El Ramey dies at age 88 (Wilson Times) -- Former Wilson Mayor Ralph El Ramey died Sunday at age 88. El Ramey, a native of Farmville, was first elected mayor in 1979 and served six terms.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.wilsontimes.com/News/Local/Story/35578840---El-Ramey-dies-at-age-88

There's an app for Fayetteville residents to report problems to city (Fayetteville Observer) -- A new service by the city of Fayetteville will allow residents to report illegal dumping, clogged storm drains and damaged street signs.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/there-s-an-app-for-fayetteville-residents-to-report-problems/a...

GENERAL NEWS

Media Titans Murdoch and Bloomberg at Play in Politics and News (New York Times) -- Rupert Murdoch and Michael Bloomberg are extremely successful businessmen who spend many hours on noneconomic parts of their businesses because they can, and because it is fun.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/02/business/media/media-titans-bloomberg-and-murdoch-at-play-in-polit...

Phone call leads Durham man to civil rights movement (WRAL-TV) -- Chuck Fager's place at one of the civil rights movement's most pivotal moments started with a phone call.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.wral.com/phone-call-leads-durham-man-to-civil-rights-movement/14412550/

SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES

New oversight weighed after tax-funded charter schools fail (AP) — Two North Carolina leaders say it's time for better oversight after a string of charter schools shut down amid accusations of mismanaged money.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/new-oversight-weighed-after-tax-funded-charter-sch...

Raleigh man charged with embezzling from Cary school (AP) — A Raleigh man has been accused of stealing more than $44,000 from a Cary school that helps children with developmental disorders.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/raleigh-man-charged-embezzling-cary-school-2783923

ECU celebrates newest dental learning center (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- — A light snow fell on East Carolina University’s newest dental service learning center in Spruce Pine on Jan. 30 as stakeholders gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the facility for dental education and oral health care.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.reflector.com/news/ecu-celebrates-newest-dental-learning-center-2784105

In Speech, Clark Highlights Charlotte-Meck successes, challenges (EdNC) -- Ann Clark said she wanted to “put a face” on the work that happens inside the district’s 164 schools. To do it, she turned to a host of students, employees, and community partners, who cheered the district’s accomplishments—and challenged its supporters to deepen their commitment to CMS.

THE WHOLE STORY https://www.ednc.org/2015/02/02/speech-clark-highlights-cms-successes-challenges/

Teacher Evaluation Plan Draws New Support (Wall Street Journal) -- A coalition of teacher-preparation groups came out at the last minute to support a controversial federal plan to track how well new teachers fare as they start teaching in the classroom. The move sets up a showdown with traditional players in the field.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.wsj.com/articles/teacher-evaluation-plan-draws-new-support-1422853262

Schools, food, deserts and tiramisu: EdNC’s search for common ground (EdNC) -- The USDA defines food deserts as “urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.” But that doesn’t tell you what you need to know about the problem. The areas affected by this issue are as diverse as the people in our state, and food deserts can apply to situations you might not normally expect.

THE WHOLE STORY https://www.ednc.org/2015/02/02/schools-food-deserts-tiramisu-edncs-search-common-ground/

East Carolina fraternity suspended after rape report (AP) -- A fraternity has asked its chapter at East Carolina University to suspend activities after a woman reported a rape last week. Multiple media outlets reported that the national office of Sigma Phi Epsilon asked its chapter at the Greenville school to suspend operations while the allegation is investigated.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.wral.com/east-carolina-fraternity-suspended-after-rape-report/14413427/

Football Major, Basketball Minor? (New York Times) -- The National Collegiate Athletic Association has long clung to the idea that college athletes are essentially engaged in extracurricular activities, but evidence to the contrary is mounting. Football players might devote as many as 60 hours a week to their sport, with little time for studies. Graduation rates for Division I football and men’s basketball players hover around 50 percent, according to federal statistics. The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has found that over the last two decades, some 3,000 students, about half of them athletes, took courses that sometimes did not meet or require any work. Two former players, Rashanda McCants and Devon Ramsay, filed a lawsuit in January claiming the university and N.C.A.A. failed to fulfill their stated missions of educating them.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/education/edlife/football-major-basketball-minor.html

UNCC professor’s team uses advanced computing to map the spread of flu (Charlotte Observer) -- UNC Charlotte professor Daniel Janies and his colleagues use new computing methods to create visualizations of viral flu traffic throughout the world - with the goal of getting ahead of these events.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/01/4509279/uncc-professors-team-uses-advanced.html

Durham Public Schools staring at $10M cash crunch this year (Durham Herald-Sun) -- Less than two years ago, the Durham Public Schools found itself unexpectedly flush with nearly $20 million in its unassigned fund balance. This year, DPS has no such embarrassment of riches and is facing a $10 million budget shortfall brought on primarily by the cumulative effect of state budget cuts that have eliminated funding for teaching and teaching assistant positions.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.heraldsun.com/archive/x2130549577/Durham-Public-Schools-staring-at-10M-cash-crunch-this-year

Author Wes Moore to discuss thin difference in two lives at Fayetteville State (Fayetteville Observer) -- When Wes Moore began writing to an inmate who shared his name in 2000, he wanted to figure out the back story behind the man.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/author-wes-moore-to-discuss-thin-difference-in-two-lives/artic...

Charter schools need more oversight (Rocky Mount Telegram editorial) -- As administrators of charter schools in Edgecombe County, Kinston and other parts of the state are beginning to learn: Running a school isn’t as easy as it looks.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/opinion/our-views/charter-schools-need-more-oversight-2783937

State grading system (Wilson Times Editorial) -- In a couple of weeks, some Guilford County schools will be wearing a big, fat F. The state will give them that grade based on last spring’s end-of-course and end-of-grade tests.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.wilsontimes.com/Opinion/Editorials/Story/35571203---State-grading-system

THE SPILL-THE SPIN

SPEICAL SECTION: The Dan River Coal Ash Disaster (Greensboro News & Record) -- It could take years for an accurate picture to emerge of exactly how much serious damage, if any, Duke Energy’s coal ash spill inflicted on the Dan River one year ago this week. Early indications suggest that the environmental impact was limited to spots where significant amounts of ash settled into the river bottom and, theoretically at least, could re-emerge later as a problem.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.news-record.com/news/dan_river/

N.C. community fights Duke Energy plan to dump toxic coal ash (LA Times) -- After a massive coal ash spill coated the Dan River in North Carolina with 70 miles of toxic gunk a year ago, state lawmakers required coal ash stored at four Duke Energy plants in North Carolina to be moved to safer locations. Now tons of coal ash may end up across the road from Joe Bray's tidy little home and vegetable garden in the piney woods of central North Carolina.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-nc-coal-ash-20150201-story.html

Fine weighed in North Carolina river coal ash spill (AP) — A year after the sudden collapse of an old drainage pipe triggered the third-largest coal ash spill in history, regulators say they are working to determine how much to fine the nation's largest electricity company.

THE WHOLE STORY http://triblive.com/usworld/nation/7688017-74/ash-river-duke#axzz3QYjcwdyR

A year after ash spill, open questions about Duke and the Dan (Charlotte Observer) -- It’s been one year since a security guard at a Duke Energy power plant in Eden found a mysteriously drained ash pond as the Dan River turned the color of wet concrete.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2015/02/01/5487740/a-year-after-ash-spill-open-questions.html

Coal Ash Spill, One Year Later (WUNC-FM) -- In retrospect, running a storm pipe under an unlined coal ash pit was a bad idea. One year ago today, such a pipe under such a pit leaked 39,000 tons of toxic ash into the Dan River. A week after the spill, Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks all but admitted the design was flawed.

THE WHOLE STORY http://wunc.org/post/coal-ash-spill-one-year-later

Danger still looms over the Dan River (Winston-Salem Journal column) -- It’s been exactly one year since the infamous broken pipe at Duke Energy’s Dan River steam station spewed 39,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the scenic Dan River, just a few miles upstream of the drinking water intake of some 160,000 people. Since then, much attention has been given to the river and to the problems of leaking, unlined coal ash pits across North Carolina.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/columnists/amy-adams-danger-still-looms-over-the-dan-river/article...

A year after ash spill, open questions about Duke and the Dan (Charlotte Observer) -- It’s been one year since a security guard at a Duke Energy power plant in Eden found a mysteriously drained ash pond as the Dan River turned the color of wet concrete.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2015/02/01/5487740/a-year-after-ash-spill-open-questions.html

A year after Duke spill, work to do (Charlotte Observer editorial) -- A year ago today, most North Carolinians had never heard of coal ash, or at least knew almost nothing about it. That changed in a hurry.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2015/02/02/5483383/a-year-after-duke-spill-work-to.html

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

New DENR head van der Vaart charts recovery (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Donald van der Vaart, the new head of North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources is taking over an agency suffering from budget cuts, fallout from coal ash pollution, a grand jury investigation and a loss of confidence.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/01/4523093/new-denr-head-donald-van-der-vaart.html

Wood Pellets Are Big Business (And For Some, a Big Worry) (Forbes) -- It’s a good time to be in the American wood pellet business. Dozens of manufacturers, increasingly concentrated in the Southeast, are now approaching production of 10 million annual short tons of wood pellets — ostensibly made from the leftovers at lumber mills or from the branches, slash and other woody material found on the forest floor. Another 6 million short tons of capacity is now planned or under construction, according to industry data, making the U.S. the single largest wood pellet producer in the world. … All of this unfolds as a long-simmering debate over the precise environmental and climate impacts of the wood-pellet boom — and of bio-based energy in general — remains largely unsettled. … For all the concern, there are few signs that the wood pellet boom is slowing down — and not everyone considers that a bad thing. The Georgia Forestry Commission noted last year that in that state alone, the number of wood pellet mills went from precisely zero in 2007 to nine facilities in 2013, creating hundreds of jobs and generating millions of dollars in additional revenue — with more plants in development. Meanwhile, shiny new export facilities are being built from Wilmington, N.C., to Pascagoula, Miss. — and a variety of spots in between. Among the newest projects are two wood pellet mills slated for North Carolina’s Richmond and Sampson counties, unveiled by the state’s governor, Pat McCrory, in September.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomzeller/2015/02/01/wood-pellets-are-big-business-and-for-some-a-big-wo...

Coastal Sketch: Don Ensley Coastal Review) -- Meet the first board president of the N.C. Coastal Federation. His passion for community activism led the successful battle against peat mining in Eastern North Carolina.

THE WHOLE STORY http://nccoast.org/Article.aspx?k=81878d52-3eaf-488c-8f96-7aec63757918

EDITORIALS

A credit union helps foster children find families (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- The State Employees Credit Union is stepping up to help foster children, particularly those with special needs and those who are older, find permanent adoptive homes.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/01/4523333/a-credit-union-helps-foster-children.html

Economic recovery: The light is in sight (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Despite the low jobless rate, we know that in terms of raw numbers, many are still struggling with poverty and homelessness. Winston-Salem’s homeless count, conducted Thursday night by volunteers with the United Way and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Homeless Council, came up with too many still living on the streets. Many of the working poor don’t yet make enough to pay rent, let alone buy homes. Let’s not forget them. A full financial recovery should include everyone who wants to be included.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-economic-recovery-the-light-is-in-sight/artic...

Offshore drilling would threaten the NC coast (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The Obama administration’s plan to open the waters off the shores of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to offshore drilling puts North Carolina’s tourism and other industries at risk. There should be a strong legal and political push to keep oil rigs out of the Atlantic waters.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/01/4523334/offshore-drilling-would-threaten.html

Officials must do their jobs (Wilmington Star-News) -- Magistrates are court officials and do not get to choose which laws they will administer.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20150201/ARTICLES/150209988/1108/opinion?Title=Editorial-Offic...

Requiring insurance for mopeds is wise; other ideas go too far (Fayetteville Observer) - Slow-speed, low-powered mopeds appear born to be mild, but the Department of Motor Vehicles is seeking tougher regulations.

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.fayobserver.com/opinion/editorials/our-view-requiring-insurance-for-mopeds-is-wise-other-...

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