Daily dose: Veterans Day is for women, too

N.C. Companies Work To Help Women Veterans Find New Careers (WUNC-FM) -- Computer giant Lenovo is teaming up with the non-profit Dress for Success to help get female veterans into the civilian workforce. Numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show the unemployment rate among female veterans is nearly double what it is for male vets. Beth Briggs is Executive Director of Dress for Success Triangle. The organization trains women to get them back in the workforce and provides them with a wardrobe.

STATE OF THE SOUTH: Many Left Behind Even as N.C.'s Big Cities Thrive (Public News Service) -- Business is booming for some North Carolina cities, namely Raleigh and Charlotte, both of which made Forbes magazine's recent rating of "Best Places for Business and Careers." While that's good news for those riding the upswing, the new State of the South report from MDC Incorporated finds not everyone is poised to take advantage of the recovering economy. Richard Hart, with MDC Incorporated, says the rising tide is not lifting all boats

BROKEN SYSTEM: Wos responds to stinging food stamp review (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The state Department of Health and Human Services formally replied to a critical review of its food stamp program, telling the federal government that it was correcting faulty processes, or telling the counties to do it.

LESS BROKEN: NC FAST sees fewer problems (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Pitt County Department of Social Services is experiencing fewer problems with NC FAST even though an additional category of clients are being process through the system, staff reported during Monday’s county social services board meeting.

SCRAMBLE’S ON! Burr joins candidates seeking NC House speakership (AP) — One of the youngest members of the North Carolina House is joining the race to become the chamber's next top leader.

'Moral Monday' Organizers Vow to Continue Movement in Wake of GOP Wins (Voter Update Magazine) -- In the aftermath of an election that saw Republican victories, organizers of the progressive "Moral Monday" movement say they are not deterred.

Best Congressional Campaigns of 2014 (Roll Call) -- Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.; Hagan’s campaign team had a heavy lift this year and was ultimately unsuccessful. Romney won North Carolina in 2012, and Hagan wasn’t known for rally skills like other southern Democrats. Despite President Barack Obama’s low approval rating and congressional dysfunction dominating the headlines, Hagan’s team, led by campaign manager Preston Elliott, put the focus on local issues — and they kept it there. Don’t like the Senate? The campaign bet it could make voters like the North Carolina legislature even less. Democrats quickly put Republican Thom Tillis on the defensive through early October, pummeling him with ads about cuts to education spending. By the time Tillis could respond, the narrative had stuck. But in the final weeks of the campaign, Tillis was able to maneuver to offense and pull out a 2-point win. On Election Day, even Republicans weren’t sure Tillis would pull out a victory — a sign his opponent ran strong race.

Tillis, Other Senate Winners, Aided by $127 Million In Dark Money (Bloomberg News) -- Winning U.S. Senate candidates got a nice boost from groups that don't fully disclose their contributors. In 10 key Senate contests, the winners benefited from $127 million in outside help from such organizations, according to a report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. … "The victors will take their seats likely feeling grateful to interests that are hidden from their constituents and the public," the report said. North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis, who unseated Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan in a race that helped secure a Senate majority for Republicans, received $22.9 million in outside support from groups that don't fully disclose, the report said. Tillis's outside help included $5.6 million in spending from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (a 501c6) and $4.9 million from Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (a 501c4 issues group promoting limited government). The Brennan Center's report refers to "dark money" as "spending by groups that hide the identities of some of all of their donors."

NC Dems turn focus to rebuilding for 2016 (WRAL-TV) -- Last week's defeat of U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has shaken up North Carolina Democrats. Some critics are blaming the state party for not doing enough to help her, while others say the party did better here than in other Southern states. The North Carolina Democratic Party has had several rough years, with personnel problems, power struggles and financial difficulties since Republicans seized control of the General Assembly in the 2010 elections. Former state Democratic Party director Scott Falmlen said the party apparatus needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. "The official infrastructure of the party has hit rock bottom," Falmlen said. "There's going to have to be a lot of soul searching amongst Democrats at every level."

No Big Changes for N.C. Politics After this Year's Vote (Voter Update Magazine) -- This year's vote was not quite a status quo election, nor was it a game-changer for North Carolina government.

The remarkable recent decline of split-ticket voting (Washington Post) -- There are five congressional districts that Romney won in 2012 that elected a Democrat this year.

NC legislature may not be over for this year (AP) — The General Assembly's work may not be over if Gov. Pat McCrory decides replenishing a key economic recruitment tool in North Carolina can't wait until January.

Berger says discrimination ok, lead court administrator is wrong (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Senate leader Phil Berger launched a word missile Monday in the ongoing disagreement with the Administrative Office of the Courts over magistrates performing same-sex marriages. Judge John W. Smith, AOC director, said in a letter to Berger last week that magistrates, who swear an oath to “support the Constitution of the United States,” have duty to perform such marriage after two federal judges declared unconstitutional the state ban on same-sex marriage. Berger has claimed that federal law and the First Amendment shield magistrates who have religious objections. Smith wrote that Berger may have mislead magistrates into thinking that they can opt out of performing same-sex marriages.

Berger blasts NC courts official over gay marriage (WRAL-TV) -- Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger fired back at the director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts on Monday, saying he doesn't understand the law and is ignoring magistrates' First Amendment right not to marry a sex-sex couple. Berger's letter to Judge John Smith is the latest salvo over magistrates who cite religious objections to presiding over a gay marriage ceremony.

NC NAACP chief asks again for Medicaid expansion (AP) — The head of the North Carolina NAACP continues to push Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature to cover hundreds of thousands of people with Medicaid through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

Health-Law Enrollment in 2015 Won’t Meet Forecast (Wall Street Journal) -- Millions fewer people will enroll in private health plans under the Affordable Care Act next year than the Congressional Budget Office had predicted, the Obama administration said Monday.

Tax revenues in 29 states still haven’t recovered from the recession (Washington Post) -- Some are still behind by more than 25 percent. There are still 29 states where tax collections have yet to return to their pre-recession heights, according to a new Pew Charitable Trusts analysis.

NC launches initiative to aid veterans, families (AP) — North Carolina is launching an initiative aimed at serving active-duty military, veterans and their families.

McCrory heading to Butner on Veterans Day (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory's emphasis on issues and opportunities for service members in North Carolina continues on Veterans Day.

Local veterans voice frustration with Fayetteville VA (WRAL-TV) -- Three local veterans who have decades of service between them, including silver stars, bronze stars and service awards, say they have one other thing in common - they are all frustrated with the Fayetteville VA Medical Center.

Justice Reinvestment Act leads to increasing local jail population (Wilmington Star-News) -- Even though the county jail population has grown, officials say the fluctuating numbers aren't cause for concern.

Biotech Center launches branding campaign (AP) -- The N.C. Biotechnology Center has teamed up with the Department of Commerce and Department of Agriculture to ramp up industry recruitment efforts with the launch of an economic development platform.

12 days later, Sampson County man realizes he's a lottery winner (WRAL-TV) -- It took 12 days for William McCrea to become a millionaire. That's how long the Sampson County man left his winning lottery ticket on his dresser, then in his truck, before realizing he won.

Sampson County man claims $1 million lottery ticket (Fayetteville Observer) -- A Sampson County man waited 12 days before checking his lottery tickets only to find he had won $1 million, the N.C. Education Lottery said.

Cash 5 ticket worth \$640,913 sold in Wilmington (Wilmington Star-News) -- The odds of winning the game's jackpot are 1 in 575,757.

Work begins to raise NC Highway 12 near Rodanthe (AP) — The N.C. Department of Transportation has begun work to raise and level N.C. Highway 12 north and south of the temporary bridge on Pea Island in Dare County.

Oak Valley Hardwoods to invest $10.1 million in 5 years (Lesprom Network) -- Oak Valley Hardwoods , Inc. is planning to invest more than $10.1 million during the next five years to expand operations into Graham County and create 114 new jobs in Robbinsville (NC), Governor Pat McCrory, N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. announced. Headquartered in Charlotte, Oak Valley Hardwoods is a subsidiary of Tides and Times Group USA, Inc., and operates lumber, saw mill and dry kiln facilities and produces an assortment of wood products. It already has operations in locations across North Carolina including Rutherford, Haywood, Caldwell, McDowell and Polk counties employing more than 160 workers.

UNC-Wilmington Receives Two Decades Worth of History from Rep. McIntyre (TWCN-TV) -- The UNC-Wilmington Randall Library Special Collections room is now filled with keys, hats, pictures, pens, and papers from Congressman Mike McIntyre.

Shaw will lead Tillis’ transition team (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Sen.-elect Thom Tillis’s campaign manager, Jordan Shaw, will lead the Tillis transition team as of Tuesday, Tillis spokesman Daniel Keylin announced on Monday.

Ready or Not: State and Local Governments Prep for Winter Conditions (Government Executive) -- As snow sweeps into Minnesota, watch how Charlotte, N.C., is preparing if it's hit by snow and ice.


Fort Bragg soldiers leave for Africa to help fight Ebola (Fayetteville Observer) -- Spc. Ken Osei-Manu was 19 years old when his family moved from Ghana to the United States. Now a soldier at Fort Bragg, Osei-Manu is one of about 100 soldiers heading to Africa to support Operation United Assistance, the Department of Defense's name for its Ebola-support mission.

Bragg troops leave for Ebola support mission (WRAL-TV) -- About 100 soldiers from Fort Bragg and Fort Stewart left North Carolina Monday on a mission to West Africa where they will support engineering, logistics and medical care in countries dealing with an Ebola virus outbreak.

Obama to honor Charlotte native who led golf’s integration (Charlotte Observer) -- The Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, and Charlie Sifford, 92, will be invited to join 18 other honorees including newscaster Tom Brokaw, actress Meryl Streep, musician Stevie Wonder and Ethel Kennedy.

German company building plant in Huntersville (AP) -- A German company is building a plant in Huntersville that will employ about 60 people over the next five years.

TBS to film comedy pilot in Wilmington (Wilmington Star-News) -- TBS is loading up the family and heading to Wilmington.

Federal Government Boosts Pressure on States’ Teacher-Equity Plans (Wall Street Journal) -- The federal government asked states to do their homework on teacher quality on Monday, giving them until June to produce plans to ensure all students have high-performing teachers regardless of race or income.

Some N.C. colleges waive application fees (WRAL-TV) -- Some North Carolina colleges and universities will be waiving their application fee for all North Carolina graduating seniors this week.

Teacher Turnover Rates On the Rise in N.C. (TWCN-TV) -- The most recent report from the Department of Public Instruction shows that the teacher turnover rates tend to be higher in city schools than in county schools.

Charter school enrollment falls below projections (Charlotte Observer) -- The nine new charter schools that opened in the Charlotte area this fall amid a rapid expansion now enroll about half the number of students they had projected, according to data released by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

New Hanover school board celebrates bond passage (Wilmington Star-News) -- New Hanover County Board of Education on Monday celebrated the passage of its $160 million school bond.

Elon Fraternity Suspended Over Hazing Investigation (TWCN-TV) -- A fraternity at Elon University is suspended, after an investigation into hazing. The Sigma Pi chapter appealed the decision to close it down for three years.

UNC faculty wants more input, power over athletes’ academics (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Among the suggestions discussed by UNC-Chapel Hill faculty leaders Monday were a code of ethics and a revamped faculty committee to provide more oversight of academics and athletics.

Montgomery Schools win $3 million technology grant (Charlotte Observer) -- The school system, said it is among 265 winners of the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) grant, designed to help improve education in rural areas.

2 teens charged after pipe bomb found at school (AP) — Investigators in Rowan County say two 13-year-olds have been suspended from school and face charges after a pipe bomb was found at a middle-school campus.

Work begins on Lee campus (Wilson Times) -- Wilson Community College trustees gave their official approval Monday to create a new Applied Engineering Technology degree.

Apprenticeship Catawba partners industry with CVCC (Hickory Record) — For the fifth year running the No. 1 toughest jobs to fill in this country are skilled jobs. It’s also the toughest job category to fill in the world, according to this year’s ManpowerGroup survey.

Pruden says Brunswick school board to fire him (Wilmington Star-News) -- Superintendent Edward Pruden announced in July that he would resign from the job at the end of the current school year.

UNC-Wilmington Receives Two Decades Worth of History from Rep. McIntyre (TWCN-TV) -- The UNC-Wilmington Randall Library Special Collections room is now filled with keys, hats, pictures, pens, and papers from Congressman Mike McIntyre.

CMS board leader defends superintendent’s departure, vows leak investigation (Charlotte Observer) -- In some of their first public comments since the departure of Superintendent Heath Morrison, leaders of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board said Monday that they followed the proper procedure in ending Morrison’s tenure with the district.

Environmental groups ready to sue over coal plant (AP) — Environmental groups say the coal ash stored at a Gallatin plant is illegally seeping toxic chemicals into the Cumberland River, a drinking water source for millions.

NC fracking rules revisions readied ahead of vote (AP) — The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has several more days to suggest changes to proposed fracking rules before what panel leaders hope is a swift final discussion and vote.

Duke Energy: Milestone reached in sale process (AP) — Duke Energy said Monday that the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission have granted early termination of the waiting period tied to the $2.8 billion sale of its non-regulated Midwest commercial generation business to Dynegy Inc.

Unlike Other Tech Giants, Amazon Doubles Down on Coal (Clean Technica) -- The Washington Post story focused on search engines, and indeed Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are increasingly powering their data centers with wind power in places like Iowa, Oklahoma, and Texas. But it’s not just search: Apple is powering its data centers, replete with all of our iTunes, with 100% renewable energy from wind, solar, geothermal, and microhydro power. Facebook is aiming for the same goal, and is purchasing massive quantities of wind power in Iowa to power our likes and shares in its data center there. One company is sitting out of the race, and it’s a crucial one: Amazon.com. Aside from being one of the most trafficked web sites in the world, Amazon also hosts much of the internet’s data via its massive Amazon Web Services (AWS) division, which handles the computing for sites and services like Netflix, Pinterest, Reddit, and AirBnB. According to one 2012 study, one third of all Internet users visit a web site based on Amazon’s infrastructure every day. Unfortunately, Amazon, unlike Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, or Microsoft, has made no effort to power with green energy. And it may be getting even dirtier soon. … When other IT companies have built data centers in areas with similarly dirty electricity grids, they have taken matters into their own hands. In North Carolina, Apple is powering with on-site solar, and it, Google, and Facebook have teamed up to push the utility there, Duke Energy, to offer them more renewable options. Amazon has options to do as much or more in Ohio.

Duke Energy named one of top 25 companies for women (Triangle Business Journal) -- Financial website Daily Worth ranks Duke Energy No. 16 on its list of "25 Best Companies for Women."

Where to now for McCrory? (Charlotte Observer) -- Dear Gov. McCrory, a Republican wave swept the nation, to be sure. But don’t get too comfortable. North Carolina is still as purple as any state in the nation.

Keeping faith with vets doesn't end as wars do (Fayetteville Observer) -- When we mark the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month this morning, no veterans will be among us from that conflict of a century ago

On Veterans Day, remembrances of all those who have served (Wilmington Star-News) -- And yet, we mustn’t forget the sacrifices of young men who were shipped far from home to fight in a foreign war under conditions that were primitive by today’s military standards.

Lynch a strong choice for US attorney general (Raleigh News & Observer) -- In picking Loretta Lynch for US Attorney General, President Obama has chosen a qualified candidate whose North Carolina roots, stellar education and impressive career will serve her well as the nation's top law enforcement officer.

Native daughter (Greensboro News & Record) -- Greensboro’s experience during the struggle for civil rights influenced attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.

Celia Rivenbark - An Ebola ‘wizard' might be the ticket (Wilmington Star-News column) -- I'm not sure when the whole "czar" thing was welcomed into the public lexicon, but I'm not crazy about it.

In an NC child's face, poignant dreams for the future (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- Forty-one children were this year's recipients of Dream Awards from the Foundation of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. They were nominated by their teachers and guidance counselors because they show great potential to achieve their goals.