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Apr 9, 2018

NC Politics in the News

Your weekly North Carolina political news report.


Economic Development

WRAL NEWS: Lawmakers say Apple better bet for NC than Amazon

State lawmakers said Thursday that, while the Triangle remains in the hunt for Amazon's second headquarters, the price could wind up being too steep.

HIGH POINT ENTERPRISE: County approves incentives for Publix project

The Board of Commissioners rolled out the welcome mat as much as it could Thursday night for Publix Super Markets Inc. to bring a distribution center with 1,000 jobs to the county.


Education

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Politically connected company hired to take over low-performing NC school  

A politically connected company with a limited track record has been chosen to take over a low-performing North Carolina elementary school. The State Board of Education voted 7-4 on Thursday to hire Charlotte-based Achievement For All Children to manage Southside Ashpole Elementary School in Robeson County.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Why fewer charter schools are opening each year in North Carolina

The number of students in North Carolina's charter schools has more than doubled in the past seven years, but the number of these nontraditional public schools opening each year is slowing down.


Energy & Environment

WILMINGTON STAR-NEWS: NC tells Chemours to keep GenX out of air

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has put Chemours on notice, again, this time informing the chemical giant that it must show how it will keep air emissions at the Fayetteville Works facility from contaminating groundwater or face an overhaul of its permit.

WILMINGTON STAR-NEWS: UNCW researchers: GenX is in the Cape Fear’s sediment

A team of University of North Carolina Wilmington researchers have confirmed GenX can be found in the sediment of the Cape Fear River and are confident they have determined how it is being distributed via rain, just some of the takeaways of their state-funded research.

THE OUTER BANKS SENTINEL: Board hears case for offshore drilling

The Dare Board of Commissioners listened respectfully to an April 3 presentation advocating for seismic surveys and the possibility of offshore drilling off the North Carolina coast, but remained convinced that it carried an unacceptable risk.


Health and Human Services

NC HEALTH NEWS: Final Numbers Show N.C. Insurance Signups Were Strong, But Just Under the Wire

New data released this week by federal health officials show that North Carolina had continued strong enrollment on the federal health insurance marketplace during the most recent signup period – but it was a squeaker.


In the Courts

THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Atrium Health punches back, countersues as fight over lost medical contract escalates

Lies, defamation and breach of confidentiality were among the claims Atrium Health lobbed at a company and its affiliate that supplies anesthesiologists to many of Atrium's Charlotte-area hospitals.  

WRAL NEWS: State must 'pay up' for special master in gerrymandering suit, judges say

Legal teams for Gov. Roy Cooper and his Republican foils in the General Assembly were back in court Wednesday, arguing over money. They disagree over which branch of government ultimately controls certain types of spending, and Superior Court Judge Henry Hight heard arguments about federal block grants and the millions set to flow from the Volkswagen settlement fund, which was created to end lawsuits tied to the car company's faulty vehicle emissions figures.

WRAL NEWS: Judge: Jury won't take smell tour of NC hog farm

A federal judge decided Monday he won't send jurors for a see-and-sniff tour of a North Carolina hog-growing operation at the center of a lawsuit claiming industrial-scale pork production creates smells too foul to live near.  


Justice and Public Safety

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Drones are dropping contraband into prisons. NC is looking for ways to stop them.

Jimmy Causey, an inmate at a South Carolina maximum security prison, waited until the Fourth of July fireworks were in full swing before he used a pair of wire cutters to snip through four fences on his way to freedom.


Transportation

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: UNC championship sign will go back up. NC State will help decide where.

The state Department of Transportation is consulting N.C. State University as well as UNC-Chapel Hill to determine where it should place a new sign commemorating the Tar Heels 2017 national championship in men's basketball.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Self-driving cars are still on NC Turnpike Authority's radar

The fatal crash involving an Uber self-driving car in Arizona last month has not dissuaded the N.C. Turnpike Authority from urging companies to test autonomous vehicles on the Triangle Expressway in western Wake County.

THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: More toll lanes could be coming to Charlotte

A $551 million project to add toll lanes on Interstate 77 from the South Carolina line to the Belk Freeway is among 77 statewide transportation projects being considered for future funding, North Carolina's Department of Transportation says.