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May 26, 2020

NC Politics in the News

Agriculture

WVLT: North Carolina farmers start euthanizing 1.5M chickens during pandemic
Coronavirus outbreaks at meat processing plants are forcing North Carolina farmers to euthanize 1.5 million chickens, according to North Carolina state officials. Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Joe Reardon said this is the first time, during the pandemic, North Carolina farmers have had to euthanize their animals.


Economic Development

CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL: Flyover at Tesla manufacturing plant seeks to draw attention to NC megasite
Economic developers with a longtime goal of luring an automaker to North Carolina, took to the skies this week to get a message across — literally — after the founder of Tesla Inc. threatened to relocate its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California.

ENERGY NEWS NETWORK: 'An exciting milestone': North Carolina takes first step on offshore wind study
North Carolina has taken the first step toward what observers say is a crucial study of offshore wind — issuing a request for proposals to analyze the state’s ports and manufacturing supply chain. Other states who’ve conducted similar analyses have created a virtuous cycle of more local jobs, lower costs, and more activity in an offshore wind sector still in its nascent stages in the United States. 


Education

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Coronavirus hurt NC school budgets. Now they'll get $431 million in relief funds
North Carolina public schools will soon get access to more than $431 million in federal aid to help them deal with costs related to the coronavirus pandemic. The State Board of Education approved a policy amendment Thursday for distributing $356.1 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to schools. 

WFAE: State: NC Schools Need To Get Better At Remote Learning By August
Even after students return to classes Aug. 17, remote learning is going to be a big part of their education, North Carolina officials say. A plan approved at Thursday's state Board of Education meeting calls for schools to use in-person class days to prepare students for better use of online learning when that's needed. While August plans remain unclear, students may end up alternating between home and classrooms to allow for more distance. 


Health

WLOS: Testing site open to the public in Henderson County on Tuesday
Henderson County Health Department has partnered with Blue Ridge Health to offer a COVID-19 testing site for the public on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Testing will take place from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm at the campus of East Henderson High School, located at 150 Eagle Pride Drive, East Flat Rock, NC 28726. 

NEWSWEEK: North Carolina Sees Highest Number of Hospitalizations Since Coronavirus Outbreak Began As State Lifts More Restrictions
Novel coronavirus patient hospitalizations in North Carolina hit 627 on Monday, the highest it's been since the outbreak began. The state currently has at least 23,964 confirmed cases, including 754 deaths, according to the latest report Monday by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).


Government

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC faces a big budget shortfall. Will Congress deliver billions in aid? And when?
North Carolina could face a $4.2 billion budget shortfall due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus and the shutdown implemented to stop its spread, the state’s budget forecasters predict. Now congressional Republicans and Democrats are debating the best way to help states and local governments.

ABC 11: 'The time is now:' Group of NC gym owners planning legal action against Gov. Cooper's order to stay closed
Organizers of a newly created Facebook group, comprised of more than 6,000 members, plan to take Governor Roy Cooper's omission of gyms from Phase 2 to court. Kelli and Paul Humphreys are a part of this group known as "ReOpen NC's Health Clubs."


Politics

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Trump Threatens to Pull Republican National Convention From North Carolina
The president, who has wondered aloud to aides why the convention can’t be held in Florida, said North Carolina’s governor needed to “guarantee” that the event could be held in August.


Technology

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Number of IT job openings in North Carolina dropped by a quarter in April
The number of technology job openings in North Carolina dropped by 25% in April, the first full month in which the state was under a stay-at-home order because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new figures compiled by the N.C. Technology Association.

WCNC: Charlotte restaurant to use thermal technology to take guests' temperatures
North Carolina is moving into Phase 2 of the governor's plan to slowly easy stay at home orders. Phase 2 will bring back gyms, bars, indoor dining, and places of worship, all with social distancing guidelines. But some businesses may be using technology that will help keep customers safe when they reopen. 


Transportation

THE CENTER SQUARE: State auditor finds 'black hole' in North Carolina Department of Transportation's finances
State Auditor Beth Wood told North Carolina lawmakers Wednesday that she has some unanswered questions after completing a financial audit of the North Carolina Department of Transportation earlier this month. Wood said she found gaps in reporting on $4.8 billion in NCDOT projects that are eligible for federal reimbursements – referred to as advanced construction. 

WLOS: Thousands of NC transportation department employees furloughed amid COVID-19 crisis
The North Carolina Department of Transportation told its employees to take unpaid time off until the end of June to help the department save money as part of cost-cutting measures during the coronavirus pandemic.