Daily Journal

8.21.14
Aquarium Toes Environmentalist Line

Politically motivated messages mar a trip to a popular state attraction.

CJ Ticker

  • N.C. Supreme Court affirms a 2013 state Utilities Commission ruling approving a Duke Energy Progress rate hike.
  • Gov. McCrory appoints Appeals Court Judge Bob Hunter to Supreme Court seat being vacated by Chief Justice-designate Mark Martin. Hunter is running for the seat in November.
  • JLF report says 2014-15 N.C. budget sets better course for future spending plans.
  • HB 1224, economic incentives/local sales tax option, fails 47-54. Short session likely to adjourn Wednesday or Thursday.
  • New JLF report answers questions, debunks myths about fracking.
  • Federal judge denies move by NAACP, others to block N.C. election reforms during 2014 season.
  • 19(!) file for Martin seat on state Court of Appeals.
  • Wake County will not vote in November on sales tax increase.

Other Opinions

8.21.14
Supreme selection

Gov. Pat McCrory makes the best and obvious choice of naming veteran jurist Mark Martin to serve as chief justice says the Greensboro News & Record.


8.21.14
Tourism

Tourism in North Carolina is a $20 billion-a-year industry, and that's only counting what visitors – traveling for recreation or on business – actually spend here says the Wilmington Star-News.


8.21.14
Legal challenges

The General Assembly is concerned that too many of its laws are being subjected to constitutional challenges. Its solution is a potentially unconstitutional provision says the Asheville Citizen-Times.


8.20.14
Senate race

Despite groups spending $35 million, North Carolina voters remain unmoved in the state’s Senate race between Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis writes Rob Christensen.


8.20.14
Coal ash plan

Gov. Pat McCrory and his administration are making steps toward pushing Duke Energy to clean up its coal ash-storage ponds. But a lot more is needed says the Winston-Salem Journal.


8.06.14
The ‘Ruling Class’ Promises Peace, But Its Actions Ensure The Opposite
Pacifism mixed with an arrogant idealism has not made our nation or the world safer.

Media Mangle

9.06.12
How to downplay an embarrassing story

The N&O buries the one moment of real drama at the Democratic National Convention.


3.21.12
Death of a narrative

The world's media found the neo-Nazi meme in stories about the school shooting in France just too enticing.


1.16.12
Anatomy of a Newspaper Hit Piece

In a Sunday piece, The Charlotte Observer employs all the steps used by the mainstream media to mislead readers.

Lead Story

VIDEO: JLF Education Expert Pans Voucher Ruling

August 21, 2014, By CJ Staff

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — The John Locke Foundation’s top education expert says a Wake County Superior Court ruling this morning takes opportunities away from low-income parents and children seeking alternatives to North Carolina’s traditional public schools. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood declared the state’s new Opportunity Scholarship program unconstitutional.

08.21.14 - Legislature Passes Coal Ash Cleanup, Adjourns Quietly

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — While Tuesday saw the House defeating an economic incentives plan pushed by House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, Wednesday saw a more subdued House approving a bipartisan coal ash cleanup bill, adopting a scaled down economic incentives bill to help a mountain paper mill plant convert its energy source to natural gas, and agreeing to leave for good — or at least until January 2015. The Senate followed suit.

08.20.14 - House Revolt Crashes Incentives Bill

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Twenty-eight House Republicans bolted party ranks Tuesday, joining 26 Democrats to defeat an economic incentives program that some labeled “corporate welfare.” It was a rebuke to House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and Gov. Pat McCrory, all of whom championed the legislation.

Editorial Cartoon

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Headlines

8.21.14 - NC lawmakers pass coal ash legislation

RALEIGH — The state’s Coal Ash Management Act, described by advocates as the first of its kind, passed the state legislature with a broad majority on Wednesday, about six months after a corroded pipe spilled huge volumes of the gray, sludgy industrial byproduct into the Dan River.


Related Energy Articles:
Fracking opponents make voices heard at Raleigh hearing
General Assembly sends compromise coal ash bill to the governor
NC Supreme Court upholds Duke Energy rate increase
Method used for closing coal ash ponds linked to problems
JLF: Facts on Fracking
Coal ash legislation could be approved Wednesday

8.21.14 - Method used for closing coal ash ponds linked to problems

WINSTON-SALEM — The legislation that cleared the General Assembly on Wednesday allows Duke Energy to close some of its coal ash pits using a method – known as cap-in-place – that has been linked with groundwater contamination at the company’s Belews Creek Steam Station in Stokes County.


Related Energy Articles:
Fracking opponents make voices heard at Raleigh hearing
General Assembly sends compromise coal ash bill to the governor
NC lawmakers pass coal ash legislation
NC Supreme Court upholds Duke Energy rate increase
JLF: Facts on Fracking
Coal ash legislation could be approved Wednesday

8.21.14 - NC Supreme Court upholds Duke Energy rate increase

RALEIGH — The N.C. Supreme Court has ruled that the state Utilities Commission was within bounds when allowing a Duke Energy subsidiary to impose a residential rate increase despite an appeal by the N.C. Attorney General. The decision, issued Wednesday, included no dissenters.


Related Energy Articles:
Fracking opponents make voices heard at Raleigh hearing
General Assembly sends compromise coal ash bill to the governor
NC lawmakers pass coal ash legislation
Method used for closing coal ash ponds linked to problems
JLF: Facts on Fracking
Coal ash legislation could be approved Wednesday

8.21.14 - Lawmakers leave jobs bill, Medicaid reform behind

RALEIGH — Lawmakers will end their session without providing a new job recruitment fund Gov. Pat McCrory had sought. The General Assembly adjourned sine die – Latin for “without day” – when the Senate ended its session at 7:43 p.m. Wednesday evening. Lawmakers will not return to work this year unless McCrory vetoes a bill or calls lawmakers back for a special session.


Related NC General Assembly Articles:
Lawmakers return to work on deal to leave
NC House leader: Legislators may return next week
Few NC senators meet for perfunctory floor session
Without accord, NC lawmakers remain in session
Goolsby resigns from state Senate
Republican legislators get kinder, gentler

8.21.14 - Fracking opponents make voices heard at Raleigh hearing

RALEIGH — Fracking foes booed, jeered, hissed, chanted, snickered, sang – and one even wept – at a Raleigh public hearing Wednesday to vent their frustration about proposed rules that would clear the way for shale gas exploration in North Carolina next year. Around 500 people turned out in the middle of the day at the N.C. State University’s McKimmon Center for the first of four public hearings to hear comments about the proposed safety rules.


Related Energy Articles:
General Assembly sends compromise coal ash bill to the governor
NC lawmakers pass coal ash legislation
NC Supreme Court upholds Duke Energy rate increase
Method used for closing coal ash ponds linked to problems
JLF: Facts on Fracking
Coal ash legislation could be approved Wednesday

8.21.14 - Polls suggest that Hagan’s lead over Tillis fading

GREENSBORO — Two new polls show that U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s early lead against challenger Thom Tillis, the speaker of the N.C. House, may be diminishing. A poll released Tuesday by Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling shows Hagan, a Democrat, leading Tillis, a Republican, 42 percent to 38 percent. Last month, the poll had Hagan leading 41 percent to 34 percent.


Related NC Delegation Articles:
Tillis looks back on speakership
Hagan touts her ranking as a moderate Democrat
Alma Adams poised for next step
Hagan hits Tillis on school funding, Education Department comments
Hagan hits Tillis on education
Coal industry boosts Tillis’ campaign coffers

8.21.14 - Bank of America settlement announcement set for Thursday

CHARLOTTE — Bank of America’s nearly $17 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over soured mortgage bonds is expected to be announced Thursday at a press conference in Washington. A press release from the U.S. Justice Department said Attorney General Eric Holder and other officials would make a “major financial fraud announcement” on Thursday.


Related Federal Government Articles:
BofA settlement talks turn to consumer relief
BofA said to agree to pay up to $17 billion in settlement
Timmons-Goodson appointed to civil rights commission
Congress maintains support for Beaufort laboratory
Export-Import Bank creates political divisions in NC
Mark Meadows’ bill to help Swain collect millions owed

8.21.14 - UNC-CH’s plans to renovate or replace Smith Center “on the back burner”

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina still has interest in renovating the Smith Center or building a new arena to replace it, but those plans “have been pretty much on the back burner for 12 months,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in an interview earlier this week. Cunningham has publicly expressed a desire to renovate the Smith Center, which opened in 1986, and add premium features – like luxury suites – that could generate more revenue.


Related Higher Education Articles:
Ackland, Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill to get new leaders
St. Augustine’s University continues to cut costs
Big Data measuring dollar value of NC college degrees
Accreditation group ends monitoring of UNC-CH
Meadows pushes to exempt student workers from ACA
UNC-CH critic Mary Willingham accused of plagiarism

8.21.14 - Wake, other counties now collecting once-disputed tax

RALEIGH — Wake County has lost its eight-year legal battle to force online travel companies to pay millions of dollars in alleged back taxes. Despite the county’s legal defeat, however, subsequent developments – most notably a change in state law enacted years after the county sued the online travel companies – have enabled Wake and other North Carolina counties to collect the disputed tax going forward.


Related NC Budget and Tax Articles:
Special session involving coal ash, Medicaid? Still undecided
Senate send House bargain on teacher assistants
Senate ties budget fix to commerce and local tax bill
JLF: Trends in North Carolina state spending
American Airlines urges lawmakers for fuel sales tax relief
McCrory signs $21.1B state budget bill

8.21.14 - Wilmington crime lab funding falls on taxpayers

WILMINGTON — Since its creation five years ago, the Wilmington Police Department’s crime lab has been relying on taxpayer dollars to cover operating costs, but that wasn’t the plan. Instead, defendants found guilty of crimes in which lab work was used would be responsible for paying fees aimed at covering lab costs.


Related Police/Public Safety Articles:
Greensboro OKs ordinance on overcrowded nightclubs
NC legislators aim to stiffen cellphone-smuggling penalties
Bonfield: DPD has to explain pot-arrest racial disparity
Bonfield favors tighter limits on some searches
Senate inaction leads to House U-turn on crime bill
Fayetteville police making fewer traffic stops

8.21.14 - Charlotte to study ‘pay as you throw’ idea for garbage

CHARLOTTE — Your water bill is based on how much water you use. Your power bill is based on how much electricity you consume. That principle could be coming to garbage pickup in the city of Charlotte, which is studying whether to implement a “pay as you throw” fee method, in which residents pay for how much garbage they produce.


Related Landfill & Recycling Articles:
Trash trucks target of power struggle
Airport recycling center struggles with delays, overruns
JLF: Confusing stats on Hispanics and illegal immigrants
Mecklenburg may ban items in roll-out garbage carts
Forsyth to consider $8.65 a month recycling fee
Forsyth recycling decision expected next month

8.21.14 - Triad to get additional area code, will have to dial 10 digits

WINSTON-SALEM — Dialing an area code for all phone calls in the Triad will be mandatory as part of a state regulatory decision that adds a 743 area code for future phone numbers. The N.C. Utilities Commission said Wednesday it approved on Aug. 13 establishing an all-services overlay — or a 10-digit dialing plan — for the Triad.


Related Media & Internet Articles:
Consultant: Time Warner/Comcast merger needs scrutiny
AT&T to bring high-speed fiber optic broadband to Charlotte
Google Fiber works to bring ultra-fast Internet to Charlotte
Google praises Charlotte’s Google Fiber application
Watchdogs say 2 NC stations failed to follow ad rules
Charlotte to move forward with Google Fiber proposal
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