Tom Campbell writes that the historic preservation tax credit appears reasonable. In a disposable, throwaway culture this credit encourages people to honor and preserve our past.
patrick Gannon writes that an early poll suggests that North Carolina will again be a battleground state in the 2016 presidential race.
Rob Christensen writes that one can only wonder what Jesse Helms would be saying today about the decision of President Barack Obama to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana.
The Durham Herald-Sun thinks that kind of stark single-character assessment is a bit simplistic when assessing movies or restaurant meals. It certainly is addled when applied to a complex institution like a school.
The Fayetteville Observer says that the agreement not to deactivate the 440th Air Wing without a review process comes as welcome news for the besieged unit and the community.
Journalists fall short of long-established standards when they allow officials to peruse and even edit their reports.
You’d have thought by now that the news media would have learned the hard lessons of prejudging a story or a situation before all the facts are in.
Media outlets should think twice about maintaining cozy relationships with murderous regimes.
Health Care Winners and Losers
December 22, 2014, By Barry SmithRALEIGH — Legislative leaders will allow the Academic Standards Review Commission to operate with temporary funding from the Department of Administration. When the General Assembly convenes in January, lawmakers say they’ll give the commission an operating budget so it can hire staff and conduct research.
RALEIGH — A 65-year-old Fayetteville man convicted of two murders and sentenced to life in prison in the 1970s will stay behind bars for the rest of his life, according to a N.C. Supreme Court ruling. The justices, in a 4-2 ruling, reversed a decision last year by a three-judge N.C. Court of Appeals panel that supported a Cumberland County Superior Court judge’s decision that a life sentence for inmate Bobby E. Bowden did not necessarily mean he would be imprisoned until his death.
WINSTON-SALEM — Another significant drop in the state’s jobless rate — 0.5 percentage points to 5.8 percent in November — is likely to stir further debate about how much economic stock should be put into employment data. The rate is down from 7.2 percent in November 2013 and is at its lowest level since 5.4 percent in April 2008 — about five months before North Carolina and the country began to experience the full brunt of the economic downturn.
CHARLOTTE — The first federal rules on coal ash from power plants, released Friday, set the bar generally lower than North Carolina did in responding to Duke Energy’s February spill into the Dan River. The Environmental Protection Agency said it will regulate coal ash as solid waste, such as municipal garbage, instead of as a hazardous waste. Ash contains elements that can be toxic in water.
CHARLOTTE — He’s traveled from Tripoli to Tokyo, from Doha to Delhi. He’s met with ambassadors, foreign secretaries, prime ministers and presidents. Last month, he reached out to the pope. U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger has carved out a niche in his first term that’s taken him around the globe and brought dozens of foreign diplomats to Washington.
RALEIGH — Well, that didn’t go quite as expected. In late December 2013, I penned, with help from an @NCCapitol colleague, a column purporting to look at North Carolina’s “five big political questions for 2014.” Such pieces tend to occupy that interstitial news space around the end of the year when political critters aren’t doing much but we journalists are expected to have something intelligent to say about them anyway. As it turns out, we at times overestimate our intelligence.
RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory and North Carolina legislators praised each other for the new method they approved last year to fund transportation projects they say is based not on who you know but more on reducing gridlock and creating jobs. The result, the state Department of Transportation says, is efficiencies to fund 300 additional projects in its first 10-year road-building proposal released this month under new evaluation formulas.
ASHEVILLE — Western North Carolina teachers will be using a new, 10-point grading scale for freshmen next fall, but some parents and school officials say the state should implement the change for all high school grades next year. The state Board of Education approved a plan to start using the scale in fall 2015. The grading scale for high schools would be gradually phased in, starting with next year’s freshmen class.
RALEIGH — A long-awaited rewrite of North Carolina’s abortion clinic regulations was praised and criticized by activists on both sides of the controversy at a public hearing on Friday, setting the stage for a likely repeat of the debate in the state legislature next year. About 80 people attended the hourlong hearing on the Dorothea Dix Hospital grounds.
ASHEVILLE — As demolition crews tore into the BB&T parking garage with sledge hammers and heavy machinery last week, many area bed-and-breakfast owners said they were more worried about what was being done with pen and paper at City Hall. Competition from another downtown hotel at the old garage site is predictable. What the city has planned for regulating short-rentals has been anything but.
FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville’s police chief hopes to have about 250 patrol officers equipped with body cameras by the end of next year. Chief Harold Medlock said a pilot study that began earlier this year using five officers with body cameras has been successful. “I’ve been convinced for the past 16 months our department needs to move in this direction,” Medlock said.
CHARLOTTE — North Carolina officials want to close the gap with South Carolina and other states that offer larger incentive packages and lower tax rates to lure companies – sometimes causing Charlotte to miss out on hundreds of jobs. But emails and documents obtained by the Observer under a public records request show the state has hurdles to overcome if it wants to keep up with South Carolina and other rivals:
CHARLOTTE — At her south Charlotte home one night in September, Beth Straeten got her kids to bed and grabbed her iPhone to download a new app. Within minutes, she was talking face-to-face with a physician assistant. As Straeten described the poison ivy rash on her arms, PA Dimple Joshi sat across town at Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville, in front of two computer monitors. On one, Joshi could see Straeten and on the other she could read Straeten’s medical record.
RALEIGH — In the wake of the Senate report on the CIA’s use of torture, a group tracking the North Carolina ties wants Gov. Pat McCrory to investigate the state’s role in the practices. N.C. Stop Torture Now held a rally Friday and delivered a binder full of information to McCrory’s office. The group’s letter asks the governor to launch a State Bureau of Investigation probe “into the use of state and county facilities in support of the RDI program.”