State Politics

Political news from around NC (and beyond).

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be in North Carolina today taking a tour of the new Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub.

A state lawmaker from Fayetteville plans to challenge North Carolina's incumbent state Superintendent of Public Instruction in the May primary.

The US Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from Forsyth County regarding prayer before public meetings.

President Obama will make his formal acceptance speech at the Bank of America stadium in Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention later this year.

Events to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. have been held across the state today. One of the largest was the Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast this morning.

The two-hour event was broadcast on WRAL TV and featured remarks by Governor Bev Perdue. She praised King's passion and vision and speculated that King, if he was alive, might have an issue with some current efforts in the State Legislature.

Jeff Tiberii

The trial of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards is being delayed again. From Greensboro, Jeff Tiberii reports a serious medical condition is the cause.

Judges heard more than three hours' worth of arguments yesterday over litigation challenging newly drawn congressional and legislative maps.

Appalachia now has its own version of WikiLeaks. It's a website where government and corporate whistle blowers can anonymously share documents. Jim Tobias is co-coordinator of Honest Appalachia, which will focus on North Carolina and six other states.

The tents that have been at Peace and Justice Plaza in downtown Chapel Hill since mid-October will be packed up today. Occupy Chapel Hill-Carrboro organizers say a press conference, potluck dinner and dance party will mark the end of this phase of the occupation. Katya Roytburd is involved with planning today's activities. She says the Occupy Chapel Hill-Carrboro movement has a busy agenda.

Municipal primary elections could be on the chopping block in Fayetteville. The City Council has voted to explore the idea of eliminating the biennial primaries, and their 84-thousand dollar price tag. Fayetteville's mayor is among those who've raised concerns about the potential change. The mayor wonders if ditching the primaries could unfairly benefit incumbents. But Councilman D.J. Haire, who proposed the measure, doesn't share that worry.

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit over newly drawn maps for legislative and congressional districts want to delay the state's May primary until July.

Chapel Hill's Town Council is scheduled to discuss a new report on a police raid on protesters occupying a vacant downtown car dealership. Town Manager Roger Stancil found the action "appropriate."

Teachers aren’t the only ones seething after the Republican-led Legislature made it more difficult for educators to pay their dues to the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Early this morning, state lawmakers overrode the governor's veto of a bill preventing teachers from automatically paying dues to the state's largest organization for educators.

Winston-Salem Police say one man was drunk driving prior to a fatal car crash involving an elected official last month.

Teenagers in North Carolina now have to keep driving logs in order to get their drivers license.

Mark Walker and Laura FJeld both hope to replace 83-year-old Howard Coble who is retiring after 30 years in Congress.
US House of Representatives

Congressman Howard Coble says he’s ready to get back to work after spending the last two weeks in the hospital.

Congressman Coble is planning to report to work in Washington by mid-January.  But that’s all he’s sure of right now.   The 80-year-old Republican is still contemplating re-election.

Leoneda Inge:  "Are you still planning to run for re-election?"

Howard Coble:  "Well, I’m leaning that way now.  I want to see how the final re-drawn map looks, that’s in litigation right now. And I want to see how I recover from the hospital, so far, so good."

Engineers from the state DOT meet with federal wildlife officials this afternoon to consider options for repairing Highway 12 on the Outer Banks. Storm surge from Hurricane Irene breached the highway in several spots on Hatteras Island. The options include beach re-nourishment, creating bridges above the existing road, or bridges that re-route the highway. But at issue in today's meeting is how the options might affect the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Beth Smyre  is the DOT planning engineer who oversees the project.

Governor Bev Perdue has vetoed a bill that would have repealed the Racial Justice Act.

Residents have a chance to weigh in on the state's emergency response to Hurricane Irene. Emergency management officials and forecasters are hosting public meetings this week in eastern North Carolina to review their communication tactics during the storm. Rich Bandy is the lead meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Newport.

A state panel charged with recommending compensation for victims of the state's eugenics program will try to come up with a specific lump sum at its next meeting. The Governor's Eugenics Compensation Task Force was scheduled to discuss a lump sum today, but did not come to a conclusion. One task force member suggested compensation of twenty thousand dollars, but victims who attended the meeting said that is not enough. Dr. Laura Gerald heads the group.

Hurricane damaged Highway 12 on Hatteras Island is the subject of two public workshops this week. The only road along parts of the Outer Banks was breached in several places by Hurricane Irene in August. Traffic is rolling again on temporary fixes, but state officials want to move forward with permanent repairs. Greer Beatty works for North Carolina's Department of Transportation.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and Mayor-elect Nancy McFarlane
raleighnc.gov

Outgoing Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker is on somewhat of a farewell tour today. First off is the Human Relation Commission's "Unity Day" at the Convention Center this morning. One big issue they'll be discussing is the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage and domestic unions in the state. Meeker doesn't mince words about that.

State lawmakers are back in Raleigh today. They'll discuss repealing the Racial Justice Act.

The deadline approaches for victims of Hurricane Irene to file flood insurance claims. Residents who experienced damage have until Wednesday to send a damage report to insurers that issued a National Flood Insurance Policy. This week's deadline is a 30-day extension of the original October cutoff. FEMA spokesman Jeff Welsh says that was in response to residents who were not satisfied with inspections immediately after Hurricane Irene.

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