News

One of Progress Energy's solar energy farms.
Duke Energy/Progress Energy

The General Assembly is caught up in a possible overhaul of the state’s commitment to renewable energy. A bill moving through the state legislature would scale back the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (REPS).

 

REPS are important because they mandate how much renewable energy a company like Duke Energy produces as a part of its total electricity sales.

 

An image of Franklin Street in Chapel Hill
Wikipedia / Creative Commons

The New York Times recently visited Chapel Hill, and even stepped into its "free-spirited neighbor" Carrboro, as a part of its "36 Hours" series.

7-time Mayor of Charlotte and Republican nominee for Governor of North Carolina. At Cary Innovation Center, July 11, 2012.
Hal Goodtree / Creative Commons/Flickr

Post updated: 3:55 p.m.

Gov. Pat McCrory says he will veto Senate Bill 2. In an email, McCroy said he plans to stop a plan to give magistrates the ability to opt out of performing weddings based on strongly held religious beliefs.

Opponents of the measure have called it a pathway to descrimination of same-sex couples. Supporters call it a religious freedom measure. McCrory's announcement comes just hours after state lawmakers approved the bill.

A picture of Saunders Hall
Mr. Granger / Wikipedia

Trustees at UNC-Chapel Hill voted 10-3 this morning to drop the name from Saunders Hall.

The building was named in 1920 for Confederate Colonel and UNC alumnus and trustee William Lawrence Saunders. Saunders served as North Carolina Secretary of State from 1879 until 1891. Saunders was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

John Pemble / Flickr Creative Commons

Part of U.S. President Andrew Jackson's reputation is that of a man who helped the country expand in the early 19th century, but it came at a terrible cost.

Jackson sparred with American Indian tribes for decades, culminating in the infamous Trail of Tears, a forced relocation that killed thousands of them.

A lesser known part of that history is centered around Cherokee chief John Ross, who was doing all he could to peacefully assimilate his people, including a long, personal battle with Jackson.

Couple leaving courthouse after gay marriage
Wikipedia

 

  House lawmakers passed a Senate bill today to allow local magistrates to refuse to perform marriages. The measure passed 66-44 after debate that centered on religious freedom arguments. The bill comes after several magistrates resigned in protest over same-sex marriages.

The measure will head to Governor McCrory's desk and he has 10 days to sign or veto the bill. 

In the Senate, legislators consider a bill to extend the waiting period for an abortion from 24 to 72 hours.

Image of Allison Leotta, who wanted to show the ways the criminal justice system does and doesn't work in her books.
Allison Leotta

Allison Leotta was a federal sex-crimes prosecutor in Washington D.C. for more than a decade. Every day when she came home from work, she would think to herself, “I can’t believe what I saw today…someone should write about this.”

She began writing in the mornings before work and at night when she got home. In 2011, Leotta left the Justice Department to write full-time. She has now written four novels about a prosecutor named Anna Curtis, and people often refer to Leotta as “the female John Grisham.”

The Core design.
UNC-Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill is planning a performing arts lab, studio and theater on Franklin Street.

Chancellor Carol Folt says the University has committed $4 million in non-state funding to build the $5 million facility.

Folt says "The Core@Carolina Square" will allow university departments and the public better access to works in progress. But she says it won't compete with the existing performance spaces on campus.

"We bring symphony orchestras and ballet companies. They don't come and practice in front of our town's children," Folt says.

Photo: Craig Johnson (left) and Shawn Long (center) with their son Isaiah Johnson.
Equality NC

North Carolina lawmakers pushed through two of the year’s most controversial measures on Wednesday afternoon, limiting debate and quickly ushering proposals that could reduce some same-sex couples’ access to marriage ceremonies and extend the waiting period for abortion procedures.

While House and Senate members debated in separate hearings, the measures over gay marriage and abortions are intertwined social issues that attract vigorous advocacy from conservative and liberal groups.

The Haw River as seen from the Bynum Bridge with 15-501 in the distance
Keith Weston / WUNC

Depending on the perspective, the announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency was instituting a new, updated and clarified Clean Water Rule is either a cause for celebration in North Carolina or a cause for fear that it will choke the state's economy

What is most likely, of course, is that the rule will come under further partisan attacks.

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