Jorge Valencia

Capitol Reporter

Jorge Valencia joined North Carolina Public Radio's reporting team in 2013. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Jorge studied journalism at the University of Maryland and reported for four years for the Roanoke Times in Virginia before joining the station in 2012. His reporting has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun. On Twitter: @jorgeavalencia.

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Environment
5:06 am
Thu April 17, 2014

NC’s Mining Commission Is On Track To Usher Fracking Wells By Spring 2015

A hydraulic fracturing site near Shreveport, La.
Credit Daniel Foster via Flickr

The commission that’s been writing North Carolina’s policies on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas rushed on Wednesday to complete a set of rules that are necessary for drilling to start in the state next year.

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Environment
4:53 am
Thu April 17, 2014

NC Law Makers Offer No New Solutions To Clean Pollution From Jordan Lake

The state commission overseeing plans to treat pollution in Jordan Lake did not make any recommendations during its last meeting.
Credit JT Taylor / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state commission that’s been looking at ways to treat pollution in Jordan Lake did not make any recommendations during its last hearing on Wednesday.

Government and business leaders from towns that use the lake for drinking water urged the committee to reinstate regulations on the water that is poured into the lake.

The state has suspended some requirements until 2016. They would require costly improvements to storm water drainage in in areas including Greensboro and Burlington.

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Environment
8:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

North Carolina’s Rules On Fracking To Be Completed This Year, Well Permits To Be Issued Next Year

A drilling site in Rio Blanco and Garfield counties, CO.
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service via Flickr

The commission that’s writing North Carolina’s rules on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, or fracking, is getting ready to present its recommendations to the General Assembly. The Mining and Energy Commission has been working since Sept. 2012, and today will debate the last eight rules it is preparing.

A few people like Sharon Garbutt have been following the Mining and Energy Commission. Garbutt has been volunteering to take children on field trips to the Haw River for 20 years. Most of the time, the kids love it.

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Law
7:34 am
Fri April 11, 2014

5 Arrested After Kidnapping Of Wake County Prosecutor's Father

The FBI says a North Carolina man who was rescued from kidnappers on Wednesday might have been targeted because of his daughter’s work as a prosecutor in Wake County.

Frank Janssen was missing from his home in Wake Forest for five days before an FBI team found and rescued him in Atlanta.

Investigators say Janssen’s captors were communicating via cell phone with a man whom Janssen’s daughter, a prosecutor who focuses on drug and gang cases, put in prison for life.

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

NC State Study: Financial Cost Of Fracking In NC Could Outweigh Benefits

A farm in Lee County, which is expected to be a source of shale gas in North Carolina.
Credit Donald Lee Pardue via Flickr

North Carolina’s economy could gain more from off-shore gas and oil drilling than from drilling on land, and the financial cost of drilling on land could outweigh the benefit, according to a report state lawmakers received on Tuesday.

Off-shore drilling could represent $1.9 billion in economic activity in the state per year for 30 years, according to a report from N.C. State University, which looked at economic benefits like jobs created and drawbacks like environmental risks.  

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Politics & Government
11:55 am
Fri March 28, 2014

How State Leaders Reacted To The Arrest of Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon

Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon speaking about AIG Insurance opening offices in Charlotte in March 2014. Gov. Pat McCrory, left, and other public officials attended the event.
Credit City of Charlotte via Flickr

When the mayor of Charlotte, Patrick Cannon, was arrested this week on charges that he took bribes from undercover FBI agents, we wanted to know how the governor and state politicians reacted to the news.

The FBI's complaint, which said Cannon accepted $48,500 in cash and luxury expenses "in exchange for the use of his official position," quoted him saying he had direct access to Gov. Pat McCrory, who was mayor of Charlotte for 14 years, and Bob Rucho, a state senator from Charlotte.

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Politics & Government
7:21 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Road Repairs And Bridge Replacements Won’t Get Done If Congress Doesn’t Act

Highway construction in Central North Carolina
Credit Adam Prince via Flickr

Gov. Pat McCrory and his transportation secretary told members of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce that the state is at risk of stalling 108 road and bridge construction projects this year if Congress doesn’t pass legislation to help pay for it.

The state Department of Transportation would stop issuing checks by August if congress doesn’t renew a 2012 law that pays for part of highway construction projects across the country, McCrory said. The bill would represent $1.1 billion to North Carolina to widen roads or repair or replace outdated bridges.

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Politics & Government
9:06 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Proceeds From Coastal Drilling Should Be Shared With Coastal Counties, Council Member Says

A Suncor Energy oil rig in the Buzzard field, in the North Sea between England and Norway.
Credit Suncor Energy via Flickr

A member of the council that’s been appointed to advise Gov. Pat McCrory on energy production wants North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties to be guaranteed a direct cut of royalties from off-shore gas drilling.

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Politics & Government
11:03 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Wake County Superior Court Must Decide Who Picks Execution Drug

North Carolina's death row inmates are housed at Central Prison in Raleigh.
Credit North Carolina Department of Public Safety

The North Carolina Court of Appeals sent back to a lower court on Tuesday a case over who decides how death row prisoners are executed.  The court says the case has changed too much for it to make an   opinion.  It started out with four death-row inmates who said the state’s method of execution was cruel and unusual.

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Latest Complaint On Durham PD Says Investigators Make Inappropriate Payments To Drug Informants

Credit Durham Police Department

Durham city officials are looking into a complaint that police made inappropriate payments to drug informants.

An advocacy group says police paid informants and didn’t disclose it, which is required by law.

Attorneys from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice also say police unfairly target black and Hispanic people. The department denies any wrongdoing.

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