Sam Sanders

White-tailed deer
Dcoetzee / wikimedia

Durham's City Council reviewed a proposal that would allow bowhunting within city limits Thursday night. They sent the proposal back to city lawyers for changes.

Pittsboro courthouse
1nativeTexan / flickr

The town of Pittsboro is considering a new, 7,000 acre multi-use development called Chatham Park. If approved, it would be built over 30 years, and could increase Pittsboro's population to 60,000.

At public meetings on the issue, some in Pittsboro have expressed concerns about the new development and how it might change the area. Elaine Chiosso is Executive Director of the Haw River Authority, and she says the development could hurt the surrounding ecosystem.

multiple choice test
Alberto G. / Flickr Creative Commons

State and nationwide ACT data was released this week, and North Carolina student scores on the college readiness test went down. The state's average composite ACT score fell more than 3 points to 18.7, the lowest average in the nation. ACT scores can range from 1 to 36.

Fingers on a keyboard, computer,
Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled that registered sex offenders can use social media websites. The ruling invalidates a portion of a North Carolina law passed in 2008 called the Protect Children From Sexual Predators Act.

Lester Packingham, Jr. brought the case. He's a registered sex offender who lives in Durham. In 2012, Packingham, Jr. was convicted of accessing a commercial social networking site. He had been using Facebook.

Loggerhead sea turtle
Wendell Reed, via Flickr, Creative Commons

Carteret County's Board of Commissioners voted file a letter of intent to sue the US Fish and Wildlife Service over new protections for the loggerhead sea turtle. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is considering declaring parts of Carteret County a critical habitat for the turtles. They are currently designated as a threatened species by the Endangered Species Act.

The Carteret County Shore Protection Office claims that existing protections for loggerhead turtles are enough, and that new guidelines would hurt business and tourism in the area. Pete Benjamin, who directs the Raleigh Field Office of the Fish and Wildlife Service, says the new rules will only affect federal activity.

The olinguito is the first new species of carnivore discovered in the western hemisphere in 35 years.
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

A North Carolina scientist is part of a team that's made a big find: the first carnivore to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.  

The new animal is called the olinguito (pronounced oh-lin-GHEE-toe). But for the longest time, olinguitos were thought to be olingos, small raccoon-like carnivores that live in the Andes Mountains.

RubyJi via Flickr, Creative Commons

July home sales are up 39 percent in the Triangle, compared to the same period last year. That number comes from Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake County sales.   

As home sales have increased, inventory has gone down, by over 10 percent. Currently, the region has just a three month supply of homes on the market based on current trends.   

Stacey Anfindsen, a market analyst with Birch appraisal Group, says these numbers need perspective. 

Rev. William Barber
North Carolina NAACP

Today is the first Monday in thirteen weeks without an NAACP led Moral Monday rally outside the Capitol in Raleigh. But the protests aren’t over. Rev. William Barber, leader of the North Carolina NAACP, says he’s taking Moral Monday on the road, all throughout the state. The road trip starts today in Asheville.

The coalition that Rev. Barber has built over the last few months is entering a new phase, and will be tested. Can it last? And can it win elections? 

The State Legislature has eliminated funding for the Biofuels Center of North Carolina in its newest budget. The Center will close by the end of October.

The Biofuels Center was created by the Legislature in 2008, and was tasked with pursuing biofuels for North Carolina, made from energy crops other than corn.

Wil Glenn is director of communications for the Biofuels Center. He says the move will hurt farmers.

"One of our main outputs was going to be revitalizing rural North Carolina," said Glenn.

The strike would have begun at midnight Saturday.
Gmanviz via Flickr, Creative Commons

The United Steelworkers Union has reached an agreement with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company that will avoid a strike at several facilities across the country, including the Goodyear plant in Fayetteville.

The negotiations were over a four-year labor agreement for 8,500 hourly employees at six plants. Terry Brewington is Vice president of the Fayetteville office of United Steelworkers. He said his union was fighting for cost of living raises, more vacation time for new hires and increased wages for people hired after 2006.

A parklet in San Francisco.
Mark Hogan via wikipedia

The City of Raleigh is hosting a public meeting tonight on "parklets.”  They're like mini-parks and are popular in larger cities.

"A parklet is a temporary public space that is typically found by converting an on-street parallel parking space," Grant Meacci, of Raleigh's Urban Design Center, explains.

NC General Assembly

One of the issues still to be decided by the North Carolina Legislature before it adjourns is whether to approve new rules that Republicans say would make abortion safer.

Democrats say abortions in the state are already very safe, and that the new provisions would lead to clinics closing.

A new report has insights into children's dental health in the state.
Dave Buchwald, creative commons

A North Carolina Institute of Medicine task force released a new study on children's dental care in the state.

Berkeley Yorkery, a project manager with the Institute, says compared to other states, North Carolina has made strides in children's dental participation.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and Mayor-elect Nancy McFarlane

Today was the candidate filing deadline for several area mayoral races. Mayors in Durham, Raleigh and Greensboro will faces challenges in their bids for reelection.

In Durham, current mayor Bill Bell will be running for re-election with challenges from East Durham minister Sylvester Williams and Michael Valentine, a current member of the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

A woman is arrested at the state capitol as a part of a Moral Mondays protest.

The cost of policing Moral Mondays is growing, and some aren't happy about who is picking up the bill.  Usually, protests on state property are handled by the State Capitol Police and the General Assembly Police.  But since a 2011 budget cut, state capitol police have been down 40 staff members—almost half the force.

State Police Chief Glenn Allen says the cut limits what his force can do.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is greeted by Gen. Dan Allyn, commander U.S. Forces Command, as he visits Fort Bragg
DoD Photo By Glenn Fawcett

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel paid a visit to Fort Bragg Monday.  In a town-hall style meeting broadcast live on News-14 Carolina, Hagel faced tough questions from the Ft. Bragg community, which has been hit hard with budget cuts caused by sequestration.

Argus II bionic eye glasses
Second Sight

Duke University Hospital has become one of only 13 sites in the nation selected to offer bionic eyes for severely blind patients.

A company called Second Sight developed the device, and they chose Duke after a lengthy selection process. The device was approved by the FDA in February.

The Baker Clinic For Women, which provides abortions, had its license revoked by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Baker Clinic For Women

A Durham clinic that performs abortions was closed last Friday, after an inspection by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. But the owner of that clinic says it will reopen.

In a notice of administrative action delivered by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Baker Clinic was cited because it "failed to ensure quality control was performed in blood banking" and "failed to perform quality control testing on one hundred-eight patients that received Rh(D) [blood type] testing."

This is believed to be a Civil War-era cannonball, similar to the one Michael Jacobs discovered in Durham recently.
Travis S. via Flickr, creative commons

A Durham man who discovered a Civil War era cannonball in his yard had it detonated by a bomb squad this week.

Michael Jacobs took the cannonball to an antiques dealer. But, it ended up with a Durham bomb squad. They had to disarm it; in spite of its age, it could still explode.

John Guss is with the historic Bennett House in Durham. Guss says the area was a hotbed of Civil War activity in 1865:

Old Salem hosted a naturalization ceremony last year on Independence Day as well.
Old Salem Museum and Gardens

Old Salem Museums and Gardens is hosting a naturalization ceremony today. The museum says the site of the ceremony is the same spot where the first official July 4th celebration in the country took place in 1783.

Luis Lobo will give the keynote speech at Thursday's naturalization ceremony, which is conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Lobo himself was naturalized twelve years ago. He says it makes perfect sense to hold the event at Old Salem on the 4th of July.

Flooding in Chapel Hill on Sunday
Jstn568 / wunderground

Orange County continues to recover from weekend flooding, and officials are trying to secure relief funding for those displaced.

At a news conference today, Chapel Hill officials said close to 130 residences are unlivable due to water damage from weekend rain. It's unclear when, or if, people who lived in those units can go back home.

Fireworks at a Fort Bragg July 4th Independence Day celebration in 2008.
Susan Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

Ft. Bragg has canceled their annual 4th of July fireworks show, due to sequestration cuts. Officials there say they just couldn't handle the $80,000 in overtime costs for the annual show. People in the area organized to donate money to save the event, but any donations sent to Ft. Bragg can't be earmarked to one specific program, like the fireworks.

dimland via Google Images

The Center for UFO Research is hosting a conference in Greensboro this weekend. Organizers say it will be a gathering of government officials and military witnesses, as well as UFO researchers and experts.
Richard Haynes is one of the speakers at the event. He says his talk will focus on how UFOs affect the safety of airplanes and pilots. Haynes says right now, pilots are shamed when they report on UFOs.

A man waves a flag in support of gay rights in front of the Supreme Court building.
Victoria Pickering via Flickr, Creative Commons

Yesterday's ruling on same sex marriage by the US Supreme Court does not open the door for gay marriages in North Carolina. The court ruled individual states can continue to decide whether they will allow same sex marriage. Last year, voters in North Carolina added Amendment One to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

So, while gay rights activists across the country celebrated the rulings this week, the gay community in North Carolina faced a different scenario – they're happy for gays across the country, but still can’t get married in their home state.

City of Fayetteville Police Department

The FBI says Fayetteville has the fifth highest rate of property crime in America, according to analysis of crimes rates for large cities in 2012. The figures come in the same week the Fayetteville City Council voted to pass up a tax increase that would have raised money for 15 new police officers.