Barack Obama

NC State's Pep Band warms up the crowd of people waiting to hear President Obama speak today at the University.
Jessica Jones

Updated 2:55 p.m. Big news today - the President announced a new public-private manufacturing institute that will be headquartered in our state. (Full text of his speech below.)

From the announcement:

The new manufacturing innovation institute announced today in North Carolina is focused on enabling the next generation of energy-efficient, high-power electronic chips and devices by making wide bandgap semiconductor technologies cost-competitive with current silicon-based power electronics in the next five years. 

Alumni Game Dean Smith Roy Williams Michael Jordan
totomaru / Flickr

At a ceremony at the White House Wednesday, President Obama awarded former UNC basketball coach Dean Smith the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The president bestowed the nation's highest civilian honor on a class of recipients including civil rights activist Bayard Rustin and women's rights advocate Gloria Steinem.  Smith was lauded not just for his many athletic achievements, but also for his impact on the community he calls home.

Vijay Dey at the White House Kids' State Dinner on July 9.
Mei Dey

Twelve-year-old Chapel Hill resident Vijay Dey took a special trip to the White House last week after being selected as one of 54 nationwide winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a program sponsored by food website Epicurious and Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative. The Challenge asked young chefs to submit a healthy recipe that meets the USDA’s MyPlate standards, meaning half of the dish is comprised of fruits and vegetables. They also were encouraged to submit the story behind the dish.

Dey’s winning recipe was for Spring Rolls, a dish he said was inspired by his grandfather. “My grandpa makes that recipe and I thought it tasted really good,” Dey said. “And it fit with the MyPlate food group categories.”

Obama speaking in Mooresville, NC.
The White House

President Barack Obama used a visit to a North Carolina middle school as an opportunity to promote a new White House effort to expand broadband internet access in schools.

A drone
U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson / http://commons.wikimedia.org

Last week, President Obama laid out his strategy for a new phase in the war on terror.  He repeated his belief that Guantanamo Bay should be closed and cited the political reasons for his failure to do so until now. 

Obama also outlined a new policy that scales back the use of drones to kill suspected national security threats.  What are the laws and policies that President Obama faces? 

McCrory gives weekly GOP address
www.governor.state.nc.us

Gov. Pat McCrory gave a national audience a glimpse into reforms he wants to implement in North Carolina.  He delivered this past weekend's GOP response to President Obama's weekly address. 

McCrory criticized what he called Washington's "weak leadership" and urged national lawmakers to give more flexibility and accountability to states.  He says he needs that kind of freedom to implement a different approach to Medicaid reform.

Obama spoke in Asheville last month about raising the minimum wage.
Randomsoleil, via Flickr, Creative Commons

The White House is continuing to take its effort to raise the nation's minimum wage on the road.  The proposed change was part of President Obama's message during his stop at an Asheville plant in February. He said it's time for an increase in the minimum wage "because if you work full time, you shouldn't be in poverty."

President Obama made Asheville the first stop of a three-day trip to push economic proposals he made in his State of the Union address this week.  The president got a tour yesterday of the Linamar machine parts plant before making some remarks.  Canada-based Linamar moved to Asheville after a Volvo plant left taking hundreds of jobs with it.  The president says he'd like to see the federal government help make Linamar's example more common in cities that have been hit hard economically.

At the ceremonial inauguration of President Barack Obama on Monday, January 21, James Taylor took to the stage to strum and sing an acoustic rendition of “America the Beautiful.” His performance was greeted by cheers from the crowd and a hug  from President Obama. Other musical guests at the inauguration included Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé.  In 2011, President Obama awarded James Taylor the National Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House.  Taylor grew up in Chapel Hill.

The Raleigh-based Martin Luther King Committee has chartered six buses heading to Washington D-C for President Obama’s Inauguration.

The buses will pull out in the morning – leaving from Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte.

Phyllis Coley, the founder of Spectacular Magazine, helped organize the trip.  She will ride the Durham bus.

Phyllis Coley:  "I’m going for the second time, because again, the same way I felt the first time, I don’t think that I will see another African American president sworn-in in my life-time."

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