Population

Education
7:41 am
Fri September 26, 2014

In NC Schools, There's One Counselor For Every 400 Students

Credit Dave DeWitt

During lunchtime, school counselor Kim Hall takes a break from her desk and roams the hallways of Providence Grove High School.

On her five-minute walk, she encourages a senior to apply to UNC, consoles a student dealing with a scratchy throat and reminds a young teenager to see a teacher.

“We try to make sure that we’re accessible to students during their free times,” Hall says.

Hall has been a school counselor for 29 years. She says she tries to make more time for students as her clerical duties have grown over the years.

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Business & Economy
8:52 am
Fri April 4, 2014

GPS Spying? Odometer Fees? NCDOT Considers A Mileage Tax

NCDOT is looking for alternative revenue sources to cover road repairs and upgrades needed to accommodate a rapidly-growing population.
Credit Dave DeWitt

North Carolina's Department of Transportation is considering taxing drivers by the mile to help pay for road construction and upgrades. As cars become more efficient, the gas tax is becoming a less effective revenue source.

The department's Funding and Appropriations Strategies committee – or FAST – has been meeting with leaders and researchers across the state to hear concerns about population growth and potential solutions for insufficient infrastructure.

NC State researchers suggested a revenue model using annual odometer checks or GPS technology to tax motorists.

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Business & Economy
8:47 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Rural County Residents Continue Flocking To Metro Areas

Census estimates show that people are moving from rural counties to metropolitan centers, like the Triangle. Experts say jobs and cultural events are a draw from young people from rural areas.
Credit Leo Suarez / Flickr

North Carolina's dozen metropolitan areas are growing faster than the country as a whole. That's according to US Census Bureau's county and metro area population estimates from 2012 to 2013.

During that time, the US population grew by .7 percent. Wake County had the second-highest growth – after Mecklenberg – with 2.3 percent.

Rural counties, including Pasquotank and Halifax were among those losing the most residents.

Bob Coats works in the state budget office and the State Data Center. He says people are migrating to urban centers with more robust economies.

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Business & Economy
7:50 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Wake County Landfill Buys 10 More Years

The amount of garbage going into the Wake County land fill has shrunk over the last four years.
Credit N.C. Division of Waste Management

The amount of garbage headed to the Wake County has dropped significantly in the past few years.

In 2009, the county buried 460,000 tons of garbage. That dropped to 400,000 last year.

Wake County Solid Waste Manager John Roberson says a number of factors impacted the reduction in waste going to the landfill: People bought and threw out less during the recession, recycling options improved, and commercial waste businesses disposed of garbage elsewhere.

Roberson says his division saw a $2 million drop in revenue over the past four years.

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Traffic
7:43 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Raleigh City Council Suggests Tolls To Pay For I-540 Expansion

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane worries growing traffic congestion on roadways in the Triangle will hurt the area's economic growth.
Credit epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

Increasingly congested roadways are worrying officials in Raleigh.

The City Council has submitted a "wish list" of road improvement projects to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. It includes a proposal to add lanes to I-540 on the north side of the city.

The council doesn't expect the state to fund the project, so it suggested paying for the 108 million-dollar expansion by setting up tolls on the roadway.

Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin says she knows tolls would not be popular, but she thinks breaking up traffic jams would be.

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