Wake County

Wake School Bus
Dave DeWitt

Tonight, the Wake County School Board will continue its discussions on hiring a superintendent.

It’s been more than two weeks since the three finalists for Wake Superintendent visited the district for a hectic few days of interviews and public appearances. Wake School Board Chair Keith Sutton initially indicated a new superintendent would be hired within a few days, but delays have pushed it back to tonight, at the earliest.

Wake County Justice Center
www.wakegov.com

Many Wake County employees are moving into a new downtown justice center this week.

County officials have invested three years of construction and $184 million in their new government headquarters.  Office workers have begun setting up in the facility.  The county's Register of Deeds will the first to open its doors Wednesday.

Durham City Hall
City of Durham

County commissioners and city council members across the state turn their attention to their local budgets this week. 

Many local governments are avoiding increases on property taxes as they craft their budgets for the next fiscal year.  But they're also expecting less direct funding from the state and increasing some fees for services like solid waste or animal control. 

North Carolina's Congressional District 12 in 1992.
http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us

In 2010, when Republicans won control of the state House and Senate, they radically redrew voting districts in favor of their own party.  In previous elections, Democrats have done the same.  Now, there's a bipartisan effort in the state House of Representatives to reform the redistricting process.

Meals on Wheels volunteers in Wake County.
Meals on Wheels of Wake County

The automatic budget cuts or sequester handed down from Washington are starting to affect North Carolina organizations that serve seniors.  Meals on Wheels of Wake County says they got the news last week.  Sequestration means they will lose funding that equates to 12,000 meals a year.  Alan Winstead, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Wake County, says he’s confident they will find alternative funding to continue serving hot lunches to 1,300 seniors a day, but the budget cuts have other implications. 

A group of Wake County mayors is asking the legislature to repeal a law that bans a possible route for the rest of highway 540. The panel voted Wednesday to put the so-called "Red Route" back on the table after federal regulators said they would cut funding for the project if the state does not allow the DOT to study all possible routes. That proposal has been unpopular among the planning board. It would take 540 through Garner rather than around the south side of the town. Most mayors say they voted to repeal the Red Route ban in order to get the funds back.

Advocates are speaking out about a spike in domestic violence-related homicides in Wake County. There have been five alleged such killings in the last four months - one more than in all of last year. Organizers of a silent march in downtown Raleigh yesterday say about 75 people turned out to honor Agata Vellotti. Police say she was killed by her estranged husband 2 weeks ago. Another march will be held for Kathleen Bertrand, allegedly shot by her ex-husband at a Raleigh shopping center on Monday.

Wake County Commissioners' efforts to reduce the amount of pollution in Falls Lake and Jordan Lake got a little complicated this week.

Gurnal Scott: Both lakes are considered polluted because of excessive nutrients washed in by stormwater runoff. They are primary sources of Wake County’s drinking water. Commissioners approved new rules requiring developers to use more retention ponds to prevent further pollution. But this week, state lawmakers delayed action on clean water rules. Commissioner Tony Gurley was surprised by that.

New Policy To Control Feral Cats In Wake County

Jun 5, 2012

In the past, Wake County euthanized all unwanted cats. But not anymore. The county is adopting a new approach to control its feral cat population.

Asma Khalid: Feral cats are unsocialized. They can't live indoors. This new policy allows private animal groups the right to trap, neuter, vaccinate and then return these alley cats to the outdoors.  The Wake Audobon Society opposes the plan. It fears more outdoor cats will mean fewer birds. But, Pam Miller says that's not true.

Public transportation has long been a contentious topic in the Triangle. As cities like Charlotte have expanded bus service and built a light-rail system, cities like Raleigh and Durham have failed to keep up.

But now, a plan to increase busses and begin the long process of connecting the cities in the Triangle by rail is just a few steps from being implemented. Those last few steps are proving to be the hardest.

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