State

Around the State: $261 million in bonds on Nov municipal ballots

Around the State: $261 million in bonds on Nov municipal ballots

RALEIGH — Seven cities and towns will ask residents to approve bonds in their municipal elections next week. The majority are in Wake County, where Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Garner and Morrisville are asking for a total of 10 bonds for voters to approve. The bonds, if approved, would go towards a variety of street and sidewalk improvements, parks and recreation facilities improvements, public-safety improvements, and stormwater and drainage improvements. Elsewhere, Bald Head Island residents in Brunswick County are asked to approve $54 million in bonds in order to fund public transportation improvements. The Cleveland County city of Shelby is asking voters…
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Quite a Fair growth spurt

Quite a Fair growth spurt

Andrew Vial of Liberty brought the largest watermelon in North Carolina State Fair history (The North State Journal) Liberty man sets mark with large watermelons ASHEBORO — Andrew Vial calls growing big watermelons a hobby. Yet for the Liberty man, it’s truly a passion. He took another watermelon to a big stage and collected another special distinction. His 341-pound watermelon was the largest ever at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. “You just don’t get melons like that every day,” Vial said. Vial, who calls his remodeling carpentry work his full-time job, said he logs 50 to 60 hours…
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State Senate approves sports betting

State Senate approves sports betting

RALEIGH — Sports gambling would be authorized across N.C., with up to a dozen entities licensed to offer online and in-person betting, in legislation approved last week by the state Senate. The bipartisan measure advances to the House though a majority of Senate Republicans, who control the chamber, voted against the bill. Nine Republicans joined most Democrats attending Thursday’s floor session in approving the measure 26-19. Four GOP senators, including Randolph County’s Sen. Dave Craven, had excused absences and did not vote on the measure.
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State superintendent won’t compel employee vaccination, will ask for shot status

State superintendent won’t compel employee vaccination, will ask for shot status

RALEIGH — N.C. state superintendent Catherine Truitt won’t force employees at the Department of Public Instruction to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot or compel them to provide proof of vaccination. In an Aug. 3 memo to staff obtained by North State Journal, Truitt outlines masking guidelines and employee attestations of vaccination status. The memo asks that all employees, including contractors, file an attestation form. Any individuals not filing the form will be considered unvaccinated and will be required to wear a mask inside the department offices. “Non-compliance or falsifying proof of a vaccine will subject employees to disciplinary action, up to and…
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A step forward: App State hopes for breakthrough season

A step forward: App State hopes for breakthrough season

RALEIGH — Appalachian State has quietly built one of the nation’s top programs outside of the Power Five. Now the Mountaineers will look to take the next step. App has gone to six straight bowls, winning them all, sent their last two coaches to ACC and SEC head jobs, respectively, and last year snapped a string of four straight Sun Belt titles. This year, the Mountaineers return 17 starters, add veteran talent and have a schedule that could put them on the national radar, if things go well. Quarterback: Chase Brice arrives after a disappointing year as the Duke starter.…
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County school boards rebel against K-12 mask mandates

County school boards rebel against K-12 mask mandates

RALEIGH — At a meeting on July 12, the Rowan-Salisbury School Board voted to make masks optional for all students, staff and visitors. The measure passed by a 5-2 vote. Chair Kevin Jones, along with members Travis Allen, Susan Cox, Dean Hunter and Brian Hightower voted in favor while Vice-Chair Alisha Byrd-Clark and member Jean Kennedy voted against. “I’m willing to take that opportunity to make an example to the rest of the school boards in the state,” Allen said of the vote to make masks optional. A second motion was passed by the Rowan board in support of the General Assembly’s…
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As session hits seven-month mark, bills continue to move through legislature

As session hits seven-month mark, bills continue to move through legislature

RALEIGH — Heading into August, state lawmakers have been working to finalize the budget, but in the meantime other bills continue to be sent to Gov. Roy Cooper. As of July 20, there are six bills on his desk awaiting signature. The governor has signed over 60 bills since February of this year, with around 15 of them being signed in July. Cooper has vetoed four bills this year. The four vetoes are Senate Bill 63, In-Person Learning Choice for Families; Senate Bill 43, Protect Religious Meeting Places; House Bill 453, Human Life Nondiscrimination Act/No Eugenics; and Senate Bill 116, the Putting North Carolina Back to Work Act. Cooper holds the state…
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Randolph County Schools drops mask mandate

Randolph County Schools drops mask mandate

ASHEBORO — The Randolph County School Board adopted a resolution Monday night ending mask mandates in the county’s largest school system for the 2021-2022 school year. The resolution, adopted unanimously by the board, is effective immediately which allows teachers and students currently in summer school programs to make their own choices regarding mask usage. The new board policy cites CDC guidance and the board’s concern for individuals’ rights to make decisions regarding their own personal health in making the change. The resolution also said harassment, discrimination, bullying, or intimidation based a person’s decision to wear or not wear a mask…
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Cooper sought eviction order approval after bypassing Council of State last year

Cooper sought eviction order approval after bypassing Council of State last year

RALEIGH — Faced with an expiring executive order related to restricting evictions, Gov. Roy Cooper sought Council of State concurrence last week. The request from Cooper for concurrence came on the one-year anniversary of the General Assembly passing legislation urging the governor to confer with the Council of State on emergency actions. On June 29, 2020, the legislature passed Senate Bill 105, titled “Clarify Emergency Powers.” Cooper promptly vetoed the measure three days later. As of June 30, Cooper has issued a total of 221 executive orders since taking office. Seventy-six, or almost 35%, of those orders are COVID-19 related.…
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Tropical Storm Elsa expected to hit NC

Tropical Storm Elsa expected to hit NC

RALEIGH – Tropical Storm Elsa could bring rain, wind, and tornadoes to North Carolina on Wednesday night and into Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center. State emergency management officials are advising residents in eastern and central North Carolina to be prepared for significant rains and possible flooding. “Residents and visitors to North Carolina should keep a close watch on the forecast for this storm,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. The State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh activated Tuesday to monitor the storm. The State Emergency Response Team is preparing to support local governments with any storm-related needs.
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