NC Politics in the News - August 2020 #5

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Agriculture

WWAY 3: Trump, US Agriculture Secretary Visits Mills River
President Donald Trump traveled to North Carolina on Monday, making a surprise appearance at the Republican National Convention before heading to tour a Farmers to Families Food Box site and voice support to the state’s farmers.


Economic Development

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: South Korean manufacturer will bring PPE facility and new jobs to NC town
A South Korean company bringing its first U.S. manufacturing facility to Garner boasts that it makes clothing for one out of every three Americans. Hansae Co., an apparel company, will produce personal protective equipment (PPE), the town announced Monday. The facility will focus on surgical masks with plans to “expand to other products in the future depending on the market conditions,” the release said.


Education

THE CENTER SQUARE: Board of education asks North Carolina lawmakers to hold per-pupil funding at current levels
Facing attendance issues with remote learning, North Carolina public school officials asked lawmakers Tuesday to keep per-student funding at current school year levels. The North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) is concerned schools may not be able to count students accurately, and a drop in attendance would decrease state funds for districts.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Principals warn teachers could be laid off if NC lawmakers don't prevent budget cuts
Principals in North Carolina’s largest school district are warning that teachers and other school employees could be laid off this year unless state lawmakers act to protect against education funding cuts. State funding is tied to a school’s enrollment, and it’s uncertain how many students will attend before a COVID-19 vaccine is developed.


Environment

THE HILL: North Carolina sues federal government over approval of seismic tests for oil and gas
North Carolina is suing the federal government over its decision to try to locate oil and gas off the state’s coast despite objections from the state. In June, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) allowed a company to move ahead with seismic testing, which uses blasts from air guns to try to detect oil and gas deposits in the ocean. This decision overrode an objection from the state, which opposed the testing.


Healthcare

NORTH CAROLINA HEALTH NEWS: Randolph Health finds a buyer, county to pay $20M as part of the deal
The debt-riddled rural provider sought a buyer for years. With the help of a loan from the state to the county, the hospital is slated to change hands before the end of the year.

WNCT: Butterfield announces over $1.5 million in HRSA funding for NC-01 healthcare centers
Congressman G. K. Butterfield released a statement on the awarding of over $1.5 million in funding from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) to healthcare facilities in North Carolina’s First Congressional District. These discretionary funds will help to serve North Carolina communities around Pitt County, and the cities of Wilson, Rocky Mount, Ahoskie, Roanoke Rapids, Gatesville, and Windsor.


Government

ABC 11: Some North Carolina chain gyms say they will open Tuesday, citing medical loophole
After a long six months, many chain-North Carolina gyms say they plan to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as Tuesday, citing a medical loophole that other gyms in the state have used since the start of the pandemic to remain open despite Governor Roy Cooper's executive order keeping them closed.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: FEMA approves North Carolina for $300-a-week federal unemployment supplement
North Carolina has been approved for a federal boost in unemployment benefits that would grant people out of work because of COVID-19 an additional $300 a week. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, announced the approval Friday afternoon, a day after North Carolina submitted its application. Fourteen other states have already had their applications approved for a share of the fund, which is capped at $44 billion.


Politics

EDNC: What the governor wants from the legislature in a budget
During a press conference on Aug. 26, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper presented his 2020-21 budget, which includes bonuses for teachers and principals and additional COVID-19 relief funds for K-12 schools and others. Cooper wants to spend $132 million in COVID-19 relief funding to help the state’s public schools purchase personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies; transport meals, instructional materials, and digital devices; increase access to the internet; and more.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC governor's race: Where Roy Cooper and Dan Forest stand on education issues
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is running for reelection this fall. His opponent is Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. Each counts education as an important issue as governor, but they have different ideas of how best to educate North Carolina’s students.


Technology

GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY: North Carolina Appoints First Chief Technology Officer
For more than four years, Dan Kempton served as director of engineering and cloud services for the North Carolina IT Department. He is now the state chief technology officer, a newly created role.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: North Carolina school system closes after ransonware attack
A North Carolina school system is closed to its students after officials discovered a ransomware attack. Haywood County Schools is closed for the rest of the week following an announcement on Wednesday, the Asheville Citizen Times reported Thursday. The system says there will be optional workdays for staff.


Transportation

THE COASTLAND TIMES: Three North Carolina transportation projects win regional awards
Three transportation projects in North Carolina are among the best in the southeast, according to a regional transportation organization. The Surf City Bridge Replacement, the Marc Basnight Bridge/Herbert C. Bonner Bridge Replacement and a project to use drones to deliver health care supplies were recognized this week with America’s Transportation Awards from the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or SASHTO. 

CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL: How the Charlotte region's transportation sector is finding the road back to growth
Charlotte’s transportation and logistics industry has already seen short-term damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is likely going to see long-term changes as a result. And, possibly, that could be a good thing.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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