NC Politics in the News - March 2021 #1

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Agriculture

WNCT: North Carolina agriculture commissioner says State Fair is on for this fall
North Carolina’s agriculture commissioner declared Wednesday that there will be state fairs this fall, and he encouraged people to get vaccinated to ensure the events will be safe in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and will lead to record attendance. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said plans are underway not only to bring back the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh, but to hold the Mountain State Fair as well in Fletcher in September, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.


Economic Development

THE TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: Raleigh, Durham in prime position for growth as pandemic boosts life sciences to new heights
The pandemic has made the CRO industry more vital than ever, putting the Triangle in prime position to see major growth in the sector.


Education

ABC 11: Gov. Cooper vetoes SB 37, the school reopening bill
Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday that he has vetoed Senate Bill 37: In-Person Learning Choice for Families. The bill would compel the state's 115 K-12 public school districts to reopen with at least partial in-person instruction, while also allowing parents the option of keeping their children learning remotely.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: New test results show what many feared: NC Students aren't doing well during pandemic
The first round of statewide school test results from this school year are in, and they show that North Carolina students aren’t doing as well as they did before the coronavirus pandemic. Test results that will be shared at Wednesday’s State Board of Education meeting show that the majority of high school students did not pass state end-of-course exams given in the fall.

THE TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: Executive Voice: New leader for NC community colleges links education with economic growth
For the new president of the North Carolina Community College System, the current economic crisis is also a big opportunity for higher education, especially community colleges, to support the recovery.


Government

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC House approves new summer school program for at-risk students left behind by COVID
North Carolina school districts would have to create a summer school program to help students who’ve fallen behind during COVID-19, according to legislation unanimously passed Wednesday by the state House. The “Summer Learning Choice for NC Families” bill requires school districts to offer students at least 150 hours of summer in-person instruction, along with enrichment activities such as sports, music and arts.

WCNC: North Carolina to allow more people at bars, restaurants, sporting events
With coronavirus data trends decreasing in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper announced Wednesday the loosening, but not elimination, of COVID-19 safety restrictions. The new order and rules begin Friday, February 26 at 5 p.m. "Today's action is a show of confidence and trust, but we must remain cautious," Cooper said during the afternoon briefing in Raleigh.


Healthcare

WCNC: Thousands of educators already vaccinated in North Carolina as state moves to Group 3
On Wednesday, 240,000 more North Carolinians became eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The state officially moved into Group 3 of vaccine prioritizations, starting with childcare workers and school staff in a pre-k to 12 setting. Across the state, thousands rolled up their sleeves.


Politics

GREENSBORO NEWS & RECORD: 'The people must see us': N.C. Democrats' first Black chair on how to move party forward
The North Carolina Democratic Party elected Bobbie Richardson, a former state legislator and educator, to serve as the new party chair Saturday. Richardson is North Carolina Democrats' first Black chair, a spokeswoman for the party said.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: How the NC delegation voted on Biden's coronavirus pandemic relief package
President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package, his top legislative priority, cleared the U.S. House early Saturday morning without the support of a single Republican member. House Democrats passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan 219-212.


Transportation

WXII 12: North Carolina Department of Transportation gives grant to Winston-Salem Smith Reynolds Airport
The North Carolina Department of Transportation approved state and federal grants for ten airports across the state, including Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem. More than $9.5 million in-state funding was awarded to help airports increase capacity, attract new jobs and businesses and increase safety for pilots and passengers, according to NCDOT.

SPECTRUM NEWS: NCDOT Looks to Lower Deaths on Railroads
The North Carolina Department of Transportation is making a new effort to prevent tragedy on train tracks. A total of 22 people were killed on a train track in 2019 and the number has remained steady ever since. Officials are trying to figure out why this continues to happen and how they can address the problem.

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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