NC Politics in the News - September 2020 #3

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Agriculture

CHARLOTTE AGENDA: From legalizing pot to solving food insecurity: Understanding NC's agriculture commissioner race
Jenna Wadsworth and Steve Troxler are both farmers who went to N.C. State. That’s pretty much where the similarities begin and end with the two candidates vying to lead North Carolina’s agriculture department.

THE FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER: 'Boots to Roots' helps veterans transition to farming careers
When Aaron Paplaczyk got out of the Army in 2018, he wanted to find a career he could enjoy. He found it in urban farming. Paplaczyk founded Pappy’s Produce and Urban Farm, a small farm in Fayetteville where he grows greens, herbs, flowers and more.


Economic Development

ELKIN TRIBUNE: N.C. Main Streets Attract a Record $327.7 Million in Investment for State's Communities
In Fiscal Year 2019-2020, the North Carolina Main Street and Rural Planning Center and its programs supported 1,311 new jobs, 267 new businesses and more than $372 million in local public and private investment, North Carolina Department of Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced recent. The results were derived from business activity last year (July 1, 2019 -June 30, 2020) in the state’s 64 designated Main Street and 13 designated Small Town Main Street communities.


Education

SPECTRUM NEWS: N.C. Public Schools Decide Reopening Plans
As coronavirus cases slow down in the state, Gov. Roy Cooper announced public and charter schools are allowed to implement Plan A, in-person learning, for elementary schools. School leaders across the state are figuring out the best approach to introduce students back into the classroom.

CITIZEN-TIMES: If approved by the government, should NC schools mandate a COVID-19 vaccine for students?
A coronavirus vaccine looms on the horizon as politicians and school boards are allowing more students return to full classrooms. The confluence of these two events presents a question: Should the state require COVID-19 vaccines for school-age children?

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: More employees see cuts as NC universities face sharp financial losses due to COVID-19
The economic impact of COVID-19 continued to hit local universities Thursday, as N.C. State announced new employee furloughs and salary cuts. And in Chapel Hill, UNC administrators warned campus trustees about similar personnel actions in response to revenue losses of up to $300 million this fiscal year.


Environment

COASTAL REVIEW: NC Water, Land Projects Awarded $14.6M
Several projects to protect land and water in North Carolina have been awarded grants through the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Grants totaling $14.6 million will fund 39 projects from the mountains to the coast, Gov. Roy Cooper announced this week.

THE HILL: Trump to include North Carolina in offshore drilling moratorium, senator says
North Carolina will be added to President Trump’s moratorium preventing oil and gas drilling off its coast until mid 2032, joining Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said Monday. 


Health

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC State, Blue Cross NC-led group to deliver 200,000 masks a month to health care workers
Employing textile technology created at N.C. State University, a collaboration of health care and manufacturing concerns says it can now make and distribute up to 200,000 protective masks a month. The group, called Made in NC, will distribute the N95 masks to health care and essential workers to ensure a ready supply of personal protective equipment, as the fight against COVID-19 continues into its seventh month.

WLOS: NC COVID-19 update: State health department now reporting totals in 2 new ways
Starting Friday, Sept. 25, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated its COVID-19 dashboard to reflect Antigen-positive cases and deaths, and Antigen tests completed. The state clarifies in its Antigen Positive Cases Data: FAQ, "Antigen tests are often processed at the point of care, such as in a health care provider’s office," whereas, "Molecular (PCR) tests are processed in a laboratory."


Government

CAROLINA COAST: Census deadline Wednesday, officials urge residents to respond
With an end-of-the-month deadline looming, residents have less than one week to ensure they are counted in the 2020 census. The deadline to respond to the decennial population count is Wednesday. Those who have not responded should visit 2020census.gov to see their options for doing so, including online, by phone or by mail.  


Politics

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Both Republican members of NC Board of Elections resign day after election settlement
Both Republican members of the North Carolina State Board of Elections resigned Wednesday night, citing their concerns over a legal settlement on mail-in voting.

David Black and Ken Raymond’s resignations come 41 days before the Nov. 3 general election — an important stretch of time, as last-minute decisions are still being made that will affect the election.


Technology

TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: How North Carolina recruiters seek to reel in remote workers from Stripe, Facebook, Twitter
With tech companies offering incentives to employees who decide to leave high-priced, big cities, economic development officials in North Carolina want to strike while the iron is hot.


Transportation

SPECTRUM NEWS: High-Speed Rail Between Raleigh and Richmond Takes "Critical Step" with $47 Million Funding
The plans for a high-speed rail connecting Raleigh with Richmond, Virginia, got a boost Friday with $47 million to secure a corridor from North Carolina’s capital city to the border. The “S-Line,” as the Raleigh to Richmond line is called, is part of a broader vision to connect rail service from the northeast to the South with high-speed rail running through the region to Miami.

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: North Carolina's transportation funding could be short for another 30 years
North Carolina's transportation needs exceed its resources, members of the NC FIRST Commission said Monday. Ward Nye, co-chairperson of the commission, said the state's funding model could continue to cause project delays for the next 30 years.

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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