Rita Richardson selected as human resources director for DENR

DENRRALEIGH, N.C. – John E. Skvarla, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, announced today the appointment of Rita Richardson as the new director of the agency’s Division of Human Resources.

Richardson takes the helm for Anne Lasley, DENR’s previous head of human resources who accepted a job in June to lead the human resources program for the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Atlantic Beach Resident Sentenced for Making False Distress Calls to the U.S. Coast Guard

RALEIGH, N.C. – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that today in federal court, before United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, HOMER LEWIS BLACKBURN, 27, of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment and 3 years supervised release and was ordered to pay $288,390.80 in restitution. On May 2, 2014 BLACKBURN entered a guilty plea to making false distress calls to the United States Coast Guard.

Opinion: Fall (Electoral) Weather Hard to Forecast

John Hood

John Hood

by John Hood

As North Carolina’s legislative session draws to a close and we enter the last quarter of the 2014 campaign, Democrats are hoping it will be a rerun of 1998. Republicans are hoping that it will be a rerun of 2010.

Bu it may not look much like either cycle.

Let’s examine the Democratic scenario first. In 1998, Republicans held both chambers of the U.S. Congress and a number of legislative chambers, including the North Carolina House. Bill Clinton was completing his sixth year in office, which usually bodes well for the party out of the White House. By the middle of a second term, a president’s base is typically deflated, the opposition base is energized, and swing voters rediscover the virtues of checks and balances.

Three sites certified, 12 others recertified as N.C. Clean Marinas

DENRRALEIGH, N.C. – Three coastal marinas have been certified, and 12 others re-certified, as North Carolina Clean Marinas, a designation given to marinas that go above and beyond the state’s environmental regulations.

The Sea Harbour Condominium Yacht Club in Oriental, the Shallowbag Bay Marina in Manteo, and the N.C. Dept. of Transportation’s Bayview Ferry Terminal in Bath have most recently earned the status as North Carolina Clean Marinas.

Opinion: Time to Rebuild State Reserves

John Hood

John Hood

by John Hood

We don’t know what the composition of the North Carolina General Assembly will look like after the November election. Republicans are favored to hold their majorities in both legislative chambers, to be sure, but their edge could shrink a lot, shrink a little, or stay roughly the same (a net increase in Republican-held seats would be surprising given their current supermajorities).

New Hanover County Couple Charged with Insurance Fraud

NCDOIRALEIGH, N.C. — Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Samuel James Spicer, 61, of 108 Apple Road, Castle Hayne, and Aletha Jinwright Spicer, 46, of the same address.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that the Spicers provided false and misleading information to CNA Insurance on Aug. 9, 2010, to support an injury claim against Carolina Restaurant Group on behalf of their 11-year-old son.

The Spicers turned themselves in to Pender County authorities on July 26, were each charged with one count of insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense, and placed under a $10,000 bond.

Report: N.C. Pension May Be Underfunded

Dan Way Carolina Journalby Dan Way

RALEIGH — A recent study concluded that North Carolina’s $87 billion state pension fund is the second-best performing plan in the nation, even though new government-mandated accounting methods show it might be underfunded by more than $15 billion instead of operating in the black, as official state figures claim.

“It is good news” for the state in terms of taxpayer liability and as a recruitment tool to lure business and industry, said Aloysius Hogan, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute. “Your pension funding is solid.”

Martin County Man Accused of Arson and Insurance Fraud

NCDOIRALEIGH, N.C. — On Friday Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced the arrest of Johnny Lee Andrews, 50, of 307 Nelson St., Robersonville; he was charged with one count of felony burning of personal property and two counts each of second degree arson, insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that Andrews intentionally set fire to his Williamston home on Dec. 24, 2007, his 1996 Ford Explorer on June 18, 2014, and another residence he was renting in Hamilton on July 12, 2014, in an attempt to collect insurance claim payments. Investigators accuse Andrews of providing false and misleading information to State Farm Insurance Company in an attempt to collect more than $80,000.

Ellmers Calls on Obama to Award Medal of Freedom to Charlie Sifford

ReneeEllmersWASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) released the following statement after leading a bipartisan letter with Congressmen James Clyburn (D-SC), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), and John Yarmuth (D-KY) to President Obama, encouraging him to award a Presidential Medal of Freedom to golfer Charlie Sifford, the first African American to play on the PGA Tour:

“The game of golf was forever improved by the courage and determination of Charlie Sifford – one man who rose to become the first African American to play on the PGA Tour. He earned the right to play the sport he loved, and by excelling at the game, he ushered professional golf into a new era.”

2nd Saturdays Events across North Carolina Aug. 9


RALEIGH, N.C. – From a pirate invasion or torpedo warfare to children’s face-painting or political intrigue, there’s something for everyone in the final of the summer’s 2nd Saturdays series Aug. 9.  Take advantage of late summer, free, family fun and budget-friendly prices at destinations within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. Learn more at http://www.ncdcr.gov/2ndsaturdays.aspx.




Historic Edenton, Edenton. Historically Fit. Yoga in the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse will improve your strength and flexibility in a beautiful and special setting. Extra mats will be available. After the refreshing class, tour the historic building. 11 a.m. to noon. Free.