Recent News

N.C. Oil and Gas Commission to Meet August 11

August 10, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina Oil and Gas Commission will meet virtually on Tuesday, August 11. The meetings will begin at 10 a.m. The public may join the meeting by computer or phone. Who:       Oil and Gas Commission Meeting When:     10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Tuesday, August 11 Where:    Virtual meeting address:                  https://ncdenrits.webex.com/ncdenrits/j.php?MTID=m3fcd78706fb68f23ccab449b9c6eb0be Meeting Number (Access Code): 161 265 2272 Meeting Password: NCOANDG Join by Phone: +1 415 655 0003 US TOLL Access code: 161 265 2272

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Grants Help Businesses Exhibit in New Ways During COVID-19

August 10, 2020

RALEIGH ― The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina now has substantial grant resources to help small businesses exhibit in virtual international trade shows at a time when COVID-19 has shut down in-person events and caused many countries to restrict U.S. travelers. “Trade events remain essential to generating new sales leads in markets around the world,” said Mike Hubbard, EDPNC director of international trade. “During a pandemic, North Carolina exporters still need to find ways to exhibit their products and connect with new customers and distributors around the world.” For the first time, the U.S. Small Business Administration has made participating…

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Tillis Co-Sponsors Legislation to Support Critical Energy Infrastructure Projects

August 10, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) recently co-sponsored a bill introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) to allow critical infrastructure project proponents to continue relying on the nationwide permit (NWP) program in light of recent court decisions. “With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing our economy to a grinding halt, we should be cutting red-tape and supporting job-creating energy infrastructure projects,” said Senator Tillis. “This legislation clarifies the permitting process used by the Army Corps of Engineers, ensuring  projects can continue construction and protecting thousands of American jobs.” Background: Specifically, this bill would clarify that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) current NWP process and procedures satisfy the Endangered Species Act…

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State pensions OK for now, but COVID threat remains, Folwell says

August 10, 2020

by Julie Havlak, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — The COVID-19 pandemic could still threaten the long-term stability of state employee pensions, even though the state pension plan has recovered from the stock market crash, the state treasurer says. The stock market’s comeback has lifted North Carolina’s pensions toward record levels, State Treasurer Dale Folwell said during a teleconference on Tuesday, Aug. 4. But the pandemic could stall reforms to secure the plan’s long-term stability. That stability depends on how the state calculates the plans’ assumed rate of returns on investments. Most states use inflated estimates. North Carolina hasn’t hit…

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Cooper extends COVID-19 restrictions despite risks to economy

August 7, 2020

“We do have a conflict between the economy and health,” Walden said. “If you allow more businesses to reopen, you are going to add to the economic activity of the state, which would help increase income and jobs. But you have to balance that with concerns about the spread and the deaths.” Michael WaldenN.C. State University Economist by Julie Havlak, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper will keep North Carolina in his modified Phase Two of reopening for another five weeks. That could worsen the state’s economic problems. One of the state’s top economists say North Carolina’s…

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This Week at NCDOT: Clean Up, Repairs Continue After Hurricane Isaias

August 7, 2020

RALEIGH – The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. Clean Up, Repairs Continue after Hurricane Isaias State transportation crews are completing cleanup and repair efforts after Hurricane Isaias.  The category 1 storm came ashore in Brunswick County overnight Monday and became the first hurricane to impact North Carolina this year. As soon as conditions were safe, crews began assessing potential damage and found hundreds of downed trees and power lines and coastal flooding, mostly in Brunswick and New Hanover counties. At its peak, Isaias caused 45 state-maintained roads to close temporarily, but by Wednesday…

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State Has Distributed 3.5 Million Cloth Face Coverings, 4.5 Million Procedure Masks and Additional PPE Supplies Across the State

August 7, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. — The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the NC Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management (NCEM) has distributed approximately 3.5 million cloth face coverings, 4.5 million procedure masks, and significant amounts of additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to targeted settings across the state. The ongoing PPE shipments support operations including schools, nursing homes, first responders, agricultural facilities, child care facilities and courthouses.  “North Carolina has taken aggressive steps to get personal protective equipment in the hands of those who need it,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Making sure students, teachers, nursing homes and…

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North Carolina Ports Records Year-over-Year Increases in Fiscal Year 2020

August 7, 2020

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The North Carolina State Ports Authority recorded year-over-year increases in volumes through the Port of Wilmington and Port of Morehead City in Fiscal Year 2020, which ended June 30, 2020. North Carolina Ports container volume through the Port of Wilmington in FY20 increased by 4 percent over FY19. NC Ports set a record for refrigerated containers, moving 12,839 boxes, a 13 percent increase over the previous year. In total, refrigerated container volume has increased 267 percent between FY15 and FY20. Additionally, the Port of Wilmington recorded 36 percent year-over-year growth for general cargo operations, moving a total…

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Coastal Management offers Emergency CAMA General Permit for Hurricane Isaias recovery, tips for speeding up permit process

August 7, 2020

MOREHEAD CITY – Coastal property owners in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties who need to replace docks, piers, bulkheads or similar structures damaged by Hurricane Isaias along sounds, rivers and creeks may be authorized to do so more quickly through an emergency general permit offered by the N.C. Division of Coastal Management. “Our coastal communities are becoming all too familiar with major damage to property resulting from the impacts of our changing climate and back-to-back hurricanes. For the third year in a row, we are offering this emergency general permit that will allow our coastal residents and businesses to rebuild…

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Money trail shows school choice in Democrats’ crosshairs

August 7, 2020

by Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — Follow the money, the saying goes. In this year’s elections in North Carolina, the money leans left. School choice is the target. You can see it in the race for state superintendent and, subtly, in the fight for state Supreme Court. Democratic superintendent nominee Jennifer Mangrum has outraised Republican Catherine Truitt by more than a five-to-one margin. Campaign reports from the end of the second quarter show Mangrum raking in nearly $281,000. Truitt? $52,000. It’s unclear how much more money has come from outside groups such as 501(c)4 nonprofits, which can…

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