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Journal Archives

Neighbors of Duke power plants could be offered financial compensation

RALEIGH — Duke Energy said Wednesday there are plans to offer compensation for depressed property values or a future with municipal water bills with the neighbors of coal ash pits, who fear the unlined storage basins have polluted their water wells.

The announcement by the country's largest electricity comes in the face of pending lawsuits by neighbors at some of the company's 14 North Carolina coal-burning power plants, including the Allen Steam Station on South Point Road in southeastern Gaston County. Law firms based in Raleigh, Salisbury and Dallas, Texas, said they represent hundreds of clients who are concerned about what the company may offer.

Duke Energy has "forced us to get an attorney because they couldn't acknowledge our concerns from the beginning," said Amy Brown, who lives less than 1,000 feet from the company's Belmont plant and has consumed only bottled water for 20 months.

Duke Energy also said it will expand its delivery of bottled water for drinking and cooking to neighbors within a half-mile of its coal plants, nearly doubling the scope of that preventative measure.

Read more: http://www.gastongazette.com/news/20161207/neighbors-of-duke-power-plants-could-be-offered-financial-compensation
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Dec 8, 2016, 07:08 AM (0 replies)

NC health plan to cover sex changes, if medically necessary, in 2017

RALEIGH -- A recent change to the state health plan will allow coverage of gender-changing treatments, including sex change transition surgery and hormone therapy, if they are deemed medically necessary.

While some advocates of gay and transgender rights welcome the move, the incoming state treasurer isn’t happy about it. In particular, Dale Folwell, a Republican who will take office in January, doesn’t like the anticipated cost to taxpayers.

“I pledged to the people of North Carolina that we would reduce the state health plan’s 32 billion dollar debt, provide a more affordable family premium especially for our lowest paid employees and provide transparency to the taxpayers,” Folwell said in an email. “The provision to pay for sex change operations does none of those three things.”

The State Treasurer’s Office oversees the health plan for state employees.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/health-care/article119509213.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Dec 8, 2016, 07:06 AM (1 replies)

John Edwards lists Chapel Hill home for $6.9 million

CHAPEL HILL -- John Edwards has listed his Chapel Hill estate for $6.9 million, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

You could be the new owner for a cool $25,000 per month, according to estimates by real estate websites such as Movoto.

The former Democratic senator, vice presidential nominee and presidential candidate built the home with his late wife, Elizabeth. It’s one of the largest in the area.

Orange County records show the nearly 26,000-square-foot home at 1201 Old Greensboro Road sits on about 102 acres and the total land and building value is about $5.58 million. The property includes a main home and a connected annex guest house.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article119519088.html

The home of John Edwards in Chapel Hill, seen in January 2007. The buildings include a gymnasium, a pool, a racquetball court and a 10,778 square foot main home. Ethan Hyman News & Observer File Photo
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Dec 8, 2016, 07:05 AM (1 replies)

Republican NC auditor candidate calls for recount

GOP candidate for state Auditor, Chuck Stuber, will formally ask the State Board of Elections for a recount of votes in his race against incumbent Democrat Beth Wood.

Stuber trails Wood by 5,993 votes, according to the board of elections count.

Board executive director Kim Westbrook Strach sent an email to county elections officials Tuesday morning, advising them of the goal to complete the recount by Thursday afternoon. The state elections board is meeting Friday to certify election results.

With Gov. Pat McCrory’s concession Monday, the race for Auditor is the last unresolved statewide contest.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article119136798.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Dec 8, 2016, 07:02 AM (0 replies)

Human Rights Campaign celebrates McCrory defeat: Hate has consequences

Washington-based Human Rights Campaign on Wednesday celebrated Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s loss to Democrat Roy Cooper, and said its polling found that House Bill 2 was the top issue for Cooper voters.

HRC, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, and Equality NC also continued to call for a full repeal of HB2 and dismissed any talk of a compromise bill.

“Minor tweaks are political posturing,” said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC and a Democratic state representative from Greensboro. HB2 overturned a Charlotte nondiscrimination ordinance that would have expanded protections for LGBT individuals. It also would have let transgender individuals use the bathroom of their gender identity.

Sgro and others spoke at a news conference outside the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center with a dozen supporters.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article119547053.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Dec 8, 2016, 07:01 AM (1 replies)

Felony voter fraud charge filed in Asotin County

ASOTIN - A felony charge alleging voter fraud was filed this morning in Asotin County against Christopher P. Billups of Lapwai.

According to 29 pages of court documents, Billups attempted to vote in Washington and Idaho during the Nov. 8 election. The 62-year-old man is facing a Class C felony and will be arraigned Dec. 19 in Asotin County Superior Court.

Prosecutor Ben Nichols filed the charges after auditors in Nez Perce and Asotin counties discovered a discrepancy involving Billups. The Nez Perce County resident allegedly returned an Asotin County ballot and later voted at a precinct in Lapwai during the General Election.

The maximum sentence for a Class C felony is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Read more: http://lmtribune.com/felony-voter-fraud-charge-filed-in-asotin-county/article_8e46ff20-b72a-11e6-9200-7345bdab841c.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Dec 8, 2016, 05:27 AM (2 replies)

Report: state salaries to lag private sector by 27 percent

A new report by the Virginia state government's human resources boss says state employees' salaries are set to lag behind the private sector by 27 percent.

Department of Human Resource Management Director Sara Redding Wilson recently published a report comparing discrepancies between the public and private sector.

The report found that on average the state pays less for comparable jobs, sometimes by large amounts. Attorneys working for the state, for example, lag behind their private-sector colleagues by nearly 90 percent.

Overall, the report said state employees would need a 26.82 percent increase in salaries by fiscal 2017 to equal the private sector.

Read more: http://www.newsadvance.com/work_it_lynchburg/news/report-state-salaries-to-lag-private-sector-by-percent/article_0c089682-bcb0-11e6-8b25-03f2d4f8dbcd.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Dec 8, 2016, 04:49 AM (1 replies)

Former bookkeeper charged with embezzling from Botetourt church

A former church bookkeeper has been charged with embezzling more than $10,000 from Cave Rock Baptist Church in Troutville.

Stephanie Everett, 42, was named in eight embezzlement indictments returned this week by a grand jury in Botetourt County Circuit Court.

The charges came after the sheriff’s office began an investigation in September of suspicious withdrawals, ATM transactions and debit card purchases “that are not typical of church business,” according to search warrants used in the case.

Some of the purchases were from a lingerie store, a sporting goods store, a cellphone provider, a nutritional and weight management company, department stores and “numerous transactions at different restaurants,” the warrants stated.

Read more: http://www.roanoke.com/news/crime/botetourt_county/former-bookkeeper-charged-with-embezzling-from-botetourt-church/article_f74c1e06-5f5b-5cd6-8b71-5fa5ad5ea94e.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Dec 8, 2016, 04:47 AM (0 replies)

"Historic day for Hampton Roads": CTB picks HRBT expansion for next water crossing

In what was a quick vote for such a monumental project, the Commonwealth Transportation Board voted unanimously Wednesday to expand the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.

The board chose the expansion out of four options presented to alleviate traffic from the region’s most notorious choke points. The project includes adding a third tunnel and expanding 12 miles of Interstate 64 to six lanes from four.

“Historic day for Hampton Roads and the state,” Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said after the vote. “Congratulations.”

There still are more steps to go before construction, including obtaining federal permits this summer.

Read more: http://pilotonline.com/news/local/transportation/historic-day-for-hampton-roads-ctb-picks-hrbt-expansion-for/article_f711d1c5-3a5a-574b-b081-2ef0f6aff05a.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Dec 8, 2016, 04:30 AM (0 replies)

5,051 Va. vets' personal info found in ex-Veterans Services worker's storage unit

More than 5,000 “personally identifiable” records of Virginia veterans were included in boxes of paperwork discovered Sept. 29 in a storage unit leased by a fired Virginia Department of Veterans Services employee.

The records included nearly 700 benefit claims that went unfiled, were filed late or were missing key documents.

After an exhaustive, seven-week examination of 20 to 30 boxes discovered in the former employee’s storage unit in Dinwiddie County, Veterans Service officials are now working to repair the damage that affected hundreds of veterans who filed claims.

With assistance from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, which supplied seven full-time employees, the state Veterans Services agency worked 10 hours a day, six days a week since the trove of documents was found to sort through and preserve relevant records. They have been electronically scanned and uploaded into the VA’s system to ensure proper filing, said Thomas Herthel, the Veterans Services’ director of benefits.

Read more: http://www.richmond.com/news/local/central-virginia/article_5a9caf23-fba6-5971-96fd-5c150604e7bb.html

Cross-posted in the Virginia Group.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Dec 8, 2016, 04:24 AM (1 replies)
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