Wednesday News: Pseudoscience edition

CIVITAS INSTITUTE RENEWABLES ‘EXPERT’ TAKES CASH FROM FRACKING INDUSTRY (Progressive Pulse) -- University of Wyoming professor Timothy Considine, the “energy expert” commissioned by the conservative Civitas Institute to assail North Carolina’s renewables strategy, has at least one glaring problem: He regularly receives money from fracking advocates and the natural gas industry to write reports that advance their agenda.

PAUL RYAN PREACHES UNITY TO SKEPTICAL NC DELEGATION (WRAL-TV) -- Party unity remains a big issue as the Republican National Convention nears the halfway point in Cleveland, and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan tried to emphasize that Tuesday morning in a talk with North Carolina's convention delegation.

MEREDITH COLLEGE STUDENTS SEE POLITICS AT WORK AT REPUBLICAN CONVENTION (WRAL-TV) -- A group of Meredith College students didn't have tickets to the Republican National Convention when they set out for Cleveland early Tuesday but managed to secure passes to get an up-close look at the nomination process.

ONE NC DELEGATE LEAVES GOP CONVENTION AFTER CRITICIZING DONALD TRUMP (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A N.C. delegate – Bob Orr -- who called Donald Trump “a danger to the country” is leaving the GOP convention.

GOP PLATFORM MIRRORS NC REPUBLICANS’ STANCES ON HB2, VOTER ID (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The Republican Party platform adopted this week says the Obama administration’s directive on transgender bathroom use is “illegal, dangerous, and ignores privacy issues.”

COOPER WILL SKIP DNC; ROSS WILL GO FOR A DAY (Raleigh News & Observer) - -Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democrats’ nominee for governor, will not be attending the party’s national convention in Philadelphia next week. Deborah Ross, the N.C. Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate is going, but only for a day – next Wednesday.

CANDIDATE’S FATHER GIVES $500,000 TO STATE DEMOCRATS (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The father of Democratic attorney general candidate Josh Stein contributed $500,000 to the N.C. Democratic Party in early March, according to a recently filed campaign disclosure report.


COMMENTERS GIVE THUMBS DOWN TO NC MEDICAID MANAGED CARE (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Many North Carolina pediatricians say proposed changes to Medicaid would spell disaster for children’s health and pediatric practices.

NC DISTRICT ATTORNEYS SUPPORT BODY CAMERA LAW (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The N.C. Conference of District Attorneys has thrown its support behind the state’s new law regulating the release of police body cameras and dashboard recordings.

ORANGE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT SWAPPING USED NEEDLES (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The Orange County Health Department has been quietly exchanging needles for drug users and diabetic patients since April. The Safe Syringe Program only became official when Gov. Pat McCrory signed a new state law July 11 outlining the requirements under which local agencies could offer needle, or syringe, exchanges.


CSX FINALLY FINDS HOME FOR CARGO HUB IN ROCKY MOUNT (WRAL-TV) -- After months of discussion and debate, CSX announced Tuesday that it will build its massive Carolina Connector cargo terminal in Edgecombe County. The $270 million hub, which is expected to open in 2020, will be built across U.S. Highway 301 from North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount. Officials anticipate 300 permanent jobs at the site, as well as 250 to 300 construction jobs.

REVIVAL OF $272-MILLION CSX HUB WILL BOOST EASTERN N.C. ECONOMY (Capitol Broadcasting Co. editorial) -- Tried and true economic development practices helped land a key project in Rocky Mount that will mean hundreds of jobs and millions in investment in often overlooked eastern North Carolina.

LOCAL OFFICIALS CRAFT DEAL TO BRING CSX RAIL HUB TO AREA (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- Johnston County's loss is the Twin Counties gain, thanks mostly to the efforts of Carolinas Gateway Partnership officials.

CSX LANDS SITE FOR CARGO TERMINAL AFTER 1ST PICK BLOCKED (AP) -- CSX Corp. will build an intermodal cargo hub near the Virginia border in Edgecombe County after landowner opposition blocked the railroad company's first option, officials said Tuesday.

CSX PICKS ROCKY MOUNT FOR PLANNED $272M RAIL HUB (Raleigh News & Observer) -- While opposition from Johnston County landowners stalled a proposed CSX container hub, Rocky Mount economic development officials quietly pieced together 700 acres willing to take on the project. For that reason, the $272 million CSX rail hub once destined for Johnston County will instead go 50 miles north to Rocky Mount.

CSX FACILITY FINDS NEW HOME IN EDGECOMBE COUNTY (WUNC-FM) -- A controversial rail hub appears to have found a home in eastern North Carolina. CSX first proposed building the container shipping hub in Johnston County earlier this year, but local opposition forced that project to be moved elsewhere. Governor Pat McCrory, CSX executives and local officials gathered in Rocky Mount to make the announcement yesterday.

CSX TERMINAL TO EMPLOY 300 WORKERS (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- Selection of Rocky Mount as the location of a new CSX rail-to-truck terminal means jobs and economic growth for the Twin Counties, Gov. Pat McCrory announced Tuesday. Speaking at the Dunn Center on the campus of N.C. Wesleyan College to an excited crowd, McCrory said the state-of-the-art terminal — located across from Wesleyan on U.S. 301 in Edgecombe County — will deliver improved transportation options for local businesses and drive economic expansion for the Twin Counties and beyond.

CSX TERMINAL TO BRING JOBS, DEVELOPMENT TO TRI-COUNTY REGION (Wilson Times) -- CSX will bring a rail-to-truck shipping terminal to Edgecombe County, connecting eastern North Carolina to state ports and creating a projected 1,500 jobs throughout the state.,70022

CHARLOTTE GETTING DIRECT INTERMODAL RAIL SERVICE TO PORT OF WILMINGTON (Charlotte Observer) – CSX is launching a new intermodal rail service between the Port of Wilmington and the railroad’s terminal in Charlotte, company and state officials said Tuesday, boosting the city’s status as a transportation hub.

NEW INTERMODAL RAIL SERVICE TO CONNECT PORT OF WILMINGTON TO CHARLOTTE (TWCN-TV) -- A new intermodal rail service coming in September will connect the Port of Wilmington to Charlotte. The Queen City Express will be the only direct service into the Greater Charlotte area from a port in the Southeast.

DISPATCH FROM THE INTERNATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE: SO DIFFERENT, SO SIMILAR (N.C. Health News) -- Lee Storrow, the head of the NC AIDS Action Network is in Durban, South Africa for the 2016 International Conference on AIDS to present his own research. This week, NC Health News will be featuring some stories from Lee about the conference and where North Carolina fits into the global fight against HIV/ AIDS.


ARMY PERSONNEL WELCOMED TO UNC FOR STRATEGIC BROADENING SEMINAR (UNC News) – UNC at Chapel Hill is hosting 51 U.S. Army officers, warrant officers, senior non-commissioned officers and civilians for a four-week strategic broadening seminar from July 11 to Aug. 6 as part of a longstanding partnership with the Institute for Defense and Business . This is the fifth consecutive year the IDB has run this program in collaboration with Carolina and is another way UNC supports the armed services.

WHAT STOCK LESSONS TELL US ABOUT TEACHING (EdNC) -- As a first and second year teacher, I had plenty of learning experiences. “Opportunities for growth,” is a phrase I am known for reciting to my fellow teachers and staff. Below are just a couple key lessons I have learned from the myth-busting experience of teaching.


DUKE ENERGY WANTS TO KEEP STATE SCIENTIST TESTIMONY IN COAL ASH CASE SECRET (WRAL-TV) -- — Duke Energy is asking a federal judge to make the sworn statements of a state environmental toxicologist off-limits to the public amid an ongoing lawsuit between environmentalists and the energy company over coal ash.

DUKE ENERGY WANTS ENVIRO LAWYERS TO STOP RELEASING DEPOSITIONS IN COAL ASH CASE (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Duke Energy wants to stop environmental attorneys from disclosing the deposition of a key state health agency official in a lawsuit that involves the safety of drinking water wells near coal ash basins. The utility says the lawyers have publicized and mischaracterized testimony in previous depositions and continuing to do so would jeopardize its right to a fair trial.

DUKE ENERGY: DON'T AIR NC TOXICOLOGIST'S COAL ASH TESTIMONY (AP) -- Duke Energy Corp. lawyers on Tuesday argued his words may be inadmissible in court and could prejudice a jury in a lawsuit over whether pollutants are seeping from coal ash pits at Duke's Buck power plant near Salisbury into groundwater in violation of federal law.


A MIGHTY WIND (Outer Banks Sentinel) -- On July 17, local leaders and landowners got a look at the site where the $400 million Amazon Wind Farm — the first utility-scale wind farm in the Southeast — will eventually crank out enough energy to power more than 60,000 homes.

NTE ENERGY TO BUILD IN ROCKINGHAM COUNTY (Greensboro News & Record) — NTE Energy is coming to Rockingham County, bringing with it a jolt to the local economy. On July 5, The Rockingham County Board of Commissioners welcomed County Economic Development and Tourism Director Jan Critz and NTE Energy Director of Development Garrett Weeks to their bi-monthly meeting for a public hearing regarding a tax incentive for the powerhouse.

N.C. REGULATORS COULD RULE ON $4.9B DUKE-PIEDMONT DEAL AS SOON AS OCTOBER (Charlotte Business Journal) -- N.C. regulators wrapped up a day-and-a-half evidentiary hearing on Duke Energy’s $4.9 billion purchase of Piedmont Natural Gas Tuesday afternoon.

DUKE ENERGY-PIEDMONT NATURAL GAS MERGER OFFERS STABILITY, DIVERSITY (Charlotte Observer) – Duke Energy’s acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas will create a company that’s more diverse in is operations and more regulated than the current Duke, increasing stable cash flows, company executives said.

DARE COUNTY TO REMOVE THOUSANDS OF HOMES FROM FLOOD ZONES (AP) -- New maps for Dare County are removing thousands of homes and lots from flood zones, creating a need to update local building codes that until now accounted for more rising water.

NEW OBX FLOOD ZONES CONTRADICT FLOODING FORECASTS (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- Dare County and towns like Nags Head and Kitty Hawk will have to make significant changes to local ordinances

GUEST COLUMN: COSTLY CATFISH TRADE BARRIER (Costal Review) -- North Carolina seafood dealer Justin Conrad says a federal program created under the guise of improving food safety is nothing more than a trade barrier to imported catfish, one that also puts the state’s agriculture-export business at risk.


REVIVAL OF $272-MILLION CSX HUB WILL BOOST EASTERN N.C. ECONOMY (Capitol Broadcasting Co.) -- Tried and true economic development practices helped land a key project in Rocky Mount that will mean hundreds of jobs and millions in investment in often overlooked eastern North Carolina.

NANCY MCFARLANE AND JAMES GOODMON: JOIN US FOR DESTINATION DIX FESTIVAL (Raleigh News & Observer) -- One year has passed since Raleigh completed the purchase of the Dorothea Dix Park property in preparation for plans to convert the campus into a destination park.

POLICE VIDEO CAMERA LAW STRAINS PUBLIC'S TRUST (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper got it right when he said last week that the state’s new law excluding police camera recordings from the public record goes too far. It’s literally out of sight.

RESTORE WAKE COUNTY'S ELECTION MAPS (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The members of the General Assembly have gone home, but the mischief of its Republican leaders continues to bedevil Wake County. The mischief is, of course, the legislature’s blatant overreach in changing voting districts for Wake County’s school board and Board of County Commissioners elections.

REJECT FEAR, HATRED; THIS IS THE TIME FOR SUPPORT (Fayetteville Observer) -- For most of this month, American and state flags in North Carolina have flown at half-staff.

FRANK GORHAM: SEA-LEVEL REPORT COMPREHENSIVE, HELPFUL FOR FUTURE (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- I strongly disagree with the characterization of the report on sea-level rise and Orrin and Keith Pilkey’s assertion that North Carolina has not done proper planning in response to projected sea-level rise.