Wednesday News: R.I.P. Howard

Former Congressman Howard Coble dies (WFMY-TV) – Ray Coble Jr., brother of former Congressman Howard Coble, issued the following statement: "J.Howard Coble passed away at 11:40 p.m., Nov. 3 after an extended hospitalization. The family wishes to thank Dr. Ali Hajazi and the staff of the Select Specialty Hospital in Greensboro for their excellent care. The community will be notified of funeral arrangements when complete."

Howard Coble Dies at 84 (TWCN-TV) -- One of North Carolina's longest serving members in the U.S. House passed away late Tuesday night.

Jennifer Roberts defeats Edwin Peacock for Charlotte mayor (Charlotte Observer) -- Roberts will become Charlotte’s second elected female mayor, and first since Republican Sue Myrick

Chapel Hill mayor upset; Durham, Fayetteville mayors re-elected (WRAL-TV) -- Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt lost Tuesday in his bid for a fourth term in office, while Durham Mayor Bill Bell easily won re-election for his eighth term and Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson won a second term.

Chapel Hill: Challengers sweep mayor, 2 councilmen from office (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Pam Hemminger held lead over Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt throughout night

Kleinschmidt, Storrow, Ward ousted in Chapel Hill (Durham Herald-Sun) -- Chapel Hill voters made their voices heard at the polls Tuesday evening, electing Pam Hemminger as their new mayor and choosing to reelect only one incumbent to the town council.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan wins second term in a landslide (Greensboro News & Record) -- Vaughan will be the first two-term mayor since 2007.

Mayor Bill Bell Wins 8th Term (TWCN-TV) -- Mayor Bill Bell has won his eighth and, what he says, is his final term.

Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson Wins Re-Election (TWCN-TV) -- Mayor Nat Robertson will keep his post leading the All-American City.

Walnut Cove passes mixed-drink referendum (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Turnout was light Tuesday for municipal elections in Forsyth, Davie and Stokes counties.

Robbins Approves Two Alcohol Referendums (Southern Pines Pilot) -- Robbins is dry no more.

Voters say ‘no’ to 4-year terms for Mecklenburg County commissioners (Charlotte Observer) -- Voters on Tuesday rejected doubling the length of time Mecklenburg County commissioners can serve on the nine-member board.

Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson wins 2nd term (Fayetteville Observer) -- Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson narrowly won a second term Tuesday night over Democratic challenger Val Applewhite.

Challenger John Aneralla unseats Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain (Charlotte Observer) -- Race seen as a referendum on the controversial I-77 toll lanes – sending a message to Gov. Pat McCrory.

Rose, longest-serving mayor in Wilson history, re-elected; Bell elected (Wilson Times) -- Wilson voters picked a new member of Wilson City Council and re-elected its longest serving mayor on Tuesday. Mayor Bruce Rose captured the majority of voters.

Incumbent Mayor O’Neal wins re-election in Belhaven (Washington Daily News) -- The battle for the mayor’s seat in Belhaven has come to a close, as incumbent Mayor Adam O’Neal will return

Challengers win four board seats in three Pamlico County towns (New Bern Sun Journal) -- There will be new town commissioners in Oriental, Alliance and Vandemere, the only Pamlico County municipalities with contested board races

3 North Topsail challengers prevail on Election Day (Jacksonville Daily News) -- The town's unofficial municipal election results favor three new faces leading North Beach: a new mayor and two new Board of Aldermen members.

Swansboro votes for change on board (Jacksonville Daily News) -- Voters in Swansboro cast their ballots for change on the Board of Commissioners but kept the town’s form of government the same. Incumbent Commissioner John Lister returns to the board and is joined by newcomers Frank Tursi and Roy Herrick after voters cast their ballots for three open commissioner seats on the town board.

Power shifts on City Council (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- The balance of power shifted on the Greenville City Council after two incumbents were defeated Tuesday night.

Durham-based development firm Caktus Group open sources voter registration software (WRAL-TV) -- Across much of the U.S., Tuesday was election day. Read how a local company has chosen to open source their software to help governments across the world enhance their democratic election process.


McCrory’s industry recruitment chief: Don't hold us accountable yet (Charlotte Business Journal) -- Last month was the one-year birthday of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, but its chairman says it’s too early to grade the agency yet. John Lassiter, former Charlotte City Council member and businessman, says the first year after the creation of the EDPNC was devoted too much to formation and organization issues to be thinking about how it will score on a report card.

McCrory’s Influence With Friend's State Contract (WUNC-FM) – Gov. Pat McCrory reportedly used his personal influence to help his friend and major political donor, Graeme Keith Sr., renew a $3 million contract with the state.

Former Congressman Howard Coble dies (WFMY-TV) – Ray Coble Jr., brother of former Congressman Howard Coble, issued the following statement: "J.Howard Coble passed away at 11:40 p.m., Nov. 3 after an extended hospitalization. The family wishes to thank Dr. Ali Hajazi and the staff of the Select Specialty Hospital in Greensboro for their excellent care. The community will be notified of funeral arrangements when complete."

Howard Coble Dies at 84 (TWCN-TV) -- One of North Carolina's longest serving members in the U.S. House passed away late Tuesday night.

Former Congressman Howard Coble dies at 84 (WRAL-TV) -- Former 6th District Congressman Howard Coble, who served in the U.S. House longer than any other North Carolina Republican, died late Tuesday in Greensboro, his brother told WFMY News.

Howard Coble, former congressman, has died at 84 (Triad Business Journal) -- Former U.S. Congressman Howard Coble, who represented the 6th District until he retired at the beginning of this year, has died at age 84.

Former NC congressman Howard Coble dies (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Retired North Carolina congressman Howard Coble, who represented the north-central part of the state in the U.S. House for three decades, has died, a Greensboro television station is reporting.

Former U.S. Congressman Howard Coble dies (Greensboro News & Record) -- Howard Coble died Tuesday night, on Election Day. He was 84.

In resort setting, some Dare residents struggle with poverty (Outer Banks Sentinel) -- The hidden epidemic: Part one of a series -- Officially, Dare County is one of the richest in North Carolina. Our tourism-based economy last year raked in $1.2 billion from visitors, behind only mega-wealthy Mecklenburg and Wake counties. Compared with North Carolina’s other 99 counties, Dare has one of the lowest poverty levels in the state (11.1 percent). In 2015, the poverty line is $11,770 for a single person and $24,250 for a family of four. But Dare County, and its residents, are by no means immune to economic distress.

Key oversight committee members appointed (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Legislative leaders have appointed members to the General Assembly’s primary government oversight committee. Senate President ProTem Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, made these appointments: Harry Brown (ex officio), Louis Pate (ex officio), Tom Apodaca, Chad Barefoot, Stan Bingham, Dan Blue, Andrew Brock, Warren Daniel, Don Davis, Jim Davis, Joel Ford, Rick Gunn, Kathy Harrington, Fletcher Hartsell, Ralph Hise, Brent Jackson, Floyd McKissick, Bill Rabon, Bob Rucho, Josh Stein, Jerry Tillman, Tommy Tucker, Trudy Wade. House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, made these appointments: Dean Arp, Marilyn Avila, William Brisson, John Torbett, Bob Steinberg, Leo Daughtry, Nelson Dollar, John Bradford, Larry Hall, Susi Hamilton, Ed Hanes, Michelle Presnell, John Szoka, Pat Hurley, Linda Johnson, David Lewis, Pat McElfraft, Mitchell Setzer, Kelly Hastings and Michael Wray.

Interim tag removed from Warren as NC courts director (AP) — The interim administrator of North Carolina's courts system has been asked to stay on in the position.

Conviction reversed in case of broken public water lines (AP) — A woman who plotted to break public water lines so her company could make more money by repairing them had her conviction reversed Tuesday — not because she's innocent but because state Appeals Court judges said prosecutors messed up at her trial.

House GOP caucus hires seasoned director (Raleigh News & Observer) -- State House Republicans on Tuesday announced the hiring of a caucus director, Jim Burton, in anticipation of next year’s elections.

Durham Democratic senator, citizen at odds after traffic accident (WRAL-TV) -- State Sen. Floyd McKissick got in a car crash over the summer, and while 5 On Your Side doesn't usually tackle fender-benders, the way this one was handled can serve as a lesson for all drivers.

Alamance County law enforcement cleared to learn how to give overdose medication (Greensboro News & Record) -- Alamance County commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding Monday that would allow Emergency Medical Services to train local law enforcement officers in administering Naloxone, a drug to reverse opiate overdoses.


When It Comes To Sex Ed and Teens, Parents Matter (N.C. Health News) -- Had “the Talk” with your kids yet? A review of the research says it’s time to get started.

New economic development director eager to bring jobs to Brunswick (Wilmington Star-News) -- Michael DiTullo began the job Monday


String of Shootings at Black Colleges (Inside Higher Ed) -- Three North Carolina camuses: N.C. A& T State University, N.C. Central and Winston-Salem State along with Miles College. Tennessee State University and Texas Southern University. No college is immune from gun violence, but historically black colleges and universities may face unique challenges.

Berger speech threatens future of schools of education, teacher assistants (EdNC) -- On October 27, 2015, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) gave a speech on public education reform at Best NC’s second annual legislative gathering. “The truth is we either need to fix our schools of education in North Carolina or scrap them in favor of new and different approaches to teacher preparation. It doesn’t make sense to do both.”

NC court rules on public funds that charter schools can claim (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court says Cleveland County school administrators must turn over nearly $55,000 to three charter schools in the latest ruling in a dispute over the types of taxpayer funds the alternative public schools should receive.

Koch brothers' higher-ed investments advance political goals (Center for Public Integrity) -- Last year, a top lieutenant of Charles and David Koch’s vast network of philanthropic institutions laid bare the billionaire brothers’ strategy to evangelize their gospel of economic freedom. Political success, Kevin Gentry told a crowd of elite supporters attending the annual Koch confab in Dana Point, Calif., begins with reaching young minds in college lecture halls, thereby preparing bright, libertarian-leaning students to one day occupy the halls of political power. Koch-led charitable foundations combined to spread more than $19.3 million across 210 college campuses in 46 states – including North Carolina -- in 2013, IRS filings show.

UNC-Chapel Hill Named as Center for Health Leadership Initiative (UNC News) – UNC-Chapel Hill has been selected to serve as the National Program Leadership Center for a new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation leadership initiative. UNC-Chapel Hill will co-design and launch the New Clinical Scholars program to train and network groups of leaders in communities across the country to build a national Culture of Health.

Expanding Dare County classrooms impacts students and teachers (Outer Banks Sentinel) -- In the state of North Carolina, the maximum allowable class size for Kindergarten through third grade is 24 students. After third grade, the state legislature, which governs school standards, has removed restrictions on class size. For Dare County north of Oregon Inlet, this seems to be the year to confront how to educate a classroom with 30-plus kids.

The future of agriculture in N.C. (EdNC) -- Students in K-5 should have at least an appreciation for where their food comes from and exposure to agriculture as a potential career option later in life.

State superintendent offers strategies to improve locally (Sanford Herald) -- With the N.C. Department of Public Instruction deeming five Lee County schools "low-performing," and giving just one school performance grade above a C in the entire district

Brantley Briley celebrates 40 years of state service (Kinston Free Press) -- While Dr. Brantley Briley, the president of Lenoir Community College, told everyone Tuesday was his 62nd birthday was actually his 110th birthday, there was no hiding the fact that he has now spent more than 40 years working for the state. With the exception of a four-year stint at Southeast Community College, every one of his years has been spent at LCC.

UNC system to expand internship program (Durham Herald-Sun) — UNC system leaders want to add 10 more campuses to a program that tries to convince small- and medium-sized businesses to offer internships to students. The program’s now in place on six campuses, thanks to a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation. The prospective expansion will take in the rest of the system’s universities.

Public School Forum launches Study Group XVI (EdNC) -- The Public School Forum has now convened Study Group XVI to explore issues facing North Carolina schools today including racial equity, low-performing schools, and trauma in schools. The overarching effort is co-chaired by Dr. Dudley Flood and Dr. Mike Priddy with additional co-chairs for each topic.


Dawson Singletary: Solar farm a life-saver (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- Our solar farm does not produce any noise or pollution, and our property value has not decreased. So far, the additional income from our solar farm has been used for medical bills, but my health has improved. And solar helps us provide for our family and keep our land where it belongs – in our family.

The Digital Imperative: Winds of Change (Fortune) -- When Duke Energy, the largest investor-owned utility in the US, launched Duke Energy Renewables back in 2006 with a plan to possibly invest $1 billion of capital, doing so was a noteworthy move for a traditionally regulated utility. Ten years later, Duke Energy Renewables has invested over $4 billion in wind and solar energy projects in 12 states: its 16 wind farms alone have about 2,000 megawatts of capacity, capable of fueling more than half a million residences. And while some of those government incentives have been reduced or removed, Duke Energy Renewables is now well-established in the field.

Statoil greenlights world’s first floating wind farm (Fuel Fix) -- After installing its first large-capacity, operational wind turbine floating offshore in 2009, Statoil said the project costs have reduced by more than 60 percent.

State bureaucrat takes on critics of ‘reform’ in new video (Jones & Blount) – Pugnacious Tom Reeder, one of the state’s top environmental regulatory officials, issued a taxpayer-financed video Monday in an effort to address critics’ claims about the Regulatory Reform Act of 2015.

Changes in Atlantic Sooner Than Expected (Coastal Review) -- An area of cold, fresh water in the otherwise warming, salty north Atlantic, could hasten sea-level rise on the East Coast and affect climate patterns worldwide

Law firms on hunt for a suit against Duke-Piedmont deal (Charlotte Business Journal) -- The drums are beating for potential class-action suits against Piedmont Natural Gas’ board over the company’s proposed $4.9 billion sale to Duke Energy. To date at least 15 law firms have advertised for potential clients who own Piedmont stock, saying they plan to investigate the propriety of Duke’s $60 per share cash deal for the Charlotte-based natural gas company.

Coalition of States to Defend Rules on Carbon Emissions (Wall Street Journal) -- A group of 18 states is expected to ask a federal court on Wednesday to intervene to defend Obama administration greenhouse-gas regulations that require significant emissions cuts from power plants.

NFL, Panthers investigate rappelling protesters incident (AP) — The NFL and the Carolina Panthers are investigating how protesters got rappelling gear into the team's stadium Monday night and suspended themselves by cables from the upper deck while holding a protest banner during a nationally televised game against the Indianapolis Colts.

GE Hitachi names new CEO (Wilmington Star-News) -- Jay Wileman replaces Caroline Reda

Fracking Moratorium: Public hearing draws small crowd (Sanford Herald) -- A small but vocal crowd was on hand for a public hearing at Monday's Lee County Board of Commissioners meeting.


Contract case shows flaw in moving the SBI to executive branch (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The attorney general and others warned that the SBI would have trouble handling corruption charges as part of the executive branch. With a dispute over DPS contracts, that trouble has become clear.

Our two-fisted governor (Triad City Beat) – Gov. Pat McCrory took a hard stance against the media outlets that reported on growing prison contract scandal issue —tough guy! — but the FBI is already questioning Keith and his associates about the deal. Our governor needed to reassert himself as a take-charge guy, and what better way to establish dominance than set himself up at a desk in the sheriff’s office in the state’s third-largest city, and one of its most diverse, to sign a law banning sanctuary cities in North Carolina?

Spread the wealth to NC state workers (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The UNC Board of Governors gave big raises to chancellors, but faculty and rank-and-file state employees have received only meager increases.

Council vindication (Greensboro News & Record) -- Tuesday was vindication day for the Greensboro City Council.

Are these university leaders or political hacks? (Fayetteville Observer) -- The past few weeks have not opened an era of distinction for the UNC Board of Governors. Quite the contrary.

The kudzu of the legislature (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- Until the 1960s, North Carolina legislators had three months to finish the session. After that, their pay would be cut off. You will not be surprised to learn that they nearly always finished on time.