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Thursday, March 11, 2010

N.C. State's Technician in jeopardy, lacks staff, editor to lead it

Posted by on Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Update (8:35 p.m. Friday): A group of Technician alumni, current staff and others concerned about the newspaper's fate will gather at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mitch's Tavern to hatch a plan. All are welcome to attend.  So far, the Facebook page announcing the event shows 23 confirmed guests. 

The Technician, N.C. State's student newspaper for the past 90 years, is facing extinction because of a lack of staff.

The paper's editorial board made a desperate plea for help in Wednesday's paper, the day after no one applied for the editor in chief post.

In today's edition, news editor Nick Tran gives readers a window into the problems. Former editor Ty Johnson, an occasional contributor to the Independent was suspended when his grades dipped below the required 2.5 GPA for senior leaders of N.C. State's Student Media Association. The suspension created a chilling effect, where others questioned if they could handle the burden of both reporting and classwork.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gregory Taylor exonerated

Posted by on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 2:00 PM

WRAL, which streamed the Innocence Inquiry Commission's hearing today, has the report. A three-judge panel:

... unanimously voted in Gregory Taylor's favor Wednesday, making him the first person in the state's history to be exonerated because of involvement by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission – the only state-run agency in the country that investigates post-conviction claims of innocence.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rep. Rosa Gill files; the Champ joins GOP primary for Wake Commission

Posted by on Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 6:05 PM


State Rep. Rosa Gill, who replaced Dan Blue in state House District 33 (East Raleigh, part of eastern Wake) when Blue moved to the Senate to replace the late Vernon Malone, has filed to run for election in own right.

The Wake Democratic Party picked Gill, a 10-year veteran of the Wake school board, over Bernard Allen II when Blue vacated the House seat. Allen is challenging her in the primary; his father held this seat at one time.

The only other notable filing of the day: Robert "Champ" Claris, whose nickname we covet, filed to run in the Republican primary for the District 2 Wake Commissioners seat. Claris ran last year for the Raleigh City Council but didn't scratch. He'll go against Garner Council member Phil Matthews and Phil Jeffreys, a former county commissioner. The seat is held by Democrat Lindy Brown, who is running again but has yet to file.

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Sen. Josh Stein goes for 2nd term in Wake

Posted by on Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 4:22 PM


State Sen. Josh Stein, a Democrat whose 16th district covers the western portions of Raleigh and much of western Wake County, filed for a second term today. So far, he's unopposed.

His statement:

“I hope to continue serving my constituents in Wake County,” said Stein.  “In this economy, job creation must be our top priority. We must also lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth by supporting our public K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities.”

In his first term as Senator, Stein received awards and recognition for his efforts on a variety of issues. For his efforts to create clean energy jobs and to extend the renewable energy tax credit, the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association named Stein its 2009 Legislator of the Year.

The AARP selected Stein its Legislator of the Year for his steadfast work as a consumer advocate, particularly on behalf of senior citizens, with his legislation to strengthen the state’s identity theft law and to establish a financial literacy council. Stein also received awards from the Metro Mayors’ Association for his work on transit and transportation issues and WakeUp Wake County for his legislation to clean Falls Lake.

Stein serves as vice-chairman of the Judiciary I committee and serves on the Commerce and Finance Committees, among other committee and commission assignments.  He had the 3rd highest percentage of public bills enacted into law among all 50 Senators from across the state.

“It is an honor to serve as State Senator. I look forward to working with legislative colleagues to make the critical investments needed to get our economy moving forward again,” Stein said.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

N.C. set to treat four Haitian earthquake victims

Posted by on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Four victims of the Haitian earthquake are scheduled to arrive in the Triangle this morning to receive medical attention, according to a press release sent by the N.C. Division of Emergency Management.

The four, one of whom is accompanied by an uninjured child, are being transfered to North Carolina to receive treatment for burns as Florida hospitals cannot handle the massive overflow of Haitians in need of help.

Three will be sent to the UNC Hospitals's Jaycee Burn Center. The other will be treated at the Wake Forest Baptist Burn Center. The patients, three men aged 24, 29 and 61 and a 54-year-old woman, were set to land at Raleigh-Durham International Airport this morning.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wendell Falls Development fined $21,000 by EPA

Posted by on Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Wendell Falls Development has been fined $21,000 by the Environmental Protection Agency for violating the Clean Water Act, according to an EPA press release issued today.

The financially embattled developer, which owns what was once projected to be the largest subdivision in Wake County—4,000 homes on 1,400 acres—was cited for alleged stormwater-related violations. The violations reportedly occurred at three construction sites, including Wendell Falls Parkway.

Earlier this year, ABC 11 TV reported that Wendell Falls owes the town of Wendell and Wake Ciounty $400,000 in delinquent taxes.

Seventeen companies or municipalities throughout the Southeast were penalized from July to September. Lake Glad Commercial, which operates the Highland Trails Commercial Center in Creedmoor, received a $5,000 penalty, also for violations related to stormwater runoff. According to an online property listing, the 249-acre mixed-use development on Highway 56 is for sale for a tidy $7 million.

The town of Rutherfordton was fined $900 for failing to comply with federal requirements in applying biosolids—byproducts from treated wastewater—that can be applied to land as fertilizer. However, if improperly applied or treated, the biosolids can expose people and animals to unsafe levels of bacteria and viruses.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The U.S. Census: We're 34, half of us aren't from N.C., most of us drive alone to work and many of us are raised by our grandparents

Posted by on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Data geeks, this is your week. The U.S. Census has released some of its information related to the 2008 American Community Survey; the remainder comes out Sept. 29. The data is for counties with populations of 65,000 or more.

A few snapshots:

About half of residents in Wake, Durham and Orange counties are North Carolina natives (state median, 63 percent).

The percentage of homeowners who spend more than a third of their household income on mortgages and related costs: Wake, 26; Durham, 27; Orange, 31 (state median, 31.6 percent).

The percent of housing units that are mobile homes: Wake, 4; Durham, 1.6; Orange, 9 (state median, 14 percent).

Percentage of grandparents responsible for their grandchildren: Wake, 27; Durham, 57; Orange, estimate not available (state median, 52 percent).

Mass transit advocates have a lot of work to do: 79 percent of those surveyed in Wake County drove alone to work; in Durham, it was 74 percent and in Orange, 68 percent (state median, 80 percent).

Those using public transportation (excluding taxis) to work: 1.3 percent in Wake, 2.5 percent in Durham and 6 percent in Orange (state median, 1.1 percent).

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Another two bite the dust: Augustine and Shakespeare out

Posted by on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Raleigh City Council candidate Bill Shakespeare is withdrawing from the race for the at-large seat, he told the Indy today. That leaves Lee Sartain, Champ Claris and incumbents Mary-Ann Baldwin and Russ Stephenson competing for two seats.

And a hat tip to The News & Observer, which reported that Chris Augustine is leaving the District 2 Wake School Board race. It sounds like Augustine didn't have the political appetite for the job. Here's his statement, as reported by The N&O:

"The task to implement the cuts imposed by the State will be onerous to whoever is elected to the Wake County Board of Education district #2. Even to a person with an MBA like me, he or she would have to be insane to want this herculean task, especially this year. The position has no revenue authority but it has mandates from the County, the State and the Federal government to cut costs in a draconian fashion. I can only imagine what will be cut: foreign languages, art, and/or music. The sizes of classes will undoubtedly be increased and programs for the gifted as well as challenged will be sliced. And I wouldn't be surprised if magnet schools were cut. I for one would have liked to have questioned some of the Federal unfunded mandates. I would have liked to have increased competition between the schools by allowing parents to choose their own schools. And I would have liked to have fought to get the social policy agendas out of our school system. But alas any new ideas will probably be drown out by the upcoming pain. My name will remain on the ballot, but I am not going to actively campaign. I wish the best for whoever wins; they will surely need it."

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Another round of endorsements in Wake schools race

Posted by on Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 12:28 PM

The Take Wake Schools Back political action committee has endorsed its slate of Wake County Board of Education candidates: Chris Malone in District 1, John Tedesco in District 2, Deborah Prickett in District 7, and Debra Goldman in District 9.

These are the same candidates endorsed by right-leaning Wake Schools Community Alliance.

According to a press release issued by spokesperson Gail Marold, Moulder, who also is the media point person for the Wake County Republican Party, “All four candidates passionately advocate Take Wake Schools Back’s mission of bringing common sense back to the Wake County Public School System on behalf of children and families; focusing on community schools, system accountability, flexibility, transparency and excellence.

The PAC was co-founded by Dennis Berwyn, former deputy political director of the N.C. Republican Party. Previously, he worked on the 2004 campaign for George Bush and Dick Cheney and the 1996 campaign for Bob Dole and Jack Kemp, according to Berwyn’s online resume.

“District 2 was a difficult decision for our PAC, because we believe that Cathy Truitt also has the expertise, forward-thinking ideas and leadership qualities that the WCPSS desperately needs. We hope Dr. Truitt will be a valuable asset to the WCPSS in another capacity.”

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Terrorism hearing delayed until Tuesday

Posted by on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 6:25 PM

The detention hearings for all seven defendants accused of conspiring to advance "violent jihad" abroad have been delayed, following defense motions, until 9:30 a.m. on August 4, at the Terry Sanford Federal Building at 310 New Bern Ave in Raleigh.

The defendants will appear before United States Magistrate Judge William Webb, who will rule then whether the defendants will remain in custody, or can be released on bond.

According to a defense motion filed by Robert McAfee, the defense attorney has reason to believe that his client, Hysen Sherifi, is being held at the Wake County Detention Center.

Attorneys for two of the defendants were not assigned until earlier today; the other five defendants received attorneys yesterday. Initially, detention hearings were set for Thursday, but defense attorneys asked for more time so that they could meet their clients and review the charges. Arraignment hearings are scheduled for October 5.

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