David Schaper NPR

Updated Friday 7:10 am

The North Carolina House has agreed to restrain an impending cut in the state's gasoline tax to keep money flowing to road and bridge projects.

House lawmakers on Thursday approved letting the gas tax fall from the current 37.5 cents per gallon rate to 36 cents for the rest of 2015. Doing nothing would have meant the tax pegged to wholesale gas prices would likely drop below 30 cents per gallon, according to legislative analysts.

Some Democrats branded the legislation a tax increase.

Tom Bullock/WFAE News

Charlotte has rejected a measure protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

City Council voted Monday night against expanding the city's nondiscrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity to a list of protected groups. It also would have prohibited discrimination based on someone's marital and familial status.

Bob Geary via

The head of North Carolina's NAACP says Gov. Pat McCrory's plan to wait until at least summer before deciding whether to propose expanding health coverage to more uninsured people is a bad excuse not to act.

The Rev. William Barber said Monday that McCrory and legislative leaders keep "stonewalling" on Medicaid expansion.

The Air Force Colonel who put  together and supervised  the first  team of military lawyers that defended Guantanamo detainees says he isn't surprised the prison remains open.  Will A. Gunn was named Chief Defense Counsel in the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions in 2003.  Gunn is scheduled to speak at the University of North Carolina Asheville Thursday (3/5/15) at 12:30 in the University Humanities Lecture Hall.  He told David Hurand that he is surprised by the slow pace of military tribunals.  Gunn retired from the military in 2005. 

Students at North Carolina's public universities will pay higher tuition and fees in the next couple of years after a one-year tuition freeze this year.

The governing board of the 16-campus University of North Carolina system on Friday approved requests by schools to raise the core cost of attendance.

North Carolina State University undergraduate students would see tuition rise next fall by $182 to $6,220, followed by another $187 increase the following year. UNC-Chapel Hill could charge an extra $225 in undergraduate tuition next fall to almost $6,650.

Jeff Tiberii/WUNC

The UNC Board of Governors has voted unanimously to close 3 academic centers, including one headed by a staunch GOP critic.  The vote came as protesters disrupted the meeting multiple times.  The Board moved the meeting to a smaller room after chanting forced a recess.  They then barred the protesters from entering, where, according to tweets from reporters on the scene, protesters banged on the doors demanding to be let back in.  They also reportedly began reading from North Carolina's open meetings laws.

Tony Kiss
Asheville Citizen-Times

Thank goodness, the weekend  has arrived.  Tony is looking forward to the return of Webb Wilder "the last of the full grown men" to the area. Wilder hits the stage at Isis tonight (2/27).  Also tonight, Solas performs Shamrock City at Diana Wortham Theater.  There are plenty of Oscar nominated and Oscar winners on the big screen at area movie theaters, American Sniper, Birdman, The Imitation Game, Selma, Still Alice, and the Theory of Eveything.   A couple  of new arrivals of note, Focus with Will Smith and Mr. Turner.  Kick the winter blues and celebrate the weekend.

UNC Law School via WUNC

North Carolina's public university board is thinking about eliminating an anti-poverty center headed up by an outspoken critic of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and other Republican lawmakers he accuses of doing too little to help the poor.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has sent Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch to the full Senate, but without the support of Freshman North Carolina Senator Tom Tillis.  Twelve committee members voted to support President Obama's  choice to replace Attorney General  Eric Holder, including three Republicans.  But after praising the nominee,  Tillis  voted no.  Lynch was born in Greensboro, went to high school in Durham, and if confirmed would be the first African-American woman to serve as Attorney General.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will investigate whether lenient regulation by North Carolina's environmental agency of industrial hog operations harmed minority neighbors.

The Waterkeeper Alliance and other groups released a letter Wednesday stating the EPA will launch a civil rights investigation of North Carolina's Department of Environment and Natural Resources. DENR spokesman Drew Elliot says the state agency will provide any information EPA needs to investigate the complaint.