As Duke Energy prepares to plead guilty to violating the federal Clean Water Act, it has started delivering bottled water to people with tainted wells close to its North Carolina coal ash pits.

Duke has long denied its 32 dumps in the state have contaminated the drinking water of its neighbors. But recent state-mandated tests found that more than 150 residential wells tested near Duke's dumps have failed to meet state groundwater standards.

Officials  with the Biltmore Company say more than 1.3 million people visited the Estate last year and many of those visitors spent time in the Biltmore Estate Winery.  Jerry Douglas is President of  the Biltmore Wine Company.  David Hurand stopped by his office in downtown Asheville for an interview about the business of making wine and the 30th birthday celebration Saturday (5/16) on the estate.

AP Photo

The plaintiff in a shareholder lawsuit Duke Energy faces over massive coal ash spill claims the company improperly influenced North Carolina's environmental regulators.

The Charlotte Observer reports shareholder Judy Mesirov says Duke directors improperly influenced the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to minimize regulation under the administration of Gov. Pat McCrory, a former Duke employee.

A bill that eases further restrictions on concealed handguns in North Carolina and makes other gun-related changes is back on the sidelines just hours after returning to the fast track.

The House Rules Committee chairman announced Tuesday afternoon the panel planned to consider a new version of the measure Wednesday, with a floor vote later in the day. But the committee meeting was canceled Tuesday night.

A committee notice said new provisions are anticipated in the coming days and Speaker Tim Moore wanted to offer more time to consider them.

Charles Lewis says somewhat facetiously that his love of investigative journalism is in his DNA.  While in high school he started writing satirical pieces and asking tough questions of those in authority.   After more than forty years as a journalist he is still excited about his job and dedicated to the task of  probing for the truth.  The former ABC News and 60 Minutes producer and founder of the Center for Public Integrity will speak Thursday (5/14) evening at the Crest Center in Asheville.   The event is sponsored by the on-line investigativ

The Asheville City Council is scheduled to vote on buying body cameras for the police department.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the City Council is set to vote on the purchase of 60 cameras that could be worn on various parts of the body, including the head or shoulder. The vote is scheduled during a regular Tuesday council meeting.

Abortion-rights advocates have returned to the Executive Mansion to urge North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to block a bill that would extend the waiting period for the procedure from 24 hours to 72 hours.

Representatives of Planned Parenthood and other groups held a news conference Monday across from the governor's home. The measure approved by the House and now in the Senate also requires doctors to give regulators more details about certain abortions performed.

Last year Manna FoodBank  distributed 15 million pounds of food to those in need across Western North 

  Carolina.  Officials with Manna say they also turned away over half a million pounds of food that it could have distributed to the hungry in 16 counties.  Manna recently launched a Capital Campaign it hopes will enable it to expand its services to meet the growing demand for food.  David Hurand spoke with the Co-Chairs of the campaign, multi-talented artist David Holt and former Manna Board member Brad Searson about the campaign and hunger in Western North Carolina.

News & Observer

Volvo Cars will build a $500 million plant in South Carolina that will eventually employ up to 4,000 people.

The company announced Monday morning that the plant about 30 miles from the Port of Charleston is expected to make about 100,000 vehicles a year, initially.

The company says it expects to employ about 2,000 people at the Berkeley County plant over the next decade. That could grow to 4,000 workers eventually.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley planned a news conference later Monday morning to formally announce Volvo's decision.

The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP wants the state to answer to what it says is a low number of voter registration applications the state has received from public assistance agencies in the last three years.

Chapter leaders and the Forward Together Moral Movement say they plan to visit the Department of Administration on Monday to submit a public records request regarding the records.