News

abc11.com

Updated Monday 8:22 pm

Gov. Pat McCrory's veto of a bill that would allow some North Carolina court officials to refuse to perform gay marriage activities because of religious objections has been negated by the state Senate.

Senators agreed Monday night to override the veto by a 32-16 vote. That's above the three-fifths threshold necessary. The bill still must clear the House again for the veto to be canceled and the law enacted. The House vote set for Wednesday is less certain because of absent lawmakers last week when the bill passed.

A group of parents of children at Isaac Dickson Elementary School in Asheville are urging Duke Energy to relocate a proposed electricity substation.  The utility is considering a site adjacent to the school.  The new Isaac Dickson is under construction and is  expected to open in the fall of 2016.  Members of Keep Our School Safe, Katie Russell and Steve Agan spoke with David Hurand.

Please listen for the next Friday @2 when WCQS hosts members of the Asheville Young Musicians Club in our studios. These young people between the ages of 11 and 18 will perform chamber music by Haydn, Mozart and Piazzola, and give us a preview of their upcoming benefit concert.

After four years of planning more market rate rental housing is slated to be built in downtown Asheville.  David Hurand spoke with Public Interest Projects President Pat Whalen about the project and the need to redefine the issue of meeting the areas housing needs.

Emily Jan/NPR

Updated 11:09 PM Wednesday:

Two controversial bills: one concerning gay marriage, the other abortion, are closer to becoming law after votes Wednesday.

North Carolina legislators are nearing final approval on legislation allowing some North Carolina court officials to opt out of same-sex marriage duties based on "sincerely held religious" objections.

cnn.com

Tougher penalties for people who spray or scribble on public or private property in North Carolina is nearing Gov. Pat McCrory's desk.

The Senate gave tentative approval Tuesday to legislation creating a new crime called "graffiti vandalism" that would result in a low-grade felony and possible time behind bars on a third conviction.

Current law only addresses graffiti on public buildings and monuments, or general damage to real property.

Jeremy Loeb

Both the state House and Senate agree that the law requiring government agencies to perform environmental reviews on projects that disturb public lands or spend public dollars should be narrowed to cover fewer activities.

The full Senate gave its final approval Tuesday to a measure scaling back use of the 1971 State Environmental Policy Act. Senators approved some amendments to bring the measure more in line with the House version passed last month.

Memorial Day was first set aside by the Federal Government in 1866 to honor military personnel who died in the American Civil War.  In 1971 Congress established the last Monday in May as the official federal holiday. Memorial Day also marks  the unofficial beginning of the summer travel season and if the first five months of 2015 are any indication it good be a very big year for the Blue Ridge Parkway.  So far the number of visitors is up 11% and spending is also much higher compared to last year.  Leesa Brandon is with the Blue Ridge Ridge  Parkway.  She spoke with David Hurand. 

Greg Agee/Facebook via weather.com

Gov. Pat McCrory is advising North Carolina residents to prepare for hurricane season, which officially begins June 1.

McCrory has declared Sunday through Saturday as Hurricane Preparedness Week. He's encouraging residents to update their emergency plans and supply kits. Hurricane season runs through November.

North Carolina already experienced tropical weather when Tropical Storm Ana brought heavy rain to the coast earlier this month.

Emergency kits should contain enough non-perishable food and a gallon of water per person per day to last three to seven days.

ncsolarnow.com

North Carolina's rapidly-growing solar industry has an unwanted spotlight upon it from a cadre of fiscal conservatives at the General Assembly fixed on ending its preferential tax and energy policy treatments.

"It's very simple: do you believe in subsidizing a special interest off the backs of our taxpayers or not?" Rep. Chris Millis, R-Pender, a fierce critic of the state's solar policies, asked colleagues during a recent debate.

Pages