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Politics
7:46 am
Fri February 27, 2015

UNC Board May Disband Poverty Center Led By Sharp GOP Critic

Gene Nichol
Credit 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.

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Politics
4:51 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Senator Tom Tillis Votes No on A.G. Nominee

Senator Tom Tillis
Credit thomtillis.com

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.

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Environment
3:26 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

EPA to Probe Whether NC Environment Agency Failed Minorities

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.

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Station News
9:22 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Back from Paris

WCQS's Michelle Keenan holding up issues of "Charlie Hebdo" she picked up in Paris
Jeremy Loeb

WCQS's Michelle Keenan picked up a couple of issues of Charlie Hebdo during her trip to Paris.  The satirical magazine was the target of a terrorist attack in Paris, France on January 7, 2015.  Two radicals with assault rifles stormed the magazine headquarters and killed 11 staff members and injured 11 others in apparent retaliation for the magazine's depiction of Muhammed, which is forbidden in some interpretations of Islam.  That spawned a rallying cry of "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") across the globe. 

Minorities
6:00 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

State Senate Passes Bill to Allow Magistrates to Refuse to Perform Gay Marriages

The North Carolina Senate has approved a bill that would allow magistrates and register of deeds staffers to recuse themselves from performing weddings if they oppose same-sex marriages. Thirty-two State Senators  voted in favor of the bill, 16 opposed.  Advocates for gay marriage called the bill discriminatory and charged the bill treats gay and lesbian couples as second class citizens.  Aaron Sarver is with The Campaign for Southern Equality.  He spoke with David  Hurand…..

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Environment
3:51 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Approaching Snow Follows Classic Path

The National Weather Service  has issued a Winter Storm Warning effective until 7:00 am Thursday morning.  WCQS weather expert Ed Brotak spoke with David Hurand about the latest round of winter weather and the real possibility of a few inches of snow in the mountains and beyond.

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Business
9:05 am
Wed February 25, 2015

German Company Putting Nearly 140 Jobs in Henderson County

Raumedic plant in Helmbrechts, Germany
raumedic.com

A German company that makes medical equipment is building a plant in Henderson County that will employ nearly 140 people.

Raumedic Inc. announced Tuesday it will spend more than $26 million and create about 138 jobs in Mills River over the next five years.

The company makes tubing, molded parts, catheters and modules for the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

A statement from Gov. Pat McCrory's office said the average annual salary for the operation in Henderson County will be more than $55,000.

The county's average wage is about $34,000.

Politics
8:45 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

NCDOT Secretary Promoting Book as State Deals With Snow

NC Transportation Secretary Tony Tata
Credit Alicia Funderburk/Carolina Public Press

N.C. Transportation Secretary Tony Tata was in Chicago touting a book as his department's work crews scrambled to treat roads covered by a surprise snowfall.

WRAL-TV in Raleigh reports Tata appeared on CNN Tuesday to talk about his new military thriller.

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Politics
8:36 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

NC House Republicans File Awaited Recruiting Measure

Governor Pat McCrory
AP Photo

House Republicans have rolled out an economic development package they hope will help Governor Pat McCrory recruit more companies and jobs to North Carolina.

The long-awaited measure filed Tuesday would increase the cap on what's now called the Job Development Investment Grant program, which makes payments to qualifying companies based on a portion of income taxes paid by hired workers.

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Economy
5:07 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Where is Organized Labor?

The effects of the great recession that hit the U.S. in 2008 have eased and the national unemployment rate has dropped to around six percent.  But for many Americans wages have remained about where they were in 2007.  In fact, wages haven't changed much since 2000.  David Forbes is a local journalist and editor of the Asheville Blade, a reader supported on line news service.  He spoke  with David Hurand about local wages and the future of organized labor  in Western North Carolina.

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