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Politics
8:30 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Economists Predict $271M NC Gov't Shortfall This Year

Legislative Building in Raleigh
Angie Newsome via carolinapublicpress.org

Economists at the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory's administration agree for now there will be a small shortfall this fiscal year relative to North Carolina's $21 billion state government budget.

They released a report Tuesday saying they anticipate the gap between actual and expected tax collections to be $271 million.

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Politics
8:12 am
Wed February 11, 2015

SEANC Director Resigns Amid Questions About His Spending

Dana Cope, executive director of the State Employees Association of North Carolina, speaks during a 2011 news conference in front of the N.C. Legislative Building.
2011 NEWS & OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

The longtime executive director of the State Employees Association of North Carolina has resigned amid questions about possible financial improprieties at the group.

Dana Cope announced his departure Tuesday, saying he had blurred the line between his personal life and his professional life.

Politics
7:28 am
Wed February 11, 2015

NC Gas Tax Reformulation Heading to Senate Floor

Thomas Harden of Chicago pumps gas into his truck. He says he wouldn't support a gas tax increase.
David Schaper NPR

Senate Republicans say their bill to rework North Carolina's gasoline tax will provide a short-term break to motorists while making road-building revenues more stable. Opponents argue it's just a tax increase in disguise.

The full Senate meets Wednesday to debate and hold the first of two required votes on a measure that reformulates the tax.

First, the bill would reduce the gas tax from 37.5 cents per gallon to 35 cents starting March 1 through the rest of 2015. The tax floor would be 35 cents moving forward.

Environment
6:57 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Government Taking Comments on Carolinas Wind Energy Proposal

Wind turbines seen off the village of Blavandshuk, Denmark
Heribert Proepper/AP Photo

The federal government holds hearings this week to get public comment on plans to lease hundreds of thousands of acres off the coast of the Carolinas for wind energy development.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has identified three areas in federal waters that could be leased for putting up wind turbines.

One of the areas is off the Outer Banks. The other two are offshore south of Wilmington and east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Arts and Culture
3:27 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Asheville Symphony on WCQS

  Listen Tuesday morning at 10 and Thursday evening at 8 for our broadcast of the Asheville Symphony's January 17th concert.  The program includes a performance of one of the most famous works in the repertoire, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.  Also featured is the winning performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto by Kyung Ah Oh, and the Overture to Sicilian Vespers by Giuseppe Verdi.

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Politics
6:38 am
Mon February 9, 2015

NC Democrats Pick Asheville's Patsy Keever to Head Party as Chair

Patsy Keever
John Fletcher/Black Mountain News

The North Carolina Democratic Party is promoting the party's No. 2 administrative leader to its top job heading into the critical 2016 elections.

Hundreds of party activists meeting Saturday at a Pittsboro high school elected Patsy Keever of Asheville as chair. She got a majority of the votes cast among the five seeking to succeed outgoing Chair Randy Voller.

Keever has been 1st vice chair since 2013. She's been a state House member, county commissioner and two-time congressional candidate.

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Health and Wellness
6:31 am
Mon February 9, 2015

ACA Open Enrollment Deadline Approaching

Open enrollment for  the Affordable Care Act ends this Sunday, February 15 at midnight.  Last week the U.S. House of representatives,  including 10th and 11th District Representative Patrick McHenry and Mark Meadows voted once again to repeal Obama Care and the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear another legal challenge.   Health Care Navigator and Pisgah Legal Services attorney Jaclyn Kiger says through January 15th nearly 480,000 North Carolinians have enrolled in qualified ACA health insurance plans.

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Arts and Culture
8:50 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Tony Kiss Weekend Update

Tony Kiss
Credit Asheville Citizen-Times

A bit of Broadway comes to Greenville, South Carolina.  The Tony and Grammy-winning musical  "Wicked" runs through February 15th at the Peace Center.  The late, great  Bob Marley would have been 70 this weekend.   The music of the Reggae legend will be featured  February 6th at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall.  Jim Arrendell and his band will perform Marley classics.   The progressive rock band Umphrey's McGee performs at the U.S. Cellular Center February 7th and Sheila Kay Adams and the Scofflaws will perform and tell stories at White Horse Black Mountain in Black Mountain February 7th.

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Economy
4:00 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Demand for Public Housing on the Rise

There are 10-thousand public housing households across Western North Carolina.   Recent data compiled by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development indicates that despite an increase in demand caused by the great recession, the number of public housing units in our region remained relatively unchanged.

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Health and Wellness
4:25 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Public Health Officials Urge Parents to Immunize Their Children

Officials with the Centers  for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are concerned about the growing number of measles cases and the possibility of the outbreak that began in California spreading to more and more states, including North Carolina.  Dr. Jennifer Mullendore is Buncombe County Health and Human Services Medical Director.  She spoke with David Hurand about the surprising number of parents in Western North Carolina who choose not to have their children get the measles vaccine and other preventable disease immunizations.

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