RALEIGH — The N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission welcomed into its ranks 20 new wildlife officers with a sworn duty to enforce boating and conservation laws, and protect the public.
Graduation ceremonies took place Friday at Campbell University, culminating 20 weeks of rigorous and intensive training for the class of 2013.
The new wildlife officers now will begin six months of on-the-job training under supervision of a veteran officer. Upon completion of this field training, they will receive a permanent duty station assignment.
RALEIGH – The Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund recently awarded more than $1.9 million to help communities across the state protect farmland and promote agricultural enterprises, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced today.
“The trust fund was able to grant 22 projects funding this year, including 11 projects that were funded from the state’s legal settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority,” Troxler said. “The conservation easements, agricultural projects and plans will help to solidify agriculture and agribusiness as North Carolina’s top industry.”
RALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 81 of North Carolina’s counties in June, decreased in 14 and remained the same in five. All 14 of the State’s metro areas experienced rate increases.
Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 16.2 percent while Currituck County had the lowest at 5.8 percent. Among the Metro areas, Rocky Mount at 13.3 percent experienced the highest rate and Asheville at 7.1 percent had the lowest. The June not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 9.3 percent.
RALEIGH – State officials have scheduled a Sept. 4 public hearing to gather comments on an air quality permit for a proposed biomass energy plant in Bladen County.
Prestage AgEnergy of NC, LLC, has applied for an air quality permit to operate a facility that would burn poultry bedding and other biomass materials to produce energy at 15855 N.C. Hwy. 87 in Tar Heel. The N.C. Division of Air Quality, or DAQ, has prepared a draft permit that sets limits for all applicable air quality standards for the proposed facility.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s latest quarterly small business survey finds that the health care law has emerged as the top concern for small businesses. The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive in July 2013 among more than 1,300 small business executives, shows that concerns about regulation have increased significantly and hiring continues to be stalled by uncertainty and regulatory burdens.
LELAND, N.C. — Kiwanis Club of North Brunswick is hosting a fundraiser gala, Juice, Jazz & Java. This event will take place Saturday September 7, 2013 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Cape Fear National Clubhouse located in Brunswick Forest.
Proceeds from this event will benefit children’s programs in northern Brunswick County.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please go to www.NorthBrunswickKiwanis.org.
Sponsors include IBS Millworks, Charles Schwab, Iron Bow Technologies, Schindler Elevators and State Farm Insurance.
PITTSBURGH – With more than 21 million students enrolled in a college this fall, a large majority will need to take a break from their summer jobs to find additional financing for higher education.
“With more than 60 percent of students estimated to be relying on outside funds to pay some portion of their education financing needs this year, the borrowing decisions students make are crucial to their financial success down the road,” said Thomas Lustig, president of PNC Education Lending, which provides new and continuing education loans. “Proper planning and research during the financial aid process can help students select the right financial products and establish a solid credit history.”
WILMINGTON, N.C. — Thirty three Wilmington business and community leaders will compose the 2014 Leadership Wilmington class and will plan and conduct the area’s largest single-day volunteer activity: Work On Wilmington.
Sponsored by the Wilmington Chamber Foundation, the objective of the ten-month long program is to educate, challenge and motivate leaders and future leaders to utilize their skills to work for the betterment of our community. The class project, Work on Wilmington, is a “hands-on” event that provides the class members an opportunity to put their leadership, decision-making and teamwork skills to work.
WILMINGTON — The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting on Thursday, July 25, regarding the proposed bridge replacement of the bridge on North 3rd Street in Wilmington. The meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Wilmington City Council Chambers, located at 102 North 3rd Street in Wilmington.
Citizens may stop by at their convenience; there will not be a formal presentation.
RALEIGH —The eastbound lanes of U.S. 74/76 will have alternating lane closures from Monday, July 22 until Wednesday, July 24 on the bridge over Hoods Creek in Maco, weather permitting.
The alternating lane closures will occur daily from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. as N.C. Department of Transportation crews to perform maintenance underneath the bridge.
RALEIGH — The N.C. Division of Tourism recently completed its 2012 analysis of international visitation to the state. The analysis concludes that more than 669,000 international visitors spent time in North Carolina in 2012, spending more than $314 million. These estimates do not include Canadian visitation.
The top countries of origin for North Carolina were the U.K. (87,203) and Germany (73,847), followed by China (33,310), Mexico (32,151), Japan (29,902) and India (29,599). These top countries accounted for more than 40 percent of the international spending in the state.
RALEIGH — The leadership of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and North Carolina Pork Council commented yesterday about their delegation’s recent meeting with Shuanghui International’s leadership in China.
The meeting was part of a weeklong mission led by the department’s international marketing team to strengthen existing business relationships between China and North Carolina.Â The meeting with Shuanghui included a tour of the company’s Industrial Park in Luohe as well as a meeting with Chairman Wan Long. In the meeting, Chairman Wan reaffirmed his commitment to maintaining Smithfield’s management team, operations and employment agreements as well as upholding the company’s industry-leading safety standards and significant philanthropic efforts.
by John Hood
Liberal politicians, activists, and commentators have spent months prodding, baiting, and criticizing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-led state legislature. While occasionally goading their targets into making unwise comments, the obstructionists have failed to keep North Carolina’s new conservative leaders from pursuing fundamental reforms of the state’s failed public policies.
by Frank Williams
The three most recent editions of The Pioneer Strategist have focused on building business relationships that stand the test of time. In April, we focused on the foundation of business relationships: trust. In May, we explored the importance of being a giver rather than a taker. In June, we began discussing a component of business relationships that is important but increasingly rare: loyalty.
After nearing hurricane strength, Tropical Storm Chantal weakened significantly overnight.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Chantal had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph — only 9 mph shy of hurricane status. As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the system’s maximum sustained winds had decreased to 45 mph. At 5 p.m. Tuesday, minimum central pressure was at 1006 mb, or 29.71 inches; at 8 a.m. Wednesday the storm’s pressure had risend to 1011 mb, or 29.85 inches.
RALEIGH — Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced today that GE Aviation, a global leader in jet engine and aircraft system production, will be expanding its manufacturing operations at four facilities in North Carolina. The project will create 242 new jobs and bring a capital investment of $195 million over the next five years.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue recently issued the following statement regarding the Obama Administration’s decision to postpone implementation of the employer mandate by one year:
“Since the beginning of the health reform debate the U.S. Chamber has consistently stated the employer mandate and other burdensome provisions of Obamacare would be harmful to job creation and economic growth. The Administration’s decision to recognize this fact yesterday and delay the implementation of the employer mandate is welcomed by the business community and will help avoid some serious near-term economic consequences of this law. As we move forward, the Chamber will continue to work with the Administration and lawmakers to mitigate potential problems associated with Obamacare implementation.”
RALEIGH — For many, summer conjures thoughts of family vacations, fireworks and sweet, juicy peaches. Growers are expecting a strong harvest that will ensure a steady supply of the delicious summer fruit into September.
“We lost some early varieties because of the late freeze, but we’ll be picking a lot starting the first week of July,” said Danny Bynum of Bynum Peach Farm in Richmond County.
RALEIGH — Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin recently announced the arrest of Christopher McPhatter, 41, of 110 W. Ninth St., Lumberton; he was charged with one count of embezzlement by an insurance agent.
Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that from Jan. 2012 through October 2012, while working as a licensed insurance agent, McPhatter received insurance premium payments of approximately $3,700 from 21 individuals, but did not apply the funds to their accounts. Investigators accuse McPhatter of keeping the money for his own personal use and gain.
RALEIGH — The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ License and Theft Bureau reminds car buyers to look out for flooded vehicles offered for sale following recent rains throughout the state.
“We want to remind all prospective car buyers to be on the lookout for vehicles that may have been affected by floodwaters during recent rains in North Carolina and up and down the eastern seaboard,” said DMV Commissioner Nick Tennyson.
RALEIGH – The N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, or CRC, will meet July 11 in Beaufort to discuss beach and inlet management, rule development proposals and other relevant coastal issues.
The commission will meet from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the NOAA/NERR Administration Building, 101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort.
The following are some of the items on the Coastal Resources Commission’s agenda:
LELAND — The N.C. Department of Transportation will close the Lincoln Road bridge over Banton Branch near Leland for bridge preservation work. Work will begin at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, July 9, and is expected to be complete in November, weather permitting.
Motorists should use the following signed detour route during the closure:
- Lincoln Road to Mt. Misery Road to Village Road back to Lincoln Road.
RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation will close the Galloway Road bridge over Pinch Gut Creek for bridge preservation work. Work will begin at 6 a.m. on Thursday, July 11, and is expected to be complete in December, weather permitting.
Motorists should use the following signed detour route during the closure:
- Galloway Road to Randolphville Road to U.S. 17 back to Galloway Road.
This project is part of the NCDOT’s $450 million state-funded bridge plan for 2011-13, which calls for preservation, repairs or replacement of bridges statewide.
LUMBERTON – Corrections and law enforcement officers are seeking inmate Shanendoa Hunt (0536623) who escaped this morning from Robeson Correctional Center.
Hunt is serving an eight year sentence for multiple convictions of breaking and entering, along with a conviction for misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon. He was scheduled for release in September 2015.
Anyone with information on this whereabouts is asked to call local law enforcement or Robeson Correctional Center at (910) 618-5535.
SOUTHPORT, N.C. – Tests of the public notification sirens located within 10 miles of the Brunswick Nuclear Plant will be conducted Wednesday, July 10 starting at 10 a.m. The tests are part of Duke Energy Progress’ comprehensive emergency planning program performed in cooperation with the State of North Carolina and Brunswick and New Hanover counties.
by Frank Williams
This Thursday, we will once again celebrate the birth of the greatest free society this world has ever known: the United States of America. Every day, we in America enjoy a level of freedom that is unprecedented in human history. I pray that we never take our freedom for granted.
We call July 4 our “Independence Day.” With that in mind, we should consider what exactly our forefathers fought and died to gain independence from.
MEMPHIS, TN – International Paper published its 2012 Sustainability Report, revealing progress against its voluntary goals including certified fiber use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, and water quality improvement.
In 2011, International Paper announced 12 environmental and social goals that it planned to achieve by 2020. Using a 2010 baseline, the company is reporting goal progress that includes:
- A 10 percent absolute reduction in on-site fossil fuel GHG emissions. This puts the company halfway toward its 2020 goal.
RALEIGH – According to the American Automobile Association, it is estimated that 40.8 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday period. Of that number, more than 34 million will travel by automobile.
As a friendly reminder, the Highway Patrol is advising motorists to be careful as they enjoy the July 4th holiday. Motorists who slow down and travel at posted speeds will not only increase their chances of arriving at their destination safely but will also conserve fuel.
RALEIGH – The Highway Patrol along with the Wildlife Resources Commission and the Alcohol Law Enforcement Division are combing efforts in saving lives this summer. Whether on the road or on the water, law enforcement officers across the state will be on the lookout for impaired drivers by conducting DWI checkpoints near recreational boating areas as well as public service announcements that educate motorists on the dangers of drinking and driving.