Morning Headlines: Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Morning Headlines: Wednesday, October 7, 2015

9:33am Oct 07, 2015

Vaughan, Outling Prevail In Greensboro Primary

Voters didn’t have to wait in long lines during Greensboro’s city council primary election Tuesday.

Turnout was light for the municipal election.

The News And Record reports incumbent Nancy Vaughan dominated the three-way mayoral race with 88 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

Vaughan will face challenger Devin King in the November 3rd general election.

Incumbent Councilman Justin Outling received 60 percent of the vote for the District 3 council seat. He’ll go up against Kurt Collins in November.

Outling was appointed to the seat in June when Zack Metheny stepped down to head the non-profit Downtown Greensboro Inc.

Just under four percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the primary.

North Carolina House Rep. Brian Brown Joining Tillis Staff

A two-term state House member is leaving the North Carolina General Assembly to join the in-state staff of Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis.

State Rep. Brian Brown of Greenville resigned his 9th House District seat Tuesday and will become Tillis' representative in 28 eastern North Carolina counties effective next week.

The 35-year-old Brown was elected to the General Assembly in 2012, narrowly defeating incumbent Democrat Marian McLawhorn.

Brown told colleagues by email about his decision. Tillis says in a release Brown has a deep knowledge of eastern North Carolina and its issues and areas for growth. The two served in Raleigh together while Tillis was House speaker.

The resignation means Pitt County Republicans will nominate Brown's replacement to serve out his term through 2016. Gov. Pat McCrory appoints that nominee.

McCrory Visits Brunswick, Bladen Counties To Survey Flooding

Gov. Pat McCrory says North Carolina was fortunate to avoid the breadth of damages flooding caused in South Carolina. But he says some North Carolina residents — particularly farmers — are hurting after the torrential rains.

McCrory spoke Tuesday about the state's response to the Carolinas' flooding at the Brunswick County Emergency Operations Center after a helicopter tour of the region. Brunswick County saw over a foot of rain and faced some evacuations. Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry says it's too early to know if federal aid will be available.

The governor says North Carolina has sent four helicopters and water-rescue teams and National Guard members to South Carolina.

McCrory met later Tuesday with Bladen County farmers. He says peanut, sweet potato and cotton farmers are facing the biggest troubles.

Ocracoke Island Remains Closed To Visitors

Officials in Hyde County say they believe the worst of the flooding created by a low pressure system has passed, although high water continues to create hazardous driving conditions.

A statement from the county on Tuesday said all ferry routes serving Ocracoke Island are suspended due to inundated roads. Visitor access to the island is prohibited through Wednesday, and the statement said a decision will come Wednesday about reopening the island in coming days.

N.C. Highway 12 is closed between the Pony Pens and the Hatteras ferry terminal with up to 12 inches of water on the roadway.

On the Hyde County mainland, the National Guard and a swift water rescue team are still in place in Swan Quarter to help with rescues and check on people in their homes. The swift water rescue team has completed four rescue missions since arriving in Hyde County.

Water System Transfer By N. Carolina Legislature Upheld

A North Carolina appeals court says the General Assembly had the authority to transfer control of Asheville's water system to a regional sewer district.

The Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Tuesday in favoring state lawmakers and reversing a trial judge's ruling that the transfer violated the state Constitution.

Judge Chris Dillion wrote that the appeals panel is not evaluating the wisdom of the legislature's decision. Dillon says the legislation does not fit one of 14 cases where the Constitution tells state lawmakers they cannot interfere in local government decisions.

The law is among a series of efforts by the Republican-led legislature to intervene in local matters. GOP lawmakers say the law was needed to resolve longstanding disputes over Asheville's system, which also serves some Buncombe and Henderson county residents.

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