Morning Headlines: Friday, December 4th, 2015

Morning Headlines: Friday, December 4th, 2015

5:56am Dec 04, 2015
Mayor Alan Joines announces the new scholarship program.
Photo Credit: Keri Brown for WFDD

Winston-Salem Promotes New Scholarship Initiative

A new scholarship program in Winston-Salem aims to give the poorest residents a chance to attend college. City leaders are providing money to start the scholarship program.

Mayor Allen Joines and Mayor Pro Tem Vivian Burke are putting about $4,000 dollars of their own money to create this scholarship program. It will allow low-income students or those in public or subsidized housing to attend Forsyth Technical Community College.

It will pay tuition for up to six semesters and provide up to $200 dollars for books. One student will be selected next month for the scholarship. Mayor Joines wants other people in the community to step up and fund more of these next year.

Besides meeting certain income requirements, applicants must be a senior in a Winston-Salem/Forsyth County High School, or be able to complete a GED before starting classes at the college.

Construction Accelerated On Winston-Salem's Northern Beltway

The timeline for Winston-Salem’s Northern Beltway is getting bumped up. That’s thanks to the 2015 state budget.

Governor McCrory noted that many road upgrades will see their construction dates moved up, because of funding in the new budget.

The final four segments of the eastern section of the beltway are among those moving ahead.  Previously, only one segment had been funded.  This will complete the Northern Beltway from US 311 to US 52.

But don’t look for any improvement in local traffic soon.  Right of way work won’t begin until 2018 and construction won’t start for another two years.

Law Firm Bills To Defend District Maps Grow By $500K

The General Assembly's legal bills to help defend in court North Carolina's congressional and legislative districts have grown by an additional $500,000.

The amount comes from accumulated invoices covering the past year and obtained by The Associated Press through a records request.

That's on top of at least $1.8 million billed previously by the same law firm originally hired in 2011 to help advise Republican lawmakers on drawing the maps and to defend them. The Ogletree Deakins lawyers work alongside the state Attorney General's Office in three pending redistricting lawsuits. The boundaries haven't been struck down and were used in 2012 and 2014 elections.

The legislature's two-year budget includes $8 million to pay current and pending litigation costs. Those costs include defending other laws being challenged in court.

Duke Energy To Build Wind Power Project In Oklahoma

Duke Energy is announcing plans to build a wind power project in northern Oklahoma.

The company said Thursday that it will build a 2,000 megawatt wind farm near Blackwell in Kay County. The farm will have 61 wind turbines.

Duke said in a news release that the project is expected to be complete by the end of 2016 and will produce enough electricity to power about 60,000 homes.

The wind-generated electricity will be sold to City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri, under a 22-year contract.

Trump Coming To Raleigh For Evening Presidential Rally

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is slated to hold a rally this evening at Dorton Arena at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The arena can seat up to 6,000 people for such events.

Trump addressed the state Republican Party convention in Raleigh in June, just days before his official launch for president.

North Carolina lawmakers changed next year's primary from early May to March 15 to get more attention from presidential hopefuls. The state still remains in the middle of the presidential primary calendar but is important due to its high delegate counts.

North Carolina Copy Of 13th Amendment To Be On Public View

North Carolina's copy of the 13th amendment will make a rare public appearance as the state marks the 150th anniversary of the end of slavery in the U.S.

The State Capitol will host a public program commemorating ratification Friday in the House chamber. North Carolina ratified the amendment on Dec. 4, 1865, and it became law when Georgia ratified the amendment two days later.

North Carolina's copy is hardly ever shown to the public to protect the document from the light.

The program will open with the presentation of colors by the U.S. Colored Troops Guard.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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