Morning Headlines: Thursday, December 3, 2015

Morning Headlines: Thursday, December 3, 2015

6:08am Dec 03, 2015
Credit: Keri Brown

Mccrory Holds Re-Election Campaign Event In Kernersville

Gov. Pat McCrory says he won't let opponents prevent the state from expanding what Republicans consider improvements to North Carolina's economy and state government since he took office three years ago.

McCrory held his 2016 re-election campaign kickoff event at a Kernersville printing and logistics company Wednesday, a day after releasing a video that affirmed his plans to run.

This marks his third gubernatorial campaign but first as the incumbent. The former Charlotte mayor told the crowd of 200 his administration's accomplishments, including lower unemployment rates. He talked about his outsider status to Raleigh state government when he became governor in early 2013.

Two Democrats — Attorney General Roy Cooper and Durham lawyer Ken Spaulding — want to unseat McCrory.

Duke Energy Cited For Erosion At Coal Ash Airport Project

Regulators have asked Duke Energy to correct erosion problems at an airport where coal ash is used as structural fill.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality issued a notice of violation Wednesday for the project at Asheville Regional Airport. Coal ash has been used to create flat land for an airport expansion that includes a new taxiway.

Regulators say erosion exposed some coal ash but none appears to have spread offsite. Several feet of soil and a liner are supposed to cover the material.

The problems were discovered during an inspection by Duke in October.

The state listed two permit violations related to maintenance and how long it took Duke to notify the state.

A Duke Energy statement says it took quick action that included installing erosion controls.

NC School Board Weighs Extra Money For Bus Cameras

Education leaders want school-bus cameras snapping evidence of motorists who put kids at risk.

The State Board of Education today could approve a plan to install more cameras in school districts to maximize prosecution of motorists who pass stopped buses.

The funding formula would send money to school districts that are reporting violations and have a low percentage of camera-equipped buses.

The chance of a dangerous driver being caught on camera varies statewide. Just 2 percent of Durham's 260 buses have cameras and none of the 12 buses in Roanoke Rapids have them. All of Asheville's 29 buses have cameras.

Traffic data suggests that more than 3,000 vehicles illegally pass a bus stopped to load or unload students each school day.

Construction To Begin Soon On Huge North Carolina Solar Farm

Work is expected to begin soon on farmland south of Chesapeake that could become the largest solar-energy facility east of the Mississippi River.

The Virginian-Pilot reports SunEnergy1 of Mooresville plans to build a 120-megawatt solar farm south of Moyock on roughly 2,000 acres next to the community of Ranchland. The $250 million project, called Wildwood Solar, could generate enough power for more than 10,000 homes.

Currituck Economic Developer Peter Bishop says construction will generate 70 to 80 jobs over about 18 months. About 15 permanent workers would maintain the site.

According to a statement from SunEnergy1 earlier this year, if built to its maximum size of 120 megawatts, the solar farm would generate approximately $300,000 annually in county taxes.

Representatives from SunEnergy1 didn't return the newspaper's requests for comment.

Highway May Be Named After Coble

Guilford County commissioners will move Thursday to honor former U.S. Representative Howard Coble.

They’re expected to vote on a resolution that would name a section of Interstate 85 after the longtime congressman. The stretch of highway in question reportedly intersects with Coble’s property.

Thursday’s vote is only the first move in the naming process.

There are still several administrative steps that need to be taken with the state before the memorial becomes official.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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