Morning Headlines: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Study Ranks Rockingham As One Of The State’s Unhealthiest Counties
Rockingham County has once again been ranked as one of the unhealthiest places to live in North Carolina.
A new report ranks Rockingham 81st out of the state’s 100 counties.
The study gives the county low marks in premature deaths, obesity, smoking and physical activity.
The News And Record of Greensboro reports Rockingham came in 83rd in last year’s study,
That news prompted the county to implement a handful of initiatives to get residents in better shape.
Guilford County ranked 10th overall in this year’s report, which is conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin.
Wake and Watauga were also among the state’s 10 healthiest counties.
Walnut Cove To Vote On Fracking
The town of Walnut Cove is voting on a three-year ban on fracking Tuesday. This is the first moratorium up for consideration since the General Assembly passed its last bill of the session. Senate Bill 119 gives the state the ability to limit local fracking ordinances.
Walnut Cove town commissioner Sharon Conaway says the community relies on well water and she feels responsible for its health and safety.
Fracking has been controversial in the town after the board voted last summer to allow testing for shale gas or oil. The site was in a neighborhood made-up of mostly minorities. Residents and opponents of fracking have been fighting it ever since.
Even if the moratorium passes and drilling permits are still issued, it will have to stand up to regulatory review and a judicial appeal.
Funeral Set For Former US Rep. Howard Coble
Current and former elected officials will join family and friends in remembering North Carolina U.S. Rep. Howard Coble at his funeral.
Coble's service, scheduled for today in his native Greensboro, will feature remarks by Gov. Pat McCrory, former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes and current U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, who succeeded Coble when he chose not to seek re-election in 2014.
Coble died last week at age 84. With 30 years on Capitol Hill, Coble is the longest-serving Republican U.S. House member in North Carolina history.
Former Coble congressional staff members also were slated to address attendees at Westover Church. Two-thousand bulletins were being printed for the service.
Coble's internment will be private at another church where he was a member for over 70 years.
With Rucho's Departure, State Rep. Bishop To Run For Senate
One House term for state Rep. Dan Bishop of Charlotte is enough. Now he wants to move over to the North Carolina Senate.
Bishop announced Monday that he would seek in 2016 the seat currently held by longtime Sen. Bob Rucho of Matthews.
Rucho announced last week that he wouldn't run for re-election next year. Both Bishop and Rucho are Republicans, and both districts favor the GOP when it comes to voter registration.
Bishop was elected to the House last year, succeeding Ruth Samuelson, who didn't seek another term.
Bishop's decision also now means his 104th House District seat will be open next year.
Many incumbents are making their intentions known earlier this election cycle because the primary is March 15, and candidate filing starts Dec. 1.
N. Carolina State Lawmaker Waddell Won't Seek Re-Election
A North Carolina state Democratic lawmaker says he won't seek re-election next year because it's difficult keeping up fully with responsibilities at the General Assembly and with work and other obligations back home.
Rep. Ken Waddell of Chadbourn is in his second term representing Columbus County and parts of Bladen and Robeson counties. His departure represents a possible pickup opportunity for Republicans in November 2016.
Waddell said Monday he doesn't have the time to perform his legislative duties at a high level while continuing to farm and support his family. The 62-year-old previously served on the Chadbourn town council starting in the 1980s and was most recently mayor.
Waddell will serve out the remainder of his term through 2016. The legislature reconvenes in April.
EEE Found In Mosquitoes Collected In Brunswick County
Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, has been identified in mosquitoes collected in Brunswick County.
Two pools of mosquitoes in the county collected on Oct. 26 tested positive for EEE.
The North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health identified EEE in mosquitoes not known to bite humans, but that are responsible for spreading the diseases in the wild bird population.
Officials say county mosquito control officials are taking precautions to stop the spread of EEE by spraying.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, EEE is a rare illness in humans that causes inflammation in the brain. Only a few cases are reported each year.
Officials recommend hunters and other outdoorsmen minimize their exposure to mosquitoes during outside activities especially during dusk and dawn.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.