Morning Headlines: Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Mccrory: Stop Sending Syrian Refugees To North Carolina
Gov. Pat McCrory is asking the Obama administration to cease sending refugees from Syria to North Carolina until the state is satisfied with the effectiveness of federal background and security checks.
McCrory told a news conference in Charlotte on Monday that the concerns are warranted in light of last weekend's terrorist attacks in Paris. He said the concern was that some terrorists would pose as refugees to gain access to the country.
The governor said that from January 2014 through last month, North Carolina has accepted 59 refugees from Syria. He said the state has received almost no security information about the refugees, including their identities.
Ziggy’s, Noted Winston-Salem Music Venue, To Close
One of Winston-Salem’s most prominent music venues will be closing in February. Charles Womack, a co-owner of Ziggy’s, says the lease on the Trade Street building will not be renewed.
Womack says there have been disagreements among the ownership group – which includes long-time Ziggy’s operator Jay Stephens. Womack says the experience has left him heartbroken and he’s unlikely to get back into the business.
“We had this perfect team that had so much opportunity and so many great things that could have happened," he says. "This live music, there’s so much competition, I think it’d be a lot easier to just buy a ticket if there’s somebody I want to go see.”
This year, Ziggy’s has hosted acts as varied as The Steep Canyon Rangers and Snoop Dog.
Doug Davis is a local musician who has played the Ziggy’s stage many times. He says being able to play at the venue was a career milestone for many area musicians.
“Ziggy’s and what Jay Stephens has been doing in this town for the last couple of decades has been a large part of the music scene here, and that name certainly means a lot to a lot of people,” he says.
This isn’t the first time Ziggy’s has closed. Its roots go back to locations near Deacon Boulevard. The original business closed in 2007. It reopened downtown in 2011.
Rockingham County Approves Fracking Moratorium
The Rockingham County Board of Commissioners has approved a two year moratorium on fracking.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports the unanimous vote was held in a packed room of residents, many of whom cheered each time someone spoke in favor of the decision.
Stokes and Chatham counties have passed similar moratoriums.
It’s unclear how effective the bans will be, as the General Assembly has passed legislation taking control of fracking away from local governments.
Appeals Court Hear Arguments Over Sterilization Compensation
Attorneys representing the estates of three people sterilized under North Carolina's former eugenics program say they shouldn't be denied monetary compensation just because the General Assembly required they be alive to qualify.
WRAL-TV reports lawyers made arguments Monday before a panel of the state Court of Appeals, which is hearing complaints about a 2013 law setting the compensation.
More than 200 qualifying victims have since received $35,000 each. The law offered compensation for those sterilized involuntarily through the former state Eugenics Board and were living as of June 30, 2013.
Lawyer Elizabeth Haddix says the date is arbitrary and unfair to victims' heirs. But state attorney Amar Majmundar told the judges the date wasn't random, and the legislature meant to compensate living individuals.
A ruling may be months away.
UNC Board Was Divided On Pay Raises For 12 Chancellors
The University of North Carolina's governing board was sharply divided on raising salaries last month for leaders of a dozen campuses.
Some details of that split surfaced Monday when UNC Board of Governors acting chairman Louis Bissette released a summary of what happened during a private board session Oct. 30. The pay increases were announced later.
The brief summary says the board voted 16-13 for the slate of chancellor pay raises, and that the proposal was altered and discussed extensively.
General Assembly leaders requested and received more documents about the pay decisions last Friday. Bissette said those documents couldn't be released publicly because they contained confidential personnel details.
It wasn't clear Monday whether lawmakers would release any of the documents. UNC board leaders were expected before a legislative committee Wednesday.
Wake Commissioners Vote To Boost Workers' Pay To $13.50/Hour
Wake County commissioners have voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage for county workers to $13.50 an hour.
Local media outlets report Monday's vote affects about 75 of the county's 4,000 employees, who earn less than that now, with some making as little as $11.08 an hour.
Library assistants will see pay increases of less than $1,000 annually, while some animal shelter attendants will take home up to $3,432 more a year.
Commissioner Matt Calabria said that if the county has embarked on a plan to fight poverty, the least it can do is make sure the county isn't responsible for it as employers.
The Associated Press contribured to this report.