Morning Headlines: Wednesday, October 28, 2015
National Test Shows Drop In 8th Grade Math, Reading Scores
This year's National Assessment of Educational Progress shows the state's eighth graders did worse on math and reading than they did two years ago.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the figures were released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education.
North Carolina was one of three states with statistically significant declines in both subject areas. The state's eighth-grade reading score showed a four-point decline from 2013.
However, fourth-grade reading scores in the state improved four points from two years ago. Fourth-grade math scores showed no significant change.
In North Carolina, fourth-grade scores were higher than national averages in both reading and math.
The NAEP, also known as the nation's report card, is given to a sample of fourth- and eighth-grade students every two years.
Former North Carolina State Sen. Goss Dies At Age 65
A former state senator who represented several northwest North Carolina counties earlier this decade has died.
The Rev. Steve Goss died Monday at his home in Boone at age 65. His wife, Phyllis, said Tuesday her husband was diagnosed with cancer in April.
Goss was a Democrat elected to the Senate in 2006 and served until 2010, when he lost to Republican and current Sen. Dan Soucek.
Goss' career included being a high school teacher and football coach, Baptist missionary to Japan and church pastor. He was senior pastor at Fletcher Memorial Baptist Church in Jefferson when he died. He graduated from Appalachian State University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.
Survivors include his wife, two children and five grandchildren.
His funeral is Friday at Fletcher Memorial church.
McCrory Criticized In TV Ad For Shale Gas Exploration
A coalition of environmental groups is on television again, criticizing Gov. Pat McCrory for signing bills into law designed to encourage fracking in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Environmental Partnership began airing a 30-second commercial Tuesday and already intends to spend $300,000 over four weeks on at least two Raleigh TV stations. The ad also will run in the Greensboro and Asheville markets.
The partnership cites three bills. The ad says fracking can pollute air and threaten drinking water. It asks viewers to tell McCrory "to stand with us, not the polluters, and say no to fracking."
The state Republican Party calls partnership members "radical environmental groups" spreading false information about fracking safety.
Permit applications have been delayed while litigation is pending.
Medicaid Expansion Supporters Plan 'Die-In' At Capitol
Members of the North Carolina NAACP Forward Together Moral Movement plan to protest the lack of Medicaid expansion in North Carolina.
The group plans to hold a die-in on Wednesday at the Capitol Building, followed by a funeral procession to the Governor's Mansion, where a prayer vigil will be held. The movement's leader, the Rev. William Barber, says the protesters will remember the thousands of people who die each year because North Carolina hasn't expanded Medicaid.
Supporters say expanding Medicaid would provide coverage to about 500,000 low-income people in North Carolina, of whom more than 300,000 have no other options for insurance.
Hornets' D-League Team Will Be Based In Greensboro
The Charlotte Hornets will have their NBA D-League team in Greensboro starting next year.
The D-League and the team announced Tuesday that the Hornets will own and operate the club as the league expands to 20 teams.
The Hornets' affiliate will play in the Pavilion at the Greensboro Coliseum, which will be renovated into a basketball fieldhouse, starting in 2016-17.
The Hornets, the 11th NBA team to own its D-League club, began the process of purchasing it earlier this year.
Owner Michael Jordan said in a statement that "this is an important step for our franchise" and that placing it in Greensboro "allows us to expand the Hornets' brand to another city in our region that has a great basketball tradition."