Displaying items by tag: north carolina

coverCarson Angel is excited to show off her reading skills as she waits outside East Franklin Elementary for her mom to pick her up. From the pile of hand-colored posters, worksheets and drawings at her feet, the 8-year-old picks out a small book made of quartered computer paper to read out loud. 

“We had to choose six animal facts and write them into sentences,” she explains. Each sentence is chockfull of everything you’d ever want to know about tigers. Carson had been a little too shy to read anything in front of her peers for the last-day-of-camp reading talent show, but one-on-one she’s all about it.  

fr jaxfrackingA question-and-answer session concerning fracking drew a full crowd to a recent Jackson County Planning Board meeting. Western Carolina University Geosciences and Natural Resources Professor Cheryl Waters-Tormey was invited to lay out the basic process of hydraulic fracturing and the chances of natural gas exploration in Western North Carolina in the wake of the state legislature green-lighting the practice. 

fr lakejLake Junaluska’s bid to merge with the town of Waynesville flickered to life in the state legislature last week after languishing in political purgatory for the past year.

op frBy Martin A. Dyckman • Guest Columnist

Although Kansas is among the reddest of red states, its Republican governor, Sam Brownback, is in big trouble. Current polls show his Democratic challenger ahead, 47 to 41. Are pigs flying?

The reasons should strike fear into the Tillis-Berger-McCrory axis in Raleigh and encourage citizens who yearn to be rid of their reign of error.

Above all, they should inspire North Carolina’s voters.

fr naacpHaywood County’s fledging chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is getting a little help this summer.

“I see myself as a booster pack,” said Sam Tyson. “A little summer energy.”

op frBy Kathy Ross • Guest Columnist

In the last few weeks, I’ve been stuck between speaking my mind and doing what is best for my community. I hate it when systems operate that way, always believing wide-open debate is the best and most honest way to run government. But the remake of the Pigeon River Fund’s board put me up against that principle.

In 1997 the fund was created when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a license for what was then Carolina Power & Light, later Progress Energy, to use the Pigeon River to generate power at its Walters Plant. In exchange, the owner, now Duke Power, is to set aside money each year, building a fund to improve water quality, access and education. 

Consumers will start seeing some extras added to their subtotals as a result of a state law adding sales tax to a variety of items that had previously not been taxed, or were taxed at a lower level. Among them are mobile and manufactured homes, electric bills and “service contracts,” which is basically a catch-all entailing labor costs for everything from car repairs to plumbing. 

fr teachersAdvocates calling for increased state education funding made a stop in Haywood County Monday as part of a statewide tour en route to Raleigh, where they will deliver a stack of petitions signed by 61,000 state residents later this week.

art frWhen the clock struck midnight this past New Year’s Eve, a new North Carolina state tax took effect.

“This isn’t a tax reform, it’s a tax shift,” said Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville. “It’s just part of the shift by the Republican legislature on revenues. They cut taxes on big business, then entertainment, tourism and nonprofits, who do so much with so little, and are the engine of our economy, get taxed while those huge tax breaks are given to those who contribute to the call.” 

Business license fees will disappear in North Carolina following the recent passage of the Omnibus Tax Law Changes. Currently, towns and cities use any of a number of schemes for calculating how much a business must pay for the privilege of doing business in municipal limits. The majority of legislators agreed that this patchwork of regulations was too inconsistent, led to exorbitant taxes and needed to be addressed.  

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