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Asheboro, NC – On Saturday, the North Carolina House Republican Caucus voted to elect their leaders for the next biennium session of the North Carolina General Assembly. Rep. Tim Moore was elected to be the …

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NCDOT Encourages Public to Comment on Proposed Strategic Transportation Corridors

October 3, 2014 – 6:35 am
NCDOT Encourages Public to Comment on Proposed Strategic Transportation Corridors

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation invites the public to share their thoughts on a proposed network of multimodal transportation corridors that will form the backbone of the state’s transportation system.
The proposed Strategic Transportation Corridors move most of North Carolina’s people and goods, and connect critical centers of economic activity and international air and sea ports to support interstate commerce. A study launched by NCDOT more than a year ago has mapped out these high-priority corridors, based on three main factors, which include:
·         Providing essential connections to national transportation networks critical to interstate commerce and national defense;
·         Allowing significant inter-regional movements of people and goods across the state; and
·         Supporting economic development and efficiency of transport logistics. 
NCDOT is launching a 60-day public comment period on Friday, Oct. 3, during which citizens are urged to review the results of the study and share their feedback. The STC policy and map showing the corridors is available online. Comments may be submitted by emailing Kerry Morrow, Statewide Plan Engineer, at kmorrow@ncdot.gov or by calling the NCDOT customer service line, 1-877-DOT-4YOU, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The comment period will close Tuesday, Dec. 2.


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NCDOT Sending $147.3 Million in Powell Bill funds to Municipalities Across the State

October 1, 2014 – 7:40 am
NCDOT Sending $147.3 Million in Powell Bill funds to Municipalities Across the State

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation will be
distributing more than $147.3 million in State Street Aid, also known as the Powell Bill fund, to 507
municipalities across the state. The initial allocation, half of the overall total,
was sent out on Monday, Sept. 29. The rest will be paid by Jan. 1, 2015.

This year’s total is an increase of about $1.7 million over last
year’s allocation. Money can only be used for the construction, widening,
maintaining or repairing of any street or public thoroughfare that is
maintained by the municipality. In addition to roads, that includes bikeways,
greenways and sidewalks.

“The Powell Bill program helps cities and towns pay for the expansion
and improvements of much-needed transportation systems in their communities,”
says Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. “Local residents and visitors are the
benefactors, as they get improved and safer ways to travel, whether it is by
vehicle, bike or on foot.”

Powell Bill funding comes from revenues generated by the state gas tax
and other highway user fees. The program began in 1951, and more than $3.9 billion
has been allocated to municipalities since then.

The amount each municipality receives is based on a formula set by the
N.C. General Assembly. It requires 75 percent of the funds to be awarded based
on population, with the remaining 25 percent based on the number of street
miles each municipality maintains. This year, that broke down to $110.5 million
for population and $36.8 million based on street miles. Based on those
categories, that breaks down to almost $21 per person and $1,643 per mile.

Twenty one cities are receiving at least $1 million, led by Charlotte
at $20.3 million, based on its population of 789,248 and 2,451 miles of
maintained roads.  Raleigh will receive
$10.5 million, followed by Greensboro ($7.4 million), Winston-Salem ($6.5
million), Durham ($6.2 million) and Fayetteville ($5.5 million).

The fund is named for Junius K. Powell, a former state senator and
mayor of Whiteville, whose name led a list of legislators sponsoring the 1951
bill intended to help the state’s cities with urban road problems. The first
allocation of Powell Bill funds was for $4.5 million and was distributed to 386
cities and towns.

A complete list of cities and towns receiving Powell Bill funds and
the amounts, and additional information about the State Street-Aid (Powell
Bill) Program is on the NCDOT website.

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North Carolina Paves the Way to Accurate Reports on Bicycle and Pedestrian Traffic

September 25, 2014 – 5:21 am
North Carolina Paves the Way to Accurate Reports on Bicycle and Pedestrian Traffic

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation, in conjunction with local governments, has announced an innovative plan to track the popularity of greenways, bicycle facilities and pedestrian pathways across the state. With the help of powerful new technology, NCDOT will soon have the ability to gauge how popular bicycling and walking is in North Carolina by collecting bicycle and pedestrian traffic usage data.
“Putting hard data behind North Carolina’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure will allow for a more calculated and fact-based approach to future development across our state,” said Lauren Blackburn, Director of NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation.
With its pilot program now in place, NCDOT has funded the installation of 20 continuous counters located strategically around the Piedmont Triad and western Triangle region. The counter installations and the planning that led up to site selection were coordinated efforts between NCDOT, members of local governments, and the Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) at N.C. State University.
Fifteen of the 20 active counters will be placed around the Piedmont Triad, five will be located throughout the Research Triangle and five additional sensors are being assigned to other locations. The counter installation sites were chosen to help create a general picture of bicycle and pedestrian traffic in a wide range of traffic pattern situations. Sites represent both rural, urban and university locations; and they consider commuter and recreational traffic types.
Sensor locations include the American Tobacco Trail in Durham, Fourth St. in downtown Winston-Salem, the Libba Cotten Bikeway in Carrboro, and South Elm St. in Greensboro.
“North Carolina is one of a handful of state DOT’s collecting information about how people use its bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and in turn, is leading the nation by sharing that data with local partners so they can make informed decisions,” said Liz Stolz, Director of Health and Active Transportation Programs at Sprinkle Consulting, the group installing NCDOT’s counters.
Each site features two types of counters manufactured by Eco-Counter – ZELT inductive loops for monitoring cyclists in each direction and a Pyroelectric sensor that uses an infrared detection zone to count pedestrians.
North Carolina is helping to blaze the trail for state-funded bicycle and pedestrian counter programs. For more information regarding the first round of installations, please contact Patrick McCaully at pmccaully@ncdot.gov or (919)707-2683.


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NCDOT Releases Final Scores for Division and Regional Transportation Projects under New Law

September 24, 2014 – 11:11 am
NCDOT Releases Final Scores for Division and Regional Transportation Projects under New Law

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation today released the final scores for division and regional projects, based on criteria contained in the Strategic Mobility Formula, a project prioritization process established last year by the new Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law. STI was created to make more efficient use of available funds, allowing for more local input and the ability to do more projects with limited dollars. These scores are not the final determination of which projects will be programmed, but will be considered along with other factors including completion of environmental and engineering plans and corridor spending caps to create the draft   10-year State Transportation Improvement Program.
“I want to commend our engineers and our planning partners for their close collaboration to help implement the new Strategic Transportation Investments law,” NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata said. “The data appears to show the law is working as intended to fund more projects and create more jobs, building vital transportation projects that will help move people and freight, and better connect all North Carolinians to jobs, healthcare, education and recreation centers.”
This is the latest step in the process to create the State Transportation Improvement Program. The scores released today will be used to allocate 60 percent of available funding to regional and division level projects. The remaining 40 percent goes to projects addressing statewide needs. The new formula is data-driven to increase transparency and minimize subjectivity in the project selection process.
Each of the department’s 14 transportation divisions, and the metropolitan and rural planning organizations assigned points to local highway and non-highway mode projects, based on public input over the past several months. These local input points were combined with data-driven technical points to calculate the final score for each project on the regional and division levels. Projects on the statewide level were previously scored using data only.
“We worked closely with the MPOs and RPOs to determine which projects were priorities for our area and deserved local input points,” said Division 9 Engineer Pat Ivey in Winston-Salem. “We feel like this team approach worked well, because as the scores show, we both allotted the greatest numbers of points where the biggest needs are, which is the purpose of STI.”
“In our efforts to implement the new law, we found the key in completing this step of the prioritization process to be collaboration,” said Eastern Carolina Council Planning Director Patrick Flanagan, who manages the Down East RPO and serves as president of the N.C. Association of Rural Planning Organizations. “By working together with our local division engineers, we strategically determined how to assign our local input points and, at the same time, strengthened our partnership with NCDOT.”
Next Steps
Now that the points have been totaled, NCDOT will schedule projects using those scores and other considerations such as the completion of environmental and engineering plans, corridor spending caps, adherence to annual budget constraints, thresholds for non-highway and highway projects, and accounting for alternate criteria projects to ultimately determine when individual projects can begin.
NCDOT will use this schedule to create the next State Transportation Improvement Program, which schedules the projects funded over the next 10 years. In addition to new projects added to the STIP, NCDOT will also continue moving forward with an additional 108 transition projects not subject to STI that were scheduled for construction before July 1, 2015.
The department will circulate a draft of the STIP for public comment in December 2014. NCDOT anticipates the Board of Transportation will adopt it in June 2015.
Under the new law, there will be some projects that score well through STI, but will take years to get the necessary environmental permits to begin construction. A proposed state transportation bond would help bridge the transition to the new funding formula and kick start Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision by continuing to build necessary infrastructure immediately. To be eligible for the bond, projects must have been scored through STI, and have completed planning documents and/or be partially constructed.
The process continues to highlight NCDOT’s need to find additional funding sources to meet our state’s growing transportation needs. The total estimated cost to complete all 3,100 projects submitted in the STI database is $70 billion.
More information on the Strategic Transportation Investments law and how it works is available online at www.ncdot.gov/strategictransportationinvestments.

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TIMS Lets Motorists Check Road, Weather Conditions

March 3, 2014 – 1:02 am
TIMS Lets Motorists Check Road, Weather Conditions

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Traveler Information Management System (TIMS) lets commuters check road and weather conditions in real-time from their computers and smartphones any time, anywhere. The goal of TIMS is to help drivers “know before you go.”

TIMS lets users search conditions by region, route and county. TIMS also offers live traffic cameras that show real-time images, and gives up-to-the-minute updates on incidents and adverse weather.

Visit tims.ncdot.gov/tims to get started. Select a region, route or county from the drop-down menus provided. The user will then have access to two tabs — incidents and adverse weather — and sometimes a third, traffic, depending on the area.

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Under the incident tab, there are three columns. The description column explains what the situation is. Descriptions include maintenance, construction, traffic and accidents.

Click on the description link for details on where the incident is, the reason for the incident and a timetable of when the incident will be completed.

The road column tells where the incident is taking place. The location column gives the specific mile marker and nearby roads so users can pinpoint the area they need to avoid.

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Under the adverse weather tab, there are five columns — county, interstates, routes, secondary roads and secondary unpaved roads. These tabs explain what the weather condition is like in the selected area.

For example, users can find out if the roads and highways are covered with snow and ice, or clear of inclement weather.

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In some areas, the traffic tab is available. This shows the user a map of the area and where traffic cameras are located. A user can click on a traffic camera to get a live look at the road.

NCDOT uses TIMS to update its many Twitter feeds.


Luna (ID A16171621)

June 8, 2012 – 8:12 am

Luna is a Shepherd mix, she has been at the shelter since 5/11/12.
Luna is 1.5 years old and already spayed. She is a sweet & beautiful girl who loves to be petted.
She is looking for …

Charter Waiting Lists Mount, Frustrating Parents and Educators

March 12, 2012 – 7:50 am

High demand may justify faster enrollment growth in alternative public schools
By Dan Way | Carolina Journal

RALEIGH — Uninspired by traditional public schools in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district because of concerns over crowding and teacher turnover rates, …

Republicans Grill Education Official on School Lunch Fraud

February 10, 2012 – 9:11 am
Republicans Grill Education Official on School Lunch Fraud

Meanwhile, officials in Georgia and Illinois tackle lunch cheaters
By David N. Bass | Carolina Journal
RALEIGH — Is cheating in the national school lunch program fact or fiction? That was the question probed by Republicans during …

Governor Bev Perdue not seeking reelection?

January 26, 2012 – 10:39 am
Governor Bev Perdue not seeking reelection?

RALEIGH – The reporter John Frank with the Raleigh News & Observer is reporting that Governor Beverly Perdue has made phone calls to key Democrat officials in the last 24 hours …

N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools announces new communication partner

January 12, 2012 – 3:03 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. – The N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools has engaged Pioneer Strategies, Inc. as its new communication partner. Pioneer Strategies will provide the Alliance with a full range of strategic communication and organizational …

Perdue Staff Appears to Have Violated Signed BLS Agreements

January 11, 2012 – 9:13 am
Perdue Staff Appears to Have Violated Signed BLS Agreements

Federal officials warn against ‘politicization’ of job estimates
By Don Carrington | Carolina Journal

RALEIGH — Members of Gov. Bev Perdue’s administration appear regularly to have violated signed agreements between the state and the federal Bureau of …

N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools adds directors, regional offices

January 3, 2012 – 10:47 am

RALEIGH, N.C. – The N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools unanimously elected two new directors and made a number of structural changes at the December meeting of its board of directors.  The new directors are Baker …

BLS: Perdue Violated Agreement On Jobs Data

January 3, 2012 – 10:00 am
BLS: Perdue Violated Agreement On Jobs Data

Governor revealed embargoed information before allowed date
By Don Carrington | Carolina Journal

RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue violated a cooperative agreement between the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and the state of North Carolina Aug. 18 …

Perdue Media Team Used Confidential Data To Spin Jobs Reports

December 19, 2011 – 1:55 pm
Perdue Media Team Used Confidential Data To Spin Jobs Reports

Federal officials question legality of getting employment info before official release
By Don Carrington | Carolina Journal
RALEIGH — Since as early as January 2011, and perhaps before then, Gov. Bev Perdue’s press office has received access …

Convicted Perdue Donor Reichard Involved in Scheme to Hide Illegal Contributions

December 18, 2011 – 11:16 am

Three others implicated in separate plans to conceal unlawful donations
By Don Carrington | Carolina Journal
RALEIGH — The felony conviction Wednesday of Greensboro businessman Peter Reichard, Gov. Bev Perdue’s former campaign finance director, confirmed the existence …

Perdue Vetoes Legislation that Prevents Racial Discrimination

December 14, 2011 – 12:55 pm
Perdue Vetoes Legislation that Prevents Racial Discrimination

NC House Speaker Says Perdue Playing Politics
Raleigh – House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) released the following statement today concerning Governor Perdue’s veto of Senate Bill 9, titled “No Discriminatory Purpose in Death Penalty.”
“I am disappointed …

State Bar Claims LegalZoom Practices Law Without a License

November 21, 2011 – 9:51 am

By Karen McMahan | Carolina Journal
RALEIGH — LegalZoom, the nation’s largest provider of online routine self-help legal documents, is suing the North Carolina State Bar following an eight-year battle over claims that the company has engaged …

Chapel Hill Police Arrest 8 in Downtown Business Break-in Possibly Related to Anarchist Activity

November 13, 2011 – 10:44 pm

Police and Mayor release statement on arrests
CHAPEL HILL – The Chapel Hill Police Department received information that attendees from a local anarchist book fair were attempting to align themselves with the Occupy Movement.  Officers learned …

WakeMed Forced to Compete With Government-Owned Rex Heart Center

November 1, 2011 – 8:35 am
WakeMed Forced to Compete With Government-Owned Rex Heart Center

Officials complain that UNC-owned Rex will crowd out profitable services
By Sara Burrows | Carolina Journal
RALEIGH — WakeMed Health and Hospitals CEO Bill Atkinson said he doesn’t mind competition, except when he’s competing against the government. …

Marshall Viewed Favorably, Yet Still Relatively Unknown to Voters

October 30, 2011 – 8:04 am
Marshall Viewed Favorably, Yet Still Relatively Unknown to Voters

Raleigh, N.C. – Though viewed favorably by 29 percent of North Carolina voters, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall is still largely unknown to voters.
Twenty-nine percent of voters said they have a favorable opinion of Marshall …

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