Headline »

November 23, 2014 – 10:52 am

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 …

Read the full story »
Local News

The latest up-to-the-minute local news about the people and the communities in and around Lincoln County.

Local Columns

Follow your favorite teams in college and professional sports. We even post news items about local kids soccer, football and other sports here.


Our obituary section is provided free of charge as we wish to assist families in memorializing their loved ones as well as providing accurate funeral arrangements.


Read the latest opinions on local, state and national issues and culture from writers from the area, the nation and the globe.

Home » Archive by Category

Articles in News

2015-16 State Transportation Map Now Available

March 5, 2015 – 10:33 am
2015-16 State Transportation Map Now Available

RALEIGH—The 2015-16 North Carolina State Transportation Map was unveiled Thursday today as part of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Centennial Celebration and is now available free of charge.

The State Transportation Map is funded and produced by NCDOT. It is distributed by VisitNC, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. It can be ordered online at visitnc.com/statemap or by calling 1-800-847-4862 (VISIT NC). Maps will also be available at welcome centers, rest areas and NCDOT offices across the state.

First published in 1916, the state map is NCDOT’s most popular publication, with two million copies in this year’s initial printing.

North Carolina has one of the largest highway systems in the nation, and the new map details the more than 106,000 miles of public roadway that span the state. That includes 79,585 miles of state-maintained roads.

The cover of the new map features a montage of North Carolina scenery, including the Blue Ridge Mountains from the peak of Mt. Jefferson, a trail wandering through Clemmons Educational State Park in Clayton, the statue that stands outside the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head.

The map also includes information on Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision for transportation in North Carolina, North Carolina’s State Parks and Forest Service—both of which also turn 100 this year—and Governor McCrory’s Art That Moves You initiative, which uses texture, landscaping, original artwork and lighting to improve infrastructure, bridges and gateways to promote tourism and economic development.

A full-size PDF of the map is also available online.


Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

NCDOT Celebrates 100 Years of Achievement

March 5, 2015 – 6:58 am
NCDOT Celebrates 100 Years of Achievement

RALEIGH—One hundred years ago today, the North Carolina General Assembly created the State Highway Commission, establishing the first roots of our modern-day Department of Transportation and laying the foundation for a century of tremendous progress in North Carolina.
Governor Pat McCrory joined Secretary Tata, Board of Transportation Chair Ned Curran, and many others who have been involved in transportation efforts over the past century this morning for a celebration commemorating NCDOT’s centennial.
 “From its humble beginnings, transportation has shaped who we are as a state, serving as the backbone of our economy, connecting every major aspect of our lives, and creating new opportunities for our citizens,” said Governor McCrory.
Visit NCDOT’s Centennial Celebration website for interactive images and video chronicling the past 100 years.
Laying the Foundation
North Carolina had already seen several transportation milestones prior to March 5, 1915, including construction of the North Carolina Railroad in the 1850s and the Wright Brothers’ famous First Flight over the sands of Kitty Hawk in 1903. Shortly after the State Highway Commission was established, the Wake County town of Garner became home to the state’s first paved road in 1916, and five years later the N.C. General Assembly passed the Highway Act of 1921, which authorized a gas tax of one cent per gallon to help pay for road improvements.
In 1931, North Carolina became one of the first states to assume ownership of all secondary roads, a responsibility that was previously held by the counties. North Carolina is still home to one of the largest state-maintained highway systems in the nation, which includes nearly 80,000 miles; Texas is the only state in the nation currently responsible for more mileage.
The 1920s and 30s were also a time of significant landmarks in other modes of transportation, with the establishment of passenger air service in Charlotte in 1927, the funding of a state ferry system in 1934, and North Carolina becoming the first state to declare the bicycle as a vehicle in 1939. In 1941, the state’s transportation responsibilities were expanded even further with the founding of the Department of Motor Vehicles, which consolidated services previously provided by the Secretary of State and the Department of Revenue.
“NCDOT has continued to evolve with the changing needs of our state to ensure that we keep pace with growing demands on our infrastructure,” Tata said. “We remain committed to anticipating the future needs of our state and improving our operations to make the best possible use of our taxpayer dollars.”
Mid-Century Milestones
During the 1950s through the 1960s, the state’s highway system developed into a complex network of highways reaching every corner of the state.
The 1950s saw the birth of the Interstate Highway System, which was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 29, 1956. The first construction in North Carolina that was to become I-40 was U.S. 421 east of Winston-Salem, which was constructed between 1949 and 1950. In 1956, North Carolina’s 714 miles of interstate were designated to become Interstates 95, 85, 40 and 26.
North Carolina also holds the distinction of being home to the nation’s final section of the 2,554-mile I-40 corridor, which connected Raleigh to Wilmington and opened on June 29, 1990. NCDOT continues to expand North Carolina’s interstate system, most notably with ongoing efforts to build urban loops and upgrade existing highways.
The 1960s and 70s continued to mark significant innovations in North Carolina’s transportation system, including the completion of the Pigeon River Gorge section of I-40 in 1968. This 22-mile stretch traversed the state’s rugged mountainside and included the only tunnels on the interstate system east of the Mississippi. The project was also the largest single highway project completed to date in North Carolina.
State and local leaders saw that the state’s growth potential demanded an economy-oriented system that was responsive to rapidly changing needs in all areas of transportation. The Executive Organization Act of 1971 created the N.C. Department of Transportation and Highway Safety, combining the State Highway Commission and the Department of Motor Vehicles. In 1974, “Highway Safety” was dropped from the name and the department officially became known as NCDOT. Specialized internal divisions were formally created in the mid-1970s for rail, ferries and public transportation, along with the nation’s first bicycling program, which was expanded in 1992 to include pedestrian activities. Additionally, the aviation function was transferred from the Department of Conservation and Development, and incorporated into the Department of Transportation.
Building a Modern-Day DOT
The 1980s included the initiation of additional modern-day programs, including the NCDOT Wildflower Program as envisioned by First Lady Dottie Martin in 1985, the Adopt-A-Highway Program in 1988, and the Highway Trust Fund, which was created in 1989 by the General Assembly as a dedicated fund for highway construction and improvements.
NCDOT also achieved several other milestones over the subsequent decades that reflect North Carolina’s changing transportation needs, including the establishment of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, which oversees efforts like “Click It or Ticket” and “Booze It and Lose It” in 1993; the creation of the N.C. Turnpike Authority in 2002; and the opening of the state’s first modern toll road, the Triangle Expressway, in 2011. That same year, both the North Carolina Ports and the N.C. Global TransPark became part of NCDOT in an effort to establish a more logistics-based focus and improve coordination.
Over the past two years, under the leadership of Gov. Pat McCrory, North Carolina has continued to implement several other landmark initiatives, including passage of the Strategic Transportation Investments Law in summer 2013. The law established the Strategic Mobility Formula, a data-driven approach that allows the state to make better use of its existing resources and complete more improvements that support economic growth and quality of life in North Carolina. In 2014, Gov. McCrory debuted his 25-Year Vision, which serves as a roadmap for strategic investment in transportation infrastructure and better connects people to work, life and play.
“Transportation has played an integral role in helping North Carolina become what it is today and will continue to be a catalyst for future development and prosperity,” Gov. McCrory said. “Ongoing infrastructure investment is essential to helping North Carolina achieve its full potential over the next 100 years, and we’re working strategically to continue moving forward with our vision in the 21st century.”
“From paving Tobacco Road to the multi-faceted transportation system we have today, NCDOT’s many achievements over the past century are the direct result of the hard work and dedication of our people,” Tata said. “Our many employees over the years, our numerous partners on all levels, the citizens we serve—all continue to work together to make a real difference for North Carolina.”

Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

Media Advisory: Governor McCrory to Unveil Budget

March 4, 2015 – 5:50 pm

Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory will unveil his proposed 2015-2017 budget tomorrow.


“We have had to make tough choices to arrive at this comprehensive, thoughtful budget proposal, and I’m proud of what we will accomplish through it,” said Governor McCrory. “The issues our state faces each and every day are thoroughly addressed in this budget, with the priorities of our citizens accurately reflected.”


Wake County 


Governor McCrory Appoints Environmental Management Commission Chair

March 4, 2015 – 3:38 pm

Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory has appointed Gerard Carroll chair of the Environmental Management Commission.


North Carolina Environmental Management Commission

Governor McCrory Reappoints Law Enforcement Veteran to Crime Commission

March 4, 2015 – 12:27 pm

Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory has reappointed Chief of Police Rodney Monroe of Charlotte to serve on the Governor’s Crime Commission.


“Chief Monroe’s extensive service to the state as a law enforcement officer, along with his prior Commission experience, makes him a perfect fit for the Governor’s Crime Commission,” Governor McCrory said. “I look forward to the invaluable insight Chief Monroe will provide as we work to eradicate crime and violence in our state.”


Governor McCrory Announces Appointments

March 4, 2015 – 12:19 pm

Raleigh, N.C. – The Office of Governor Pat McCrory announced the following appointments:


North Carolina Plant Conservation Board

  • Dr. Peter White (Orange County) - White is a faculty member with the UNC-Chapel Hill Biology Department.

The board adds and subtracts species from the list of endangered or threatened native plants. Members also adopt and enforce regulations to protect rare native plants in the state. The term length is four years. 


Governor McCrory Wishes Livingstone College Blue Bears Best of Luck in upcoming NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Tournament

March 4, 2015 – 10:42 am

Raleigh, N.C. -Governor Pat McCrory released the following statement congratulating the Livingstone College Blue Bears for their second-ever Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) crown and a berth into the NCAA tournament. 


Governor McCrory celebrates 100th anniversary of legislation establishing N.C.’s first state park

March 3, 2015 – 4:27 pm

Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory signed and issued a proclamation at William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh today celebrating March 3 as the 100th anniversary of legislation authorizing Mount Mitchell as North Carolina’s first state park.


North Carolina Climbs to No. 4 Ranking in Site Selection’s Governor’s Cup

March 2, 2015 – 12:59 pm

Raleigh, NC –  Governor Pat McCrory announced today that North Carolina jumped to fourth place among all states in Site Selection magazine’s 2014 Governor’s Cup, a closely-watched ranking of economic development success.  North Carolina moved up three spots as compared to last year’s ranking.  The Governor’s Cup is awarded annually based on the number of new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by Conway Data Inc.’s New Plant Database.  North Carolina ranked number one in the South Atlantic region.


NCDOT Looking for Input on Passenger Rail Awareness

March 2, 2015 – 7:22 am
NCDOT Looking for Input on Passenger Rail Awareness

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation is conducting a survey to gauge public awareness of passenger rail in the state. Participants are eligible to enter a drawing at the end of the survey to win four free round-trip train tickets within North Carolina.
To enter, complete a brief survey about North Carolina’s passenger train services.  The survey is available online in English and in Spanish.
The survey period will end on March 31. The drawing for the tickets will take place once the survey period is over. Winners will be contacted in April.
NCDOT is in the process of evaluating improvements and upgrades to passenger train services and offerings. Feedback from the survey will help NCDOT provide the best service possible.
NCDOT and Amtrak provide daily train service between Charlotte and New York City, called the Carolinian; and daily train service to and from Charlotte and Raleigh and cities in between called the Piedmont. To learn more about North Carolina’s Amtrak visit www.NCByTrain.org.

Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

Governor McCrory Proclaims March 2 – 6, 2015 as Students@Work Week

February 27, 2015 – 7:07 pm

Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory has declared March 2 – 6, 2015 as Students@Work Week across North Carolina. Students@Work is a job-shadowing initiative involving schools and businesses across the state. The week is focused on raising North Carolina’s graduation rate by offering approximately 22,500 middle school students a chance to connect what they are learning in class with future career opportunities.


Chairman McCrory Welcomes Alaska Gov. Walker to OCS Governors Coalition

February 27, 2015 – 4:47 pm

Raleigh, NC – Governor Pat McCrory, chairman of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Governors Coalition, announced today Governor Bill Walker (AK-I) has become the newest member of coalition.


Governor McCrory “Leading the Way” on Connecting Education and the Global Economy

February 27, 2015 – 2:20 pm

Note: Only two governors made the direct connection between the economy and global education in their speeches.  Delaware Governor Jack Markell, (D) a long-time supporter of world language education, spoke about its importance. “We have also invested in language immersion programs because our children will have greater opportunities in the global economy when they can speak more than one language,” said Markell. “After only two and a half years, we have 1,400 students spending half of their school day learning in Chinese or Spanish. And we’ll keep expanding next year.”

Governor McCrory Declares March 1-7 Severe Weather Preparedness Week

February 27, 2015 – 12:22 pm

Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory has declared March 1-7 Severe Weather Preparedness Week in North Carolina, cautioning North Carolinians to practice how to be safe when thunderstorms and tornadoes threaten. While damaging storms and tornadoes can occur any time of the year, March through May is peak tornado season for the state. 


Scott Safety Expansion Will Create 67 New Jobs in Union County

February 27, 2015 – 11:07 am

Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory, N.C. Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. announced today that Scott Technologies, Inc. will be investing in growth of its Scott Safety headquarters in Union County, NC.  The company plans to invest $28.7 million in Monroe over the next five years, supporting 67 new jobs at the location.


State Responds to Winter Storm

February 26, 2015 – 3:42 pm

Raleigh, NC – Governor Pat McCrory briefed citizens from the State Emergency Operations Center Thursday on the response to last night’s snowfall across the state.

State Responds to Winter Storm

February 26, 2015 – 10:28 am
State Responds to Winter Storm

Raleigh, NC – Governor Pat McCrory briefed citizens from the State Emergency Operations Center Thursday on the response to last night’s snowfall across the state.
“It’s not often that the entire state of North Carolina sees significant snowfall like we’ve seen this week,” Governor McCrory said. “While it is beautiful, it also can be dangerous causing downed trees, power outages and treacherous driving conditions. Throughout the morning, we’ve seen driving conditions improve and we expect that to continue through the afternoon. We still have a lot of work to do in the next 24 hours.”
The governor warned motorists to be cautious when driving, and urged everyone to be at their final destination by evening before temperatures start falling and the slush turns to black ice.
The overnight winter storm brought an additional 4 to 6 inches of snow to the mountains, between 3 and 7 inches of snow through much of the Triad, Triangle and central part of the state and 2 to 3 inches throughout greater Charlotte and eastern North Carolina.  The southeastern portions received mostly rain.  
On Wednesday, the governor activated the State Emergency Operations Center, declared a state of emergency, and waived certain vehicle weight and service hour requirements to expedite storm response.
Power outages climbed steadily overnight, peaking near 230,000 outages around
9 a.m., as the snow transitioned to sleet and rain adding extra weight to trees and power lines. By noon, less than 180,000 were still without power. Most of the outages are the Triangle area.
Two people died Tuesday in separate weather-related vehicle crashes; no other weather-related fatalities have been reported since then.
While checking on stranded motorists in Cherokee County, Trooper R.Y. Ellison came upon a frantic young mother in a vehicle with her infant child.  The infant was having trouble breathing and the mother had just called 911.  Trooper Ellison helped the mother assist the child and summoned nearby Trooper H.S Robertson, who is an EMT-Paramedic.  The two troopers rendered aid for what appeared to be a temporarily blocked airway until a Cherokee EMS unit arrived.
Emergency Management officials are coordinating with law enforcement officers from the Highway Patrol, ALE, Wildlife, and Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft, along with National Guard.
“Black ice will continue to be a problem in the coming days,” said Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “Our State Emergency Response Team partners, which includes county and state level emergency management,   law enforcement teams, National Guard troops and DOT are all collaborating to respond to constantly changing needs. The best way to remain safe is to stay off the roads that are covered in snow and ice and plan to stay off roads that may be susceptible to refreezing as the temperatures drop after dark.”
NCDOT crews continue to work on plowing and treating roads across the state.
As the latest round of winter weather moved in, NCDOT crews again worked through the night to plow and treat snow and ice covered roads. While the wet, slushy nature of the snow makes it easier to push off the roadways, crews in some harder hit areas are removing downed trees and debris from the roads in addition to clearing them of snow and ice. To help speed operations, the department is shifting some crews and equipment from less affected areas to those with greater impacts. The department will continue working throughout the day to clear affected roads, starting with primary routes and then moving on to smaller secondary roads, and crews will also be in place overnight to address any additional issues that arise.
“I want to thank our hard working crews and other partners for their continued efforts through this latest storm,” NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata said. “While some of our state fared better than expected, road conditions remain treacherous in many areas, including the possibility of downed trees and debris, and we ask that motorists continue to use extreme caution and avoid travel if possible as we work to address all our roadways.”
Real-time weather and road conditions, as well as winter safety tips, can be found on the free ReadyNC mobile app or on line at www.readync.org website. 
Travelers are urged to call 511 or go to www.ncdot.org for up-to-date roadway conditions. Motorists are reminded to call 911 for emergencies only and refrain from calling the State Highway Patrol Communication Centers for roadway conditions. 

Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

Governor Declares State of Emergency in Preparation for Winter Storm

February 25, 2015 – 4:01 pm

Raleigh, NC –  Governor Pat McCrory activated the State Emergency Response Team for the second time in two weeks to respond to a statewide winter storm. This morning, he declared a state of emergency and waived certain vehicle weight and service hour requirements to expedite storm response.


Governor Declares State of Emergency in Preparation for Winter Storm

February 25, 2015 – 11:06 am
Governor Declares State of Emergency in Preparation for Winter Storm

Raleigh, NC –  Governor Pat McCrory activated the State Emergency Response Team for the second time in two weeks to respond to a statewide winter storm. This morning, he declared a state of emergency and waived certain vehicle weight and service hour requirements to expedite storm response.
“We are preparing for as much as eight inches of snow across the majority of the state,” Governor McCrory said. “The State Emergency Response Team that consists of multiple state and local agencies worked throughout the afternoon Tuesday and overnight and they have teams mobilized and ready for the next storm.” 
Yesterday’s band of snow showers brought 1-3 inches of snow across much of the state. A more significant winter storm is predicted to move through the state later this evening and through Thursday bringing additional accumulations of 4 to 8 inches of snow across most of the state with forecasts being adjusted by the hour. The extreme southeastern portion of the state will likely see a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain. 
Between midnight and noon, State Highway Patrol troopers responded to approximately 700 calls for service; of those, 400 were collisions. Yesterday, troopers responded to nearly 3,000 calls for service including 2,300 vehicle crashes.  The Highway Patrol typically responds to approximately 1,000 calls in a 24-hour period.
Yesterday, the governor implemented the Adverse Weather Policy for state employees enabling those workers who are not essential to storm response or daily operations to remain home. 
Two people died yesterday in separate weather-related vehicle crashes when their car’s slid off the road and ran into a tree. 
“Motorists are reminded to monitor the weather and road conditions,” said Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “We’ve staged transportation crews and law enforcement teams to respond quickly to incidents especially around known trouble spots. But the best way to remain safe is to stay off the roads.”
Perry said 800 law enforcement officers from the Highway Patrol, ALE, Wildlife, and Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft, along with 86 National Guard soldiers are staged across the state to respond to stranded motorists. 
After working overnight and this morning to clear and treat slick roads and trouble spots, NCDOT crews across the state began spreading salt brine on roadways to prepare for the next round of winter weather anticipated to arrive later today. Once snow and ice begins to stick to the roadways, crews will again work around the clock clearing and treating affected roads.
“Over the past two weeks, our team has shown incredible fortitude and dedication as we have prepared for and responded to the multiple storms that have hit our state,” NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata said. “Those efforts continue as we get ready for even more winter weather, and I again thank motorists for their cooperation in staying off the roadways so our crews can work as safely and quickly as possible.”
Real-time weather and road conditions, as well as winter safety tips, can be found on the free ReadyNC mobile app or on line at www.readync.org website. 
Travelers are urged to call 511 or go to www.ncdot.org for up-to-date roadway conditions. Motorists are reminded to call 911 for emergencies only and refrain from calling the State Highway Patrol Communication Centers for roadway conditions. 

Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

State Prepares for More Snow to Hit North Carolina

February 24, 2015 – 4:41 pm

Raleigh, N.C. - Back-to-back winter storms will bring measurable snowfall to much of the state twice in three days, a rarity for North Carolina. By the weekend, two separate winter storm systems will have moved across the state. Today’s band of snow showers is expected to bring 1-2 inches of snow in the Triangle and Triad areas, 2-3 inches of snow in the Fayetteville and Sandhills areas, 3-6 inches of snow in the foothills and mountains, and up to 2 inches in parts of eastern North Carolina.

Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.