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

Governor McCrory Announces Appointments

February 13, 2015 – 12:04 pm

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


North Carolina Medical Care Commission

  • Albert Lockamy Jr. (Wake County) – Lockamy works for Blue Ridge Pharmacy and has served as president of the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy. This is a reappointment.

The commission adopts statewide plans for the construction and maintenance of hospitals, medical centers and other health care facilities. The term length is four years.


Fortify Friday: The Latest Information on the Fortify Project

February 13, 2015 – 7:45 am
Fortify Friday: The Latest Information on the Fortify Project

Friday:  The Latest Information on the
Fortify Project

RALEIGH- Traffic on the I-40 portion of the Fortify Rebuild Project will soon be
narrowed to three lanes along the entire eight-mile stretch of highway from
U.S. 1 to the I-440 split.  As a result,
congestion and longer travel times through the area can be expected.  There are a
number of ways though, that commuters can help reduce the inevitable delays—and
taking the bus is one of them.

If you’ve taken the bus, you know the benefits of
riding public transit. If you haven’t,
now is the time to try!

It makes the most of your time. By avoiding the driver’s seat, you can do work, catch up
on your email or finally order that belated birthday gift you’ve been meaning
to buy. Triangle Transit buses have WiFi!It lends to better health.
Taking public transit not only relieves stress, but studies show transit riders
on average get roughly 19 minutes of additional physical activity a day just by
walking to stops and destinations.It
saves money. By riding the bus, you won’t
have to fill up your car’s gas tank as often. That means more money in
your pocket for something more exciting than idling on the interstate.

Transit and Capital Area
Transit are just a few of the public transportation options available to
commuters heading to and from Raleigh.

If the bus or train doesn’t work for you, carpools
and vanpools are a great way to save money and time, and provides opportunities
to socialize. Share the Ride NC
is the perfect place to find carpools and vanpools in your area.

If you are heading out of the Triangle and want to
avoid the interstate, take the train! North Carolina’s Amtrak offers multiple
trips between Raleigh, the Triad and Charlotte every day. Booking your ticket
is quick and easy. Just visit NCDOT’s NCByTrain.org
for schedules, fares and discounts.

There’s no need to be caught in Fortify’s potential
traffic delays.  Ride public
transportation and avoid the stress..


Work on I-40 continues to gearing up as crews are busy
in several areas on both the east and westbound sides of the work zone between
U.S. 1 in Cary and the I-440 split in southeast Raleigh.

This coming week look for ramp work under way at the
Saunders Street and Hammond Road interchanges, shoulder work to prep them for
use as travel lanes between the Hadley Road and State Street bridges, as well
as between the Gorman Street and Lake Wheeler Road exits, U.S. 1 and Gorman
Street, and the Hadley Road and State Street bridges.

Bridge widening also goes on for the structures at
the Norfolk Railroad tracks, Garner Road and Hadley Road.

Other crews are still working on I-440 East, which
is targeted to have its third lane open next month. New highway signs and light
poles are going in, surfacing work is planned between I-495/U.S. 64/264 and the
Crabtree Creek bridge, and more paving prep work is set for other sections of
the roadway. And even though all lanes are open on I-440 West, some final touch
work remains, including the installation of new lighting.

And as a reminder for drivers who use I-440 in
either direction, what you are traveling on is not the final surface for the
interstate. When weather warms up in March, crews will be putting down a final
layer of asphalt on the new roadway in both directions, as well as permanent
lane markings. That work will continue for most of the month, and so it doesn’t
interfere with traffic, will be done at night.

Both I-40 and I-440 remain busy work areas, so
please continue to drive carefully, obey the lower speed limits in the work
zones (it’s an extra $250 fine beyond the cost of just the speeding ticket if
you are caught speeding in a work zone) and watch for lane shifts and construction
signs. Also be aware that shoulders along the highway in the entire work zone
are quick clearance tow away zones for the safety of motorists and workers. If
you do break down or have to stop, it’s best to stay with your vehicle and call
911. One of the DOT’s Incident Management Assistance Patrol trucks, or the
on-call towing company for the project, will be sent to the scene as soon as
possible to provide assistance.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511,
visit the Traveler
Services section of the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter.
You can also access NCDOT
Mobile, a version of the NCDOT website especially for mobile devices. Visit
m.ncdot.gov from your mobile browser.


Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

Governor McCrory Makes Two District Court Judge Appointments

February 12, 2015 – 4:27 pm

Raleigh, N.C. –  Governor Pat McCrory has appointed Steve Messick District Court Judge in the 15A Judicial District and Richard Holloway District Court Judge in the 25th Judicial District. 


Messick will replace Chief District Court Judge James Roberson, who became a Superior Court Judge on January 1, 2015. The 15A Judicial District consists solely of Alamance County.


Governor McCrory Announces Appointments to N.C. Community Colleges Boards of Trustees

February 12, 2015 – 4:26 pm

Raleigh, N.C. - The Office of Governor Pat McCrory announced the following appointments to the North Carolina Community College System Boards of Trustees:


Alamance Community College Board of Trustees

  • Nancy Rosborough (Alamance County) –  Rosborough is the founder and CEO of Mycorrhiza Biotech.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Board of Trustees

Governor McCrory Mourns Tragic Chapel Hill Shooting

February 12, 2015 – 10:42 am

Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory released a statement following the shooting of three students near UNC – Chapel Hill:

“I am saddened by the senseless acts that happened yesterday evening in Chapel Hill,” said Governor McCrory. “My prayers are with the families and friends of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.”

Governor McCrory will also participate in a moment of silence at the N.C. State University men’s basketball game against the University of Virginia.

Governor McCrory Nominates State Controller Dr. Linda Morrison Combs

February 11, 2015 – 3:13 pm

Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory has nominated Dr. Linda Morrison Combs of Winston-Salem as North Carolina State Controller. The governor first appointed Dr. Combs to the position in May 2014. The nomination is subject to confirmation by the General Assembly.


“Dr. Combs has done an exceptional job as steward of North Carolina taxpayer dollars,” Governor McCrory said. “Our fiscal health is strong and stable in large part to her leadership and oversight, and I look forward to the continuation of her great work.”


NCDOT Hosting Introduce A Girl to Engineering Events

February 11, 2015 – 7:53 am
NCDOT Hosting Introduce A Girl to Engineering Events

A series of workshops to be held across the state to kick off National Engineering Week
Raleigh— There’s a gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, especially engineering.  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, well under 15% of engineers are women, and only 1 in 10 STEM professionals is a minority woman. In post-secondary engineering schools, women represent just 20-23% of students. This shortfall in prospective STEM graduates, particularly female, limits the available resources for new technology innovation in the U.S.

Many chalk up the difference to a lack of female role models in STEM fields to begin with. “It’s a vicious cycle,” said Jocelyn Goldfein, a director of engineering at Facebook.  “The reason there aren’t more women computer scientists is because there aren’t more women computer scientists,” she said.

Golfein believes the problem starts as early as grade school. Young girls are rarely encouraged to pursue math and science, which is problematic considering studies show a lack of belief in intellectual growth can actually inhibit it. In addition, there exists an unconscious bias that science and math are typically “male” fields while humanities and arts are primarily “female” fields, and these stereotypes further inhibit girls’ likelihood of cultivating an interest in math and science.

Popular culture plays a role, as well. Girls grow up seeing women in powerful positions as doctors and lawyers on television, but the media continues to promote stereotypes when it comes to programmers, often portraying them as geeky men.

NCDOT hopes to change that stigma and turn those statistics around by introducing North Carolina’s female middle and high school students to the world of engineering with four upcoming workshops across the state. “These events are eye opening,” said one of last year’s attendees. “I always enjoyed my math and science classes but didn’t know how to turn these interests into cool careers.  Thanks to this special program, now I do.”

At one of NCDOT’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering events, students get a taste for the industry by taking part in fun, hands-on activities and getting first hand career knowledge by females currently working in the field.  Through programs like this, NCDOT is hoping to create a pool of women engineers in a male-dominated profession who will bring their unique skills and talents to North Carolina once they graduate.

The schedule for the upcoming series of workshops is as follows:

Thursday, February 12, 2015    
Metrolina Regional Traffic Management Center
2327 Tipton Drive
Charlotte, NC
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015     
Joint Force Headquarters
1636 Gold Star Drive
Raleigh, NC  27607
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015    
Forsyth Tech-Mazie Woodruff Center
4905 Lansing Drive
Winston-Salem, NC  27105
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Pitt County Agricultural Extension Center
403 Government Circle
Greenville, NC  27834
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is part of National Engineering Week, which takes place February 22-28, 2015.  National Engineering Week is designed to celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world, increase public dialogue about the need for engineers and bring engineering to life for students, educators and parents.

For more information and to register for the event, contact Gail Herring, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Coordinator at 919-707-4442 or gherring@ncdot.gov.


Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution



North Carolina Exports Grow By 7% in 2014

February 9, 2015 – 5:05 pm

Raleigh, N.C. - North Carolina exported a record $31 billion in merchandise to international markets in 2014, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce.  The exports mark an increase of 7 percent from 2013 and North Carolina’s export growth rate more than doubles the national average growth of 2.8 percent. 


Governor McCrory Reappoints Commissioner of Banks Ray Grace

February 9, 2015 – 5:03 pm

Raleigh, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory has reappointed Ray Grace as the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks. Governor McCrory first appointed Grace in 2013. He previously served as Acting Commissioner and was originally appointed by Governor McCrory’s predecessor.


“Ray Grace is a tremendous asset to North Carolina’s banks, and his extensive experience and past achievement are reflected in his work as Commissioner,” Governor McCrory said. “His continued service is greatly valued and appreciated.”


Governor McCrory Announces Appointments

February 9, 2015 – 3:46 pm

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


North Carolina Governor’s Council on Homelessness

Governor McCrory Issues Statement on Dean Smith

February 9, 2015 – 12:24 pm

Raleigh, NC - Governor Pat McCrory released the following statement on the passing of former University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill basketball coach:


“Ann and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Coach Smith. Coach Smith is a legend on and off the court and his life will leave a lasting legacy at Chapel Hill and across the state and nation. May the skies shine Carolina Blue in your honor Coach.”


NCDOT Launches New WalkBikeNC Website Featuring Online Mapping Tool for State Bike Routes

February 9, 2015 – 4:24 am
NCDOT Launches New WalkBikeNC Website Featuring Online Mapping Tool for State Bike Routes

Department of Transportation has launched a new website
for Walk Bike NC, a statewide plan for improving
pedestrian and bicycle mobility. WalkBikeNC.com
provides many features, including digital information from the plan and a new
online mapping tool showcasing thousands of miles of signed bicycle routes in
North Carolina.

The website’s online map shows NCDOT-designated,
on-road bicycle routes, first developed and signed in the 1970s and 1980s. In
the past, route information had only been available via paper map order through
the NCDOT Bicycle and
Pedestrian Division.

WalkBikeNC.com allows
cyclists to create turn-by-turn directions and check elevation profiles for the
state’s bicycle routes. These online features will make bicycle tour planning
easier for visitors and residents and compliment other online mapping services.

NCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Division Director
Lauren Blackburn explains, “Our state’s cycling and walking routes and
greenways are an economic asset. These networks connect visitors and residents
to job centers, schools, open space, historic sites, small towns and other
important destinations.”

Walk Bike NC was adopted by NCDOT in 2013 and is
built around five key pillars: mobility, safety, economy, health and
environment. The plan provides tools and recommendations for making bicycle and
pedestrian networks more accessible and safer.


Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution
Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution


Fortify Friday: The Latest Information on the I-40/440 Project

February 6, 2015 – 8:58 am
Fortify Friday:  The Latest Information on the I-40/440 Project

Raleigh— Every day (and night) in the Fortify construction zone, a band of inspectors goes over with a fine tooth comb the work of the pipe layers, the bridge builders, the concrete excavators and the asphalt layers.  There are many other contractors who work day and night to rebuild this stretch of roadway, and NCDOT inspectors are there to make sure the work is done safely and correctly.

Jack Pedro is Fortify’s lead project inspector. He oversees all of the inspectors and acts as a liaison between the contractor, Granite Construction, and the department. 

One question Jack continually puts to rest is how can NCDOT be sure this rebuild project won’t repeat the chemical process made decades ago that is forcing today’s reconstruction?

The answer is simple, he says.  Granite construction is using asphalt, not concrete. 

 “The chemical reaction that caused today’s unsafe roadway was caused by water leaking through the road and interacting with materials underneath in the concrete that caused the surface to crumble.”  Jack said. “This time, concrete is not being used.”

According to Jack, the biggest challenge with this project is not in the materials or the actual road reconstruction, but managing Fortify’s traveling public.

More than 100,000 motorists drive through this stretch of highway every day and if not navigated correctly, each delay or lane closure could cause miles of backup.

That’s why NCDOT’s goal is to get 30,000 cars off of the road during the heavy  morning and afternoon commute.  Eventually, we must reduce travel to three lanes on eight miles of I-40 East and West in order to effectively rebuild the roadway. “With that many vehicles driving through this narrowed highway,” Jack said, “it doesn’t take a mathematician to predict the outcome.”

Carpooling will help.
So will vanpooling or taking the bus.  (For information on car/vanpooling or using public transit, visit www.triangletransit.orgjan2015.)

Another option to avoid Fortify congestion is by utilizing flex or alternate work schedules, if your company or agency allows.

If everyone works together, NCDOT can complete the I-40/440 Rebuild Project safely and on schedule (late 2016) while getting everyone to their destination on time.

Project Update:  Construction work for Fortify continues to cruise along.  On I-440 East, crews continue the paving process with the goal of opening its three-lane pattern in March.  Drivers will get a sneak preview of what their ride will be like as early as next week.  Although traffic will still be in a two-lane pattern, an adjustment in the ramp lane alignment coming off of Poole Road will put motorists on the new roadway surface already in place in that area.

Work also gears up along eastbound I-40, especially between U.S. 1 and the Gorman Street exit.  Crews are getting closer to being able to pave the outside shoulder to get it ready for use as a travel lane in the Spring.   Progress continues at the Hammond Road exit, which will switch back to its original ramp alignment next month.  Bridge work is ongoing at Garner Road, Gorman Street and for the Norfolk Rail line.   Similar efforts are under way on westbound I-40, where shoulder preparation work is under way east of the I-440/U.S. 1/64 exit.

Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution


Governor McCrory Issues Statement On School Performance Report

February 5, 2015 – 2:34 pm

Raleigh, N.C. -  Governor McCrory issued the following statement after the release of the State Board of Education’s 2013-2014 School Performance Grades for  traditional public and charter schools.  

Board of Transportation Approves Contract for Sponsorship of NCDOT Motorists Assistance Program

February 5, 2015 – 8:08 am
Board of Transportation Approves Contract for Sponsorship of NCDOT Motorists Assistance Program

– In the 2014 Budget Bill (Section 34.17(a), the General Assembly required the North Carolina Board of Transportation to study
how fees, sponsorship and privatization might be used to reduce the use of
public funds for services provided by NCDOT. At its monthly meeting, the
Board approved a contract for Travelers Marketing LLC to oversee sponsorship of
the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Incident Management
Assistance Motorists Patrol (IMAP) program.

IMAP drivers are trained NCDOT personnel who assist
stranded motorists, clear the roadway and provide temporary traffic control to
help keep the state’s roadways flowing smoothly.

Travelers Marketing guarantees $2 million in total
revenue over four years, which will help offset NCDOT’s cost to operate the

“This public-private partnership allows us to
continue to provide this important service for travelers through our state
while reducing NCDOT’s costs,” Rodger Rochelle, NCDOT’s director of Technical
Services, said. “The trucks and uniforms will remain easily identifiable as
IMAP, and the high level of service will be maintained.”

Contract details include:

will continue to oversee all IMAP operationsUp
to three sponsors are allowed statewide as long as their service area is
clearly defined  geographicallyOnly
one sponsor is allowed per vehicleIMAP
trucks will remain the current yellow, or may be painted white at no cost to
logo will be on all IMAP vehicles as well as uniforms The
sponsor may add their logo to the uniforms, hats and trucks. They also may
provide new uniforms in a different colorAny
changes to the trucks or uniforms must be consistent for each sponsorTravelers
Marketing is responsible for securing sponsors

“The Board looks forward to working with the private
sector on additional cost-sharing opportunities,” Board Chair Ned Curran said.
“With our transportation needs far outweighing our available funding, it is
increasingly important for us to partner with private companies to help offset
the cost of providing these services.”

The department has a similar agreement for litter
removal, called Sponsor-a-Highway. Due to the success of the initial phases of
that agreement, the program is now being expanded statewide. Under the new
legislation, NCDOT can also pursue sponsorships for other operations, including
rest areas, ferry system, highway beautification, smartphone applications and
weigh stations.### NCDOT ###

Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

NCDOT Year in Review

February 5, 2015 – 6:12 am
NCDOT Year in Review

Raleigh—As Governor Pat McCrory said in his State of the State Address on Wednesday, continued transportation infrastructure investment is critical to North Carolina’s future, and it plays an integral role in job creation, economic development and overall quality of life.
To that end, 2014 was a landmark year in transportation that included many milestones that will help better meet North Carolina’s growing transportation needs. From implementation of a new transportation funding formula that will result in more transportation improvements supporting more jobs and economic opportunities, to the debut of Gov. McCrory’s 25-Year Vision for strategic investment in transportation throughout the state, the N.C. Department of Transportation continues to make great strides in its efforts to leverage North Carolina’s transportation infrastructure and provide better connections to work, life and play.
“Over the past year, we have executed a real team effort to transform transportation investment in North Carolina,” Gov. McCrory said. “The great news is our work is already paying dividends in terms of increased opportunity for our state, which is our ultimate aim in everything we do.”
Leading that team effort has been Secretary Tony Tata, whose manifold engagements over the past two years include over 600 listening sessions, speeches, board meetings, legislator discussions and town hall meetings. This past year alone he conducted over 130 town hall style speaking events around the state and nation, engaging transportation officials, national and local government leaders, and citizens.
He has visited all 14 transportation divisions throughout the state at least twice, usually more, conducting employee listening sessions, local leader engagements, and project assessments. Visiting over 80 counties in two years, Secretary Tata ensures local and statewide interests are integrated into all facets of NCDOT. He also serves with the Board of Transportation, the Ports Authority Board, and as Chairman of the Turnpike Authority Board and the Global TransPark Board, working to synchronize the state’s transportation efforts.
Implementation of the Strategic Transportation Investments Law
One of the foremost areas of focus over the past year has been the implementation of the Strategic Transportation Investments law passed in summer 2013. The law establishes the Strategic Mobility Formula, which uses a data-driven approach to more efficiently fund transportation improvements on the statewide, regional and division levels, with the goal of meeting the state’s top priorities while providing flexibility to address individualized local needs.
NCDOT officials initially estimated the new formula would double the number of projects that could be funded over a 10-year period, but when the department’s Draft State Transportation Improvement Program—the document that schedules transportation projects for the next 10 years—was released in December it contained nearly three times as many projects, funding 478 highway projects that  are estimated to generate  300,000 jobs, up from 175 highway projects supporting an estimated 174,000 jobs over the same timeframe. Another indication that the process is working as intended: the nearly 1,100 projects across all modes of transportation contained within the Draft STIP include improvements in each of the state’s 100 counties.
“Our intent with this new formula is to be as efficient as possible with every taxpayer dollar,” Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said. “We have also implemented this new process with transparency and fidelity. Now, we make transportation investments based on hard data and the input of our local communities, not politics.”
About 3,100 projects representing $70 billion in needs were submitted for prioritization under our Strategic Transportation Investments law, with only about $15 billion available to pay for them. This means that, while the Strategic Mobility Formula is allowing the department to program more projects than the previous formula, it is still only funding 18 percent of the identified needs.
Governor’s 25-Year Vision for North Carolina
Along with implementation of the Strategic Transportation Investments law, the Governor’s 25-Year Vision for transportation in North Carolina, which was released in September, plays a key role in ensuring that North Carolina continues to leverage its infrastructure and make strategic transportation decisions over the long-term.
“Our transportation system serves as the backbone of our state and plays a critical role in our future,” Gov. McCrory said. “From long-range efforts to attract and retain business and industry and support our military, to strengthening connections to job, education, health care and recreation centers, transportation shapes who we are as a state. We must have a vision for what we want North Carolina to be and a roadmap for how we need to invest in our infrastructure to achieve our full potential over the next quarter century.”
The vision provides solutions to address high-level challenges in each of North Carolina’s four major regions—coastal, eastern, central and western—as well as the state as a whole. It focuses on strengthening connections that are critical to North Carolina and works in tandem with the Strategic Transportation Investments law to meet the long-term needs of the state.
NCDOT is moving forward with a number of projects in each region that exemplify this emphasis on improving connections, including:
·         Coastal—connecting Hampton Roads to the Outer Banks by constructing the Mid-Currituck Bridge and connecting Camp Lejeune/Jacksonville to the Port by expanding U.S. 17 between Jacksonville and Wilmington
·         Eastern—connecting Fort Bragg to the Strategic I-95 Corridor by completing the Fayetteville Outer Loop and connecting eastern North Carolina to Hampton Roads by upgrading U.S. 17 to interstate standards
·         Central—Expanding I-40 into Wake County from Johnston County, constructing the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway/I-74 Corridor, completing the Greensboro Urban Loop and expanding I-85 in Gaston and Rowan counties
·         Western—Connecting the Asheville area to the inland port and Port of Charleston by expanding I-26 south of Asheville, improving the connection to the airport and expanding N.C. 191 in Hendersonville, as well as improving intrastate connections by expanding U.S. 221 to Jefferson/West Jefferson and expanding U.S. 321 between Lenoir and Hickory
“North Carolina is one of the fastest growing states in the nation, and we have to make investments in our infrastructure to support this growth,” Tata said.
The vision provides alternative funding and financing solutions, such as the use of public-private partnerships and taking advantage of historically low interest rates through bond strategies, that play an important role in meeting the state’s growing needs with limited resources.
NCDOT reached a major milestone in its use of public-private partnerships last June with the signing of the state’s first major public-private partnership agreement to establish express lanes along 26 miles of the I-77 corridor from Charlotte north into Iredell County.
Under this contract, NCDOT will be investing about $88 million in the project, with a private partner securing the remainder of the $655 million to design, build, operate and maintain the lanes in exchange for the toll revenue generated by the lanes. NCDOT’s contribution is a fraction of what it would have cost to deliver the project using traditional funding, and the public-private partnership will also expedite project completion to within four years instead of the estimated 20 years it would take to secure enough conventional funding to move forward.
In September the N.C. Board of Transportation approved a policy that allows for private sponsorship of several of NCDOT’s operational programs and services as a way to generate additional revenue for transportation improvements.
Additionally, in November the board approved a draft study that was completed at the direction of the General Assembly and examined how fees, sponsorship and privatization might reduce the use of public funds for services provided by NCDOT.
Recommendations include new sponsorship opportunities for programs and activities such as highway litter removal, rest areas, and the department’s Incident Management Assistance Patrols, as well as implementing or increasing fees for some current NCDOT services. In many cases, NCDOT does not collect enough in fees to cover the cost of delivering those services.
“As a board, we recognize that we’ve got to look outside the status quo and be willing to make changes that support the best interest of North Carolina,” Board Chair Ned Curran said. “We want to make wise decisions today that will help us keep moving in the right direction tomorrow.”
Continued DMV Reform
In another effort to better serve North Carolina, NCDOT also continued its focus on reforming its Division of Motor Vehicles to improve customer service, efficiency and technology. In May, Gov. McCrory joined Secretary Tata and NCDMV Commissioner Kelly Thomas to formally open a flagship state-of-the art NCDMV office in Huntersville, which showcases many of the improvements that have been implemented through the department’s efforts.
Major initiatives DMV is pursuing include:
Extended Hours – NCDMV has expanded its standard hours in 19 driver license offices, as well as three state-owned Vehicle Services locations through a pilot program. This enables offices to stay open later during the week and/or on Saturdays. Last year, the Division served close to 70,000 customers during Saturday hours alone, with more than 85 percent of the population residing within a 30-mile radius of a DMV-extended hours branch.
Reduce Wait Times Pilot – Eight pilot locations participated in the program, which tested various time saving measures and customer service amenities. This program and additional improvements are being expanded to more than 25 locations this year.
Customer Service Training – NCDMV partnered with Wake Technical Community College to provide a customer service training session to all customer-facing employees, including the contractors and staff of 122 license plate agencies statewide. More than 1,800 employees have completed this training.
Veterans Identifier – NCDMV placed a special “Veteran” designation on the driver license or ID cards of qualifying North Carolina veterans. This customer service benefit assists veterans in obtaining military discounts from a wide variety of retailers and service providers without having to show their DD-214 form (specific discharge form). In 2014, the Division issued more than 27,000 licenses with designations statewide.
Online Driver License / Identification Card Renewal – The Division is currently developing online applications to renew driver license and ID cards, which will streamline the process and save the user a trip to the driver license office.
Self-Serve Kiosks – NCDMV will be installing free-standing ATM styled self-serve kiosks in 2015. Kiosks will be featured in driver license offices and other popular locations, offering customers the opportunity to renew and/or replace their driver license or ID card and aiding in the reduction of wait times at office locations.
Credit / Debit Card acceptance at driver license offices – The Division will begin accepting credit and debit card payment at all driver license offices statewide over the next year.
“Over the past year, we have continued to introduce new measures aimed at improving the overall customer experience at DMV,” Commissioner Kelly Thomas said. “We are continually striving to identify new ways to utilize innovation and technology to increase efficiency and provide a higher level of service to North Carolina.”
Goals for 2015
In the year ahead, NCDOT plans to build on the work that has already been done in these major areas of focus to further address the demands on North Carolina’s transportation infrastructure.
Most notably, this includes identifying and pursuing additional revenue for transportation improvements, centered on working with the General Assembly on a funding reform package in 2015.
“We’ve worked hard over the past year to lay a solid foundation for increased transportation investment,” Tata said. “We’ve got a data-driven decision-making process in place, we have a realistic plan for the future, and the time has to come to determine how we are going to work together to make our vision a reality and ensure North Carolina’s continued prosperity.”
2015 also marks a tremendous milestone for NCDOT as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.
“When you look back over the past 100 years, it’s amazing to see how transportation has transformed life in our state and helped North Carolina become what it is today,” Gov. McCrory said. “It’s exciting to be on the leading edge of another century of achievement and to be playing a role in writing the next chapter of North Carolina’s story.”More information regarding NCDOT’s recent performance and achievements is included in the department’s 2014 Annual Performance Report. 

Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

TRANSCRIPT: 2015 State of the State Address

February 4, 2015 – 10:39 pm
2015 State of the State Address
Remarks As Prepared For Delivery
Mr. Speaker, Lt. Governor, Mr.

Governor McCrory Outlines Ambitious Agenda to Continue Economic Revival

February 4, 2015 – 9:28 pm

Raleigh, N.C. -  After a very successful two years since entering office, Governor Pat McCrory will present a broad set of reforms and policies in his 2015 State of the State address. The governor will focus on reforms and policies that will create more jobs and grow our economy, strengthen our education system for students and teachers, increase government efficiencies, build better roads, and put patients first when it comes to health care. 


Governor McCrory to Give State of the State Address Tonight

February 4, 2015 – 7:10 am
Governor McCrory to Give State of the State Address Tonight

Governor Pat McCrory will talk transportation and many other important topics in tonight’s State of the State address. Be sure to tune in at 7 p.m.! You can follow the conversation on social media, using the hashtag #SOTS.

Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

Governor McCrory to Give State of the State Address Tonight

February 4, 2015 – 6:01 am
Governor McCrory to Give State of the State Address Tonight

Pat McCrory will talk transportation and many other important topics in tonight’s
State of the State address. Be sure to tune in at 7 p.m.!

Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution
Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.