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Federal Government
Federal Judge Blocks Obama's Transgender Bathroom Rules Based on "Idenity" PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 22 August 2016 16:36
 A federal judge in Texas has blocked the Obama administration's order that requires public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity and not biology. 
U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor issued an injunction that ruled Title IX "is not ambiguous" about sex being defined as "the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth."
"This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students' rights and that of personal privacy ... while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school," he wrote.
The ruling was the second recent setback for transgender advocates. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Virginia school board can block for now a transgender male from using the boys' restroom while justices decide whether to fully intervene.
A representative of Governor Pat McCrory praised the decision. The governor signed HB2 which overturns any local ordinances that mandates transgenders be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity.  
 “The federal court decision bolsters the efforts of Governor McCrory, along with 22 other states, to protect the privacy of families and children in our school bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities,” said Communications Director Josh Ellis. “We’re also pleased that a federal court has sided with Governor McCrory’s position that the Obama administration has overstepped its authority by bypassing Congress and the courts.”
Texas and 12 other states challenged the White House directive as unconstitutional.
The judge also sided with Republican state leaders who argued that schools should have been allowed to weigh in before the White House directive was announced in May.
The Justice Department issued a brief statement saying it was disappointed in the ruling and was now reviewing its options.
The ruling does not prohibit schools that allow transgender students to use the facilities of their choice from continuing to do so.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 August 2016 15:37
NC National Guard Members Deemed Best Tank Crew In North America PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 22 August 2016 11:47
Governor Pat McCrory recognized a NCNG tank crew which won the 2016 Sullivan Cup at Fort Benning, Georgia in May and was deemed the best tank crew in North America.
"Winning the 2016 Sullivan Cup is one more example of how the North Carolina National Guard is prepared to succeed in any situation," said Governor McCrory. "This tank crew is the best of the best and has made North Carolina proud."
The winning four-member crew, based in Southern Pines, competed for six days against 15 teams from other military branches. This was only the second time the NCNG competed in the Sullivan Cup and unlike most other teams, North Carolina's National Guard crew was comprised of part-time soldiers. Governor McCrory presented a Governor's Coin to the four crew members: crew commander, First Lieutenant John Dupre, New Bern; crew gunner, Sergeant Curtis Bowen, Winston-Salem; crew loader, Specialist Brandon Sinor, Morehead City; and crew driver, Specialist Phillip Hill, Greensboro.
Governor McCrory also recognized NCNG Lieutenant Colonel Miriam Martinez. From 2014 until May 2016, LTC Martinez was detailed to the governor's Office of Federal Relations in Washington, D.C. where she worked with North Carolina's federal partners, especially during major weather events, and helped promote the governor's military, veterans, homeland security and public safety initiatives. In May, LTC Martinez was detailed back to North Carolina full time and selected for promotion to Colonel in October.
To support all National Guard and military members, veterans and their families, Governor McCrory has championed many initiatives including the creation of the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, implementing in-state tuition for veterans at universities and community colleges, funding veteran treatment courts and giving credit for military experience when veterans apply for positions including law enforcement, truck drivers and educators. These efforts have helped cut the North Carolina veteran unemployment rate in half since 2013.
Chief Justice Roberts Wants To Hear From Voter ID Opponents PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 10:35
RALEIGH -- Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has asked the challengers of North Carolina's voter identification to file a written response to Monday's filing by North Carolina's governor to keep voter ID and 10 days of early voting in place.
Chief Justice Roberts wants the written response by Tuesday, August 25.
Governor McCrory argues that voting reforms that were overturned earlier this month by a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court, shouldn't be altered this close to the general election. He wants voter ID and early voting to cover 17 days.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the voting reforms were designed with the intent to discriminate against black voters.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 10:44
Erin Brockovich Calls For Federal Standard For Chromium 6, Element In Coal Ash Dispute PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 16 August 2016 12:11
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich and the Environmental Working Group have called on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set a maximum allowable level for hexavalent chromium in water.
Then lack of a standard is a major area of contention for well owners near leaking coal ash ponds owned by Duke Energy. The state is using the the federal standard of 100 parts per billion for chromium. State environmental regulators say most wells near coal ash ponds have tested below that level. However, the state issued "Do Not Drink" notices to numerous well owners based on a standard of .07 parts per billion, a standard state scientists from the Department of Health and Human Services say is mandated by the Coal Ash Management ACT.  That level is thought to increase the cancer risk for one in a million people, proved they drink the contaminated water over a 70-year period. The "Do Not Drink" notices were rescinded earlier this year after with state environmental and public health officials concluded water at those levels were safe. 
Brockovich , whose fight over hexavalent chromium contamination in Hinkley, Calif., in the 1990s was made into a movie named after her and starring Julia Roberts, signed a letter with the nonprofit Environmental Working Group calling for a federal standard for hexavalent chromium. 
"We write with deep concern about this continued delay," Brockovich and Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook wrote in the letter. "It is clear that the delay is sowing confusion among state and local regulators, utilities and the public about how much hexavalent chromium is safe in drinking water. This confusion is resulting many Americans’ exposure to unregulated levels of hexavalent chromium, which federal, state and independent scientists agree pose health hazards." 

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