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State Government
Governor McCrory Declares State of Emergency for Wildfires in Western North Carolina PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 10 November 2016 15:12
Governor McCrory Declares State of Emergency for Wildfires in Western North Carolina
Governor Pat McCrory has declared a State of Emergency to help the state combat more than 20 active wildfires in western North Carolina prompted by the lingering drought that has impacted the region since late spring.
“As eastern North Carolina was underwater due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew, the western part of the state has been suffering from a severe drought and now hundreds of acres are burning,” said Governor McCrory. “This declaration will help facilitate evacuations as needed and provide further state assets to help combat the wildfires and support North Carolinians displaced by the fires. This is extremely dangerous work and I especially want to thank the firefighters, first responders, sheriffs and other emergency personnel that have risked their own lives to protect our citizens and property.”
Forest wildfires are burning in several western North Carolina counties that are experiencing extreme drought. The State of Emergency is in effect for 25 counties including Alexander, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties.
The N.C. Forest Service has issued a burning ban on all open burning and cancelled burning permits in 25 counties in the western part of the state. To date, there have been evacuations ordered in Clay, Graham, Macon, Rutherford and Swain counties.
In support of the U.S. Forest Service, N.C. Emergency Management's Helo-Aquatic Rescue Team has deployed a N.C. National Guard Blackhawk helicopter and local rescue technicians to perform any rescues necessary from wildfire fighting operations.
Last week in Clay County, the governor highlighted that the top priority for the state is to avoid any harm to structures, people and livestock in the area. He also noted that these wildfires are some of the most serious fires to occur in North Carolina in nearly two decades.
With more crews and equipment arriving to fight fires in the area, emergency management officials are encouraging motorists to exercise caution when driving. Homeowners can also prevent property damage from fires by keeping flammable materials such as woodpiles or dead leaves away from their homes or propane tanks..
Hatteras Partners Selected To Handle Venture Capital Multiplier Fund PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 10 November 2016 14:58
Hatteras Venture Partners has been selected to manage the state’s $60 million Venture Capital Multiplier Fund. 
“This is an important step toward reaching our goal of making North Carolina the third vertex in the National Innovation Triangle,” Governor Pat McCrory said. “We have the quality of life, universities and economic centers to make it happen. We will continue to strengthen our innovation economy through the I2J initiative by converting more of the research at our world-class universities into patents and jobs.”
The Venture Capital Multiplier Fund was established in the 2015-17 budget signed by Governor McCrory as an early stage investment fund, to invest in early stage commercial ventures. This fund will help increase the number and survivability of new and young companies by providing early investments where North Carolina currently has a limited number of private investors.
In fall 2014, Governor McCrory convened an Innovation-to-Jobs (I2J) Working Group—composed of leaders from the state’s investment, technology commercialization, business, and university sectors—to develop strategies to improve and optimize North Carolina’s innovation ecosystem.
The primary goals of the I2J initiative are to attract more venture capital, develop a new generation of entrepreneurs and to develop and retain home-grown talent.
The Innovation to Jobs initiative was started to fulfill Governor McCrory's vision to make North Carolina the third vertex of a National Innovation Triangle. The objective of Innovation to Jobs is to help North Carolina leverage research occurring at our world-class universities and community colleges and convert their findings into patents and jobs that will strengthen the state’s economy.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 November 2016 15:01
Democrats Are Now The Majority On NC Supreme Court PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Donna Martinez   
Thursday, 10 November 2016 13:38
The North Carolina Supreme Court now has a majority of justices who are registered Democrats after Wake County Superior Court Judge Mike Morgan against defeated Associate Justice Bob Edmunds who has served on the court since 2001. With Morgan's election, the court has four Democrats and three Republicans.
Morgan, who has been a judge since 1989, was endorsed by President Barack Obama. 
Republicans Sweep Court of Appeals Seats PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 10 November 2016 13:33
Republicans swept the Court of Appeals seats up for grabs in Tuesday's election. 
Phil Berger Jr., son of the Senate leader Phil Berger defeated incumbent Linda Stephens. Berger won by fewer than 27,000 votes.
Hunter Murphy, a Republican, won the seat formerly held by Martha Geer, who stepped down in 2016 to practice law. Her term would have expired in 2018. Murphy also beat Margaret Eagles, the Democrat, and Independent Donald Ray Buie.
Incumbent Republican Bob Hunter defeated Democrat Abe Jones, 54 percent to 46 percent. Hunter was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gov. Pat McCrory in 2014 to fill a temporary vacancy but he lost in that November’s election to current Justice Sam Ervin IV. McCrory then appointed Hunter to the Court of Appeals to fill the vacancy left by Ervin.
Richard Dietz, the Republican, defeated Vince Rozier, a Democrat. Dietz got 54 percent of the vote to Rozier’s 46 percent.
Republican incumbent Valerie Zachary, appointed by McCrory in 2015, beat Rickye McKoy-Mitchell, the Democrat, 54 percent to 46 percent.
The N.C. Court of Appeals is comprised of 15 judges who sit on three-judge rotating panels. The panels review errors in legal procedures or in judicial interpretation of the law. The court hears civil and criminal appeals from the lower courts and makes decision based on law, not fact. Judges serve eight-year terms. A 2015 state law added to the ballot party affiliation for candidates vying for a seat on the state’s appellate court.

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