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Archive for November, 2011

NC lawmakers trade accusations again over layoffs

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — State government data on how many laid-off public workers in North Carolina are getting severance are raising questions about how many people no longer have jobs under the budget pushed through by Republicans lawmakers.

The state budget office presented a legislative appropriations committee Wednesday information showing agencies have received nearly $24 million from a severance cash reserve – indicating about 1,630 full-time positions.

Republicans on the committee said the number was much less than the 20,000 or more positions Democrats and other groups had claimed the budget would eliminate.

The data provided Wednesday did not take into account several factors, such as vacant positions that have been eliminated. A state schools official said the 516 local school employees listed as receiving severance doesn’t tell the whole picture about layoffs.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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NC prosecutors want Racial Justice Act struck down

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s prosecutors are almost unanimous in calling on legislators to repeal a law that allows
defendants on death row to appeal their sentences by showing evidence of racial bias.

A group that represents state district attorneys is planning a news conference in Raleigh on Wednesday to shine a spotlight on the prosecutors’ request that the state Senate strike down the Racial Justice Act.

In a letter sent Monday, the prosecutors said that if the 2009 law isn’t repealed, it will severely hamper the justice system’s ability to handle major cases.

North Carolina Advocates for Justice, a group that supports the law, has sent its own letter to Senate leader Phil Berger asking him to reaffirm the Legislature’s support the Racial Justice Act.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Brunswick Nuclear Plant reports “Unusual Event”

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — The Brunswick Nuclear Plant declared an “Unusual Event” early this morning as a result of a reactor coolant system leak, according to a Progress Energy spokesman. It happened around 3:01 a.m. The event ended around 8:15 a.m.

Plant spokesman Ryan Mosier says the problem was a coolant system leakage of greater than 10 gallons per minute on Unit 2.

Mosier says an “Unusual Event” is the lowest emergency classification used by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Plant operators made the declaration as part of the plant’s conservative approach to maintaining plant safety.

Because the event had low safety significance, there were no threats to public health and safety and no protective actions were needed for the public.

According to Mosier, Unit 2 has been offline since Nov. 5 for scheduled maintenance, which was finished earlier this week. He says operators were beginning the process of re-starting the unit when the leakage was identified. Once the leakage was identified, the plant immediately began an investigation into the cause. Operators safely shut down the unit and placed it in a stable condition to determine the source and make the necessary repairs. The leak rate has been stabilized as a result of reduced pressure.

Mosier says the plant reported the incident to the NRC as an Unusual Event based on regulatory requirements within the mandated timeframe.

Reactor coolant is water used to remove heat from the reactor in order to create the steam that drives the turbines, which generate electricity.

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Allegations unfounded, Oak Island manager says

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Oak Island’s town manager has concluded allegations are unfounded.

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ECU on lockdown after reports of man carrying gun in area

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

GREENVILLE, NC (AP) — The campus of East Carolina University is on lock down after a report of a man on a main thoroughfare with a gun.

University spokeswoman Mary Schulken says the order to secure offices and buildings came shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Schulken says the residence halls and other buildings are now secure. Campus police along with Greenville and Pitt County officers are searching the area for the suspect.

The report came in shortly after 10 a.m. that a man with a gun was spotted on 5th Street, a busy thoroughfare through the heart of campus.

Officials are posting updates to the university’s website alongwith other notifications.

No other information was immediately available.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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