Huge fall in government jobs drives drop in NC employed

North Carolina state and local governments shed 13,300 jobs according the latest state jobs report released this morning. The numbers seemed to back up predictions of an end of the fiscal year employment cliff in local governments. County managers and school superintendents had warned of steep job losses due to changes in state budget priorities. Another potential explanation: a large number of state positions slated to be phased out at the end of the year.

To give the drop some context, in June 2013 state and local governments lost 1,600 jobs…

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Sonic cannons OK’d for East Coast offshore oil search

Oil exploration along the Atlantic Coast got a major boost this morning after federal officials approved the use of sonic cannons by contractors.

Via AP:

The approval opens the Eastern Seaboard from the coast of Delaware down to Florida to exploration by energy companies that are preparing to apply for drilling leases in 2018, when a moratorium is set to expire…

Belhaven mayor marches to DC to save Vidant Pungo Hospital

The Republican mayor of Belhaven, NC began an almost 300-mile march to Washington, D.C., Monday to advocate for Medicaid expansion and call on national leaders to intervene in the closing of Vidant Pungo Hospital.

The critical access hospital, which provided emergency medical services to more than 25,000 people in Beaufort and Hyde counties, was shut down by Vidant Health on July 1 despite an agreement reached during federal mediation aimed at transferring control of the hospital to the town of Belhaven. The next closest hospital, also owned by Vidant Health, is 30 minutes away — a 90 minute drive from the center of Hyde County…

Durham police officers fabricated 911 calls to search homes

Indy Week reports that several Durham police officers lied about non-existent 911 calls to persuade residents to allow them to search their homes.

According to a department memo, the officers used fabricated 911 calls for the purpose of obtaining consent to enter residences where they believed wanted individuals with outstanding warrants might be living. However, officers were willing to use the ploy to cast a broader net in at least one case — the hearing where the tactic surfaced involved a defendant charged with marijuana possession after the officer discovered marijuana in her home…

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Raleigh Sexy Schoolgirl 5k race canceled

Organizers of a “sexy schoolgirl” themed 5k race in Raleigh have cancelled the event due to “community controversy” over the theme of the race as well as a lack of early sign-ups.

Via the News & Observer:

The Hillsborough Street race – which invited runners to “show off their inner schoolgirl and nerd sides” in a 5k and pub crawl – was first approved by the Raleigh City Council in March, but it was labeled “Runnin Dirty 5k” on the agenda…

Whiff of a major tobacco consolidation in the air

More buzz on a possible M&A deal between Winston-Salem-based Reynolds and Greensboro-based Lorillard. On CNBC this morning, Faber Report host David Faber said a potential deal is, maybe, possibly, in the works. Any deal between the two could lead to the sale of several iconic menthol brands to clear anti-trust scrutiny, Faber said, including Winston and Salem… More

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