Associated Press

NC Regulator: Can Duke Energy Charge All Coal Ash Costs?

Regulators are deciding whether to set a precedent and allow the country’s largest electric company to charge North Carolina consumers the full, multi-billion-dollar cost of cleaning up coal ash dumps. The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Monday will open hearings with Duke Energy Corp. about who should pay the cost of dealing with the toxic byproducts of decades of burning coal for power. The company and the state’s official utilities consumer advocate last week struck a partial deal reducing the company’s requested rate increase from almost 15 percent and its requested potential profit margin to below 10 percent. Still...

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Police: Armed Robbery Reported at Duke Gardens Center

Duke University police in North Carolina are searching for the suspect in an armed robbery at the Duke Gardens. News outlets report police announced the Sunday evening incident to the university community in a crime alert. Police say a suspect approached an individual at the Doris Duke Center in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and displayed a handgun, demanding money. The suspect then fled the center. No injuries were reported. Photo via Duke...

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Maye Leads No. 9 North Carolina to 102-78 Rout of Portland

When Luke Maye took stock of what North Carolina was losing from last season’s championship squad and what was coming back, he made it a focus to become a better scorer in the post. Maye made scoring around the basket look easy against overmatched Portland. Maye had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Joel Berry II added 18 points and No. 9 North Carolina had five players in double figures in overwhelming Portland 102-78 on Thursday to open the PK80 Invitational. “I’ve really had a concerted effort on scoring more in the post,” Maye said. “We lost three top players...

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NCDOT Suspends Road, Lane Closures for Holiday Travel

Over the river and through the woods will be relatively easy for most North Carolina motorists during the Thanksgiving holiday. A news release from the N.C. Department of Transportation says the road and lane closure suspension began Tuesday morning and continues through 8 p.m. on Nov. 27. The only exceptions are where work has made it unsafe to open all lanes, such as where a bridge is being replaced or travel lanes are being constructed or rebuilt. Among the closures, the eastbound U.S. 158 Wright Memorial Bridge is closed for deck rehabilitation. In Vance and Warren counties, Interstate 85...

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Court: Application for Poor to Get Lawyer Can’t Be Evidence

An appeals court says prosecutors can’t use the document needed to get a court-appointed defense lawyer guaranteed by the Constitution to prove a North Carolina man’s relationship with a teenage girl was illegal. The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Raul Diaz must be retried on statutory rape and child abduction charges after the girl ran away with him to New Mexico and Oklahoma. Diaz was 19 and the girl was 14 and they went to the same Pitt County high school when they started their relationship. Judges said prosecutors shouldn’t have been allowed to show jurors the...

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North Carolina Advocate to Meet with Pope Francis This Week

A Protestant minister known as the architect of the Moral Monday protest movement in North Carolina will spend the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend at a Vatican conference dedicated to labor and the workers’ movement that includes a meeting with Pope Francis. The Rev. William J. Barber II told The News & Observer that he received an invitation to the Vatican earlier this fall, along with other worker and labor rights advocates. Barber stepped down as head of the state NAACP last month to focus on his role as president of new social justice organization Repairers of the Breach. Barber,...

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Coal Ash is Focus in Duke Energy’s $478M Rate Increase Bid

The nation’s largest electric company is fighting to persuade regulators that North Carolina consumers should pay 15 percent more on average, including nearly $200 million a year to clean up the toxic byproducts of burning coal to generate power. Consumers, the state’s attorney general and the state’s utilities consumer advocate are digging in ahead of hearings starting Monday. Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp.’s requested $478 million passes along the full cost of cleaning up its coal ash pits. The rate increase would affect customers of Duke Energy Progress, the subsidiary that operates in much of eastern North Carolina and around...

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Chemical Company’s Unreported Spill May Lead to Waste Ban

North Carolina regulators say they’re suspending and may revoke a chemical company’s key permit after it didn’t report the spill of an unregulated compound. The Department of Environmental Quality said Thursday it is moving to revoke The Chemours Co.’s permit to discharge wastewater from operations at its Fayetteville plant into a neighboring river. Regulators say the discharge ban could come in 60 days because the company failed to report a spill last month of a precursor of the chemical GenX. The agency said this week it was considering fining the Wilmington, Delaware-based company for failing to report the spill....

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Cooper School Funding Panel Led by Outgoing Blue Cross CEO

The outgoing chief executive of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will lead a panel created by Gov. Roy Cooper to make recommendations on complying with landmark court rulings over public school funding. Cooper announced Wednesday the commission’s membership, with Blue Cross CEO Brad Wilson as chairman. Wilson has announced his retirement from the health insurer and his successor has been named. Cooper says the commission seeks to fulfill a 1997 ruling by identifying resources so all children can have an equal opportunity to obtain a sound basic education. The panel is expected to work with an...

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Ex-UNC Player’s Estate Sues ACC, NCAA Over Concussions

Representatives of a former North Carolina football player’s estate are suing the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA, saying they ignored the dangers of concussions and it led to Ryan Hoffman’s death. Sandra LaMountain and Noah Hoffman brought the 39-page lawsuit on behalf of Ryan Hoffman’s estate and filed it Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Greensboro. They allege negligence, breach of express contract and unjust enrichment. They argue that both groups failed to protect and promote the safety and well-being of the players, and breached a contract with the players by failing to properly educate and warn them...

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