Associated Press

North Carolina’s Jobless Rate in June Drops to 4.2 Percent

North Carolina companies continued adding jobs in June, pressing the state’s unemployment rate down to 4.2 percent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that North Carolina’s jobless rate dropped from 4.3 percent in May and 4.4 in April. The state’s unemployment rate also was 4.4 percent in June of last year. The federal agency says North Carolina last month had one of the country’s largest monthly increases in nonfarm payrolls, adding 13,200 jobs as the overall number of workers increased to 4.52 million. The state also had one of the country’s largest employment jumps over the past...

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Republicans Pick Charlotte to Host 2020 Convention

Move over, Las Vegas. The Republican Party will host its 2020 presidential nominating convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Republican National Committee finalized its convention site on Friday, picking an East Coast swing state over Las Vegas, the only other finalist. The vote came as hundreds of Republican activists gathered in Texas for the RNC’s summer meeting. The pick ensures that tens of thousands of political activists, protesters and journalists will crowd into Charlotte in the summer of 2020. The same city hosted the Democratic national convention in 2012. Earlier in the week, a divided Charlotte City Council narrowly...

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N Carolina Gov. Cooper Asks Trump to Pull Back on Tariffs

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper wants President Donald Trump to draw back recent tariff increases, saying an escalating trade war is already hurting state farmers and companies that rely on aluminum and steel. Cooper wrote a letter Thursday to the president telling him retaliatory tariffs against U.S. products by other countries resulting from the administration’s increases stand to harm several North Carolina commodity exports. Cooper mentioned specifically pork heading to Mexico and China and tobacco going to Turkey, China and the European Union. He says North Carolina exports of these products alone to the affected regions are $550 million annually. The...

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Panel to Summarize 6 Constitutional Amendments Invites Input

A state panel that will provide explanations to voters on six proposed amendments to the North Carolina Constitution on November ballots is inviting the public to offer suggestions. The Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission meets July 31 to prepare official written summaries of referendum questions that will be made available to citizens. The summaries won’t be on ballots, but separate short captions the panel writes for each of the six amendments will. The three-member commission is accepting proposed language for summaries and captions through July 25. Lawmakers submitted last month referenda addressing voter ID, judicial vacancies, crime victims’ rights, board appointments, income...

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UNC’s Fedora Causes Stir with CTE Comment at ACC Media Days

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said Wednesday he doesn’t believe it’s been proven that football causes the degenerative brain disease CTE and offered a passionate defense of a sport he believes is “under attack.” Fedora, during interviews at Atlantic Coast Conference preseason media days, described the sport as an integral part of American culture and said it is “safer right now than it’s ever been,” though he acknowledged the risk of concussions in a sport featuring constant collisions. It wasn’t clear who Fedora was referring to in saying the game was under attack, with the seventh-year Tar Heels coach...

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AP Sources: Charlotte Poised to Host 2020 GOP Convention

Charlotte, North Carolina, is poised to host the Republican Party’s 2020 presidential nominating convention. The national GOP’s site selection committee voted behind closed doors Wednesday to recommend Charlotte, according to Republican officials with direct knowledge of the vote who were not authorized to address the situation publicly. Republican National Committee members from across the country, gathering in Austin this week, will decide whether to finalize the recommendation Friday. The only other convention site finalist was Las Vegas. Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012. North Carolina emerged as a swing state during President Barack Obama’s first run thanks...

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North Carolina Woman Denied License Plate to Honor Wife

****UPDATE: The DMV has reversed its decision, according to the AP, and awarded the license plate referenced in the story below.**** A woman says her request for a specialty license plate to honor her wife has been denied by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. Amy Bright told WFMY-TV in Greensboro she applied for a plate reading “LSBNSNLV,” for “lesbians in love.” The DMV issued a statement saying the agency has the right to deny any license plate it deems “offensive to good taste and decency.” “I think that’s ridiculous. I’m trying to celebrate the love I have for my...

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UNC Free of NCAA Issues for 1st Time Under AD Cunningham

North Carolina athletics director Bubba Cunningham has spent nearly his entire tenure dealing with serious NCAA issues, from arriving amid a football investigation to dealing with years of offshoot academic trouble. Now, for the first time, Cunningham is entering a “normal” school year. Those long-running NCAA issues are resolved, freeing Cunningham to focus on improving on-field performance or a facility project costing more than $100 million. “It’s great,” Cunningham quipped in an interview with The Associated Press. “This is the job I thought I was taking.” Cunningham’s arrival from Tulsa in November 2011 came late in the football case...

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Chemical Plant’s Neighbors to Have Blood, Urine Tested

North Carolina and federal health officials want to test whether neighbors of a chemical company are carrying little-understood industrial compounds in their bodies. North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday it is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Bladen and Cumberland county health departments to test dozens of volunteers living around a Chemours Co. plant south of Fayetteville. Officials plan to check the blood and urine of up to 30 residents for GenX and 16 related chemicals. The state health agency says the results will allow comparisons to levels detected in...

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Candidate Withdraws from Western Carolina Chancellor Post

The top candidate to take over as chancellor of Western Carolina University has withdrawn from consideration. The school in Cullowhee said in a news release Monday that the search will continue for a new leader of the North Carolina school with an enrollment of more than 11,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The school had expected to announce a new chancellor last Friday. The chair of the school’s board, Patricia Kaemmerling, said the university is still positioned to make great progress, even with this setback. The chancellor’s post has been vacant since Jan. 1. Former Chancellor David Belcher died in...

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