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‘The Headliners’ part 2: NEW Anniversary, Collider Lunch & Learns, NC TECH Tour + more across NC

Keeping track with our initiative to spotlight North Carolina startup and tech events, WRAL TechWire’s weekly “Headliners” column is now divided into two parts—inside and outside the Triangle.

Following is a list of May and June meetups, conferences, workshops, socials and networking events happening in Asheville, Charlotte, the Piedmont Triad, and other areas throughout North Carolina.

To find out what’s happening this month in the Triangle, check out this post.

Another post spotlights hot events coming up in July, accompanied by a separate preview of the Cryptolina conference. Recurring monthly meetups are also featured in a separate post.

These columns are an extension of our interactive calendar of tech and startup events. If you’d like to suggest an event to be added to the calendar, feel free to send me an email.

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May 28

Innovate Charlotte, an arm of the Charlotte Regional Fund for Entrepreneurship, is seeking applicants for its upcoming pilot program, which aims to serve entrepreneurs looking to bring their startups to the next level. Five companies will be admitted to the three-month mentorship program.

May 29, 12-1 p.m. @The Collider in Asheville

Learn all about Guerilla Usability studies at this workshop hosted by The Collider and led by Dave Michelson, an applied research software designer at UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center.

May 29, 4-6:30 p.m. @Ironclad Brewery

NEW invites Wilmington’s entrepreneurial community to join for an evening of celebration to honor its third anniversary and its partnership with Bunker Labs. The event also includes a seminar led by three local experts—Scott Sorensen of The Compete Agency, Jenna Curry of Wilmington Today Magazine and Remedy Digital Agency, and Stephen Bon of Bon’s Eye Marketing.

May 30, 9-10 a.m. @RISC Networks (Asheville Social Hall)

Asheville’s entrepreneurial community meets weekly to hear presentations and support one another in continuing to grow. For this week’s event, 1 Million Cups Asheville will feature a panel on how to build brands through quality design.

May 30, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. @Piedmont Triad Regional Council in Kernersville

Plug-In NC’s upcoming summit will update attendees with the latest electric vehicle activities across North Carolina. Guest speakers Proterra Sales Director Eric Reynolds and City of Greensboro Transportation Director Adam Fischer will share details on local electric bus programs.

May 30, 5:30-6:30 p.m. @The Creative Community Lab

Applications are live for Creative Startups Winston-Salem’s eight-week virtual business accelerator. Drop by this info session to hear an overview of the program and learn how to apply. The application deadline is June 3.

May 30, 6-8 p.m. @Hatch AVL

Entrepreneurs are invited to test and develop their pitch at this monthly event hosted by Hatch AVL. Presenters will receive helpful feedback from the audience, and the best-voted pitch will land a spot at 1 Million Cups Asheville.

May 31, 12-1 p.m. @Skookum Charlotte

Join an open tour of the Skookum office to get an introduction to the tech and ideas powering the community. The Skookum team will be available for any questions or comments participants may have. Lunch will be provided.

May 31, 12-1:30 p.m. @The Garage at Packard Place

This 90-minute lunch and learn will educate entrepreneurs on how to secure adequate capital to launch their businesses. Entrance is free-of-charge, and lunch will be provided.

May 31, 5-8 p.m. @Bailey Power Plant in Winston-Salem

Held on a weekly basis, this Venture Café event series provides all sorts of programming for Piedmont Triad entrepreneurs and innovators. Every Thursday evening, the community gathers for networking, panel talks, workshops, presentations, product demos, interviews, and more.

May 31

Established in memory of the founding CEO of the NC TECH Association, the Betsy Y. Justus Founders Scholarship supports young women who are pursuing an academic and career path in technology and engineering. The scholarship is offered on an annual basis. Two selected students will receive $4,000 and a Lenovo computer.

June 1, 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. @Pfeiffer University, Charlotte

Charlotte jobseekers are paired with tech companies that are hiring for their specific skills and experience. COME TECH OUT collaborates with local organizations to achieve its goal of connecting top industries with top talent. Free entrance is offered to all jobseekers.

June 3

This eight-week online accelerator offers a comprehensive curriculum of training for creative startups. The program culminates in a five-day “Deep Dive” week, featuring introductions to 30 industry experts as mentors and investors, an interactive demo night and a final pitch competition with a $50,000 split prize.

June 5, 7:30-9:30 a.m. @Flywheel Coworking

Join this event for an early breakfast and live demos from three Triad startups—Botsplash, CrewPay and Haystack CRM.

June 5, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. @Embassy Suites Charlotte Uptown

Join this complementary event for peer networking, product updates and insightful sessions from both Teradata experts and customers. Full agenda here.

June 5, 6-7:15 p.m. @WHQR Gallery

Through a series of short presentations by local business leaders, this event will offer a snapshot of Cape Fear’s role in bringing tech and life sciences companies to the region.

June 6, 8:30-10 a.m.

Held on the first Wednesday of every month, 1 Million Cups Charlotte features a presentation from a local startup followed by a Q&A from the community. Free coffee is included.

June 6, 9-10 a.m. @Asheville Social Hall

Asheville’s entrepreneurial community meets weekly to hear presentations and support one another in continuing to grow. For this week’s event, 1 Million Cups Asheville will feature an open pitch session with 10 selected entrepreneurs.

June 6, 12-1 p.m. @Asheville Chamber of Commerce

At this training session, 1 Million Cups Organizer Emily Breedlove will show attendees how to prepare a compelling pitch.

June 6, 6-8 p.m. @Advent Coworking

At this event, Fluree Co-Founder and Co-CEO Brian Platz will introduce FlureeDB, a new database that enables developers to bring blockchain features into SaaS applications. The presentation and demo will be followed by a Q&A.

June 6-9 @Charlotte Convention Center

This three-day business event is tailored to both established business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Confirmed speakers include Mark Cuban, Don Peebles, Byron Allen, Troy Taylor, Janice Bryant Howroyd and more global innovation leaders.

June 7, 12-1 p.m. @The Collider

Ellie Johnston of Climate Interactive will detail a marketing case study on how the team spread its climate simulation to 77 countries in two years.

June 7, 5-8 p.m. @Bailey Power Plant in Winston-Salem

Held on a weekly basis, this Venture Café event series provides all sorts of programming for Piedmont Triad entrepreneurs and innovators. Every Thursday evening, the community gathers for networking, panel talks, workshops, presentations, product demos, interviews, and more.

June 7, 6-7 p.m. @Venture Cafe

Triad entrepreneurs are invited to attend a seminar detailing how to use the Localstake NC crowdfunding platform as a funding source for their businesses. The discussion, held at Venture Cafe in Winston-Salem, will be led by Mark Easley of CrowdfundNC.com. Tickets are free.

June 11, 3-7:30 p.m.

In celebration of NC TECH Association’s 25th anniversary, the team is traveling from the mountains to the coast to meet up with members, connect with partners and host celebratory networking receptions. Join in Asheville on June 11 for a panel discussion about analytics and IoT, followed by a Brews and Bytes event at local breweries.

June 12, 3-7:30 p.m. @AvidXchange Inc.

In celebration of NC TECH Association’s 25th anniversary, the team is traveling from the mountains to the coast to meet up with members, connect with partners and host celebratory networking receptions. Join in Charlotte on June 12 for a panel discussion about analytics and IoT, followed by a Brews and Bytes event at local breweries.

June 13, 3-7:30 p.m. @Inmar

In celebration of NC TECH Association’s 25th anniversary, the team is traveling from the mountains to the coast to meet up with members, connect with partners and host celebratory networking receptions. Join in Winston-Salem on June 13 for an exclusive panel discussion, followed by a Brews and Bytes event at local breweries.

June 15, 12-2 p.m. @UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

In celebration of NC TECH Association’s 25th anniversary, the team is traveling from the mountains to the coast to meet up with members, connect with partners and host celebratory networking receptions. Join in Wilmington on June 15 for an exclusive panel discussion all about the business of blockchain. A complimentary light lunch will be included.

June 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. @Flywheel Coworking

Idea Tap is an opportunity for local startups to present their products/services to an audience and receive feedback on how to refine their pitches. The format involves: a five-minute pitch, a five-minute Q&A and five minutes of audience feedback. This monthly event is always free.

June 13, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. @AvidXchange Inc. in Charlotte

The annual Fintech Generations event addresses topics surrounding the growth of the fintech ecosystem in the Southeast.

June 13, 9-10 a.m. @Asheville Social Hall

Asheville’s entrepreneurial community meets weekly to hear presentations and support one another in continuing to grow. For this week’s event, 1 Million Cups Asheville will feature local startup Burban.

June 14, 8-11 a.m. @The Garage at Packard Place

A handful of Queen City-based companies will headline June’s Charlotte PitchBreakfast, presenting their products and services for a total of five minutes, after which they will answer questions from the audience and a panel of experts. The goal of PitchBreakfast is to give startups a comfortable environment to test out pitches they can later present to investors.

June 14, 5-8 p.m. @Bailey Power Plant in Winston-Salem

Held on a weekly basis, this Venture Café event series provides all sorts of programming for Piedmont Triad entrepreneurs and innovators. Every Thursday evening, the community gathers for networking, panel talks, workshops, presentations, product demos, interviews, and more.

June 16, 9:30-11:30 a.m. @Advent Coworking

This one-day educational event will show developers how to create Actions for Google Assistant.

June 19, 12-1:30 p.m. @Flywheel Coworking

Indeavor, a networking club offered to all Flywheel Coworking members, is an opportunity to get to know fellow entrepreneurs and swap helpful resources with one another. The lunches are held on the third Tuesday of every month at the the Center for Design Innovation in Winston-Salem.

June 20, 12 p.m.

Pfizer, Inc. and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center have partnered to offer a two-year program supporting the scientific and professional development of postdoctoral fellows interested in gene therapy careers.

June 20, 5:30-8 p.m. @Packard Place

On the third Wednesday of every month, the Queen City’s entrepreneurial community joins together for an evening of networking and connections over free beer and snacks.

June 20, 5:30-8 p.m. @The Collider

Join The Collider for an evening of learning about how extreme and slow-onset climate change-related events influence the global movement of people within and across boundaries.

June 21, 5-8 p.m. @Bailey Power Plant in Winston-Salem

Held on a weekly basis, this Venture Café event series provides all sorts of programming for Piedmont Triad entrepreneurs and innovators. Every Thursday evening, the community gathers for networking, panel talks, workshops, presentations, product demos, interviews, and more.

June 25, 1-7 p.m. @Boro Station Conference Center (Tysons, VA)

RIoT, in partnership with M.C. Dean, is presenting a one-day workshop to educate the audience about the latest advancements in IoT. Topics to be covered include how blockchain applies to DoD, the evolution of cybersecurity, how IoT improves asset management, and more.

June 25-28 @UNC Charlotte Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC)

This symposium, hosted by UNC Charlotte’s Energy Production and Infrastructure Center, will showcase the latest research informing what’s in store for the future of the electric power grid.

June 27, 6-8 p.m. @Hatch AVL

Entrepreneurs are invited to test and develop their pitch at this monthly event hosted by Hatch AVL. Presenters will receive helpful feedback from the audience, and the best-voted pitch will land a spot at 1 Million Cups Asheville.

June 28, 12-1 p.m. @Skookum Charlotte

Join an open tour of the Skookum office to get an introduction to the tech and ideas powering the community. The Skookum team will be available for any questions or comments participants may have. Lunch will be provided.

June 28, 5-8 p.m. @Bailey Power Plant in Winston-Salem

Held on a weekly basis, this Venture Café event series provides all sorts of programming for Piedmont Triad entrepreneurs and innovators. Every Thursday evening, the community gathers for networking, panel talks, workshops, presentations, product demos, interviews, and more.

Source Article

An Ohio man fishing in the surf pulls in a 6-foot shark off the NC Outer Banks

Troy Rachel from Ohio caught a 6-foot Hammerhead off Avon Monday, according to his bait supplier, Frank & Fran’s Fisherman’s Friend. (Twitter screenshot)

OUTER BANKS, NC (Mark Price/Charlotte Observer) – An Ohio man fishing in the surf at North Carolina’s Outer Banks found himself tugging in a 6-foot shark that more than outweighed him.

It was identified as a hammerhead, a type of shark that National Geographic calls a "consummate predator."

Troy Rachel of Toledo caught it Monday in Avon, north of Hatteras Island, using cut mullet as bait. His bait supplier, Frank & Fran’s Fisherman’s Friend, posted a photo of the catch on Facebook. It has since been shared nearly 2,300 times.

Some hammerheads can live up to 30 years, growing 20 feet long and up to 1,000 pounds, says National Geographic.

Experts say most hammerhead attacks involving humans are rare. “However, the great hammerhead’s enormous size and fierceness make it potentially dangerous,” says National Geographic.

Hammerhead sharks as long as 8 feet have been caught along the Outer Banks in the past decade.

The website North Carolina Coast Watch notes hammerheads have been affected by overfishing off the Carolinas and fishing is now managed by limits on fishing.

Rachel released his catch back into the ocean, reported Frank & Franks on Facebook.

Source Article

NC’s Top Educator Says He’s Not Attending Teacher Rally

CHARLOTTE, NC — As school districts across North Carolina plan closures May 16 — the day teachers from across the state are planning to march for improved education funding in Raleigh — the state’s top educator says he won’t be there and is against schools closing the day of the event.

The North Carolina teacher rally on May 16 is one of a string of similar protests around the U.S. In Arizona, for example, teachers held a historic six-day protest that ended when the state increased education spending by $100 million, which will give Arizona teachers — some of the lowest paid in the country — a 20 percent pay increase over the next two years. Teachers in West Virginia walked out of the classrooms for nine days, which prompted the state to give them a 5 percent raise.

“I absolutely support teachers, but I do not plan to attend a protest on a school day,” North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson said on his Twitter account May 8. “We know it affects not only students, but also parents, hourly workers who work at our schools, and also other teachers who might not be taking part in that day,” he said.

Teacher salaries have increased each of the past four years, and teachers will get another raise this year, he said, adding that “North Carolina is one of the top states for fastest rising teacher pay.”

According to the National Education Association, North Carolina has the 44th lowest average salary for teachers in the U.S. with an average salary of $49,970.

SEE ALSO: After Arizona Teacher Posts Pay Stub, See How NC Teachers Rate

“These are local decisions made with the safety of students in mind, but I hope more school boards do not have to close schools that day,” Johnson said. “Protesting is a right, but it can be just as effective during non-school hours.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox announced last week that Queen City area schools would close that day after at least 2,000 teachers and staff said they wanted to the day off.

Mooresville Graded School District made the same call after about 42 percent of its instructional staff asked for leave that day.

“We expect the number to increase as the day of the rally gets closer, and we don’t have substitute-teacher capacity to cover all of the requests,” Wilcox said, adding that he supported the teachers’ right to rally. “To our teachers, I say this: I share your concerns. I hear your voices calling for change and I know that you lift your voices not only for your own benefit but because you care about students, their futures and our community.”

Photo via Shutterstock

Source Article

Forbes List Of Best Employers: 10 NC Companies Make 2018 Grade

America’s best employer for 2018 is a company that employs thousands of Americans but is headquartered in France, according to Forbes’ annual rankings of the best employers in the country. The rankings of America’s best large employers placed tire manufacturer Michelin at the top of the list while the grocery chain Trader Joe’s took the No. 2 spot and Google came in at No. 3.

Forbes’ rankings were released on Tuesday and include 500 companies that have more than 5,000 employees. On the list are 10 companies that are based in North Carolina. The highest ranked North Carolina company on the list is Duke University (No. 18), which is headquartered in Durham.

Here are all the North Carolina companies that made the list:

Duke University (No. 18), Durham, North Carolina Ingersoll Rand (No. 41), Davidson, North Carolina New Hanover Regional Medical Center (No. 47), Wilmington, North Carolina Duke Energy (No. 106), Charlotte, North Carolina Set and Service Resources (No. 248), Raleigh, North Carolina PRA Health Sciences (No. 264), Raleigh, North Carolina VF (No. 265), Greensboro, North Carolina PPD (No. 354), Wilmington, North Carolina Nucor (No. 419), Charlotte, North Carolina Snyder’s-Lance (No. 434), Charlotte, North Carolina

Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to compile the list. Statista surveyed 30,000 people, asking respondents to rate how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to others, Forbes explains. Respondents were also asked to nominate organizations outside of their own, according to Forbes.

Michelin climbed 33 spots on the list to claim the top ranking for 2018 and is the only non-American company on the list. Forbes says that the company offers a “purpose-driven career” and advancement opportunities that enable employees to have long careers within the organization.

Photo via Shutterstock

Source Article

NC mountains and foothills brace for possible flooding as rainfall continues

(Steve Ohnesorge | WBTV)

BOONE, NC (WBTV) –

As predicted, a steady rain fell in the North Carolina foothills and mountains Monday afternoon.

Creeks and streams were up a little, but not out of their banks as of late in the afternoon. Officials, though, were watching carefully just in case.

Six months ago, a quick burst of heavy rain caused major flooding in Boone. People living in those areas now say they will be watching what happens with the weather very carefully over the next 24 hours. Some heavy rain is expected, and a Flood Watch has been issued.

In Caldwell County, Collettesville Assistant Fire and Rescue Chief Alan Walsh says all the flood gear is ready, including a boat. He is hoping none of it will be needed, “Because that would mean someone is in trouble, and we don’t want anyone in trouble.”

Crews will be on standby until the danger passes.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Source Article

‘The Headliners’ part 2: 23 upcoming events, deadlines across NC (+ DIG SOUTH)

Keeping track with our initiative to spotlight North Carolina startup and tech events, WRAL TechWire’s weekly “Headliners” column is now divided into two parts—inside and outside the Triangle.

Following is a list of April meetups, conferences, workshops, socials and networking events happening in Asheville, Charlotte, the Piedmont Triad, and other areas throughout North Carolina.

To find out what’s happening this month in the Triangle, check out this post.

Another post previews hot events coming up in May. Recurring monthly meetups are also featured in a separate post.

These columns accompany our interactive calendar of tech and startup events. If you’d like to suggest an event to be added to the calendar, feel free to send me an email.

April 17, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. @Forsyth Tech Small Business Center at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter

At this workshop, Small Business Consultant Tim Dixon will show participants how to develop and execute a strategy to keep their business safe from a data breach. Registration is free.

April 17, 12-1:30 p.m. @Flywheel Coworking

Indeavor, a networking club offered to all Flywheel Coworking members, is an opportunity to get to know fellow entrepreneurs and swap helpful resources with one another. The lunches are held on the third Tuesday of every month at the the Center for Design Innovation in Winston-Salem.

April 18, 7:45-9 a.m. @co//ab

The Greensboro startup community is invited to attend Launch Greensboro’s monthly IdeaLaunch program. It includes a series of four-minute pitches from local startups, along with opportunities to network with fellow entrepreneurs and innovators in Greensboro. This event is free.

April 18, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. @Elon University

Hosted by Elon’s Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the WE Do! Conference aims to help identify and overcome gender-based obstacles in entrepreneurship. Tickets are free for students and $30 for guests.

April 18, 9-10:30 a.m. @Asheville Social Hall (RISC Networks)

Asheville’s entrepreneurial community meets weekly to hear local startups’ pitches and support one another in continuing to grow. For this week’s event, 1 Million Cups Asheville is hosting Zaphne, a content acceleration engine.

April 18, 4:30-5:30 p.m. @Packard Place

Those unacquainted with the Queen City startup scene are invited to attend a free orientation to the community presented by StartCharlotte. The event will offer attendees introductions and networking, along with connections to local resources, events, companies, programs, investors, and more.

April 18, 5:30-7 p.m. @Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte

At this event, a Johnson & Wales University chef and a registered dietitian from UNC’s Nutrition Research Institute will demonstrate healthy cooking while sharing tips on how to achieve a balanced diet. Samples will be available to attendees.

April 18, 5:30-7 p.m. @HQ Greensboro

Applications are live for Creative Startups Winston-Salem’s eight-week virtual business accelerator. Drop by this info session to hear an overview of the program and learn how to apply. The application deadline is June 3.

April 18, 5:30-8 p.m. @Packard Place

On the third Wednesday of every month, the Queen City’s entrepreneurial community joins together for an evening of networking and connections over free beer and snacks.

April 19, 8-10 a.m. @Innovate Charlotte Hub

In this interactive info session, the local startup community can learn about Innovate Charlotte’s new MIT-licensed Venture Mentoring Service and how they can participate in the pilot program, which kicks off in June.

April 19, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. @Center for Design and Innovation in Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem’s Center for Creative Economy is hosting a pitch event for Swerve members to practice their presentations before an expert panel for feedback.

April 19, 12-1 p.m. @Packard Place

Learn how to prepare your business for an eventual exit event at this informative, free-of-charge lunch ‘n’ learn hosted by Packard Place. The event will include a presentation from Jack Santaniello of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, followed by a Q&A, discussion and networking.

April 19, 5-8 p.m. @Bailey Power Plant in Winston-Salem

Held on a weekly basis, this Venture Café event series provides all sorts of programming for Piedmont Triad entrepreneurs and innovators. Every Thursday evening, the community gathers for networking, panel talks, workshops, presentations, product demos, interviews, and more.

April 21, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. @BLKTECHCLT HQ

At this BLKTECHCLT Learning Lab workshop, participants will learn how to use Emotional Intelligence techniques to manage stress, optimize your talent, and communicate and engage more effectively. The lesson will be led by Mic Alexander, author, coach, public speaker, and consultant and trainer at Image Wealth.

April 23, 5-7 p.m. @UNC Wilmington Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Applications are live for Creative Startups Winston-Salem’s eight-week virtual business accelerator. Drop by this info session to hear an overview of the program and learn how to apply. The application deadline is June 3.

April 25-27 @Charleston Gaillard Center

This year’s DIG SOUTH theme is “Relevance,” exploring topics such as: the relevant technologies and platforms entrepreneurs should be trying out, what digital marketing and social media strategies can keep startups relevant today, and how to make a company relevant to potential investors, and more.

April 25, 10:30-11:30 a.m. @The Center For Craft in Asheville

Applications are live for Creative Startups Winston-Salem’s eight-week virtual business accelerator. Drop by this info session to hear an overview of the program and learn how to apply. The application deadline is June 3.

April 26, 12-1 p.m. @Skookum Charlotte

Join an open tour of the Skookum office to get an introduction to the tech and ideas powering the community. The Skookum team will be available for any questions or comments participants may have. Lunch will be provided.

April 26, 5-8 p.m. @Bailey Power Plant in Winston-Salem

Held on a weekly basis, this Venture Café event series provides all sorts of programming for Piedmont Triad entrepreneurs and innovators. Every Thursday evening, the community gathers for networking, panel talks, workshops, presentations, product demos, interviews, and more.

April 26-27 @Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, North Carolina

This annual conference, presented by IntraHealth International, highlights creativity, humanitarian innovation and the intersection of health and technology. The two-day event is complete with several stage talks, microlabs, mentoring sessions and field trips, plus live performances, food and interactive networking.

April 28

Innovate Charlotte, an arm of the Charlotte Regional Fund for Entrepreneurship, is seeking applicants for its upcoming pilot program, which aims to serve entrepreneurs looking to bring their startups to the next level. Five companies will be admitted to the three-month mentorship program.

April 29, 12-4 p.m. @UNC Charlotte

Spend your Sunday enjoying more than 100 presentations, displays, demos, lab tours and other activities at UNC Charlotte’s Science and Tech Expo, part of this year’s North Carolina Science Festival. This half-day event is free and open to the public.

April 30, 6-8 p.m. @Forsyth Tech Small Business Center at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter

In observance of National Small Business Week, the Forsyth Tech Small Business Center will be hosting a discussion with author and entrepreneur Timogi Jackson about how writing a book can be a good channel for strengthening your business’s brand.

Source Article

Opinion Roundup: NC farmers under pressure, legalized sports betting, Medicaid expansion, solar energy and more

Saturday, April 7, 2018 — A round up of opinion, commentary and analysis on: NC farmers nervous under looming threat of trade war, legalized sports betting could help states with job creation, conservatives attack Raleigh school over ‘white privilege’ handouts, Medicaid expansion, local governments move towards solar energy and more.

POLICY & POLITICS
HANNAH SMOOT: Congressman pulls out loaded gun at South Carolina voter meet-and-greet (Charlotte Observer reports) – U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill, pulled out his own loaded handgun during a meeting with constituents to make a point that guns are dangerous only in the hands of criminals. Norman placed the .38-caliber gun on a table during the “coffee with constituents” meeting at a Rock Hill restaurant near Charlotte. Norman said a group of Mothers Demand Action attended his meeting and they pressed him to support gun control legislation. School teacher Lori Carter of Charlotte, North Carolina, said she thought the move was contradictory because Norman didn’t know if someone there had mental health issues.

LAURA LESLIE: Judges to decide which map to use for Wake House districts (WRAL-TV reports) — Although absentee ballots are already in the mail and early voting for the May primary starts in less than two weeks, a three-judge panel is weighing whether four House districts in Wake County are legal.

JAY GLADIEUX: Gerrymandering attacks democracy (Greenville Daily Reflector column) — Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election was an egregious attack on our democratic institutions and should be fully investigated, with perpetrators held to account for their deceptive actions. Also profoundly damaging to our democracy are gerrymandered voting maps created by legislatures around the nation, including in North Carolina.

CAMERON MCHIRTER: Would Legalized Sports Betting Help States Get Out of the Hole? (Wall Street Journal analysis) — The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether to allow legalized sports betting across the country, and many states are lining up at the gate to cash in on the possible tax revenue and job creation.

LAURA LESLIE: Security lines coming to Legislative Building (WRAL-TV reports) — After decades of open access, tighter security measures will be put in place at the Legislative Building next week.

KASEY CUNNINGHAM & HANNAH WEBSTER: Raleigh mayor talks growth, affordable housing in State of the City Address (WRAL-TV reports) — Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane highlighted the city’s accomplishments and shortcomings in her annual State of the City address.

JASON DEBRUYN: Trade War Would Be ‘Stomach Punch’ To NC Farmers (WUNC-FM reports) — North Carolina’s farmers are nervous. As an all-out trade war with China looms on the horizon, it’s North Carolina’s agriculture industry that could bear the brunt.

Wilson tobacco on front lines of China trade war (Wilson Times) — A high-stakes game of one-upmanship between President Donald Trump’s administration and the Chinese government should give Wilson County farmers cause for concern. China recently announced plans to hike tariffs on 106 American imports by 25 percent — and tobacco, the cash crop that put Wilson on the map — has a target on its back.

GREG BARNES & MONICA VENDITUOLI: Secret tape reveals Fayetteville councilman asks for $15K (Fayetteville Observer reports) — A secret recording released Friday revealed that Fayetteville City Councilman Tyrone Williams told the project manager for the Prince Charles redevelopment that an apparent issue over the property’s title would go away for $15,000.

DANIELLE BATTAGLIA: Outside agency to review 16 Rockingham County criminal cases for legal and ethical problems (Greensboro News & Record reports) — An outside agency agreed to adopt 16 criminal cases from Rockingham County — including some of the county’s most notorious — for review after attorneys found a number of legal and ethical problems in eight cases prosecuted by a former administration. Jason Ramey, interim district attorney for Rockingham County, confirmed hat the N.C. Conference of District Attorneys agreed to review 16 cases handled from start to finish by former Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer. The group is governed by the state’s district attorneys and maintains a staff of attorneys in Raleigh to support prosecutors around the state.

TAYLOR BATTEN: In Pittenger-McCready race, who would dish out the stress? (Charlotte Observer column) — Robert Pittenger represents a 9th Congressional District seat that Republicans have held since 1963. Dan McCready thinks he can change that.

EDUCATION
ALFRED CHARLES & HANNAG WEBSTER: Rush Limbaugh, other conservatives trolls attack Raleigh elementary school over ‘white privilege’ handout (WRAL-TV reports) — A Wake County elementary school has found itself at the center of a local and national debate about race after an elementary school PTA sent a letter home recently to some students’ homes that attempted to explain “white privilege”

HEALTH
Expand Medicaid now (Winston-Salem Journal) – -“Claims are not well founded that Medicaid expansion will cost states considerably more than what objective analysts project,” Mark Hall, a law and public health professor at Wake Forest University, said in a recently completed study.

LENA TILLETT & HANNAH WEBSTER: UNC surgeon-scientist leads national fight against sex bias in drug development (WRAL-TV reports) — As the first female chair of the department of surgery at the UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, Dr. Melina Kibbe is leading the national fight against sex bias in drug research and development.

KEITH HUMPHREYS: There’s no such thing as an ‘opioid-addicted’ newborn (Greensboro News & Record column) — Heartbreaking media reports abound regarding how pregnant women who use opioids allegedly “pass down addiction to unborn children.” But news stories that describe any baby as “born addicted” not only misunderstand addiction but also foster hysteria that can have unintended negative consequences.

TROY WILLIAMS: New frontiers in the battle against HIV infections (Fayetteville Observer column) — AIDS, first reported by an obscure medical journal as a mysterious illness that had killed five young gay men in Los Angeles in 1981, is finally dead. Well, the terminology ceases to exist anymore. Back in the 1980s, an AIDS diagnosis was an automatic death sentence. But now, thanks to new drugs and treatment protocols, it is considered a chronic illness. The new name is HIV disease, and its image recently received a massive facelift in North Carolina.

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
MATTHEW BURNS: Duke University shuts down plans for campus power plant (WRAL-TV reports) — Duke University has put plans for a power plant on campus on hold indefinitely and will focus on using methane from hog waste to power the school’s growing energy needs.

JOHANNA FEREBEE: Climate shifting toward solar industry in N. C. More solar farms to come (Port City Daily) — Local governments are catching on to the solar revolution. With the state’s bill last year and Brunswick County’s updated Unified Development Ordinance, the coast may soon be looking cleaner.

MATTHEW BURNS: GenX in air has DEQ threatening changes to company’s permit (WRAL-TV reports) — State environmental regulators have given Chemours three weeks to put a plan in place to limit releases of GenX into the air from its plant in Bladen County or face stricter limits on the plant’s air quality permit.

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Letters to the Editor (March 29) | The Wichita Eagle

A request from North Carolina

Dear people of the great state of Kansas,

I am a fourth-grade student in North Carolina. In fourth grade, we research a state for our State Fair, and I have chosen Kansas. I am very excited to learn more about Kansas as I work on my report.

While we will research most of the information ourselves, we also like to get first-hand knowledge from people who live in the state. This is why I am writing to you. I am hoping that you would be willing to send me to small items to help me learn more about the best things in your state. It could be things like postcards, maps, photos, general information, this newspaper article, or any other items that you think would be useful.

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You can mail items to Stanly Gorner, Mrs. Smith’s Class, Charlotte Latin School, 9502 Providence Road, Charlotte, N.C., 28277. Please mail by April 30 for our State Fair on May 18.

I really appreciate your help and will do my best to send a thank-you note to each person who takes the time to help me. Thank you in advance.

Stanly Gorner,

Charlotte, N.C.

National Public Health Week

Public health is what we do together as a society to ensure the conditions in which everyone can be healthy. From education to safe environments, housing to transportation, economic development to access to healthy foods — public health’s scope is vast.

National Public Health Week is celebrated each year during the first week in April and reminds us that we can all be a part of the growing movement to create the healthiest nation in one generation by celebrating the power of prevention, advocating for healthy and fair policies, share strategies for successful partnerships and championing the role of a strong public health system.

Public health isn’t just for one part of our population and it isn’t just in times of natural disasters and emergencies. Public health is part of all of our daily lives, every day.

Please consider how you can be healthier and contribute to supporting a healthier community. Making a few, small changes can have a profound impact. And continue to encourage our elected officials to support a strong public health system so Wichita and Sedgwick County will be a safe and healthy community with a strong workforce that will attract and retain young talent, new businesses and future developers.

Becky Tuttle, president,

Kansas Public Health

Association

All sides of gun violence

I have much empathy for those protesting gun violence. There is nothing defensible about recent atrocities. To focus on the gun part of gun violence is easy because it is something tangible that can be seen, felt and heard by all of our human senses. Such intense focus on the guns distracts us from the violence part of the equation.

The desire to eliminate the physical gun part does nothing to address the violence that wells up within distraught individuals. It’s a much harder part of the problem to address, as it is not something tangible or visible.

Taking away the guns does not placate their anger, hurt, frustration or other problems they are plagued with. Take away the guns and violent tendencies remain. Take away the violence and the guns become inert. Pulling the teeth from a tiger does not make him a house cat.

The current surge of energy should not be directed solely on one half of the problem. How about some equal opportunity activism?

Larry Novak, Augusta

Freedom from religion

When our forefathers came to this country, there were two things they did not want. They did not want a king and they did not want a religion.

But they did not envision a country without God. Every president from Washington to Trump has spoken about God. “In God we Trust” is on our money. God is in a pledge of allegiance and our national anthem.

There is no separation of church and state in our Constitution. God is not a state or a church. He is not a religion. There is no one so blind as those who choose not to see. Read the history of this great country. Our leaders have invoked the name of God in war and disaster. The Bible warns us what will happen to all nations that forget God. It was no accident that our country grew and prospered above all others.

May God bless these United States of America.

Armold Blevins, Wichita

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 330 N. Mead, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

For more information, contact

Kirk Seminoff at 316-268-6278, kseminoff@wichitaeagle.com.

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NC offensive tackle visiting four schools during spring break

Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek offensive tackle Parker Moorer has already landed nine verbal scholarship offers, including Power Five tenders from West Virginia, Maryland and Louisville.

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Louisville was the first program to extend an offer in January.

Over his spring break, the 6-foot 5-inch, 265-pounder plans to hit the road and check out four programs.

“This spring break I’ll be visiting Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Maryland, and East Carolina,” Moorer told 247Sports.

Virginia Tech has not extended a scholarship offer to date.

This month, Moorer has landed offers from Marshall and Temple.

Virginia Tech currently holds four commitments in the 2019 class.

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To save neighborhoods with character, Charlotte may block tiny homes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte’s planning staff is studying an idea that could block some new development in existing neighborhoods to protect their character.

“10x Better Than Social Security Checks” Must Stake Claim by April 1

It’s a move that residents in some fast-changing Charlotte neighborhoods might welcome, but one that others worry could stymie affordable housing.

Called “neighborhood character overlay districts,” the idea is still in the early stages. Planning staff presented the idea to Charlotte City Council’s Transportation and Planning Committee last month.

“It’s an interesting concept that would be new to our area,” said Greg Phipps, chairman of the committee. Staff plans to study the proposal and figure out how to move forward within 90 days, Phipps said Monday at a City Council strategy session.

Phipps said a proposed “tiny house” development called Keyo Park, in the Coulwood area of west Charlotte, sparked interest in the character districts. Neighbors are concerned that the 500-square-foot homes would damage their property values.

By setting minimum lot sizes and other conditions, a new neighborhood character overlay district would prevent houses on lots below a certain size from being built in an area, preventing tiny homes and other unconventional developments.

Many neighborhood groups might jump at the opportunity to lock in the current look and feel of their area, and not worry about what’s being built down the street. But Phipps said he and other council members worry about the potential for strong “not-in-my-backyard” (or NIMBY) backlash, especially because some developments, such as apartments, denser townhouse communities or affordable housing already tend to draw strong opposition.

“In discussing the concept, there were also some concerns about the potential impact of it,” said Phipps. “It’s heavily influenced by the existing homeowners. If you get a neighborhood that’s basically against something, it wouldn’t be too hard to use this tool as a way to keep different projects out of their neighborhood.”

Exclusion concerns remain

An overlay district is basically a set of special regulations about land use that applies to a certain area. Here’s how the idea would work:

A neighborhood would be able to petition City Council for a neighborhood character district if a majority of property owners endorsed the idea. City Council would hold a hearing and vote on the plan, similar to the rezoning process in place now.

If an overlay district was adopted, it would regulate components of land use, such as the minimum width of a lot, the height of buildings, required size of side yards or driveways, and how far back houses are required to be set from the street.

Although it wouldn’t regulate architectural design or dwelling size, such an overlay could effectively preclude tiny houses by mandating all lots be a certain width, such as 140 feet, for example. An overlay could also potentially preclude homeowners and developers from subdividing lots and building multiple houses there, a phenomenon that’s angered neighbors in places such as Cotswold.

A handful of North Carolina cities allow neighborhood character overlay districts, including Greensboro, Durham and Raleigh. Bynum Walter, a senior planner with Raleigh, said the districts have been used sparingly, with about 20 total in the city. Two have been implemented in the past year, after about eight years in which no new districts were requested.

One reason the districts might not be more common is time. Walter said the process takes a year or more, with multiple hearings and review by City Council.

“Whenever you have a public process and you’re talking about their property, it’s good to move deliberately,” she said. Many newer neighborhoods, those built from the 1970s onwards, are also governed by HOAs that are already able to regulate what gets built.

Neighborhood character overlay districts could face an uphill climb in Charlotte. Larken Egleston, another city council member on the transportation and planning committee, said he’s seen dense development on his street in Plaza Midwood, with six houses going on a lot formerly occupied by just one.

But he’s still skeptical.

“I am in favor of helping neighborhoods preserve their character, but it could easily be used to lock out things and people a neighborhood might deem undesirable,” said Egleston. “I get it … but there are also certain personal rights. We can’t legislate and dictate everything you can do with a property.”

Another concern is that minimum lot sizes and other requirements could lock out smaller or more densely built houses, widely seen as necessary to increase the housing supply on the market in Charlotte.

Prices are climbing rapidly in large part because inventory is extremely tight. The number of houses on the market plunged by almost 20 percent in 2017 compared to the year before.

Smaller houses can be cheaper: The developer of Keyo Park West has said he’s sold one 500-square-foot house for $89,000.

“(A character district), quite frankly, goes in the opposite direction when it comes to housing affordability,” said Joe Padilla, executive director of the Charlotte-based Real Estate & Building Industry Coalition, a trade group that generally favors looser regulations. “There are other, more critical things for us in the community to be addressing.”

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