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What You Need to Know about North Carolina for August 7, 2014

Yay Thursday! Yesterday, we welcomed a new friend to town at one of our favorite gathering places, The Green Bean. The one thing we love about the Green Bean and Coffeeology, Tate Street Coffee, Sessions (RIP), Geeksboro, Beansboro and Cafeagency is that they not only provide a local source of income, but being local coffeehouses, they take on the flavor of us and the neighborhood they sit in. Starbucks has its place too, but there’s nothing like the local coffeehouse. Cue the Cheers theme song, because that’s how we feel when we happen upon the local shop, and people know our names and we get to know people better.

Anyway, a shout out to the other awesome train trip crossing the US in the other direction this week, the #NerdTrain folks. There are several people on this list who I consider friends of the ‘Book and I look forward to joining them on the next round. Oh and MTP leaves today from Portland. Please follow both, Tweet them, Facebook them and let’s get rail promoted to the level it needs to be promoted. Also glad Transportation Secretary Foxx is listening, but we can be even more awesome with trains in the US.

And now your North Carolina news:

News Across North Carolina for August 7

Art Pope is no longer our state budget director. Get to know our new state budget director, who happens to be an independent.

Meanwhile the GOP members of the General Assembly are now coming after the local courts.

But at least you can now renew your drivers license without going to the DMV, thanks to a new budget provision.

Meanwhile, even though the legislature is still technically in session, few people are showing up.

Former Winston-Salem mayor John Surratt, who was only 32 when elected in the early 1960’s and only served one term, during which he advocated for downtown development and established the sister cities program, has died at the age of 85.

The  US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the new Bonner Bridge connecting the mainland with the Outer Banks can’t go forward. There are issues around the environmental impact studies conducted.

The latest North Carolina colleges to be highlighted by the Princeton Review.

Future state budgets will not account for enrollment growth in schools, making an already tight situation even tighter for schools.

The new Cameron Village apartment buildings in Raleigh are trucking along at different speeds of construction.

One of the faraway owners of some of Greensboro’s Heritage House condos has filed a theft report, claiming the condemnation was unfair seizure of his property.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund turns 50 this year and is lauded in Asheville this week by the U.S. Interior Secretary. However, it may run out of money next year, even though it’s funded by offshore oil drilling, because like many other federal funding mandates, it has to be reauthorized by Congress.

More on North Carolina’s role in the resettlement of the refugee children coming across our Southern borders.

Asheville’s getting another downtown monument, this time to commemorate the time that World War II pilot Col. Robert Morgan who flew his B-17 bomber between two government buildings in 1943 and continued to ascend onward to Ohio to continue his war bonds campaign. Can someone say real life Captain America?

Asheville may collect its recycling more often.

The Penguin Drive-In in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood, a diner featured on the Food Network’s Dives, Drive-Ins and Diners has been threatened with, but not yet faced, eviction. It however remains closed.

The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce may endorse a new sales tax referendum on the November ballot for Charlotte, but not run a targeted campaign in favor of it.

Gallup has found that less North Carolinians are going without health insurance.

A number of high-level Charlotte city staffers are leaving office, raising questions on whether or not the Charlotte city government is becoming more unstable.

Several New Hanover county commissioners recent votes have been questioned in a lawsuit.

Wilmington’s city manager and several other city staffers there have received raises.

Wilmington’s bikers and pedestrians are currently waging battle against aggressive and impatient drivers. As a result, the area recently served as a training for law enforcement to help all travelers obey the law and get around safely.

Wilmington is one step closer to having microbreweries.

The state DOT will replace the diseased palm trees at Wrightsville Beach with live oaks.

Recent rain has changed the timeline for the renovation and reopening of the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course.

Lake Tabor in Columbus County is also a site for green algae and is now closed.

The state DOT also received the funds to replace the Gum Swamp bridge in Scotland County.

And finally, you can now hike the Appalachian Trail in your living room, with this nifty new board game.

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